Southern California Edison is offering to sell renewable-energy credits produced by its Biofuel Renewable Auction Mechanism facilities, which are electricity generation facilities that use California's dead and dying trees to make power.
SCE is attempting to sell all of its RECs and associated energy generated from its BioRAM facilities because it "cannot utilize the RECs generated from BioRAM facilities for compliance purposes."
The BioRAM program was created in response to a state-of-emergency proclamation in 2015 by then-Gov. Jerry Brown that called for the safe removal of trees that were being killed by bark-beetle infestation and the state's drought.
"The tree die-off is of such a scale that it significantly worsens wildfire risk in many areas of the state and presents life safety risks from falling trees to Californians living in rural, forested communities," the proclamation said, foreshadowing the catastrophic wildfires that were to come two years later and then again in 2018.
The California Public Utilities Commission in March 2016 created the BioRAM program [Res E-4770], directing the state's utilities to collectively procure at least 50 MW from biofuel sources, of which SCE was responsible for 20 MW.
The goals of the BioRAM program include increasing the diversity and reliability of the state's energy mix; promoting stable electricity prices; protecting public health and improving environmental quality; stimulating sustainable economic development and creating new employment opportunities; and reducing reliance on imported fuels.
High-hazard areas with dead and dying trees are determined by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the California Department of Transportation, the state Natural Resources Agency and the California Energy Commission.
The BioRAM credit selloff will be part of SCE's second 2019 renewables portfolio standard energy sales request for offers. The utility is trying to sell its existing RECs and associated RPS-eligible energy that it has generated from renewable-energy sources.