In the first half of 2020, the California Energy Commission approved three unique applications for Renewables Portfolio Standard certification of 15 MW wind turbine facilities located in British Columbia. The three facilities are the smallest out-of-country generating facilities to obtain RPS certification.
The out-of-country RPS certification application process requires a robust showing that the facility’s construction and operation would comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, were the facility built in California, and that the facility’s construction and operation will not contribute to a violation of any laws, ordinances, regulations, or standards (“LORS”). For large facilities, this showing is generally accomplished by providing the environmental review report(s) undertaken by the government of the country in which the facility is located.
Because Canadian federal and provincial regulations do not require an over-arching environmental review for generating projects below 50 MW, Goodin MacBride developed a method for making the required CEQA and LORS showings using alternative documentation to the traditional omnibus environmental review report, which was successfully employed for each of the three generating facilities.