Legislative Update for July 24, 2020

The Legislature is planning to return to active session on Monday, July 27. All meetings are held in a modified version pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-25-20.   

Recent revised July/August tentative calendar for the Assembly is HERE.

Recent revised July/August calendar for the Senate is HERE.


Below is the list of several, but not all of the key bills that we are tracking, listed in the following categories, all in numerical order in each category:

  • Highlighted bills
  • Assembly bills
  • Senate bills
  • Bills that we have reported on that have not been active or have died

Note that the last category is a new feature to these updates. For a complete list of the 131 bills we are currently tracking in 2020, click HERE. Our next update will be published here on June 11. Please send updates, suggestions, corrections to woody@theclimatecenter.org


Highlighted Bills:

AB 345 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – This bill will, if enacted, establish regulations to protect public health and safety near oil and gas extraction facilities, including a minimum setback distance between oil and gas activities and sensitive receptors such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, residences, hospitals, and health clinics. See The Climate Center’s January Letter of Support and more recent sign-on Letter of Support. STATUS: In the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Scheduled to be heard on August 3. The Climate Center is working in collaboration with partners who have put together this TOOLKIT to make it easy to reach out to Senators who will be making the decision on August 3rd. They need to hear from you!


Assembly Bills

AB 326 (Muratsuchi) – Amendments are expected to make this bill enable electric auto manufacturers to lease vehicles directly to customers on a month to month basis with no dealer involvement. STATUS: In the Senate Transportation Committee – hearing postponed by committee.

AB 740 (Burke) – This is a gut & amend that now addresses microgrid size. TCC staff is in the process of analyzing this bill. STATUS: In the Senate Energy Committee. No hearing date set.

AB 1001 (Ting) SUPPORT – This bill would establish the School Disaster Resiliency Act, which would require the Energy Commission to administer a program to provide loans to school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools for school resiliency projects. STATUS: In the Senate Education Committee. No hearing set at this time.


Senate Bills

SB 1215 (Stern) – Would require the CPUC, in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services, to create a database of critical facilities and critical infrastructure, and related critical circuits that are located in tier 2 or tier 3 high fire-threat districts served by electrical corporations, and identify with respect to each whether it serves a low-income and disadvantaged community. The bill would require an electrical corporation, electric service provider, or CCA, upon request, to collaborate with local governments within its service area to identify critical circuits and microgrid projects. The Climate Center has supported this bill in the past but is evaluating recent amendments. STATUS: In Asm U&E Committee, no hearing date set.

SB 1258 (Stern) SUPPORT – Titled the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act, this bill would enact the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act to require the California Infrastructure Bank (IBank), in consultation with specified agencies to administer the Climate Catalyst Revolving Fund, which the bill would establish to provide financial assistance to eligible climate catalyst projects. STATUS: Heard in Sen. Approps. June 18: Held in committee and under submission (Suspense file).


Bills that we have reported on that have not been active or have died

AB 1839 (Bonta) WATCH – The “Green New Deal” bill. Introduced on January 6, this bill would create the California Green New Deal Council with a specified membership appointed by the Governor. The bill would require the California Green New Deal Council to submit a specified report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2022. So far the plan is scant on specifics including how goals will be met or how much the State will pay to meet those goals. STATUS: In Asm, referred to Comm. on Natural Resources on 5/11.

AB 1847 (Levine) WATCH – This bill would authorize the CPUC (contingent on the Commission finding that an electrical corporation is not complying with State law, rules, or regulations) to appoint a public administrator to the electrical corporation for a period not to exceed 180 days. The bill would vest the public administrator with oversight authority over the electrical corporation’s activities that impact public safety. See the bill author’s factsheet. STATUS: In the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee. No hearing date set.

AB 2145 (Ting) SUPPORT – This bill would state the intent of the legislature to enact legislation to reform the electric vehicle charging infrastructure approval process employed by the CPUC to help ensure that by 2030 California will safely install enough EV charging ports to meet the demand through public and private investment. STATUS: In Assembly, referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 2689 (Kalra) SUPPORT – This bill updates Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) confidentiality provisions to allow a broader range of market experts to participate in complex IOU cost recovery proceedings and supports California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) oversight to protect customers from unreasonable or unjustified IOU rate increases. California IOU electric generation rates have increased 49% since 2013. Between 2008 and 2018, IOU customer rates doubled from $29.3 billion to $59.3 billion per year. AB 2689 would result in greater IOU accountability and improved consumer protection, safety, and affordability. The California Community Choice Association is a sponsor of this bill. STATUS: Referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 2789 (Kamlager) WATCH – This bill would appropriate $1,500,000 and require the CPUC, in consultation with the CA Energy Commission, to request the California Council on Science and Technology to undertake and complete a study, as specified, relative to electrical grid outages and cost avoidance resulting from deployment of eligible renewable energy resources, battery storage systems, and demand response technologies. The bill would require the PUC to report the results of the study to the Legislature by January 1, 2022. STATUS: Awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee.

AB 3014 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – This bill aims to improve the reliability of California electric supply by reforming the State’s resource adequacy (RA) program. Specifically, this bill creates the Central Reliability Authority (CRA), a non-profit public benefit corporation, to purchase residual RA needed to meet state requirements while still allowing load-serving entities (LSEs), such as Community Choice Agencies (CCAs), to maintain their procurement autonomy. The newly created CRA also reduces costly RA purchases currently undertaken by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and greatly enhances the RA market. The California Community Choice Association is a sponsor of this bill. STATUS: Referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 3021 (Ting) SUPPORT – Read The Climate Center’s SUPPORT LETTER. This bill would appropriate $300,000,000 per fiscal year in the 2020–21, 2021–22, and 2022–23 fiscal years from the General Fund to the California Energy Commission to administer a program to provide resiliency grant funding and technical assistance to local educational agencies for the installation of energy storage systems. STATUS: Double-referred to Education and Natural Resources committees.

AB 3251 (Bauer-Kahan) WATCH – This bill has been withdrawn by the  author. It would require that charging of energy storage systems be treated as load in calculations for demand response programs, and that capacity from energy storage systems installed on the customer side of the meter be allowed to be aggregated for purposes of determining resource adequacy capacity; and electricity exported to the grid from the customer side of the meter be allowed to count toward the capacity obligations of load-serving entities. STATUS: WITHDRAWN by author.

AB 3256 (Eduardo Garcia, Bloom, Bonta, Friedman, Cristina Garcia, Mullin, Reyes, and Wood, and Coauthors: Assemblymembers Eggman and Robert Rivas) SUPPORT – This bill would place a General Obligation Bond on the November 2020 ballot. This bill would enact the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $6,980,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance projects for a wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, climate resilience, drought preparation, and flood protection program. STATUS: Referred by Approps to the Rules Comm. on June 8. No hearing date set.

SB 45 (Allen, et al) SUPPORT – Dubbed the “Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020.” This is a proposed $5.51 billion general obligation bond to be placed on the November 3, 2020 statewide general election. Specifically, $570 million will be made available for climate resiliency initiatives including microgrids, distributed generation, storage systems, in-home backup power, and community resiliency centers such as cooling centers, clean air centers, hydration stations, and emergency shelters. STATUS: Passed out of Senate, in the Assembly, held at the desk.

SB 808 (Mitchell) – Budget Bill. See this June 22 CalMatters Article for details. STATUS: Last heard in Committee in early June. Currently in the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. No hearing date set.

SB 378 (Wiener) WATCH – Would establish customer and local government protections related to Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) incidents. Specifically, the bill requires IOUs to provide annual reports to the Wildfire Safety Division within the CPUC on the condition of their electrical equipment and provide maintenance logs to assess fire safety risk. The bill also requires the CPUC to develop procedures for consumers and local governments to recover costs from IOUs accrued during PSPS events, improves PSPS notification procedures, and makes IOUs subject to civil fines if the CPUC determines that the IOU failed to act in a reasonable and prudent manner. STATUS: In the Assembly, pending committee referral.

SB 774 (Stern) WATCH – SB 774 would require IOUs to collaborate with the State’s Office of Emergency of Services and others to identify where back-up electricity sources may provide increased electrical distribution grid resiliency and would allow the IOUs to file applications with the CPUC to invest in, and deploy, microgrids to increase resiliency. Concerns focus on too much control being placed in the hands of the IOUs over microgrid development when other LSEs and stakeholders can and should play a role. STATUS: In the Assembly committee process with no committee assignment and no hearing date.

SB 1240 (Skinner) The Climate Center was a sponsor of this bill. This bill has been withdrawn by the author due to the health crisis. The author is committed to re-introducing a similar bill in the 2021 session. It would require the California Energy Commission to identify and evaluate options for transforming the electrical corporations’ (Investor Owned Utilities’) distribution grids into more open access platforms that would allow local governments and other third parties like CCAs to participate more easily in grid activities.

SB 1314 (Dodd) The Climate Center was a sponsor of this bill. This bill has been withdrawn by the author due to the health crisis. The author is committed to re-introducing a similar bill in the 2021 session. This bill would have required the Strategic Growth Council to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans.

Regulatory Update for July 24, 2020

The CPUC is holding its meetings remotely. See the COVID19 information page on the CPUC’s website for more COVID19-related info.

Remote Meeting Notice from CPUC:

Pursuant to Executive Order N-29-20, Commissioners may participate in CPUC meetings remotely. The public may observe, provide public comments during the public comment period, and otherwise participate remotely pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act as follows: 1. For each agenda item, a summary of the proposed action is included on the agenda as well as a link to the related electronic document; the Commission’s decision may, however differ from that proposed. 2. Public Comments are taken up at the beginning of the meeting (10am).

