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Distributed Energy Resources

California Lawmakers Pass Legislation Creating Central Buyer for Clean Power

California lawmakers recently passed legislation that will, among other things, allow the state to create a central buyer to procure clean electricity for the grid.

Under a legislative agreement unveiled by California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature in late August, the central buyer would focus on sources like offshore wind and long-duration storage to diversify the state’s energy portfolio.

The agreement also aligns the state’s primary clean energy planning and procurement programs – its renewable portfolio standard, resource adequacy and integrated resource planning – with California’s 100% clean electricity by 2045 goal.

The California Senate approved the measure on Sept. 14 by a vote of 29-10. The California Assembly on the same day voted 62-16 concurring with amendments made to the measure. The bill now goes to Newsom’s desk. The governor is expected to sign it by October 14.

Offshore wind groups applauded the action by California state lawmakers.

“Floating offshore wind is the future of the offshore wind industry and the actions taken by California’s legislature positions the West Coast at the center of this exciting and rapidly expanding sector,” said Liz Burdock, founder and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind. “This new procurement authority is essential to unlocking the billions in new investments needed for port redevelopments, vessels, supply chain expansions, and manufacturing facilities.”

The legislation, AB 1373, “is an important milestone that will establish a robust mechanism to facilitate procurement and provide a clear path to market for large-scale clean energies like offshore wind. It will help California deliver on its commitment to be a global leader on climate, achieve 100% clean electricity, and generate 25 GW from floating offshore wind by 2045,” said Offshore Wind California, a trade group of offshore wind developers and technology companies.