Sonoma Clean Power Brings on New Chief Operations Officer

(SANTA ROSA, CA) – Sonoma Clean Power (SCP), the public electricity provider for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, has added a Chief Operations Officer (COO) to its team.

Michael Koszalka has been hired as the COO, a brand-new position for the agency. SCP’s Mission and role in California’s energy industry have greatly evolved over its 5 years of service to customers, spurring the need for an additional executive position.

In his new role, Mr. Koszalka oversees SCP’s operations, including supervising senior leadership and staff, and managing relationships with contractors, banks, and energy suppliers.

Mr. Koszalka’s 40-year career has been dedicated to the energy industry, including a combined 26 years at two electric utilities on the West Coast, and over 13 years within consulting firms that serve the energy utility industry.

His utility experience demonstrates a diverse background in customer service, product and service marketing, major account management, integrated resource planning, rate case development, and customer programs.

Additionally, Mr. Koszalka brings extensive experience in financial management and team leadership. He has also served on the boards of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), the Atwater Chamber of Commerce, and is a graduate of Leadership Merced.

Mr. Koszalka holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from U.C. Berkeley and an M.B.A. in marketing management from Golden Gate University.

About Sonoma Clean Power

Sonoma Clean Power is proud to serve the Counties of Sonoma and Mendocino as a self-funded, public electricity provider. SCP’s services are practical, affordable and inclusive, empowering everyone to be part of the transition toward a clean energy future. To learn more, visit sonomacleanpower.org or call 1 (855) 202-2139.

# # #

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kate Kelly, Director of Public Relations/Sonoma Clean Power

kkelly@sonomacleanpower.org | 707.978.3468

CPX Regulatory Update – July 11, 2019

Regulatory updates for Thursday, July 11, 2019

Below is a numbered list of the regulatory proceedings we are tracking, followed by a summary of new developments for each of the proceedings, if any. Note that these 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 visit http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/documents/

Notes:

  • A CPUC voting meeting is on schedule for today, July 11. Agenda is HERE. To log in to the livestream, click HERE.
  • In June CPUC President Picker announced that he will be departing the CPUC once a replacement is found – no update.
Regulatory Proceedings we are monitoring:
  1. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019
  2. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  17-06-026
  3. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
  4. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct 12-02-009
  5. Wildfire Cost Recovery 19-01-006
  6. Utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans (SB 901) 18-10-007
  7. New: Penalties for 2017 Wildfires 19-06-015
  8. PG&E Bankruptcy (no formal docket #)
  9. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  10. Distribution Resource Plans (DRP) 14-08-013 
  11. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  12. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  13. Direct Access 19-03-009
  14. NEM Successor Tariff 14-07-002
Closed proceedings that matter:
  1. CCA Rulemaking; Bond and Re-Entry Fees – 03-10-003 and 18-05-022
Other non-adjudicatory activities:
  • Customer Choice Project
  • AB 2514 Implementation (Energy Storage)

 

  1. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation I. 15-08-019

New Developments:

  • Order establishing process for parties to comment on proposals to improve PG&E safety Key proposals presented in the Order:
    • Separating PG&E into separate gas and electric utilities or selling the gas assets;
    • Establishing periodic review of PG&E’s Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CPCN);
    • Modification or elimination of PG&E Corp.’s holding company structure;
    • Linking PG&E’s rate of return or return on equity to safety performance metrics.
  • Motion to Amend June 18, 2019 Assigned Commissioner and ALJ’S Ruling to align it with the scope of the Proceeding
  • The Public Advocate’s Office filed a Motion to Amend the scope of the Order.
    • Minimum safety and performance prerequisites.
    • Alternatives to PG&E.
  • Interim Decision ordering reporting of PG&E Directors’ safety qualifications by August 1 and establishing CPUC advisory panel on corporate governance.

Major Issues:

  • PG&E’s role in achieving CA’s GHG goals; PG&E’s operational integrity; PG&E’s role in its service territory; Costs passed on to ratepayers.

Key Documents:

  • Order extending statutory deadline to May 8, 2020

Next Steps:

  • July 16 – Respond to Public Advocate’s Office Motion
  • July 19 – Opening comments on the Order
  • August 1 – PG&E to report on Board’s safety qualifications
  • August 2 – Reply comments on the Order
  • May 8, 2020 – Deadline to conclude proceeding

Background: In this case, Center for Climate Protection is a Party to the Proceeding. Read our Opening Comments HERE. The investigation originated after the San Bruno incident, and has been reinvigorated due to the 2017/18 wildfires.

  1. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (Proceeding #R.17-06-026)

New Developments:

  • Ex Parte between SDG&E and Comm. Picker.
  • Group 1 (benchmark and true-up) Final Report workshop 1 and workshop 2.
  • Group 2 (prepayment) workshop 2 workshop 1.
  • Group 3 (portfolio optimization/auction) First Progress Report, workshop 1.

Key Documents:

  • Order Instituting Rulemaking.
  • Scoping Memo.
  • Decision 18-10-019 modifying the PCIA.
  • Joint Petition for Modification of Track 1 Decision D.18-07-009.
  • Applications for re-hearing of Decision 18-10-019 by POC, CLECA and DACC, CalCCA, Shell, and PCE/MCE/SCP
  • Phase 2 Scoping Memo.

Working Groups and co-chairs for Phase 2:

  1. Benchmark true-up and related issues – PG&E, CalCCA.
  2. Prepayment − SDG&E, AreM/DACC.
  3. Portfolio Optimization & Cost Reduction – SCE, CalCCA.
    1. Voluntary allocation and auction proposal – Commercial Energy.