  • To listen or make comments not to exceed three minutes by phone, dial 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 9899501
  • Alternatively, you mail email brief written comments (which do not exceed three minutes when read aloud) to 08062020VotingMeetingComments@cpuc.ca.gov and our Public Advisor may read your comments out loud to the meeting if time permits. Written comments must be received prior to 10am to be read aloud. Comments that are not able to be read aloud, or are received after the deadline, will be circulated to the Commissioners. Individuals wishing to observe the meeting can do so by visiting http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc/

Brief Notes:

  • The next CPUC voting meeting takes place on August 6 @ 10am. See AGENDA. For the livestream, click HERE.
  • Information about the PG&E bankruptcy is HERE.

Updates on proceedings we are tracking

Below is a numbered list of the regulatory proceedings we are tracking, followed by a brief summary of background information, new or recent developments, and Climate Center filings, if any, for each of the proceedings.

Note that the following summaries are intended as very brief highlights of selected key actions and activities. For details on any of these proceedings, we suggest logging in to the relevant proceeding page on the CPUC’s website. An expedient way to do that is to click on the proceeding number below or visit CPUC’s Documents Page. Please contact us at info[at]cleanpowerexhange.org to report any errors or broken links.

  1. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009
  2. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) 12-11-005
  3. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  17-06-026
  4. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
  5. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  6. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  7. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  8. NEM Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Closed proceedings that matter:

  • CCA Rulemaking 03-10-003– This was the rulemaking that defined all the rules pursuant to AB 117, the original California CCA law
  • CCA Bond and Re-Entry Fees 18-05-022– This is the proceeding that re-set the bond required to be posted by CCAs in the event that the CCA fails and customers are returned to the incumbent utility

Summaries:

 

  1. Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009 pursuant to SB 1339 (Stern, 2018)

Recent Developments:

  • July 23 – Announcement on all-day Track 2 worksop issued.
  • July 3 Scoping Ruling – Assigned Commissioner’s Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling for Track 2.
  • June 11 Decision adopting Short-Term (Track 1) Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

The Commission did not reject use of diesel fuel as a near-term back up generation choice. However, with this Decision in place it should become easier for local governments to access the data they need to engage in Community Energy Resilience planning, part of The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California campaign.

Key Documents:

  • The Climate Center and Vote Solar Opening Comments filed on May 19 and Reply Comments, filed on May 26.
  • April 29 – Proposed Decision Adopting Short-Term Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. A special note here: This Proposed CPUC Decision reflects a formal embrace by the CPUC of several key ACE principles that The Climate Center and partner organizations have been advocating for regarding the pivotal role of local governments.
  • March 19 – The Climate Center participated in an Ex Parte communication with CPUC staff
  • January 30 – Climate Center Opening Comments in the Track 1 Proceeding
  • December 20, 2019: Scoping Ruling.
  • October 21, 2019: The Climate Center Opening Comments.
  • September 19, 2019: Order Instituting Rulemaking.

Next Steps: Track 2 for longer term measures begins soon.


  1. Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Recent Developments:

  • May 7, 2020:  The Energy Division held part two of the workshop webinar on how to include heat pump water heaters in SGIP.  The final presentations are available here.
  • April 1 – The application window for the new SGIP incentives levels opened, following up on the CPUC’s Decision in January (see below) authorizing adding funds to SGIP’s energy storage budgets. Of particular note, the newly-created Equity Resiliency Budget ($513M) provides enhanced SGIP incentives for on-site residential and non-residential storage systems for low-income, vulnerable customers in high-risk fire threat districts (HFTD) or those who have been affected by PSPS events. The new SGIP Decision also created a $0.15/Wh resiliency adder for non-residential customers with critical resilience needs such as police stations, fire stations, hospitals, etc. Additional information is available in the new SGIP Handbook.

Next Steps: The current proceeding is now closed. A new proceeding is expected to be opened later this year.

Key Documents:


  1. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) 17-06-026

Recent Developments:

  • June 30, 2020 – Decision Adopting a Framework and Evaluation Criteria for the PCIA Prepayment Agreements. Opening comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, were due July 20, 2020. Reply comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due 5 days after the last day for filing comments.
  • June 22 – Protect Our Communities Foundation in San Diego is challenging the PCIA in state appellate court in San Diego. We will continue to provide updates on this case as it proceeds.
  • May 22, 2020 – Proposed Decision Denying Petition for Modification of Decision 18-07-009. Opening Comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, were due no later than June 11, 2020. Reply Comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due no later than 5 days after the last day for filing Opening Comments.

Next Steps:

  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Working Group 3 issues

Key Documents:


  1. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020 and 19-11-009

Recent Developments:

  • July 7, 2020 – Assigned Commissioner’s Amended Track 3.A and 3.B Scoping Memo and Ruling.
  • June 11 – Decision empowering PG&E and SCE to have procurement authority over RA for CCAs.  This is a very bad decision that impinges on the statutory right of CCAs to procure electricity for their customers. Designating PG&E and SCE as central procurement entities for RA creates a situation where for-profit IOUs that are directly in competition with not-for-profit CCAs for customers, get to procure electricity for the CCA and charge them for costs. This is not an acceptable outcome and The Climate Center along with others will be evaluating strategies for overturning the Decision.
  • May 22, 2020 – Proposed Decision issued adopting local capacity obligations for 2021-2023, adopting flexible capacity for 2021, and refining the RA program.

Key Documents:

  • Track 1: Revisions to RA import rules
  • Track 2: 2021 System and Flex RA. 2021-2023 Local RA
  • Track 3: Structural changes to RA program
  • Track 4: 2022 System and Flex RA. 2022-2024 Local RA
  • October 2017 – Order Instituting Rulemaking

Background: The RA program is designed to provide adequate electric resources to CAISO to ensure safe and reliable operation of the grid, and to provide appropriate incentives for the siting and construction of new resources needed for reliability. This proceeding has been divided into three Tracks due to the complexity of the issues involved.


  1. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007

Recent Developments:

  • May 26, 2020 – Proposed Decision Granting Intervenor Compensation to Friends of the Earth for Substantial Contribution to Decision 19-04-040 and Decision 18-02-018. Opening Comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, are due no later than June 15, 2020. Reply Comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due 5 days after the last day for filing Opening Comments.
  • May 20, 2020 – Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling Correcting April 15, 2020 Ruling Finalizing Load Forecasts and Greenhouse Gas Benchmarks for Individual 2020 Integrated Resource Plan Filings.
  • April 6, 2020 – Decision 20-03-26 adopts an optimal portfolio, known as the Reference System Portfolio (RSP), to be used by all load-serving entities (LSEs) required to file individual integrated resource plans (IRPs) in 2020.
  • January 3, 2020 – Administrative Law Judge’s Final Baseline Ruling finalizing a baseline for purposes of procurement required by Decision 19-11-016

Next Steps:

Key Documents:

Background: The IRP proceeding is an umbrella planning proceeding to consider all of the CPUC’s electric procurement policies and programs. The goal is to provide a safe, reliable, and cost-effective electricity supply while complying with SB 350 mandates for LSE energy resource portfolios. LSEs will be required to file individual IRPs, which will then be considered in developing a Preferred System Plan (PSP).


  1. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003

Recent Developments:

  • June 26, 2020 – Assigned Commissioner’s and Assigned Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling seeking comment on proposed modification to the Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff program. Comments due by July 21, 2020.
  • May 13 – E-mail Ruling Modifying Schedule of Review for 2020 RPS Procurement Plans Issued in the May 6, 2020 RPS Plan Ruling
  • February 27, 2020 – Ruling on confidentiality rules for the RPS program.

Key Documents

Background: The RPS proceeding implements Senate Bills 350 (2015) and 100 (2018) that requires all load serving entities to increase their procurement of renewable power to 33% 2020, 44% by 2024, 52% by 2027, and 60% by 2030. The current proceeding is the successor to R.15-02-020.


  1. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003

Recent developments: None at this time

Key Documents:

Background: Since 2007, the Commission has sought to integrate demand-side energy solutions and technologies through utility program offerings. Decision (D.07-10-032) directs that utilities “integrate customer demand-side programs, such as energy efficiency, self-generation, advanced metering, and demand response, in a coherent and efficient manner.” The Commission’s IDER Action Plan published in 2016 remains in draft form.


  1. Net Energy Metering (NEM) Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Recent Updates:

  • July 2020 – A report on the results of NEM 2.0 is expected before the end of this month, produced by Itron
  • The NEM 3.0 proceeding is expected to be initiated in August 2020

Key Documents:

Background: Pursuant to direction in the NEM Successor Tariff Decision, the Commission was supposed to have reviewed the NEM successor tariff some time in 2019, when the proceedings related to distributed energy resources were to have been completed and after default TOU rates were implemented. Energy Division staff had planned to explore compensation structures for customer-sited distributed generation other than NEM, as well as consider an export compensation rate that takes into account locational and time-differentiated values. On April 26, 2019, the Energy Division distributed a Revised Solar Information Packet to service list R.14-07-002 and R.12-11-005.  The Energy Division asked for written comments about the content of the Revised Solar Information Packet and implementation approach.  The deadlines for submitting written comments has passed. If you have questions contact Kerry Fleisher at the CPUC Energy Division: Kerry.Fleisher@cpuc.ca.gov

Regulatory Update for July 9, 2020

The CPUC is holding its meetings remotely. See the COVID19 information page on the CPUC’s website for more COVID19-related info.

Remote Meeting Notice from CPUC:

Pursuant to Executive Order N-29-20, Commissioners may participate in CPUC meetings remotely. The public may observe, provide public comments during the public comment period, and otherwise participate remotely pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act as follows: 1. For each agenda item, a summary of the proposed action is included on the agenda as well as a link to the related electronic document; the Commission’s decision may, however differ from that proposed. 2. Public Comments are taken up at the beginning of the meeting (10am).

