Schwarzenegger Signs Executive Order to Advance State’s Renewable Energy


Mike Chrisman, California Secretary for Natural Resources, hosted by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, AeroJet and Solar Power spoke today about Governor Schwarzenegger’s executive order. Many energy companies and renewable energy companies were there, supporting the event.

The event took place at a 3.5 megawatt solar site, one of the largest single site industrial solar installations in the United States. Secretary Chrisman said “It’s a great example of how the private sector can indeed work in cooperation with energy providers to develop a very unique and very sustainable energy solution.”

The installation was created by a partnership between Aerojet Solar Power and SMUD, towards achieving California’s renewable energy goals.

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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs an Executive Order directing the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations increasing California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33 percent by 2020. Photo by Justin Short, Office of the Governor.

Also attending were the Independent Energy Producers Association executive director, Jan Smutny-Jones, Southern California Edison’s chairman and CEO, Al Fohrer, California Air Resources Board chair, Mary Nichols, California ISO president and CEO, Yakout Mansour, California Municipal Utilities Association executive director, David Modisette, California Public Utilities Commission Deputy Executive Director for Policy and External Relations, Nancy Ryan, and California Energy Commission chair, Karen Douglas.

In November 2008, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed bill, AB 32, which increased the state’s renewable energy standard to 33 percent renewable power by the year 2020.

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Governor Schwarzenegger discusses the Executive Order that ensures California will have the flexibility needed to use renewable energy sources for 33 percent of our state’s energy consumption by 2020. From left to right: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Secretary for Natural Resources Mike Chrisman and Independent Energy Producers Association Executive Director Jan SmutnyJones. Photo by Justin Short, Office of the Governor.

Schwarzenegger said, “… right now we’re relying too heavily on dirty, coal-fired power plants. This pollutes the air and it sickens our children. We can do much better than that this is why we ought to harness the sun. We have such great energy from the sun we have the wind. We can harness the wind and use that renewable energy and many other sources, if it is biomass, or geothermal so on.”

Stating his opposition to protectionism, the Governor said “… last week the lawmakers passed legislation that failed to meet each of these criteria. Its most objectionable provision, … was to limit the amount of renewable energy that can come from outside of California. … not only would this stifle competition but it also would drive up prices. But it is also protectionism I am totally against protectionist policies because it never works.”

Speaking about his action plan and Executive Order, he said, “So we have a timeframe where things have to happen. In 2008, what has to happen in 2010, what has to happen in 2012 2016 so on, to get this air by 2020. So today I’m signing an Executive Order to direct the Air Resources Board to adopt the 33 percent mandate administratively.”

Schwarzenegger directed The Air Resources Board to consult with stakeholders in an open and transparent process. With this action we will ensure that California remains the pioneer in clean energy and clean jobs, in a wave of green innovation.

In 2008, clean technology investment in California reached $3.3 billion, double the amount in 2007. Schwarzenegger said California companies now hold 40 percent of the nation’s new patents in solar and in wind technology.

Independent Energy Producers Association executive director, Jan Smutny-Jones said the renewable energy industry support the Governor’s Executive Order, an important step towards a more renewable future.

Other companies and organizations in attendance at the SMUD event included:

  • California Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Buena Vista Biomass
  • Calpine
  • NextLight
  • Elemental Power
  • EnDevCo
  • Evolution Markets
  • Four Star
  • the Geothermal Resources Association
  • Eva Droller Renewables
  • LS Power
  • the Clean Power Campaign
  • NextEra
  • NRG Solar
  • Padoma Wind
  • Solar Millenium
  • Terragen US Renewables Group

Al Fohrer, Chief Executive Officer for Southern California Edison, said Edison buys more renewable energy than any utility in the country, 13 billion kilowatt-hours.?In southern California, Edison are constructing the first transmission line in the U.S. primarily dedicated to renewable resources, $2.2 billion on the Tehachapi transmission line, more than five years in the making.

Edison recently dedicated a solar rooftop in Fontana, the first part of Edison’s 250 megawatts proposal.

Fohrer said there need to be up to 11 new transmission lines to help accomplish all the renewable resources needed in California.

Deputy Executive Director of the California Public Utilities Commission, Nancy Ryan said the Commission’s goal is to keep the expansion of the program simple, flexible, and workable.

Yakout Mansour, President and CEO of the California Independent System Operator said the ISO manages about one third of the power flowing within the 14 states that make up the Western Interconnected Grid. He said “California depends on getting a quarter of its energy needs from out of state imports. This helped California in the past and we are looking for every way to maintain the same benefits but with a much cleaner portfolio of resources from whatever they are in the west and largely still from within California.”

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start pounding the keyboard. Alan has a fascination with making video and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.