Next Steps (Tentative):

  • July 25 – Group 3 second workshop
  • July 26 – Group 2 second update
  • September – Proposed decision on Group 1 issues 1 – 7
  • September 26 – Group 3 second update
  • October 2019 – Commission vote on Group 1 issues 1 – 7
  • November 2019 – Resolution of Group 1 issues
  • December 9 – Group 2 Final Report

Background:

The PCIA is a fee charged to pay for a utility’s stranded cost of procuring electricity on behalf of customers departing for in CCAs or as Direct Access customers. On October 11, 2018 the CPUC voted to accept the Alternate Proposed Decision that significantly increased the PCIA.

  1. Resource Adequacy (17-09-020)

New Developments:

  • On June 27 the Proposed Decision adopting local and flexible capacity obligations 2020-2022 was passed;
    • Comments by CalCCA, SDG&E regarding load migration;
  • May 22 workshop by Shell; Summary prepared by Shell
  • CAISO Local Capacity Study
  • Comments on Workshop and Track 3 proposals by CalCCA, PG&E, CAISO.
  • RA Workshops Outline.

Also See:

  • June 14 comments of the California Community Choice Association on Track 3 Proposed Decision.
  • Opening comments of MCE Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power on the Track 3 Proposed Decision

Key Documents:

  • Track 1 Decision D.18-06-030 Adopting Local Capacity Obligations and Refinements to the RA program
  • 18-06-031 adopting flexible capacity obligations for 2019
  • Email ruling on Energy Division Effective Load Carrying Capacity Proposal
  • Proposed Decision endorsing IOUs as Central Buyer for local RA
  • Ruling on Effective Load Carrying Capacity Proposal
  • Comments on the Proposed Decision

Major Issues:

CCA participation in the year-ahead RA showing, Cost allocation due to load migration, Reducing backstop procurement, Consolidating procurement using a central buyer, Updates to Effective Load Carrying Capacity modeling methods, Aligning the Commission’s RA measurement hours with CAISO’s.

Next Steps: TBD

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. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct (12-02-009) – No new developments.

Background: Original CCA law, AB 117 stipulates that IOUs must “cooperate fully” with local governments pursuing Community Choice. In the mid-to-late 2000s, San Francisco, Marin, and the San Joaquin Valley experienced egregious disinformation campaigns waged by the incumbent utility for these jurisdictions against their efforts. The obstruction was documented in a series of California Senate Select Committee on Renewable Energy hearings in 2010 chaired by Senator Mark Leno. The result of the hearings was SB 790, which created an IOU Code of Conduct that prohibits IOUs from marketing against CCAs unless they establish a separate marketing division that does not use ratepayer funds, among other provisions.

  1. Wildfire Cost Recovery (19-01-006)

New Developments

  • Proposed Decision finding PG&E ineligible for Stress Test
    • PG&E Comments rejecting the Proposed Decision
    • TURN’s Comments requesting ratepayer reimbursement
  • Report from CA Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery
  • Staff Proposal for “Stress Test” methodology; Stress Test Workshop slides.
  • Comments on the staff report by PG&E, TURN, City and County of San Francisco. City and County of San Francisco
  • June 18 – Wildfire recovery costs estimated at $50B – Sac Bee

June 27 – Voting on Proposed Decision. PASSED.

Special note:

There is currently bill relevant to this proceeding making its way through the legislative process. AB 235 introduced by Chad Mayes (Dist. 42, Yucca Valley, R). The bill authorizes the CPUC, when determining recovery by an electrical corporation for costs and expenses arising from a catastrophic wildfire occurring on or after January 1, 2019, to consider the electrical corporation’s financial status and determine the maximum amount the corporation can pay without harming ratepayers or materially impacting the electrical corporation’s ability to provide adequate and safe service. The bill is now on the Senate Energy Committee with no hearing date scheduled.

Major Issues:

  • How much a utility can be required to pay out of pocket?
  • What are the costs that a utility can legitimately pass on to ratepayers?
  • What will be used as a cost recovery calculation methodology?

Key Documents:

  • Comments by Mendocino/Napa/Sonoma Counties, PG&E, San Francisco City Attorney.
  • Order Instituting Rulemaking.
  • SB 901 (Dodd)
  • Scoping Memo.

Next Steps: TBD

Background: The CPUC’s R.19-01-006 is a proceeding to implement Public Utilities Code Section 451.2 regarding criteria and methodology for wildfire cost recovery pursuant to Senate Bill 901 (2018). Major questions include:

  1. Utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans (SB 901) 18-10-007

Updates:

  • IOU wildfire mitigation plans were approved at the May 30 CPUC voting meeting.
  • Assigned Commissioner and Administrative Law Judge’s June 14 Ruling launching Phase 2 of the Wildfire Mitigation Plan proceeding.

Background: Senate Bill 901 requires electric utilities to prepare and submit wildfire mitigation plans that describe the utilities’ plans to prevent, combat, and respond to wildfires affecting their service territories. Through a proceeding it opened on Oct. 25, 2018 (R.18-10-007), the CPUC will review the initial plans, and develop and refine the content of and process for review and implementation of wildfire mitigation plans to be filed in future years.

  1. NEW: Penalties for 2017 Wildfires (I.19-06-015)

This is a newly opened Investigation that we will monitor

Issue: Possible PG&E violation of Public Utilities Code.

Key Documents:

  • Order Instituting Investigation
    • Commission’s Safety and Enforcement Division finding PG&E violated Commission General Orders and Resolution E-4148 and failed to follow industry best practices.