  • To listen or make comments not to exceed three minutes by phone, dial 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 9899501
  • Alternatively, you mail email brief written comments (which do not exceed three minutes when read aloud) to 07162020VotingMeetingComments@cpuc.ca.gov and our Public Advisor may read your comments out loud to the meeting if time permits. Written comments must be received prior to 10am to be read aloud. Comments that are not able to be read aloud, or are received after the deadline, will be circulated to the Commissioners. Individuals wishing to observe the meeting can do so by visiting http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc/

Brief Notes:

  • The next CPUC voting meeting takes place on July 16 @ 10am. See AGENDA. For the livestream, click HERE.

Updates on proceedings we are tracking

Below is a numbered list of the regulatory proceedings we are tracking, followed by a brief summary of background information, new or recent developments, and Climate Center filings, if any, for each of the proceedings.

Note that the following summaries are intended as very brief highlights of selected key actions and activities. For details on any of these proceedings, we suggest logging in to the relevant proceeding page on the CPUC’s website. An expedient way to do that is to click on the proceeding number below or visit CPUC’s Documents Page. Please contact us at info[at]cleanpowerexhange.org to report any errors or broken links.

  1. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009
  2. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) 12-11-005
  3. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  17-06-026
  4. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
  5. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  6. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  7. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  8. NEM Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Closed proceedings that matter:

  • CCA Rulemaking 03-10-003– This was the rulemaking that defined all the rules pursuant to AB 117, the original California CCA law
  • CCA Bond and Re-Entry Fees 18-05-022– This is the proceeding that re-set the bond required to be posted by CCAs in the event that the CCA fails and customers are returned to the incumbent utility

Summaries:

 

  1. Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009 pursuant to SB 1339 (Stern, 2018)

Recent Developments:

  • July 3 Scoping Ruling – Assigned Commissioner’s Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling for Track 2.
  • June 11 Decision adopting Short-Term (Track 1) Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

The Commission did not reject use of diesel fuel as a near-term back up generation choice. However, with this Decision in place it should become easier for local governments to access the data they need to engage in Community Energy Resilience planning, part of The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California campaign.

Key Documents:

  • The Climate Center and Vote Solar Opening Comments filed on May 19 and Reply Comments, filed on May 26.
  • April 29 – Proposed Decision Adopting Short-Term Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. A special note here: This Proposed CPUC Decision reflects a formal embrace by the CPUC of several key ACE principles that The Climate Center and partner organizations have been advocating for regarding the pivotal role of local governments.
  • March 19 – The Climate Center participated in an Ex Parte communication with CPUC staff
  • January 30 – Climate Center Opening Comments in the Track 1 Proceeding
  • December 20, 2019: Scoping Ruling.
  • October 21, 2019: The Climate Center Opening Comments.
  • September 19, 2019: Order Instituting Rulemaking.

Next Steps: Track 2 for longer term measures begins soon.


  1. Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Recent Developments:

  • May 7, 2020:  The Energy Division held part two of the workshop webinar on how to include heat pump water heaters in SGIP.  The final presentations are available here.
  • April 1 – The application window for the new SGIP incentives levels opened, following up on the CPUC’s Decision in January (see below) authorizing adding funds to SGIP’s energy storage budgets. Of particular note, the newly-created Equity Resiliency Budget ($513M) provides enhanced SGIP incentives for on-site residential and non-residential storage systems for low-income, vulnerable customers in high-risk fire threat districts (HFTD) or those who have been affected by PSPS events. The new SGIP Decision also created a $0.15/Wh resiliency adder for non-residential customers with critical resilience needs such as police stations, fire stations, hospitals, etc. Additional information is available in the new SGIP Handbook.

Next Steps: The current proceeding is now closed. A new proceeding is expected to be opened later this year.

Key Documents:


  1. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) 17-06-026

Recent Developments:

  • June 30, 2020 – Decision Adopting a Framework and Evaluation Criteria for the PCIA Prepayment Agreements. Opening comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, are due July 20, 2020. Reply comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due 5 days after the last day for filing comments.
  • June 22 – Protect Our Communities Foundation in San Diego is challenging the PCIA in state appellate court in San Diego. We will continue to provide updates on this case as it proceeds.
  • May 22, 2020 – Proposed Decision Denying Petition for Modification of Decision 18-07-009. Opening Comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, are due no later than June 11, 2020. Reply Comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due no later than 5 days after the last day for filing Opening Comments.

Next Steps:

  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Working Group 3 issues

Key Documents:


  1. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020 and 19-11-009

Recent Developments:

  • July 7, 2020 – Assigned Commissioner’s Amended Track 3.A and 3.B Scoping Memo and Ruling.
  • June 11 – Decision empowering PG&E and SCE to have procurement authority over RA for CCAs.  This is a very bad decision that impinges on the statutory right of CCAs to procure electricity for their customers. Designating PG&E and SCE as central procurement entities for RA creates a situation where for-profit IOUs that are directly in competition with not-for-profit CCAs for customers, get to procure electricity for the CCA and charge them for costs. This is not an acceptable outcome and The Climate Center along with others will be evaluating strategies for overturning the Decision.
  • May 22, 2020 – Proposed Decision issued adopting local capacity obligations for 2021-2023, adopting flexible capacity for 2021, and refining the RA program.

Key Documents:

  • Track 1: Revisions to RA import rules
  • Track 2: 2021 System and Flex RA. 2021-2023 Local RA
  • Track 3: Structural changes to RA program
  • Track 4: 2022 System and Flex RA. 2022-2024 Local RA
  • October 2017 – Order Instituting Rulemaking

Background: The RA program is designed to provide adequate electric resources to CAISO to ensure safe and reliable operation of the grid, and to provide appropriate incentives for the siting and construction of new resources needed for reliability. This proceeding has been divided into three Tracks due to the complexity of the issues involved.


  1. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007

Recent Developments:

  • May 26, 2020 – Proposed Decision Granting Intervenor Compensation to Friends of the Earth for Substantial Contribution to Decision 19-04-040 and Decision 18-02-018. Opening Comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, are due no later than June 15, 2020. Reply Comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due 5 days after the last day for filing Opening Comments.
  • April 6, 2020 – Decision 20-03-26 adopts an optimal portfolio, known as the Reference System Portfolio (RSP), to be used by all load-serving entities (LSEs) required to file individual integrated resource plans (IRPs) in 2020.
  • January 3, 2020 – Administrative Law Judge’s Final Baseline Ruling finalizing a baseline for purposes of procurement required by Decision 19-11-016

Next Steps:

Key Documents:

Background: The IRP proceeding is an umbrella planning proceeding to consider all of the CPUC’s electric procurement policies and programs. The goal is to provide a safe, reliable, and cost-effective electricity supply while complying with SB 350 mandates for LSE energy resource portfolios. LSEs will be required to file individual IRPs, which will then be considered in developing a Preferred System Plan (PSP).


  1. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003

Recent Developments:

  • June 26, 2020 – Assigned Commissioner’s and Assigned Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling seeking comment on proposed modification to the Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff program. Comments due by July 21, 2020.
  • May 13 – E-mail Ruling Modifying Schedule of Review for 2020 RPS Procurement Plans Issued in the May 6, 2020 RPS Plan Ruling
  • February 27, 2020 – Ruling on confidentiality rules for the RPS program.

Key Documents

Background: The RPS proceeding implements Senate Bills 350 (2015) and 100 (2018) that requires all load serving entities to increase their procurement of renewable power to 33% 2020, 44% by 2024, 52% by 2027, and 60% by 2030. The current proceeding is the successor to R.15-02-020.


  1. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003

Recent developments: None at this time

Key Documents:

Background: Since 2007, the Commission has sought to integrate demand-side energy solutions and technologies through utility program offerings. Decision (D.07-10-032) directs that utilities “integrate customer demand-side programs, such as energy efficiency, self-generation, advanced metering, and demand response, in a coherent and efficient manner.” The Commission’s IDER Action Plan published in 2016 remains in draft form.


  1. Net Energy Metering (NEM) Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Recent Updates: No recent updates. The NEM successor tariff had been expected to be initiated in 2019. It wasn’t.

Key Documents:

Background: Pursuant to direction in the NEM Successor Tariff Decision, the Commission was supposed to have reviewed the NEM successor tariff some time in 2019, when the proceedings related to distributed energy resources were to have been completed and after default TOU rates were implemented. Energy Division staff had planned to explore compensation structures for customer-sited distributed generation other than NEM, as well as consider an export compensation rate that takes into account locational and time-differentiated values. On April 26, 2019, the Energy Division distributed a Revised Solar Information Packet to service list R.14-07-002 and R.12-11-005.  The Energy Division asked for written comments about the content of the Revised Solar Information Packet and implementation approach.  The deadlines for submitting written comments has passed. If you have questions contact Kerry Fleisher at the CPUC Energy Division: Kerry.Fleisher@cpuc.ca.gov

Legislative update for July 9, 2020

Late-breaking news: The Senate on July 8 issued a LETTER stating that the Senate will NOT resume session on the week of July 13.

The legislature has published revised schedules for the remainder of the 2020 session.  For the Assembly schedule, click HERE.  For the Senate schedule, click HERE. All meetings are held in a modified version pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-25-20.   


Below is the list of several, but not all of the key bills that we are tracking, listed in the following categories, all in numerical order in each category:

  • Highlighted bills
  • Assembly bills
  • Senate bills
  • Bills that we have reported on that have not been active or have died

Note that the last category is a new feature to these updates. For a complete list of the 131 bills we are currently tracking in 2020, click HERE. Our next update will be published here on June 11. Please send updates, suggestions, corrections to woody@theclimatecenter.org


Highlighted Bills:

AB 78 (Multiple co-authors) SUPPORT – This is a bill that establishes a “climate catalyst revolving loan fund.”  STATUS: Signed by the Governor.

