Solar project offerings were up 30% in 2008 while only half as much wind energy was bid in 2008 as in 2007, the CPUC report showed.

Clearly, 2008 was a turning point for the RPS program and contracted projects are beginning to deliver in large numbers, the CPUC report said.

This may represent the end of the start-up phase of the RPS program, as contracts signed in the earlier years of the program are now built and the renewable market begins to mature, the report said.

The state requires its investor-owned utilities to have 20% of power deliveries generated from renewable power by the end of 2010 and 33% by 2020.

The 2020 standard was established by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November 2008.

Major utilities in the state are not expected to meet that 2010 deadline, but may hit 20% of renewable power if contracts signed for projects not yet in operation are counted.

As per the report of CPUC by the end of 2008, Southern California Edison (SCE) had signed 38 contracts that met the state’s renewable power standards, representing 3,190 MW. Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG$E) had signed 40 contracts for 2,167 MW, and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) had signed 111 contracts for 6,672 MW.

The CPUC said by the end of 2007, renewable power comprised 15.7% of SCE’s retail electricity sales, compared with 11.4% for PG&E and 5.2% for SDG&E.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is not under CPUC jurisdiction but has agreed to RPS goals similar to those of the investor-owned utilities.