Next Steps:

  • July 29 – Responses to OII
  • August 5 – PG&E report in response to questions in OII
  1. PG&E Bankruptcy (no docket #) (PG&E Fires Restructuring, Bankruptcy Court, CA Senate Oversight Hearings, US District Court) In addition to the above proceedings, we are also keeping a close eye on the PG&E bankruptcy, which is playing out in four arenas: the bankruptcy court, the CPUC, the CA State legislature, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

New Developments

  • CA Legislature fast-tracking legislation (AB 1054) to address IOU viability – on the Assembly Floor today
  • Settlement agreement with 18 public agencies
  • Bondholder’s $30 billion plan, $16 – $18 million for victims
  • Newsom’s $21 billion plan, renews $2.50 monthly DWR charge for 15 years
  • Ruling denying FERC jurisdiction over PPA agreements
  • PG&E Motion for Protective Order
  • 2,500 acre fire on Tuesday July 25 caused by downed PG&E line. No injuries.
  • $105 million immediate assistance for wildfire victims
  • Commission approves PG&E’s Wildfire Mitigation Plan.
  • PG&E Quarterly Earnings Report reveals SEC investigation. Statement by PG&E.
  • PG&E hires former TVA CEO Bill Johnson.
  • PG&E will propose increasing its Board to 15 directors at the Annual Shareholders

Meeting.

  • US District Court Probation Order suspending dividends until PG&E complies with vegetation management and wildfire mitigation plan.

Major Issues:

  • Chapter 11 removes restructuring authority to the Federal Bankruptcy Court.
  • PG&E’s ability to recover wildfire litigation and liability costs via rate increases.
  • The scope and role of PG&E when it emerges from bankruptcy restructuring.
  • Future role of CCAs, distributed energy resources, and distribution utility.

Key Documents:

  • Cal Fire report finding PG&E equipment involved in 12 fires during October, 2017.
  • Ruling and Scoping Memo regarding phase 2 15-08-019 Investigation Into PG&E’s Safety Culture
  • Fire Safety and Utility Infrastructure En Banc

Next Steps:

  • Sept 28 – Deadline for PG&E to propose reorganization plan
  1. Integrated Resource Planning (R.16-02-007)

New Developments:

  • June 20 – Assigned commissioner and Administrative Law Judge’s RULING initiating procurement track and seeking comment on potential reliability issues. Comments are due no later than July 15, 2019. Reply comments are due no later than July 25, 2019.
  • CalCCA Motion for amended ruling seeking the staff analysis identifying the “potential for near-term reliability challenges” cited in the Ruling.
  • Final Decision adopting the Reference System Plan as the Preferred System Plan. o SEA Analysis of the Final Decision
    • SEA Analysis of the Proposed Decision.
  • Comments on the PD by SDG&E, CalCCA, CAISO, Calpine, SEA .
  • Reply comments by SDG&E, CalCCA, CAISO, Calpine.

Key Documents:

  • Order Instituting Rulemaking
  • Decision D.18-02-018 setting IRP requirements for LSEs
  • Amended Scoping Memo
  • Ruling on production cost modeling approach and schedule for preferred system plan development
  • Ruling seeking comment on policy issues and options related to reliability
  • Ruling seeking comments on inputs and assumptions for development of the 2019-2020 Reference System Plan

Major Issues:

  • Near, medium, and long-term local reliability needs.
  • Approval of a Preferred System Plan.
  • How to co-ordinate LSE procurement to meet CA GHG goals.

Next Steps:

  • July 15 – Party Comments on the Procurement Track.
  • July 25 – Reply Comments.
  • July 29 – Comments on procurement track (tentative).
  • Late 2019 – Proposed Decision on Procurement Track.
  • August 16, 2019 – LSEs to provide informal IRP resource contract and development status reports. Can be submitted confidentially.

Background: On April 25 the CPUC unanimously approved a Proposed Decision that approves or certifies 20 individual LSE IRPs. Grants exemptions to 9 LSEs. Requires another 19 LSEs to refile their individual IRPs as Tier 2 advice letters, with additional information about the criteria pollutants associated with serving their load. It also adopts a Preferred System Portfolio to use as the basis for future planning and to transfer to the CAISO for use in its Transmission Planning Process (TPP) as the reliability base case and policy-driven base case. Lastly, it requires LSEs serving load in the territory of PG&E to include in their next IRPs a section addressing retirement of Diablo Canyon. The decision primarily relies on Community Choice agencies to procure the new clean energy resources the State needs over the next decade to achieve California’s renewable energy and GHG emissions reduction targets attributable to the State’s electricity sector. A video of the proceeding is HERE. Item 51 on the agenda. The CPUC’s action represents a major vote of confidence in the critical role CCAs are playing in California’s rapidly evolving energy system.

  1. Distribution Resource Plans (14-08-013 )

No update.

Background: This proceeding consolidates numerous previous proceedings and seeks to establish policies and rules for IOUs to develop Distribution Resources Plan Proposals, and to evaluate the IOUs’ infrastructure and planning to incorporate distributed energy resources (DERs) into their systems. There are three parallel and concurrent Tracks in this proceeding. Track 1 concerns methodological issues. Track 2 concerns demonstration and pilot projects. Track 3 concerns policy issues.  Decisions have been issued on all three tracks, but there are still residual issues and new issues being addressed.

  1. Renewable Portfolio Standard (R.18-07-003)

New Developments:

  • July 2 Proposed Decision implementing SB100
    • 44% for 2021-2024 by December 31, 2024; 52% for 2025-2027 by December 31, 2027; 60% for 2028-2030 by December 31, 2030
    • Progress assessed using “straightline” method in D.11-12-020
    • No Comments against the PD
  • Schedule of Review for 2019 RPS Plans.
    • Updated Schedule
    • July 21, 2019–IOUs, ESPs, and CCA RPS procurement plans deadline

Major Issues:

  • Revising RPS renewable market adjusting tariff (ReMAT) and bioenergy market adjusting tariff (BioMAT).
  • Least-cost/best-fit methodology for RPS procurement
  • Cost containment for IOU RPS procurement
  • Co-ordination with the IRP proceeding
  • Monitoring and review of LSE compliance.