AB 345 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – This bill will, if enacted, establish regulations to protect public health and safety near oil and gas extraction facilities, including a minimum setback distance between oil and gas activities and sensitive receptors such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, residences, hospitals, and health clinics. See The Climate Center’s January Letter of Support and more recent sign-on Letter of Support. STATUS: In the Senate. Referred to the Sen Natural Resources and Water Committee on July 1. Likely to be heard on July 16.


Assembly Bills

AB 1001 (Ting) SUPPORT – This bill would establish the School Disaster Resiliency Act, which would require the Energy Commission to administer a program to provide loans to school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools for school resiliency projects. STATUS: In the Senate Education Committee.

AB 3014 (Muratsuchi) – This bill would require the commission to make specified determinations relating to distributed energy resources and the electric transmission and distribution systems by January 1, 2022. Status: Last heard in Committee on May 5 and re-referred to the Asm Energy Committee.

AB 3256 (Eduardo Garcia, Bloom, Bonta, Friedman, Cristina Garcia, Mullin, Reyes, and Wood, and Coauthors: Assemblymembers Eggman and Robert Rivas) SUPPORT – This bill would place a General Obligation Bond on the November 2020 ballot. This bill would enact the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $6,980,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance projects for a wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, climate resilience, drought preparation, and flood protection program. STATUS: Referred by Approps to the Rules Comm. on June 8. No hearing date set.


Senate Bills

SB 808 (Mitchell) – Budget Bill. See this June 22 CalMatters Article for details.

SB 1215 (Stern) – Would require the CPUC, in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services, to create a database of critical facilities and critical infrastructure, and related critical circuits that are located in tier 2 or tier 3 high fire-threat districts served by electrical corporations, and identify with respect to each whether it serves a low-income and disadvantaged community. The bill would require an electrical corporation, electric service provider, or CCA, upon request, to collaborate with local governments within its service area to identify critical circuits and microgrid projects. The Climate Center has supported this bill in the past but is evaluating recent amendments. STATUS: In Asm U&E Committee.

SB 1258 (Stern) SUPPORT – Titled the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act, this bill would enact the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act to require the California Infrastructure Bank (IBank), in consultation with specified agencies to administer the Climate Catalyst Revolving Fund, which the bill would establish to provide financial assistance to eligible climate catalyst projects. STATUS: Heard in Sen. Approps. June 18: Held in committee and under submission


Bills that we have reported on that have not been active or have died

AB 1839 (Bonta) WATCH – The “Green New Deal” bill. Introduced on January 6, this bill would create the California Green New Deal Council with a specified membership appointed by the Governor. The bill would require the California Green New Deal Council to submit a specified report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2022. So far the plan is scant on specifics including how goals will be met or how much the State will pay to meet those goals. STATUS: In Asm, referred to Comm. on Natural Resources on 5/11.

AB 1847 (Levine) WATCH – This bill would authorize the CPUC (contingent on the Commission finding that an electrical corporation is not complying with State law, rules, or regulations) to appoint a public administrator to the electrical corporation for a period not to exceed 180 days. The bill would vest the public administrator with oversight authority over the electrical corporation’s activities that impact public safety. See the bill author’s factsheet. STATUS: In the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee. No hearing date set.

AB 2145 (Ting) SUPPORT – This bill would state the intent of the legislature to enact legislation to reform the electric vehicle charging infrastructure approval process employed by the CPUC to help ensure that by 2030 California will safely install enough EV charging ports to meet the demand through public and private investment. STATUS: In Assembly, referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 2689 (Kalra) SUPPORT – This bill updates Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) confidentiality provisions to allow a broader range of market experts to participate in complex IOU cost recovery proceedings and supports California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) oversight to protect customers from unreasonable or unjustified IOU rate increases. California IOU electric generation rates have increased 49% since 2013. Between 2008 and 2018, IOU customer rates doubled from $29.3 billion to $59.3 billion per year. AB 2689 would result in greater IOU accountability and improved consumer protection, safety, and affordability. The California Community Choice Association is a sponsor of this bill. STATUS: Referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 2789 (Kamlager) WATCH – This bill would appropriate $1,500,000 and require the CPUC, in consultation with the CA Energy Commission, to request the California Council on Science and Technology to undertake and complete a study, as specified, relative to electrical grid outages and cost avoidance resulting from deployment of eligible renewable energy resources, battery storage systems, and demand response technologies. The bill would require the PUC to report the results of the study to the Legislature by January 1, 2022. STATUS: Awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee.

AB 3014 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – This bill aims to improve the reliability of California electric supply by reforming the State’s resource adequacy (RA) program. Specifically, this bill creates the Central Reliability Authority (CRA), a non-profit public benefit corporation, to purchase residual RA needed to meet state requirements while still allowing load-serving entities (LSEs), such as Community Choice Agencies (CCAs), to maintain their procurement autonomy. The newly created CRA also reduces costly RA purchases currently undertaken by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and greatly enhances the RA market. The California Community Choice Association is a sponsor of this bill. STATUS: Referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 3021 (Ting) SUPPORT – Read The Climate Center’s SUPPORT LETTER. This bill would appropriate $300,000,000 per fiscal year in the 2020–21, 2021–22, and 2022–23 fiscal years from the General Fund to the California Energy Commission to administer a program to provide resiliency grant funding and technical assistance to local educational agencies for the installation of energy storage systems. STATUS: Double-referred to Education and Natural Resources committees.

AB 3251 (Bauer-Kahan) WATCH – This bill has been withdrawn by the  author. It would require that charging of energy storage systems be treated as load in calculations for demand response programs, and that capacity from energy storage systems installed on the customer side of the meter be allowed to be aggregated for purposes of determining resource adequacy capacity; and electricity exported to the grid from the customer side of the meter be allowed to count toward the capacity obligations of load-serving entities. STATUS: WITHDRAWN by author.

SB 45 (Allen, et al) SUPPORT – Dubbed the “Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020.” This is a proposed $5.51 billion general obligation bond to be placed on the November 3, 2020 statewide general election. Specifically, $570 million will be made available for climate resiliency initiatives including microgrids, distributed generation, storage systems, in-home backup power, and community resiliency centers such as cooling centers, clean air centers, hydration stations, and emergency shelters. STATUS: Passed out of Senate, in the Assembly, held at the desk.

SB 378 (Wiener) WATCH – Would establish customer and local government protections related to Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) incidents. Specifically, the bill requires IOUs to provide annual reports to the Wildfire Safety Division within the CPUC on the condition of their electrical equipment and provide maintenance logs to assess fire safety risk. The bill also requires the CPUC to develop procedures for consumers and local governments to recover costs from IOUs accrued during PSPS events, improves PSPS notification procedures, and makes IOUs subject to civil fines if the CPUC determines that the IOU failed to act in a reasonable and prudent manner. STATUS: In the Assembly, pending committee referral.

SB 774 (Stern) WATCH – SB 774 would require IOUs to collaborate with the State’s Office of Emergency of Services and others to identify where back-up electricity sources may provide increased electrical distribution grid resiliency and would allow the IOUs to file applications with the CPUC to invest in, and deploy, microgrids to increase resiliency. Concerns focus on too much control being placed in the hands of the IOUs over microgrid development when other LSEs and stakeholders can and should play a role. STATUS: In the Assembly committee process with no committee assignment and no hearing date.

SB 1240 (Skinner) The Climate Center was a sponsor of this bill. This bill has been withdrawn by the author due to the health crisis. The author is committed to re-introducing a similar bill in the 2021 session. It would require the California Energy Commission to identify and evaluate options for transforming the electrical corporations’ (Investor Owned Utilities’) distribution grids into more open access platforms that would allow local governments and other third parties like CCAs to participate more easily in grid activities.

SB 1314 (Dodd) The Climate Center was a sponsor of this bill. This bill has been withdrawn by the author due to the health crisis. The author is committed to re-introducing a similar bill in the 2021 session. This bill would have required the Strategic Growth Council to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans.

Legislative Update for June 25, 2020

The legislature has published revised schedules for the remainder of the 2020 session.  For the Assembly schedule, click HERE.  For the Senate schedule, click HERE. All meetings are held in a modified version pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-25-20.   


Below is the list of several, but not all of the key bills that we are tracking, listed in the following categories, all in numerical order in each category:

  • Highlighted bills
  • Assembly bills
  • Senate bills
  • Bills that we have reported on that have not been active or have died

Note that the last category is a new feature to these updates. For a complete list of the 131 bills we are currently tracking in 2020, click HERE. Our next update will be published here on June 11. Please send updates, suggestions, corrections to woody@theclimatecenter.org


Highlighted Bills:

SB 808 (Mitchell) – Budget Bill. See this June 22 CalMatters Article for details.

SB 1215 (Stern) – Would require the CPUC, in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services, to create a database of critical facilities and critical infrastructure, and related critical circuits that are located in tier 2 or tier 3 high fire-threat districts served by electrical corporations, and identify with respect to each whether it serves a low-income and disadvantaged community. The bill would require an electrical corporation, electric service provider, or CCA, upon request, to collaborate with local governments within its service area to identify critical circuits and microgrid projects. The Climate Center has supported this bill in the past but is evaluating recent amendments. STATUS: Amended in Sen. Approps. June 18. Ordered to third reading.


Assembly Bills

AB 3014 (Muratsuchi) – This bill would require the commission to make specified determinations relating to distributed energy resources and the electric transmission and distribution systems by January 1, 2022. Status: Last heard in Committee on May 5 and re-referred to the Asm Energy Committee.

