Update: California Energy Commission Postpones Action on Proposed Decision Allowing PV Projects to Opt-In to CEC Permitting Process
In a previous blog, we reported on a proposed decision pending consideration by the California Energy Commission (CEC), which would allow solar photovoltaic project developers to opt-in to the CEC's permitting process. The CEC has announced that its decision on this matter has been postponed to an as-yet undetermined date.
Yesterday, the California Energy Commission (CEC) issued a notice that, as part of the CEC’s February 8, 2012 Business Meeting, the Commission will consider adoption of the Lead Commissioner’s Final 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR).
The CEC’s notice included the following information:
Senate Bill 1389 requires the CEC to adopt an integrated energy policy report every two years. The objective of the IEPR is to evaluate market trends and develop energy policies that will "conserve resources, protect the environment, ensure energy reliability, enhance the state's economy, and protect public health and safety." The Final 2011 IEPR has been prepared in response to this direction and is available on the CEC’s website.
To prepare the report, the Energy Commission conducted 30 public workshops on a range of issues facing California's electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuel sectors. On December 5, 2011, the Energy Commission released the Draft 2011 IEPR to solicit public comments. The Final 2011 IEPR considers all written comments on the draft report.
The Energy Commission will accept comments on the Final 2011 IEPR and requests parties to submit comments in writing by February 1, 2012, so that comments can be considered before the February 8, 2012, Business Meeting. Comments will also be accepted at the Business Meeting.
The 2011 IEPR Committee Workshop on Energy Storage for Renewable Integration was held Thursday, April 28th at the California Energy Commission (CEC) offices in Sacramento. The Workshop was presented in a three panel format, with each panel addressing specific topics, including (1) the need for energy storage in light of California’s renewable portfolio standard, greenhouse gas goals, smart grid and demand response, (2) the costs, benefits and revenues from energy storage applications, and (3) utility perspectives on energy storage. The full agenda, which describes the topics and the questions addressed at the Workshop, can be found here.
The CEC is not planning any further workshops on energy storage, but it will be making recommendations about the topic in its 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR). We understand that the CEC is seeking input on energy storage from all arenas, including developers and owners of gas-fired peaker plants. Among other things, the CEC wants to understand the economic and environmental benefits and impacts of peakers (i.e., facilities that have the ability to ramp up in ten minutes, generate for a full hour, then be taken off line) compared to the cost and benefits of various energy storage technologies. The CEC will use the information it gathers to determine if it makes sense economically to recommend a lower or a higher target for energy storage in its 2011 IEPR.
The CEC’s report will be taken into account by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC), which is conducting a separate proceeding under AB 2514 to determine appropriate energy storage targets for California’s investor-owned utilities. You can find our previous descriptions of the AB 2514 process here , here and here. A report on last year's CPUC staff whitepaper describing energy storage technologies and their potential use in the California market can be found here.
Parties who want to weigh in on energy storage in California must submit their comments to the CEC by 5 p.m. on May 16, 2011. The comments must include the docket number “11-IEP-1N” and indicate “Energy Storage for Renewable Integration” in the subject line or first paragraph of the comments. All filings in the IEPR proceeding are now accomplished electronically and can be submitted in either Microsoft Word format or as a PDF by e-mail to email@example.com.
Thanks to Kimberly Hellwig in our Sacramento office for her help in preparing this Blog!
California’s AB 2514 requires the CPUC and municipal utilities in California to open proceedings by March 1, 2012 to determine appropriate targets, if any, for the procurement of viable and cost-effective energy storage systems by load-serving entities. By October 1, 2013, the CPUC must (1) determine whether a procurement target for energy storage is appropriate and, if so, (2) adopt a procurement target for each load-serving entity under its jurisdiction to be achieved by December 31, 2015 and a second target to be achieved by December 31, 2020. Municipal utilities have an additional year to meet these requirements.
In December of last year, the CPUC opened Rulemaking 10-12-007 both to implement AB 2514 and “on [the CPUC’s] own motion to initiate policy for California utilities to consider the procurement of viable and cost-effective energy storage systems.” Order Instituting Rulemaking (“OIR”) at 1, R.10-12-007.
On March 9, 2011, a workshop was held to address the scope of the rulemaking proceeding. The workshop included discussions of current and emerging energy storage technologies, the goals and applications of energy storage, existing barriers to storage implementation, and whether a unified storage policy would work or whether the policy should be written to address specific barriers to entry. The workshop also considered how the CPUC could and should work with other agencies addressing energy storage or related issues, including the California Energy Commission, the California Independent System Operator, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. You can find Seth Hilton’s report about the March 9 workshop here.
The CPUC has scheduled a pre-hearing conference in the rulemaking proceeding for April 21, 2011. The conference will be held before ALJ Amy C. Yip-Kikugawa, beginning at 10 am, in the Commission Courtroom, State Office Building, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, California. Stoel Rives partner Seth Hilton will attend the conference.
In addition, as part of its 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Schedule, the California Energy Commission has scheduled a committee workshop on energy storage for renewable integration, which will begin at 9:30 on April 28 in Hearing Room A, CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION, 1516 Ninth Street, First Floor, Sacramento, California. Stoel Rives attorneys are planning to attend the workshop.