Key Documents:

  • 12-06-038 setting RPS compliance rules.
  • OIR to further develop the RPS program.
  • 2018 RPS Annual Report to Legislature.
  • Amended Scoping Memo.
  • Proposed Decision adopting 2018 RPS procurement plans.
  • Comments on Proposed Decision by CCA Parties.
  • 19-02-007 accepting draft 2018 RPS plans filed by LSEs.
  • Comments on SB 100 implementation from CCAs and PG&E.
  • Reply comments from Joint CCAs and Joint Utilities.

Next Steps:

  • July 19 – Comments on plans and coordination with IRP proceeding.
  • August 2 – Deadline for Motion to request evidentiary hearings.
  • August 2 – Reply comments on RPS plans.
  • August 23 – Updates to RPS procurement plans.

Background: The RPS program implements SB 350 and SB 100 by requiring all LSEs to increase their procurement of renewable energy to 44% by 2024, 52% by 2027, 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2045.

  1. Integrated DER – No new developments. Recent ALJ Rulingdirecting responses to post-March 4-5, 2019 Workshop questions. 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. Direct Access Rulemaking (SB 237) – No new developments.  On March 14, 2019 CPUC issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) for proceeding R. 19-03-009 regarding implementation of Senate Bill 237(SB 237 – Hertzberg) concerning expansion of the Direct Access (DA) program. DA is available to non-residential customers. Background: DA access was restricted after the energy crisis by SB 1X. DA access is currently capped and accessible via a lottery system, with 7,603 GWh of load on the waitlist. SB 237 increases the maximum total annual kilowatt-hours allowed under the DA program by a total of 4,000 GWh apportioned among the three IOU service territories. That increase must be implemented by June 1, 2019. SB 237 also gives CPUC until June 1, 2020 to provide the legislature with guidance on expanding DA access to all interested non-residential customers. The proceeding will have two phases to address the two mandates.

 

  1. NEM Successor Tariff Rulemaking R.14-07-002

Pursuant to direction in the NEM Successor Tariff Decision, the Commission will review the NEM successor tariff some time in 2019, when the proceedings related to distributed energy resources are completed and after default TOU rates are implemented. Energy Division staff will 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

 

Closed proceedings that matter: 

  1. CCA Bond Requirements and Re-entry Fees – No new developments. Background: Rulemaking R.03-10-003 was initiated in October 2003 to implement portions of AB 117concerning Community Choice Aggregation. That Rulemaking is closed. One result of the proceeding was Decision 18-05-022issued on May 31, 2018 which established reentry fees and financial security requirements applicable to CCAs as required by Public Utilities Code Section 394.25(e). The IOUs were ordered to provide a Tier 1 Advice Letter detailing their costs and to identify that in their general rate cases. CCA parties assert that the Advice Letters submitted by the utilities are overly broad and exceed the scope permitted in D.18-05-022 because they would impose liability on returning CCA customers over and above the CCA Bond amount, permit the utility to dictate whether financial instruments and arrangements were satisfactory, and require that particular agreements drafted by the utility be used to satisfy a financial security amount.
  1. CCA Rulemaking03-10-003This was the original rulemaking that occurred between 2003 and 2005 to cross the Ts and dot the Is on CCA law.

Other regulatory matters:

Customer Choice Project. No update. This is an informal activity in progress that relates directly to CCAs, the California Customer Choice Project (formerly known as the “Green Book”). The Center submitted Comments on this matter in June 2018.

AB 2514 Energy Storage Mandate. Lastly, all LSEs in California are required to procure certain levels of storage under the Energy Storage Mandate in AB 2514. The CPUC oversees the implementation. Recent news is that due to CCA customers paying for IOU procurement of storage via nonbypassable charges, the obligation for CCAs to meet the mandate has been dismissed.

 

 

CPX Legislative Update – July 11 2019

Updated 7/11/19

Legislative Calendar Check: Tomorrow, July 12 is the last day for policy committees to meet and vote on bills. Summer Recess begins at the end of the day and the legislature reconvenes on Monday, August 12.

In total we are monitoring about 29 energy and/or climate-related bills, not all of which directly impact Community Choice Energy. Below is a selection of highlighted bills with a brief summary, The Center’s position, if any, and the status of the bill.

Bills we oppose:

AB 1054 (Holden, Mayes, Burke) – [Late-breaking UPDATE: AB 1054 passed out of the Assembly today, July 11. It is now off to the Governor’s desk]  This “urgency” bill is being fast-tracked through the legislature. By the time you read this it may already be a done deal. Clearly a move to avoid public scrutiny. For that reason alone this bill should be strongly opposed. The problems addressed in the bill have been with us since the session started in January but because Wall Street barked at regulators and the legislature about downgrading the utilities, all of a sudden we have an urgency bill that “must” be rammed through with virtually no public scrutiny by Friday July 12. This is shameful. And the proponents disingenuously claim that “we have been working on this for a long time.” The issue yes, this bill in print? Less than two weeks. On substance, why a “no” recommendation on this bill? In addition to the unnecessary rush, the bill should also be opposed on policy grounds.The bill is cloaked in a wildfire response bill, with wildfire survivors front & center in the proponents statements. But the bill is really all about many billions of dollars coming from electricity bill-payers to shore up the crumbling Investor-Owned utilities in the State. In addition to encumbering ratepayers with nonbypassable charges for decades to come, and no safeguard against rate increases, the bill includes a clause that is is completely outside of any wildfire concern, and it impacts Community Choice energy. It is a clause that empowers the CPUC to halt sales of IOU assets to other load serving entities and public entities. This could hobble emerging CCAs that may benefit by taking on assets that the IOUs no longer want or need. Status: AB 1054 was voted out of the Assembly on July 11.