AB 3256 (Eduardo Garcia, Bloom, Bonta, Friedman, Cristina Garcia, Mullin, Reyes, and Wood, and Coauthors: Assemblymembers Eggman and Robert Rivas) SUPPORT – This bill would place a General Obligation Bond on the November 2020 ballot. This bill would enact the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $6,980,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance projects for a wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, climate resilience, drought preparation, and flood protection program. STATUS: Referred by Approps to the Rules Comm. on June 8. No hearing date set.


Senate Bills

 

SB 1258 (Stern) SUPPORT – Titled the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act, this bill would enact the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act to require the California Infrastructure Bank (IBank), in consultation with specified agencies to administer the Climate Catalyst Revolving Fund, which the bill would establish to provide financial assistance to eligible climate catalyst projects. STATUS: Heard in Sen. Approps. June 18: Held in committee and under submission


Bills that we have reported on that have not been active or have died

AB 345 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – This bill will, if enacted, establish regulations to protect public health and safety near oil and gas extraction facilities, including a minimum setback distance between oil and gas activities and sensitive receptors such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, residences, hospitals, and health clinics. See The Climate Center’s January Letter of Support and more recent sign-on Letter of Support. STATUS: In the Senate. Read first time. Sent to the Senate Rules Committee for assignment to a policy committee.

AB 1839 (Bonta) WATCH – The “Green New Deal” bill. Introduced on January 6, this bill would create the California Green New Deal Council with a specified membership appointed by the Governor. The bill would require the California Green New Deal Council to submit a specified report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2022. So far the plan is scant on specifics including how goals will be met or how much the State will pay to meet those goals. STATUS: In Asm, referred to Comm. on Natural Resources on 5/11.

AB 1847 (Levine) WATCH – This bill would authorize the CPUC (contingent on the Commission finding that an electrical corporation is not complying with State law, rules, or regulations) to appoint a public administrator to the electrical corporation for a period not to exceed 180 days. The bill would vest the public administrator with oversight authority over the electrical corporation’s activities that impact public safety. See the bill author’s factsheet. STATUS: In the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee. No hearing date set.

AB 2145 (Ting) SUPPORT – This bill would state the intent of the legislature to enact legislation to reform the electric vehicle charging infrastructure approval process employed by the CPUC to help ensure that by 2030 California will safely install enough EV charging ports to meet the demand through public and private investment. STATUS: In Assembly, referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 2689 (Kalra) SUPPORT – This bill updates Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) confidentiality provisions to allow a broader range of market experts to participate in complex IOU cost recovery proceedings and supports California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) oversight to protect customers from unreasonable or unjustified IOU rate increases. California IOU electric generation rates have increased 49% since 2013. Between 2008 and 2018, IOU customer rates doubled from $29.3 billion to $59.3 billion per year. AB 2689 would result in greater IOU accountability and improved consumer protection, safety, and affordability. The California Community Choice Association is a sponsor of this bill. STATUS: Referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 2789 (Kamlager) WATCH – This bill would appropriate $1,500,000 and require the CPUC, in consultation with the CA Energy Commission, to request the California Council on Science and Technology to undertake and complete a study, as specified, relative to electrical grid outages and cost avoidance resulting from deployment of eligible renewable energy resources, battery storage systems, and demand response technologies. The bill would require the PUC to report the results of the study to the Legislature by January 1, 2022. STATUS: Awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee.

AB 3014 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – This bill aims to improve the reliability of California electric supply by reforming the State’s resource adequacy (RA) program. Specifically, this bill creates the Central Reliability Authority (CRA), a non-profit public benefit corporation, to purchase residual RA needed to meet state requirements while still allowing load-serving entities (LSEs), such as Community Choice Agencies (CCAs), to maintain their procurement autonomy. The newly created CRA also reduces costly RA purchases currently undertaken by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and greatly enhances the RA market. The California Community Choice Association is a sponsor of this bill. STATUS: Referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 3021 (Ting) SUPPORT – Read The Climate Center’s SUPPORT LETTER. This bill would appropriate $300,000,000 per fiscal year in the 2020–21, 2021–22, and 2022–23 fiscal years from the General Fund to the California Energy Commission to administer a program to provide resiliency grant funding and technical assistance to local educational agencies for the installation of energy storage systems. STATUS: Double-referred to Education and Natural Resources committees.

AB 3251 (Bauer-Kahan) WATCH – This bill has been withdrawn by the  author. It would require that charging of energy storage systems be treated as load in calculations for demand response programs, and that capacity from energy storage systems installed on the customer side of the meter be allowed to be aggregated for purposes of determining resource adequacy capacity; and electricity exported to the grid from the customer side of the meter be allowed to count toward the capacity obligations of load-serving entities. STATUS: WITHDRAWN by author.

SB 45 (Allen, et al) SUPPORT – Dubbed the “Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020.” This is a proposed $5.51 billion general obligation bond to be placed on the November 3, 2020 statewide general election. Specifically, $570 million will be made available for climate resiliency initiatives including microgrids, distributed generation, storage systems, in-home backup power, and community resiliency centers such as cooling centers, clean air centers, hydration stations, and emergency shelters. STATUS: Passed out of Senate, in the Assembly, held at the desk.

SB 378 (Wiener) WATCH – Would establish customer and local government protections related to Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) incidents. Specifically, the bill requires IOUs to provide annual reports to the Wildfire Safety Division within the CPUC on the condition of their electrical equipment and provide maintenance logs to assess fire safety risk. The bill also requires the CPUC to develop procedures for consumers and local governments to recover costs from IOUs accrued during PSPS events, improves PSPS notification procedures, and makes IOUs subject to civil fines if the CPUC determines that the IOU failed to act in a reasonable and prudent manner. STATUS: In the Assembly, pending committee referral.

SB 774 (Stern) WATCH – SB 774 would require IOUs to collaborate with the State’s Office of Emergency of Services and others to identify where back-up electricity sources may provide increased electrical distribution grid resiliency and would allow the IOUs to file applications with the CPUC to invest in, and deploy, microgrids to increase resiliency. Concerns focus on too much control being placed in the hands of the IOUs over microgrid development when other LSEs and stakeholders can and should play a role. STATUS: In the Assembly committee process with no committee assignment and no hearing date.

SB 1240 (Skinner) The Climate Center was a sponsor of this bill. This bill has been withdrawn by the author due to the health crisis. The author is committed to re-introducing a similar bill in the 2021 session. It would require the California Energy Commission to identify and evaluate options for transforming the electrical corporations’ (Investor Owned Utilities’) distribution grids into more open access platforms that would allow local governments and other third parties like CCAs to participate more easily in grid activities.

SB 1314 (Dodd) The Climate Center was a sponsor of this bill. This bill has been withdrawn by the author due to the health crisis. The author is committed to re-introducing a similar bill in the 2021 session. This bill would have required the Strategic Growth Council to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans.

Regulatory Update for June 25, 2020

The CPUC is holding its meetings remotely. See the COVID19 information page on the CPUC’s website for more COVID19-related info.

Remote Meeting Notice from CPUC:

Pursuant to Executive Order N-29-20, Commissioners may participate in CPUC meetings remotely. The public may observe, provide public comments during the public comment period, and otherwise participate remotely pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act as follows: 1. For each agenda item, a summary of the proposed action is included on the agenda as well as a link to the related electronic document; the Commission’s decision may, however differ from that proposed. 2. Public Comments are taken up at the beginning of the meeting (10am).

  • To listen or make comments not to exceed three minutes by phone, dial 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 9899501
  • Alternatively, you mail email brief written comments (which do not exceed three minutes when read aloud) to 06252020VotingMeetingComments@cpuc.ca.gov and our Public Advisor may read your comments out loud to the meeting if time permits. Written comments must be received prior to 10am to be read aloud. Comments that are not able to be read aloud, or are received after the deadline, will be circulated to the Commissioners. Individuals wishing to observe the meeting can do so by visiting http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc/

Brief Notes:

  • The big news out of the June 11 Commission meeting was the Resource Adequacy Decision and the SB 1339 microgrid proceeding Track 1 Decision. Details in those updates below
  • The next CPUC voting meeting takes place TODAY June 25 @ 10am. See AGENDA. For the livestream, click HERE.
  • We continue to monitor wildfire and PG&E bankruptcy-related proceedings but no longer report on those items on a regular basis. We will report occasionally on any significant developments.

Updates on proceedings we are tracking

Below is a numbered list of the regulatory proceedings we are tracking, followed by a brief summary of background information, new or recent developments, and Climate Center filings, if any, for each of the proceedings.

Note that the following summaries are intended as very brief highlights of selected key actions and activities. For details on any of these proceedings, we suggest logging in to the relevant proceeding page on the CPUC’s website. An expedient way to do that is to click on the proceeding number below or visit CPUC’s Documents Page. Please contact us at info[at]cleanpowerexhange.org to report any errors or broken links.

  1. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009
  2. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) 12-11-005
  3. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  17-06-026
  4. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
  5. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  6. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  7. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  8. NEM Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Closed proceedings that matter:

  • CCA Rulemaking 03-10-003– This was the rulemaking that defined all the rules pursuant to AB 117, the original California CCA law
  • CCA Bond and Re-Entry Fees 18-05-022– This is the proceeding that re-set the bond required to be posted by CCAs in the event that the CCA fails and customers are returned to the incumbent utility

Summaries:

 

  1. Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009 pursuant to SB 1339 (Stern, 2018)

Recent Developments:

June 11 Decision adopting Short-Term (Track 1) Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding. The Decision directs the State’s Investor Owned Utilities to:

  • Conduct meetings to educate and inform local government agencies on vulnerable electric transmission and distribution infrastructure as well as critical operations that service local jurisdictions;
  • Develop a resilience project guide;
  • Assist local governments in navigating interconnection processes for deploying a resilience project;
  • Dedicate staff to manage the intake of local resilience projects;
  • Create a data portal for local governments to review data essential for microgrid and resilience project development.

