Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The real cost of the Oregon RPS

The Bend Bulletin had a story yesterday that hits on one of the biggest issues Oregon utilities are facing in this post-RPS world, which is how they're going to pay for renewable energy integration.

I had an interesting talk with an energy attorney this week who said she expects renewables to be more costly for utilities than anyone ever predicted. And with cost caps at 4% in the current law, that could seriously limit renewable development. One saving grace is that Oregon's RPS allows utilities to buy power from out of state. So Oregon can buy low-cost wind power from Montana, for example, and still meet the RPS targets. Other states aren't so lucky. Washington state may need to scrap its RPS and start over because the law requires utilities to meet the goals with in-state production, and it's going to be too costly for utilities to implement.

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