AB 1584 (Quirk) – This bill impinges on Community Choice statutory procurement authority. It would allow the CPUC to set obligations for renewable energy “integration” and potentially for load management and demand response. It would require the CPUC to audit CCA compliance and allow the CPUC to buy any kind of resource it deems necessary to meet any un-procured resources and assign those costs to a CCA. This bill would effectively transfer significant planning and procurement rights from CCAs to the CPUC because all resources have some impact on renewable integration, which is a broad term meaning ensuring system reliability while increasing the percentage of energy from renewable sources. Status: The bill was amended in the Senate Energy Committee on July 2 and was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. No hearing date is set at this time.

SB 155 (Bradford) – This bill expands CPUC’s authority over CCA procurement and Integrated Resource Plans. Read the Center’s updated July Letter of Opposition. Status: SB 155 is currently double-referred to the Assembly Utilities and the Natural Resources Committees. SB 155 was voted out of the Asm Natural Resources Committee on July 8 and was referred to the Asm Committee on Appropriations with no hearing date set as of this update.

SB 676 (Bradford) – Another bill that would expand CPUC authority over CCAs. This bill would empower the CPUC to establish targets for electric vehicle grid integration and would grant the CPUC authority over CCA electric vehicle grid reliability activities, removing CCA authority over their EV programs. The general concept of promoting Vehicle-to-Grid integration is good, but removing CCA control would both slow down initiation and implementation of CCA-driven EV programs and almost certainly add considerable ratepayer costs. Status: SB 676 was voted out of the Asm Communications and Conveyance on July 10 and has been re-referred to the Asm Appropriations Committee.

SB-520 (Hertzberg) – This bill empowers the CPUC to determine what load serving entity should serve as the provider of last resort (POLR), based on certain criteria. Currently IOUs serve as the provider of last resort. Status: SB 520 passed out of the Asm Energy Committee and will next be heard on the Assembly Floor.

Bills we support:

AB 684 (Levine) – Read our Support Letter. Rules proposed in this bill would ensure that the infrastructure necessary for EV charging in multi-family dwellings is codified through multi-family building standards. Status: AB 684 was voted out of the Senate Housing Committee on July 2. It has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee with no hearing date set as of this update.

SB 246 (Wieckowski) – Read our Support Letter. – This bill, if enacted as written, will impose an oil and gas severance tax of upon any operator for the privilege of extracting oil or fossil gas from the earth or water in California. Status: This is a bill that requires a supermajority vote, meaning that two thirds of the legislature must approve it. Such bills are not encumbered by the usual committee process. It can be brought to committee/s or full Senate at any time at the author’s discretion.

Bills that either became two-year bills, were gutted and amended, or died:

AB 56 (Garcia) This bill would have empowered the CPUC to order energy procurement based on shortcomings in the Integrated Resource Plan submitted by Investor Owned Utilities, Direct Access providers, and CCAs.  The bill would have allowed the CPUC to require procurement on any perceived deficiency that may be 10 to 12 years out in the future. This makes no sense, given that so much lead time would allow a CCA to address any potential problem. Read the Center’s updated July Letter of Opposition. Status: AB 56 failed to pass out of the Senate Energy Committee at the July 10 hearing.

AB 1362 (O’Donnell) – This bill as originally written would have destroyed the utility “Code of Conduct” but was amended in May to a point of harmlessness.

SB 288 (Wiener) – The former “Solar Bill of Rights” is no more. The “SB 288” bill number is now a different subject altogether. Urge your representative to work with Senator Wiener to initiate a similar bill.

SB 350 (Hertzberg) – This bill would “authorize the CPUC to consider a multiyear centralized resource adequacy mechanism,” meaning, a central buyer, which would encroach on CCA statutory authority on procurement autonomy. This bill was a tandem bill with AB 56 that failed to pass the Senate Energy Committee. Status: Senator Hertzberg pulled the bill from the file at the July 10 Assembly Energy Committee. It is now a tw0-year bill.

SB 386 (Caballero) – Two-year bill. Read our Letter of Opposition. This bill would allow Turlock, Modesto, and Merced Irrigation Districts to count their large hydro assets (dams) toward their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) obligations. This would significantly impact progress with new renewables. These Irrigation Districts will already be able to count their dams as carbon-free pursuant to state policy on decarbonization and mechanisms are in place to protect low-income communities from any cost burdens. Status: On May 30 Senator Caballero announced that SB 386 would be a two-year bill. Expect the fight to continue in early 2020.

SB-772 (Bradford) – Two-year bill. Relates to procurement of long duration bulk energy storage. Concerns center on forcing the hand of CCA procurement. Status: On May 30 the bill was ordered to the inactive file on request of Senator Bradford.

SB 774 (Stern) – Two-year bill. 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: At the request of the author, SB 774 was placed in the inactive file on July 8.

For the complete list of bills we are monitoring click HERE.  Next CPX legislation update will be on Thursday, July 25.

 

San Mateo County Schools Receive Peninsula Clean Energy Funding to Monitor Environmental Impacts

Redwood City, CA—July 1, 2019 – Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) and the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) are partnering with the San Carlos School District to create a pilot online campus dashboard system that students, teachers, and administrators can use to understand the environmental impact of schools. The announcement was made at the kickoff for the San Mateo County Environmental Literacy Collaborative Clean Energy Teacher Fellowship, a six-month long curriculum development process supported by Peninsula Clean Energy.

The campus dashboard system will make data on environmental indicators, such as energy and water use, waste generation, and transportation methods, more transparent and accessible online. Teachers will be able to use the data in grades K-12 classroom instruction, students will be able to draw from the data for school and community projects, and administrators will be able to use the information to make more informed decisions that reflect their commitment to creating more sustainable schools. The U.S. Department of Energy says that K-12 schools nationwide spend over $3.3 billion on energy, which is more than they spend on textbooks and computers combined.