The Commission did not reject use of diesel fuel as a near-term back up generation choice. However, with this Decision in place it should become easier for local governments to access the data they need to engage in Community Energy Resilience planning, part of The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California campaign.

Key Documents:

  • The Climate Center and Vote Solar Opening Comments filed on May 19 and Reply Comments, filed on May 26.
  • April 29 – Proposed Decision Adopting Short-Term Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. A special note here: This Proposed CPUC Decision reflects a formal embrace by the CPUC of several key ACE principles that The Climate Center and partner organizations have been advocating for regarding the pivotal role of local governments.
  • March 19 – The Climate Center participated in an Ex Parte communication with CPUC staff
  • January 30 – Climate Center Opening Comments in the Track 1 Proceeding
  • December 20, 2019: Scoping Ruling.
  • October 21, 2019: The Climate Center Opening Comments.
  • September 19, 2019: Order Instituting Rulemaking.

Next Steps: Summer 2020 – Track 1 concludes. Track 2 for longer term measures begins.


  1. Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Recent Developments:

  • April 1 – The application window for the new SGIP incentives levels opened, following up on the CPUC’s Decision in January (see below) authorizing adding funds to SGIP’s energy storage budgets. Of particular note, the newly-created Equity Resiliency Budget ($513M) provides enhanced SGIP incentives for on-site residential and non-residential storage systems for low-income, vulnerable customers in high-risk fire threat districts (HFTD) or those who have been affected by PSPS events. The new SGIP Decision also created a $0.15/Wh resiliency adder for non-residential customers with critical resilience needs such as police stations, fire stations, hospitals, etc. Additional information is available in the new SGIP Handbook.

Next Steps: The current proceeding is now closed. A new proceeding is expected to be opened later this year.

Key Documents:


  1. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) 17-06-026

Recent Developments:

  • June 22 – Protect Our Communities Foundation in San Diego is challenging the PCIA in state appellate court in San Diego. We will continue to provide updates on this case as it proceeds.
  • May 22, 2020 – Proposed Decision Denying Petition for Modification of Decision 18-07-009. Opening Comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, are due no later than June 11, 2020. Reply Comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due no later than 5 days after the last day for filing Opening Comments.
  • March 26, 2020 – Final Decision 20-03-019 on Load Departure and PCIA line on bills. Adopts no changes to load forecasts. CalCCA advocated for a probabilistic approach to load forecasts. Changes in specific proceedings possible. CPUC acknowledges that IOUs utilize the Clean Power Exchange map/database but declines to order its use citing the need for further scrutiny of the sources and reliability of the data in this database. CalCCA opposes use of CPX data because it is maintained by a third party, may not be up-to-date, and does not reflect binding CCA commitments.
  • March 17 – CalCCA Opening Comments on Proposed Decision
  • February 25 Proposed Decision
  • January 22, ALJ Ruling to modify the proceeding schedule for Working Group Three

Next Steps:

  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Working Group 3 issues

Key Documents:


  1. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020 and 19-11-009

Recent Developments:

  • June 11 – Decision empowering PG&E and SCE to have procurement authority over RA for CCAs.  This is a very bad decision that impinges on the statutory right of CCAs to procure electricity for their customers. Designating PG&E and SCE as central procurement entities for RA creates a situation where for-profit IOUs that are directly in competition with not-for-profit CCAs for customers, get to procure electricity for the CCA and charge them for costs. This is not an acceptable outcome and The Climate Center along with others will be evaluating strategies for overturning the Decision.
  • May 22, 2020 – Proposed Decision issued adopting local capacity obligations for 2021-2023, adopting flexible capacity for 2021, and refining the RA program.
  • April 2, 2020 – Ruling modifying Track 2 schedule for local capacity a flexible capacity requirement issues
  • January 22, 2020 Commissioner’s Scoping Ruling

Key Documents:

  • Track 1: Revisions to RA import rules
  • Track 2: 2021 System and Flex RA. 2021-2023 Local RA
  • Track 3: Structural changes to RA program
  • Track 4: 2022 System and Flex RA. 2022-2024 Local RA
  • October 2017 – Order Instituting Rulemaking

Background: The RA program is designed to provide adequate electric resources to CAISO to ensure safe and reliable operation of the grid, and to provide appropriate incentives for the siting and construction of new resources needed for reliability. This proceeding has been divided into three Tracks due to the complexity of the issues involved.


  1. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007

Recent Developments:

  • May 26, 2020 – Proposed Decision Granting Intervenor Compensation to Friends of the Earth for Substantial Contribution to Decision 19-04-040 and Decision 18-02-018. Opening Comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, are due no later than June 15, 2020. Reply Comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due 5 days after the last day for filing Opening Comments.
  • April 6, 2020 – Decision 20-03-26 adopts an optimal portfolio, known as the Reference System Portfolio (RSP), to be used by all load-serving entities (LSEs) required to file individual integrated resource plans (IRPs) in 2020.
  • January 3, 2020 – Administrative Law Judge’s Final Baseline Ruling finalizing a baseline for purposes of procurement required by Decision 19-11-016

Next Steps:

Key Documents:

Background: The IRP proceeding is an umbrella planning proceeding to consider all of the CPUC’s electric procurement policies and programs. The goal is to provide a safe, reliable, and cost-effective electricity supply while complying with SB 350 mandates for LSE energy resource portfolios. LSEs will be required to file individual IRPs, which will then be considered in developing a Preferred System Plan (PSP).


  1. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003

Recent Developments:

  • May 13 – E-mail Ruling Modifying Schedule of Review for 2020 RPS Procurement Plans Issued in the May 6, 2020 RPS Plan Ruling
  • February 27, 2020 – Ruling on confidentiality rules for the RPS program.

Key Documents

Background: The RPS proceeding implements Senate Bills 350 (2015) and 100 (2018) that requires all load serving entities to increase their procurement of renewable power to 33% 2020, 44% by 2024, 52% by 2027, and 60% by 2030. The current proceeding is the successor to R.15-02-020.


  1. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003

Recent developments: None at this time

Key Documents:

Background: Since 2007, the Commission has sought to integrate demand-side energy solutions and technologies through utility program offerings. Decision (D.07-10-032) directs that utilities “integrate customer demand-side programs, such as energy efficiency, self-generation, advanced metering, and demand response, in a coherent and efficient manner.” The Commission’s IDER Action Plan published in 2016 remains in draft form.


  1. Net Energy Metering (NEM) Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Recent Updates: No recent updates. The NEM successor tariff had been expected to be initiated in 2019. It wasn’t.

Key Documents:

Background: Pursuant to direction in the NEM Successor Tariff Decision, the Commission was supposed to have reviewed the NEM successor tariff some time in 2019, when the proceedings related to distributed energy resources were to have been completed and after default TOU rates were implemented. Energy Division staff had planned to explore compensation structures for customer-sited distributed generation other than NEM, as well as consider an export compensation rate that takes into account locational and time-differentiated values. On April 26, 2019, the Energy Division distributed a Revised Solar Information Packet to service list R.14-07-002 and R.12-11-005.  The Energy Division asked for written comments about the content of the Revised Solar Information Packet and implementation approach.  The deadlines for submitting written comments has passed. If you have questions contact Kerry Fleisher at the CPUC Energy Division: Kerry.Fleisher@cpuc.ca.gov

Legislative Update for June 11, 2020

The legislature has published revised schedules for the remainder of the 2020 session.  For the Assembly schedule, click HERE.  For the Senate schedule, click HERE. All meetings are held in a modified version pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-25-20.   


Below is the list of several, but not all of the key bills that we are tracking, listed in the following categories, all in numerical order in each category:

  • Highlighted bills
  • Assembly bills
  • Senate bills
  • Bills that we have reported on that have not been active or have died

Note that the last category is a new feature to these updates. For a complete list of the 131 bills we are currently tracking in 2020, click HERE. Our next update will be published here on June 11. Please send updates, suggestions, corrections to woody@theclimatecenter.org


Highlighted Bill:

SB 1215 (Stern) SUPPORT – The Climate Center is actively engaging on this bill and testified in support in the Senate Energy Committee meeting on May 26. SB 1215 1) Promotes the development of clean microgrids; 2) Requires the CPUC to create a database of critical facilities and infrastructure; 3) Requires the CPUC and CAISO to develop a methodology to account for the resource adequacy value of distributed storage; and 4) Aims to require the costs of distribution system improvements necessary to operate a microgrid to be borne by all customers, not only those benefiting from the project.

STATUS: Set for a hearing in Sen. Approps. June 18.


Assembly Bills

AB 3256 (Eduardo Garcia, Bloom, Bonta, Friedman, Cristina Garcia, Mullin, Reyes, and Wood, and Coauthors: Assemblymembers Eggman and Robert Rivas) SUPPORT – This bill would place a General Obligation Bond on the November 2020 ballot. This bill would enact the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $6,980,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance projects for a wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, climate resilience, drought preparation, and flood protection program. STATUS: Referred by Approps to the Rules Comm. on June 8. No hearing date set.


Senate Bills

 

SB 1258 (Stern) SUPPORT – Titled the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act, this bill would enact the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act to require the California Infrastructure Bank (IBank), in consultation with specified agencies to administer the Climate Catalyst Revolving Fund, which the bill would establish to provide financial assistance to eligible climate catalyst projects. STATUS: Set for a hearing in Sen. Approps. June 18.


Bills that we have reported on that have not been active or have died

AB 345 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – This bill will, if enacted, establish regulations to protect public health and safety near oil and gas extraction facilities, including a minimum setback distance between oil and gas activities and sensitive receptors such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, residences, hospitals, and health clinics. See The Climate Center’s January Letter of Support and more recent sign-on Letter of Support. STATUS: In the Senate. Read first time. Sent to the Senate Rules Committee for assignment to a policy committee.

