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california legislation > SB 771

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SENATE ENERGY, UTILITIES AND COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE
ALEX PADILLA, CHAIR


SB 771 - Kehoe Hearing Date:
May 3, 2011 S
As Amended: April 13, 2011 FISCAL B

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DESCRIPTION

Current law creates the California Alternative Energy and
Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) to provide
bond financing for the development and commercialization of
competitive advanced transportation technologies and facilities
utilizing alternative methods and sources of energy. It is also
authorized to approve a sales and use tax exemption on tangible
personal property utilized for the design, manufacture,
production, or assembly of advanced transportation technologies
or alternative energy source products, components or systems.
The sales and use tax exemption sunsets January 1, 2021.

Current law defines, only for purpose of the CAEATFA, renewable
energy to include fuel sources such as wind, solar and
geothermal but also includes natural gas turbines and fuel
cells.

This bill expands the definition of renewable energy under
CAEATFA to include landfill gas turbines, digester gas turbines,
and microturbines.

BACKGROUND

California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation
Financing Authority - CAEATFA was created in 1980 with an
authorization of $200 million in revenue bonds to finance
projects utilizing alternative sources of energy, such as
cogeneration, wind and geothermal power. It was renamed in 1994
as currently titled and its charge expanded to include the
financing of "advanced transportation" technologies.

During the energy crisis of 2001 its authority was again










expanded, this time to provide financial assistance to public
power entities, independent generators, and others for new and
renewable energy sources, and to develop clean distributed
generation.

CAEATFA's authority is broad but in practice it has not been
utilized until recently. The State Treasurer has tried to
reinvigorate the authority and has launched a sales and use tax
exemption program to stimulate green manufacturing as authorized
by SB 71 (Padilla, 2010).

COMMENTS

1. Author's Purpose . The author cites a problem with
renewable programs and opines that as new technologies
evolve the renewable programs are not keeping pace leaving
some technologies that serve renewable goals ineligible for
specified programs particularly those that the author
categorizes as "clean continuous renewable energy
technologies."

2. Clarifying Purpose . The addition of landfill gas
turbines, digester gas turbines, and microturbines to
CAETFA's program authority does not appear to expand the
scope of its programs. The technologies are consistent
with other enumerated technologies and therefore the bill
results in a clarification of existing law.

3. Double Referral . Should this bill be approved by the
committee, it should be re-referred to the Senate Committee
on Environmental Quality for its consideration.

POSITIONS

Sponsor:

Clean Power Campaign

Support:

California Refuse Recycling Council
Flex Energy, Inc.
Humboldt Waste Management Authority
Los Angeles County Integrated Waste Management Task Force
Orange County Board of Supervisors









Regional Council of Rural Counties

Oppose:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company


















Kellie Smith
SB 771 Analysis
Hearing Date: May 3, 2011