“These dashboards will offer schools instant access to data about how school facilities and operations contribute to greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jan Pepper, Peninsula Clean Energy CEO. “SMCOE and the San Carlos School District will pilot the dashboard program, and eventually we hope to help expand it into classrooms countywide to create real-time learning laboratories that are readily available to every student and teacher. That will encourage proactive participation by all to identify measures that will reduce energy usage and address climate change.”

The San Carlos School District (SCSD) will work with SMCOE to develop the dashboard and implement standards-aligned learning units that focus on the environmental, social, and economic impacts of energy generation and use. Peninsula Clean Energy will provide funding and technical assistance for the creation and implementation of the program.

The State of California has recognized SCSD for its success in integrating environmental literacy into its project-based curriculum as well as its innovative green schoolyards and facilities. District Superintendent Michelle Harmeier sees the dashboard as a logical next step in this work, adding, “The campus dashboard initiative will offer our district a very powerful tool to support both our environmental literacy efforts and school operations.”

The campus dashboard provides schools with an equitable means of teaching about resource conservation and environmental sustainability. Traditionally, teachers have asked students to bring in utility bills from home. Now, teachers can turn to the campus dashboard, which will provide all students with the same data.

“We are creating a model that will transform how schools teach students environmental literacy, shifting the focus from home-based energy data to the school community,” explained Nancy Magee, San Mateo Superintendent of Schools. “Everyone, from students to school boards, will have the same data and can work together to create more sustainable schools. Students can then share what they learn at school with their families, and begin conversations about energy use.”

Information about the dashboard program is available at peninsulacleanenergy.com/dashboard.

Dashboard Homepage Image
Waste Stream Image

About Peninsula Clean Energy
Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) is San Mateo County’s official electricity provider. PCE (www.PeninsulaCleanEnergy.com) is a public not-for-profit local community choice energy agency that provides all electric customers in San Mateo County with cleaner electricity at lower rates than those charged by the local incumbent utility. PCE saves customers an estimated $18 million a year. PCE, formed in March 2016, is a joint powers authority made up of the County of San Mateo and all 20 cities and towns in the County. PCE serves approximately 290,000 accounts.

About The San Mateo County Office of Education 
The San Mateo County Office of Education (http://www.smcoe.org) is committed to ensuring excellence and equity in education by inspiring students, investing in teachers, invigorating leaders, and involving communities.

Media Contacts: 
Tj Carter
Peninsula Clean Energy
tcarter (at) peninsulacleanenergy.com
M: 650.817.7052

Patricia Love
Strategy and Communication Administrator
San Mateo County Office of Education
plove (at) smcoe.org
T: 650.802.5559

Andra Yeghoian
Environmental Education Coordinator
San Mateo County Office of Education
ayeghoian (at) smcoe.org
T: 650.802.5406

CPX Regulatory Update for June 27, 2019

Updates for Thursday, June 27, 2019

A CPUC voting meeting is on schedule for today. Agenda is HERE. To log in to the livestream, click HERE.

At the end of the May 30 voting meeting, CPUC President Picker announced that he plans to retire as soon as the key wildfire proceedings are finalized and a replacement for him has been recruited by the Governor. In the video recording, his announcement is at the 2:15:25 to 2:17:25 mark (near the end). Also at this meeting the IOU wildfire mitigation plans were adopted. We have added the Net Energy Metering (NEM) Successor Tariff Rulemaking R.14-07-002 to the list of proceedings we are monitoring.

Below is a numbered list of the regulatory proceedings we are tracking, followed by a summary of new developments for each of the proceedings, if any. Note that these 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 visit http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/documents/

 

Regulatory Proceedings we are monitoring:

  1. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019
  2. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  17-06-026
  3. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
  4. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct 12-02-009
  5. Wildfire Cost Recovery 19-01-006
  6. Utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans (SB 901) 18-10-007
  7. PG&E Bankruptcy (no formal docket #)
  8. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  9. Distribution Resource Plans (DRP) 14-08-013 
  10. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  11. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  12. Direct Access 19-03-009
  13. NEM Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Closed proceedings that matter:

  1. CCA Bond and Re-Entry Fees – 03-10-003and 18-05-022
  2. CCA Rulemaking 03-10-003

Other non-adjudicatory activities:

  • Customer Choice Project
  • AB 2514 Implementation

 

  1. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation I. 15-08-019
  • June 13 – Decision D1906008 – Interim Decision Ordering Reporting Of Safety Experience and Qualifications Of The Board Of Directors Of Pacific Gas And Electric Company and PG&E Corporation And Establishing Advisory Panel On Corporate Governance.
  • June 18 – Ruling issued: Joint assigned commissioner’s and Administrative Law Judge’s ruling on proposals to improve the safety culture of Pacific Gas and Electric company and PG&E corporation. This ruling establishes a process for parties to comment on the proposals, comments to be filed and served by July 19, 2019. Reply Comments to be filed and served by August 2, 2019. Click HERE to download the Ruling.

Background: In this case, Center for Climate Protection is a Party to the Proceeding. Read our Opening Comments HERE. The Investigation originated after the San Bruno incident, and has been reinvigorated due to the 2017/18 wildfires. Two forums were held in this investigation in April. April 15 hearing can be found HERE, April 26 video is HERE. CPX staff attended both forums.

 

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

Working Group 3, Portfolio Optimization and Cost Reduction, and Allocation or Auction Mechanisms, is in progress, chaired by SCE, CalCCA, and Commercial Energy. This workshop focused on sales of excess attributes, including RA, bundled RPS energy, and voluntary allocation. Future workshops will tackle GHG free energy, brown energy, and allocations.

