On November 16, the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) voted to adopt a decision resolving the remaining issues in the Net Energy Metering (NEM) proceeding. The decision, issued on November 22 as D.23-11-068, applies the net billing tariff concept adopted in D.22-12-56 to virtual net metering customers (VNEM) and aggregated NEM customers (NEMA), which
During its May 18 voting meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) voted to open a new rulemaking proceeding that will consider improvements to its permitting procedures for electric infrastructure projects that fall under its jurisdiction. The Commission’s action is driven by increased legislative and policy interest in reducing barriers to energy infrastructure development to…
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC or Commission) is weighing party comments on implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 2143. Enacted last year, AB 2143 will take effect on January 1, 2024. This bill extends existing prevailing wage requirements for public works to the construction of any renewable electrical generation facility, and any associated battery storage…
On October 14, 2022, the assigned Commissioner (Rechtschaffen) issued a proposed decision (PD) on Transportation Electrification Policy and Investment in the pending rulemaking (R.) 18-12-006 before the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission). Commission approval of the PD would adopt a new Transportation Electrification Framework (TEF) to guide utility investments in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and would authorize $1 billion in ratepayer funding for the first five years of the TE program, known as Funding Cycle 1 (FC1). In recognition of the rapidly evolving EV landscape, the PD proposes to cap spending during first three years of FC1, which is a five-year funding cycle, at $600 million, and access to the remaining $400 million budget is held until the Commission issues a “Mid-Cycle Assessment” decision to determine whether modifications to or termination of the program budget is warranted. Notably, the Commission would prohibit Fortune 1000 companies from receiving any FC1 rebates, regardless of whether they propose to operate in a disadvantaged community. Continue Reading Commission Issues Long-Awaited Proposed Decision in Transportation Electrification (TE) Proceeding, Setting a Framework for California TE Policy and Investment
On May 20, 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC or Commission) issued a proposed decision (PD) that would, among other things, adopt Southern California Edison’s (SCE) 24-hour-slice proposal as the new resource adequacy (RA) framework applicable to load-serving entities (LSEs) under the CPUC’s jurisdiction. Generally, the proposal would require each LSE to show that it has enough capacity to meet its specific gross-load profile, including a planning-reserve margin, or PRM, for all 24 hours for the “worst day” of each month. The “worst day” would be defined as the day of the month that has the highest coincident-peak-load forecast. This new RA framework would likely be implemented in 2025, with 2024 serving as a “test year” for the new framework.
The Commission initially began examining potential changes to its RA framework due to significant and ongoing changes in California’s generation-resource mix, with the increasing reliance on variable resources such as solar and wind, and use-limited resources, such as energy storage and demand response, as well as the retirement of older natural gas generation. The Commission solicited proposals for a new RA framework starting in 2020, and in 2021 it tentatively adopted Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) slice-of-day proposal in decision 21-07-014. The Commission ordered a series of workshops to further develop the proposal, culminating in a workshop report submitted March 1, 2022. During the workshops, two alternate proposals were developed: SCE’s 24-hour-slice proposal, and a two-slice proposal developed by Gridwell Consulting. The parties generally favored one of the two alternate proposals, rather than the PG&E slice-of-day proposal. The selection of SCE’s 24-hour-slice proposal will set the direction for further development of the new RA framework.
Continue Reading The California Public Utilities Commission Issues Proposed Decision on New Resource Adequacy Framework
In its first move since hitting “pause” on the California Public Utilities Commission’s (Commission) consideration of a controversial December 2021 proposed decision (Proposed Decision or PD) that would have overhauled the existing net energy metering (NEM) tariff for California’s solar customers, the presiding administrative law judge (ALJ) issued a ruling on May 9 to reopen the record and invite party comments on a limited scope of issues.
The Commission adopted California’s existing solar tariff, known as NEM 2.0, on January 28, 2016 in Decision (D.) 16-01-044. Customers opting into this tariff pay a one-time interconnection fee (less than $150 for systems under 1 MW and $800 for systems over 1 MW). Customers taking service on the NEM tariff are automatically opted into a time-of-use rate plan and are subject to select non-bypassable charges (NBCs) that are used to fund general customer programs such as contributions to the wildfire fund, nuclear decommissioning, and the public purpose program, among others. NEM customers receive a bill credit for any excess generation produced by their system and exported to the electric grid, which credits may be used to offset customer energy costs. Under NEM 2.0, any excess generation credits are applied to the customer’s bill at the same retail rate (including generation, distribution and transmission charges) the customer would have paid for the energy consumption.
Continue Reading Commission Ruling Reopens the NEM 3.0 Record to Invite Comment on and Consider Limited Issues
On January 11, 2022, the California Energy Commission (CEC) issued an update to its Summer 2022 Stack Analysis. Previously, on September 8, 2021, the CEC issued a revised Summer 2022 Stack Analysis that showed potential energy shortfalls ranging from 200 MW to 4,350 MW during the months of July through September 2022, in the evening…
On October 29, 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued three proposed decisions intended to address potential electric capacity shortfalls in 2022 and 2023. The proposed decisions, if approved, would implement a variety of demand-side and supply-side policies designed to ensure that in the event of extreme weather during the summer of 2022 and/or 2023, California has sufficient electric capacity to avoid outages.
In August 2020, the California ISO experienced outages during the evenings of August 14 and 15, and only extraordinary efforts, including voluntary conservation efforts by California energy users, allowed the California ISO to avoid outages the following week.
After those outages, the CPUC and the California Energy Commission (CEC) have been working towards addressing potential capacity shortfalls during extreme weather events during the summer. In November 2020, the CPUC opened a rulemaking (R.20-11-003) to ensure reliability in the event of extreme weather during the summer of 2021. In February 2021, the CPUC adopted a decision directing procurement of additional capacity (D.21-02-028), and in March, adopted a decision directing additional demand-side and supply-side actions to increase supply and decrease load during extreme weather events (D.21-03-056).
California managed to avoid outages during the summer of 2021, although it was helped by relatively mild weather in August and September. A stack analysis performed by the CEC this summer, however, showed the potential for capacity shortfalls of up to 4,350 megawatts (MW) for summer 2022. In August, the CPUC implemented a second phase to R.21-11-003, to ensure reliability during the summers of 2022 and 2023.
Continue Reading California Public Utilities Commission Takes Action to Prevent Outages During Summer 2022 and 2023
In docket R.20-05-003, its Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) proceeding, the California Public Utilities Commission is considering its preferred portfolio of new resources for the next ten years. A lengthy administrative law judge ruling issued August 17, 2021 set out a suggested Preferred System Plan (PSP) for the proceeding, including a suggested resource portfolio through 2032,…
On August 19, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a proposed decision accepting the 2019 Renewables Portfolio Standard Procurement Plans submitted by four new Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs): Butte Choice Energy Authority; Clean Energy Alliance; the City of Santa Barbara; and San Diego Community Power. Each of these CCAs is anticipated to start providing…