AB 1839 (Bonta) WATCH – The “Green New Deal” bill. Introduced on January 6, this bill would create the California Green New Deal Council with a specified membership appointed by the Governor. The bill would require the California Green New Deal Council to submit a specified report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2022. So far the plan is scant on specifics including how goals will be met or how much the State will pay to meet those goals. STATUS: In Asm, referred to Comm. on Natural Resources on 5/11.

AB 1847 (Levine) WATCH – This bill would authorize the CPUC (contingent on the Commission finding that an electrical corporation is not complying with State law, rules, or regulations) to appoint a public administrator to the electrical corporation for a period not to exceed 180 days. The bill would vest the public administrator with oversight authority over the electrical corporation’s activities that impact public safety. See the bill author’s factsheet. STATUS: In the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee. No hearing date set.

AB 2145 (Ting) SUPPORT – This bill would state the intent of the legislature to enact legislation to reform the electric vehicle charging infrastructure approval process employed by the CPUC to help ensure that by 2030 California will safely install enough EV charging ports to meet the demand through public and private investment. STATUS: In Assembly, referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 2689 (Kalra) SUPPORT – This bill updates Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) confidentiality provisions to allow a broader range of market experts to participate in complex IOU cost recovery proceedings and supports California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) oversight to protect customers from unreasonable or unjustified IOU rate increases. California IOU electric generation rates have increased 49% since 2013. Between 2008 and 2018, IOU customer rates doubled from $29.3 billion to $59.3 billion per year. AB 2689 would result in greater IOU accountability and improved consumer protection, safety, and affordability. The California Community Choice Association is a sponsor of this bill. STATUS: Referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 2789 (Kamlager) WATCH – This bill would appropriate $1,500,000 and require the CPUC, in consultation with the CA Energy Commission, to request the California Council on Science and Technology to undertake and complete a study, as specified, relative to electrical grid outages and cost avoidance resulting from deployment of eligible renewable energy resources, battery storage systems, and demand response technologies. The bill would require the PUC to report the results of the study to the Legislature by January 1, 2022. STATUS: Awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee.

AB 3014 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – This bill aims to improve the reliability of California electric supply by reforming the State’s resource adequacy (RA) program. Specifically, this bill creates the Central Reliability Authority (CRA), a non-profit public benefit corporation, to purchase residual RA needed to meet state requirements while still allowing load-serving entities (LSEs), such as Community Choice Agencies (CCAs), to maintain their procurement autonomy. The newly created CRA also reduces costly RA purchases currently undertaken by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and greatly enhances the RA market. The California Community Choice Association is a sponsor of this bill. STATUS: Referred to the Asm U&E committee on May 5.

AB 3021 (Ting) SUPPORT – Read The Climate Center’s SUPPORT LETTER. This bill would appropriate $300,000,000 per fiscal year in the 2020–21, 2021–22, and 2022–23 fiscal years from the General Fund to the California Energy Commission to administer a program to provide resiliency grant funding and technical assistance to local educational agencies for the installation of energy storage systems. STATUS: Double-referred to Education and Natural Resources committees.

AB 3251 (Bauer-Kahan) WATCH – This bill has been withdrawn by the  author. It would require that charging of energy storage systems be treated as load in calculations for demand response programs, and that capacity from energy storage systems installed on the customer side of the meter be allowed to be aggregated for purposes of determining resource adequacy capacity; and electricity exported to the grid from the customer side of the meter be allowed to count toward the capacity obligations of load-serving entities. STATUS: WITHDRAWN by author.

SB 45 (Allen, et al) SUPPORT – Dubbed the “Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020.” This is a proposed $5.51 billion general obligation bond to be placed on the November 3, 2020 statewide general election. Specifically, $570 million will be made available for climate resiliency initiatives including microgrids, distributed generation, storage systems, in-home backup power, and community resiliency centers such as cooling centers, clean air centers, hydration stations, and emergency shelters. STATUS: Passed out of Senate, in the Assembly, held at the desk.

SB 378 (Wiener) WATCH – Would establish customer and local government protections related to Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) incidents. Specifically, the bill requires IOUs to provide annual reports to the Wildfire Safety Division within the CPUC on the condition of their electrical equipment and provide maintenance logs to assess fire safety risk. The bill also requires the CPUC to develop procedures for consumers and local governments to recover costs from IOUs accrued during PSPS events, improves PSPS notification procedures, and makes IOUs subject to civil fines if the CPUC determines that the IOU failed to act in a reasonable and prudent manner. STATUS: In the Assembly, pending committee referral.

SB 774 (Stern) WATCH – SB 774 would require IOUs to collaborate with the State’s Office of Emergency of Services and others to identify where back-up electricity sources may provide increased electrical distribution grid resiliency and would allow the IOUs to file applications with the CPUC to invest in, and deploy, microgrids to increase resiliency. Concerns focus on too much control being placed in the hands of the IOUs over microgrid development when other LSEs and stakeholders can and should play a role. STATUS: In the Assembly committee process with no committee assignment and no hearing date.

SB 1240 (Skinner) The Climate Center was a sponsor of this bill. This bill has been withdrawn by the author due to the health crisis. The author is committed to re-introducing a similar bill in the 2021 session. It would require the California Energy Commission to identify and evaluate options for transforming the electrical corporations’ (Investor Owned Utilities’) distribution grids into more open access platforms that would allow local governments and other third parties like CCAs to participate more easily in grid activities.

SB 1314 (Dodd) The Climate Center was a sponsor of this bill. This bill has been withdrawn by the author due to the health crisis. The author is committed to re-introducing a similar bill in the 2021 session. This bill would have required the Strategic Growth Council to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans.

 

 

 

Regulatory Update for June 11, 2020

The CPUC is holding its meetings remotely. See the COVID19 information page on the CPUC’s website for more COVID19-related info.

Remote Meeting Notice from CPUC:

Pursuant to Executive Order N-29-20, paragraph 3, that was issued on 3/17/20 Commissioners may participate remotely from teleconferencing locations. The public may observe, provide public comments during the public comment period, and otherwise participate remotely pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act as described below.

  • For each agenda item, a summary of the proposed action is included on the agenda as well as a link to the related electronic document; the Commission’s decision may, however differ from that proposed.
  • Public Comments are taken up at the beginning of the meeting (10am).
  • To listen or make comments not to exceed three minutes by phone, dial 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 9899501
  • Alternatively, you mail email brief written comments (which do not exceed three minutes when read aloud) to 06112020VotingMeetingComments@cpuc.ca.gov and our Public Advisor may read your comments out loud to the meeting if time permits. Written comments must be received prior to 10:00 a.m. to be read aloud. Comments that are not able to be read aloud, or are received after the deadline, will be circulated to the Commissioners. Individuals wishing to observe the meeting can do so by visiting http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc/

Brief Notes:

  • The next CPUC voting meeting takes place TODAY June 11 @ 10am. See AGENDA. For the livestream, click HERE.
  • We continue to monitor wildfire and PG&E bankruptcy-related proceedings but no longer report on those items on a regular basis. We will report occasionally on any significant developments.

Updates on proceedings we are tracking

Below is a numbered list of the regulatory proceedings we are tracking, followed by a brief summary of background information, new or recent developments, and Climate Center filings, if any, for each of the proceedings.

Note that the following summaries are intended as very brief highlights of selected key actions and activities. For details on any of these proceedings, we suggest logging in to the relevant proceeding page on the CPUC’s website. An expedient way to do that is to click on the proceeding number below or visit CPUC’s Documents Page. Please contact us at info[at]cleanpowerexhange.org to report any errors or broken links.

  1. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009
  2. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) 12-11-005
  3. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  17-06-026
  4. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
  5. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  6. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  7. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  8. NEM Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Closed proceedings that matter:

  • CCA Rulemaking 03-10-003– This was the rulemaking that defined all the rules pursuant to AB 117, the original California CCA law
  • CCA Bond and Re-Entry Fees 18-05-022– This is the proceeding that re-set the bond required to be posted by CCAs in the event that the CCA fails and customers are returned to the incumbent utility

Summaries:

 

  1. Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009 pursuant to SB 1339 (Stern, 2018)

Recent Developments:

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding. The Commission is expected to issue a decision on Track 1 of this proceeding in today’s Commission meeting. Although the PD includes elements that The Climate Center and collaborators called for, notably improved engagement with local government, there remain drawbacks to the PD.

The Proposed Decision directs the State’s Investor Owned Utilities to:

  • Conduct meetings to educate and inform local government agencies on vulnerable electric transmission and distribution infrastructure as well as critical operations that service local jurisdictions;
  • Develop a resilience project guide;
  • Assist local governments in navigating interconnection processes for deploying a resilience project;
  • Dedicate staff to manage the intake of local resilience projects;
  • Create a data portal for local governments to review data essential for microgrid and resilience project development.

The Commission should reject:

  • Use of diesel fuel as a near-term back up generation choice;
  • PG&E’s temporary generation program proposal;
  • Anything that empowers PG&E to encroach on CCA procurement rights or that would force CCAs to procure power from the IOUs.

After final CPUC approval of the proposed decision it should become easier for local governments to access the data they need to engage in Community Energy Resilience planning, part of The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California campaign.

Key Documents:

  • The Climate Center and Vote Solar Opening Comments filed on May 19 and Reply Comments, filed on May 26.
  • April 29 – Proposed Decision Adopting Short-Term Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. A special note here: This Proposed CPUC Decision reflects a formal embrace by the CPUC of several key ACE principles that The Climate Center and partner organizations have been advocating for regarding the pivotal role of local governments.
  • March 19 – The Climate Center participated in an Ex Parte communication with CPUC staff
  • January 30 – Climate Center Opening Comments in the Track 1 Proceeding
  • December 20, 2019: Scoping Ruling.
  • October 21, 2019: The Climate Center Opening Comments.
  • September 19, 2019: Order Instituting Rulemaking.