Next Steps:

  • Mid June – Second working group 3 meeting
  • June 21 – CalCCA Comments on proposed approaches
  • June 24 – Progress report expected

Background: Phase 2 of the PCIA proceeding has been underway since early 2019. Three working groups have been established to address various aspects going forward. The most important to Community Choice is Working Group 3 where opportunities for cost reduction are addressed. Group 3’s first report is expected in late June.

  1. Resource Adequacy – See June 14 comments of the California Community Choice Association on Track 3 Proposed Decision.

Also see:

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. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct – No new developments. AB 1362 in this year’s session as originally written would have been problematic relative to the Code of Conduct. The bill was amended to a point of harmlessness in May.

Background: Original CCA law, AB 117 stipulates that IOUs must “cooperate fully” with local governments pursuing Community Choice. In the mid-to-late 2000s, San Francisco, Marin, and the San Joaquin Valley experienced egregious disinformation campaigns waged by the incumbent utility for these jurisdictions against their efforts. The obstruction was documented in a series of California Senate Select Committee on Renewable Energy hearings in 2010 chaired by Senator Mark Leno. The result of the hearings was SB 790, which created an IOU Code of Conduct that prohibits IOUs from marketing against CCAs unless they establish a separate marketing division that does not use ratepayer funds, among other provisions.

 

  1. Wildfire Cost Recovery – There is currently bill relevant to this proceeding making its way through the legislative process. AB 235introduced by Chad Mayes (Dist. 42, Yucca Valley, R) The bill authorizes the CPUC, when determining recovery by an electrical corporation for costs and expenses arising from a catastrophic wildfire occurring on or after January 1, 2019, to consider the electrical corporation’s financial status and determine the maximum amount the corporation can pay without harming ratepayers or materially impacting the electrical corporation’s ability to provide adequate and safe service. The bill is now on the Senate Energy Committee with a hearing scheduled for July 2.
  • June 18 – Wildfire recovery costs estimated at $50B – Sac Bee
  • July 1, 2019 – Report expected from CPUC on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery.

Background: The CPUC’s R.19-01-006 is a proceeding to implement Public Utilities Code Section 451.2 regarding criteria and methodology for wildfire cost recovery pursuant to Senate Bill 901 (2018). Major questions include:

  • How much a utility can be required to pay out of pocket?
  • What are the costs that a utility can legitimately pass on to ratepayers?
  • What will be used as a cost recovery calculation methodology?

 

  1. Utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans (SB 901) 18-10-007

Updates:

  • IOU wildfire mitigation plans were approved at the May 30 CPUC voting meeting.
  • Assigned Commissioner and Administrative Law Judge’s June 14 Ruling launching Phase 2 of the Wildfire Mitigation Plan proceeding.

Background: Senate Bill 901 requires electric utilities to prepare and submit wildfire mitigation plans that describe the utilities’ plans to prevent, combat, and respond to wildfires affecting their service territories. Through a proceeding it opened on Oct. 25, 2018 (R.18-10-007), the CPUC will review the initial plans, and develop and refine the content of and process for review and implementation of wildfire mitigation plans to be filed in future years.

 

  1. PG&E Bankruptcy In addition to the above proceedings, we are also keeping a close eye on the PG&E bankruptcy, which is playing out in four arenas: the bankruptcy court, the CPUC, the CA State legislature, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Developments in June:

  • June 14 – CPUC orders PG&E to prove new Board is fit to serve: STORY
  • June 18 – PG&E settles claims with about a dozen local governments over wildfires

 

  1. Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) (Proceeding # R.16-02-007) – 

Updates:

  • June 20 – Assigned commissioner and Administrative Law Judge’s RULING initiating procurement track and seeking comment on potential reliability issues. Comments are due no later than July 15, 2019. Reply comments are due no later than July 25, 2019.

Background: On April 25 the CPUC unanimously approved a Proposed Decision that approves or certifies 20 individual LSE IRPs. Grants exemptions to 9 LSEs. Requires another 19 LSEs to refile their individual IRPs as Tier 2 advice letters, with additional information about the criteria pollutants associated with serving their load. It also adopts a Preferred System Portfolio to use as the basis for future planning and to transfer to the CAISO for use in its Transmission Planning Process (TPP) as the reliability base case and policy-driven base case. Lastly, it requires LSEs serving load in the territory of PG&E to include in their next IRPs a section addressing retirement of Diablo Canyon. The decision primarily relies on Community Choice agencies to procure the new clean energy resources the State needs over the next decade to achieve California’s renewable energy and GHG emissions reduction targets attributable to the State’s electricity sector. A video of the proceeding is HERE. Item 51 on the agenda. The CPUC’s action represents a major vote of confidence in the critical role CCAs are playing in California’s rapidly evolving energy system.

 

  1. Distribution Resource Plans – No update. Background: This proceeding consolidates numerous previous proceedings and seeks to establish policies and rules for IOUs to develop Distribution Resources Plan Proposals, and to evaluate the IOUs’ infrastructure and planning to incorporate distributed energy resources (DERs) into their systems. There are three parallel and concurrent Tracks in this proceeding. Track 1 concerns methodological issues. Track 2 concerns demonstration and pilot projects. Track 3 concerns policy issues.  Decisions have been issued on all three tracks, but there are still residual issues and new issues being addressed.

 

  1. Renewable Portfolio Standard – New developments:
  • May 31, 2019 – IOUs, ESPs, and CCA RPS procurement plans deadline.
  • June 28 – Comments on plans and coordination with IRP proceeding.
  • July 12 – Deadline for Motion to request evidentiary hearings.
  • July 12 – Reply comments on RPS plans.
  • August 1 – Updates to RPS procurement plans.
  • Fourth Quarter 2019 – Proposed Decision.

