Renewables Portfolio Goal (Utah)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place Utah
Name Renewables Portfolio Goal
Incentive Type Renewables Portfolio Standard
Applicable Sector Investor-Owned Utility, Municipal Utility, Rural Electric Cooperative
Eligible Technologies Anaerobic Digestion, Biomass, CHP/Cogeneration, Geothermal Electric, Hydroelectric, Hydrogen, Landfill Gas, Municipal Solid Waste, Ocean Thermal, Photovoltaics, Small Hydroelectric, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Water Heat, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Wind, Demand-Side Management Measures, Coal Mine Methane, Compressed Air Energy Storage
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs, Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Credit Trading Yes (tracking system TBD)

Standard Goal: 20% of adjusted retail sales by 2025
Technology Minimum No

Date added to DSIRE 2008-03-27
Last DSIRE Review 2013-03-05

References DSIRE[1]


Utah enacted The Energy Resource and Carbon Emission Reduction Initiative (S.B. 202) in March 2008. While this law contains some provisions similar to those found in renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) adopted by other states, certain other provisions in S.B. 202 indicate that this law is more accurately described as a renewable portfolio goal (RPG). Specifically, the law requires that utilities only need to pursue renewable energy to the extent that it is "cost-effective" to do so. The guidelines for determining the cost-effectiveness of acquiring an energy source include an assessment of whether acquisition of the resource will result in the delivery of electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, as well as an assessment of long-term and short-term impacts, risks, reliability, financial impacts on the affected utility, and other factors determined by the Utah Public Service Commission (PSC).

Goals Under S.B. 202 -- to the extent that it is cost-effective to do so -- investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and cooperative utilities must use eligible renewables to account for 20% of their 2025 adjusted retail electric sales. Adjusted retail sales include the total kilowatt-hours (kWh) of retail electric sales reduced by the kWh attributable to nuclear power plants, demand-side management measures, and fossil fuel power plants that sequester their carbon emissions. For example, if a utility has electric sales of 100 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2025, and 10 million MWh was produced at a nuclear plant, the utility would need to produce 20% of 90 million MWh from renewable energy sources to be in compliance.

While RPSs adopted by most states include interim targets that increase over time, Utah's goal has no interim targets. The first compliance year is 2025 (although utilities must file progress reports on January 1 of 2010, 2015, 2020 and 2024). Progress reports must indicate the actual and projected amount of qualifying electricity the utility has acquired, the source of the electricity, an estimate of the cost for the utility to achieve their target, and any recommendations for a legislative or program change.

Renewable Energy Certificates Utilities may meet their targets by producing electricity with an eligible form of renewable energy or by purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs). SB 99, enacted in March of 2009 granted authority to the PSC to develop or approve a system to track RECs. The legislation specifically referenced the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS) as an acceptable trading platform. To date the PSC has not adopted a system to track RECs.

Eligible Technologies For the purposes of the law, eligible renewables include electric generation facilities that became operational after January 1, 1995, and produce electricity from solar; wind; biomass (under certain conditions); hydroelectric (under certain conditions); wave, tidal or ocean-thermal energy; geothermal; or waste gas and waste heat. Solar-thermal installations can also count towards the goal with no limit, and their contribution is determined by assessing the amount of fossil fuel consumption they displace. HB 192 of 2010 added methane gas from an abandoned coal mine and methane gas from a coal degassing operation associated with a state-approved mine permit as eligible technologies. Additionally, HB 228 added municipal solid waste as an eligible technology. A third bill signed in 2010, SB 104, added compressed air energy storage as an eligible technology if the electricity used to compress the air was produced using a renewable energy resource, or if an equivalent number of RECs were purchased. Electricity may be produced within the state, or within the geographic boundary of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. Notably, each kWh of electricity produced using solar energy counts as 2.4 kWh for the purposes of meeting the goal.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Jeffrey Barrett
Department Office of Energy Development
Address 195 N 1950 West, 2nd Floor
Place Salt Lake City, Utah
Zip/Postal Code 84116
Phone (801) 536-0210


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: Utah Code 54-17-101 et seq.
Date Enacted 2008-03-18

Authority 2: Utah Code 10-19-101 et seq.
Date Enacted 2008-03-18

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"