Next Steps: Summer 2020 – Track 1 concludes. Track 2 for longer term measures begins.


  1. Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Recent Developments:

  • April 1 – The application window for the new SGIP incentives levels opened, following up on the CPUC’s Decision in January (see below) authorizing adding funds to SGIP’s energy storage budgets. Of particular note, the newly-created Equity Resiliency Budget ($513M) provides enhanced SGIP incentives for on-site residential and non-residential storage systems for low-income, vulnerable customers in high-risk fire threat districts (HFTD) or those who have been affected by PSPS events. The new SGIP Decision also created a $0.15/Wh resiliency adder for non-residential customers with critical resilience needs such as police stations, fire stations, hospitals, etc. Additional information is available in the new SGIP Handbook.

Next Steps: The current proceeding is now closed. A new proceeding is expected to be opened later this year.

Key Documents:


  1. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) 17-06-026

Recent Developments:

  • May 22, 2020 – Proposed Decision Denying Petition for Modification of Decision 18-07-009. Opening Comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, are due no later than June 11, 2020. Reply Comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due no later than 5 days after the last day for filing Opening Comments.
  • March 26, 2020 – Final Decision 20-03-019 on Load Departure and PCIA line on bills. Adopts no changes to load forecasts. CalCCA advocated for a probabilistic approach to load forecasts. Changes in specific proceedings possible. CPUC acknowledges that IOUs utilize the Clean Power Exchange map/database but declines to order its use citing the need for further scrutiny of the sources and reliability of the data in this database. CalCCA opposes use of CPX data because it is maintained by a third party, may not be up-to-date, and does not reflect binding CCA commitments.
  • March 17 – CalCCA Opening Comments on Proposed Decision
  • February 25 Proposed Decision
  • January 22, ALJ Ruling to modify the proceeding schedule for Working Group Three

Next Steps:

  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Working Group 3 issues

Key Documents:


  1. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020 and 19-11-009

Recent Developments:

  • June 11 – Agenda item 3 on today’s agenda would adopt a central procurement framework for local RA procurement and rejects the settlement agreement. This action, if adopted, impinges on the statutory right of CCAs to procure electricity for their customers. Designating PG&E and SCE as central procurement entities for RA creates a situation where for-profit IOUs that are directly in competition with not-for-profit CCAs for customers, get to procure electricity for the CCA and charge them for costs. This is an unacceptable threat to CCAs.
  • May 22, 2020 – Proposed Decision issued adopting local capacity obligations for 2021-2023, adopting flexible capacity for 2021, and refining the RA program.
  • April 2, 2020 – Ruling modifying Track 2 schedule for local capacity a flexible capacity requirement issues
  • January 22, 2020 Commissioner’s Scoping Ruling

Key Documents:

  • Track 1: Revisions to RA import rules
  • Track 2: 2021 System and Flex RA. 2021-2023 Local RA
  • Track 3: Structural changes to RA program
  • Track 4: 2022 System and Flex RA. 2022-2024 Local RA
  • October 2017 – Order Instituting Rulemaking

Background: The RA program is designed to provide adequate electric resources to CAISO to ensure safe and reliable operation of the grid, and to provide appropriate incentives for the siting and construction of new resources needed for reliability. This proceeding has been divided into three Tracks due to the complexity of the issues involved.


  1. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007

Recent Developments:

  • May 26, 2020 – Proposed Decision Granting Intervenor Compensation to Friends of the Earth for Substantial Contribution to Decision 19-04-040 and Decision 18-02-018. Opening Comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, are due no later than June 15, 2020. Reply Comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due 5 days after the last day for filing Opening Comments.
  • April 6, 2020 – Decision 20-03-26 adopts an optimal portfolio, known as the Reference System Portfolio (RSP), to be used by all load-serving entities (LSEs) required to file individual integrated resource plans (IRPs) in 2020.
  • January 3, 2020 – Administrative Law Judge’s Final Baseline Ruling finalizing a baseline for purposes of procurement required by Decision 19-11-016

Next Steps:

Key Documents:

Background: The IRP proceeding is an umbrella planning proceeding to consider all of the CPUC’s electric procurement policies and programs. The goal is to provide a safe, reliable, and cost-effective electricity supply while complying with SB 350 mandates for LSE energy resource portfolios. LSEs will be required to file individual IRPs, which will then be considered in developing a Preferred System Plan (PSP).


  1. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003

Recent Developments:

  • May 13 – E-mail Ruling Modifying Schedule of Review for 2020 RPS Procurement Plans Issued in the May 6, 2020 RPS Plan Ruling
  • February 27, 2020 – Ruling on confidentiality rules for the RPS program.

Key Documents

Background: The RPS proceeding implements Senate Bills 350 (2015) and 100 (2018) that requires all load serving entities to increase their procurement of renewable power to 33% 2020, 44% by 2024, 52% by 2027, and 60% by 2030. The current proceeding is the successor to R.15-02-020.


  1. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003

Recent developments: None at this time

Key Documents:

Background: Since 2007, the Commission has sought to integrate demand-side energy solutions and technologies through utility program offerings. Decision (D.07-10-032) directs that utilities “integrate customer demand-side programs, such as energy efficiency, self-generation, advanced metering, and demand response, in a coherent and efficient manner.” The Commission’s IDER Action Plan published in 2016 remains in draft form.


  1. Net Energy Metering (NEM) Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Recent Updates: No recent updates. The NEM successor tariff had been expected to be initiated in 2019. It wasn’t.

Key Documents:

Background: Pursuant to direction in the NEM Successor Tariff Decision, the Commission was supposed to have reviewed the NEM successor tariff some time in 2019, when the proceedings related to distributed energy resources were to have been completed and after default TOU rates were implemented. Energy Division staff had planned to explore compensation structures for customer-sited distributed generation other than NEM, as well as consider an export compensation rate that takes into account locational and time-differentiated values. On April 26, 2019, the Energy Division distributed a Revised Solar Information Packet to service list R.14-07-002 and R.12-11-005.  The Energy Division asked for written comments about the content of the Revised Solar Information Packet and implementation approach.  The deadlines for submitting written comments has passed. If you have questions contact Kerry Fleisher at the CPUC Energy Division: Kerry.Fleisher@cpuc.ca.gov

 

Monterey Bay Community Power reverses nuclear allocation decision

In a decisive 12-3 vote in a special meeting of the Policy Board of Directors on June 10, Monterey Bay Community Power, soon to be re-dubbed Central Coast Community Energy, reversed its March 4 vote to accept an allocation of PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power. This continues a trend where most CCAs have now rejected the allocation, including MCE, SCP, CPSF, PCE, RCEA, VCE, and EBCE. Pioneer Community Energy in Placer County, SJCE, and SVCE have accepted the allocation.

If the decision had not been reversed, the Power Content Label for MBCP showing MBCP’s power mix for 2020 would show about 20% as having been sourced from Diablo. Once customers and others become aware of this, there is a risk that the CCA “brand” will be tarnished and customers could begin to opt out. Jill ZamEk of San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace stated that they are “very pleased that the Policy Board of Monterey Bay Community Power rescinded its decision to accept nuclear into their power mix for 2020. We appreciate their willingness to hold a special meeting and take input from community members. We look forward to working together to solve the problems facing CCAs.”

Board Chair Bruce McPherson facilitated the difficult and at times confusing discussion, but in the end, Governing Board member Heidi Harmon, Mayor of the City of San Luis Obispo, made the motion to reject the nuclear allocation, and ultimately, the 12-3 vote resulted.

Opponents of the allocation presented a long list of reasons why the vote should be reconsidered. Process issues and less than adequate public participation, lack of complete information in March, and dramatic changes to the economics due to the Covid situation since March. The fundamental problems associated with nuclear power were also presented at the beginning by nuclear expert Daniel Hirsch.

The action perhaps exemplifies what CCAs are all about: the ability of the community to weigh in on energy decision-making, advancing what we call energy democracy. It is one of the main reasons that I have been a proponent of community Choice for 15 years. The promise of Community Choice is that it can serve as a key leader and innovator in the evolution to a decentralized, democratized, decarbonized, safe, clean, and affordable energy system where community benefits are emphasized over corporate profit. CCAs, including MBCP, generally promote themselves as breaking away from the hazardous and obsolete 20th century energy sources such as coal and nuclear. Decisions like the one that MBCP made on June 10 constitute a step ion the right direction.

 

 

Community Energy Resilience Webinar Series Up and Running

Highlighting Resources and Opportunities for Local Governments
  • View our Community Energy Resilience for Local Government Webinar on June 10 HERE.

Have you ever taken a look at a BUG map? If not, here is your opportunity. Diesel back-up generators (BUGs) have proliferated in California since the increase in wildfire and public safety power shut-off risk has emerged on the scene. This is one of the many illuminating and informative features of this inaugural edition in the series, emphasizing that much better alternatives exist.

Produced in collaboration with the Local Government Commission, this webinar shares practical information about technical and financial resources available to local governments to initiate local clean energy resilience plans. Four presentations highlight strategies and case studies that help build community energy resilience covering both the immediate need to keep critical facilities operational, as well as long-term opportunities to simultaneously advance local climate goals and deliver tangible benefits to communities.

There were over 300 registrants for the webinar from across the State representing local governments, Community Choice agencies, clean energy businesses, NGOs, and state government.

Speakers include representatives from The Climate Center, Community Energy Labs, California Energy Commission, and local governments.

Don’t miss the rest of the series that culminates on August 5 with a Community Energy Resilience Summit. Click HERE to register for all.