Background: The RPS program implements SB 350 and SB 100 by requiring all LSEs to increase their procurement of renewable energy to 44% by 2024, 52% by 2027, 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2045.

 

  1. Integrated DER – No new developments. Recent ALJ Rulingdirecting responses to post-March 4-5, 2019 Workshop questions. 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 Planpublished in 2016 remains in draft form.

 

  1. Direct Access Rulemaking (SB 237) – No new developments.  On March 14, 2019 CPUC issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) for proceeding R. 19-03-009 regarding implementation of Senate Bill 237(SB 237 – Hertzberg) concerning expansion of the Direct Access (DA) program. DA is available to non-residential customers. Background: DA access was restricted after the energy crisis by SB 1X. DA access is currently capped and accessible via a lottery system, with 7,603 GWh of load on the waitlist. SB 237 increases the maximum total annual kilowatt-hours allowed under the DA program by a total of 4,000 GWh apportioned among the three IOU service territories. That increase must be implemented by June 1, 2019. SB 237 also gives CPUC until June 1, 2020 to provide the legislature with guidance on expanding DA access to all interested non-residential customers. The proceeding will have two phases to address the two mandates.

 

  1. NEM Successor Tariff Rulemaking R.14-07-002

Pursuant to direction in the NEM Successor Tariff Decision, the Commission will review the NEM successor tariff some time in 2019, when the proceedings related to distributed energy resources are completed and after default TOU rates are implemented. Energy Division staff will 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

Closed proceedings that matter:

 

  1. CCA Bond Requirements and Re-entry Fees – No new developments. Background: Rulemaking R.03-10-003 was initiated in October 2003 to implement portions of AB 117concerning Community Choice Aggregation. That Rulemaking is closed. One result of the proceeding was Decision 18-05-022issued on May 31, 2018 which established reentry fees and financial security requirements applicable to CCAs as required by Public Utilities Code Section 394.25(e). The IOUs were ordered to provide a Tier 1 Advice Letter detailing their costs and to identify that in their general rate cases. CCA parties assert that the Advice Letters submitted by the utilities are overly broad and exceed the scope permitted in D.18-05-022 because they would impose liability on returning CCA customers over and above the CCA Bond amount, permit the utility to dictate whether financial instruments and arrangements were satisfactory, and require that particular agreements drafted by the utility be used to satisfy a financial security amount.

 

  1. CCA Rulemaking03-10-003This was the original rulemaking that occurred between 2003 and 2005 to cross the Ts and dot the Is on CCA law.

Other regulatory matters:

 

Customer Choice Project. No update. This is an informal activity in progress that relates directly to CCAs, the California Customer Choice Project (formerly known as the “Green Book”). The Center submitted Comments on this matter in June 2018.

 

AB 2514 Energy Storage Mandate. Lastly, all LSEs in California are required to procure certain levels of storage under the Energy Storage Mandate in AB 2514. The CPUC oversees the implementation. Recent news is that due to CCA customers paying for IOU procurement of storage via nonbypassable charges, the obligation for CCAs to meet the mandate has been dismissed.

 

 

 

 

CPX Legislation Update – June 27, 2019

Several bills still in progress would erode CCA procurement and programmatic authority. In total we are monitoring about 28 energy and/or climate-related bills, not all of which directly impact Community Choice Energy. Below is a selection of highlighted bills with a brief summary, the Center’s position, if any, and the status of the bill.

Bills we oppose:

 

AB 56 (Garcia) – This bill originally conferred broad procurement authority to the CPUC. It has been amended to empower only “backstop” procurement. Still, we see it as unnecessary. Read CCP’s initial Letter of Opposition. Status: AB 56 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Energy Committee on July 2.

AB 1584 (Quirk) This bill would expand CPUC authority over CCAs. It would allow the CPUC to set obligations for renewable energy “integration” and potentially for load management and demand response. It would require the CPUC to audit CCA compliance and allow the CPUC to buy any kind of resource it deems necessary to meet any un-procured resources and assign those costs to a CCA. This bill could effectively transfer significant planning and procurement rights from CCAs to the CPUC because all resources have some impact on renewable integration, which is a broad term meaning ensuring system reliability while increasing the percentage of energy from renewable sources. Status: The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Energy Committee on July 2.

SB 155 (Bradford) – This bill expands CPUC’s authority over CCA procurement and Integrated Resource Plans. Read our Letter of Opposition. Status: SB 155 is currently double-referred to the Assembly Utilities and the Natural Resources Committees. No hearing dates set as of 6/24/19.

SB 350 (Hertzberg) – This bill would “authorize the CPUC to consider a multiyear centralized resource adequacy mechanism,” meaning, a central buyer, which would encroach on CCA statutory authority on procurement autonomy. Status: The bill is in the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee with a hearing set for July 10 @ 1:30pm.

SB 386 (Caballero) – Read our Letter of Opposition. This bill would allow Turlock, Modesto, and Merced Irrigation Districts to count their large hydro assets (dams) toward their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) obligations. This would significantly impact progress with renewables. These Irrigation Districts will already be able to count their dams as carbon-free pursuant to state policy on decarbonization and mechanisms are in place to protect low-income communities. Status: On May 30 Senator Caballero announced that SB 386 would be a two-year bill. Expect the fight to continue in early 2020.

SB 676 (Bradford) – Another bill that would expand CPUC authority over CCAs. This bill would empower the CPUC to establish targets for electric vehicle grid integration and would grant the CPUC authority over CCA electric vehicle grid reliability activities, removing CCA authority over their EV programs. The general concept of promoting EV-Grid integration is good, but removing CCA control would both slow down initiation and implementation of CCA-driven EV programs and almost certainly add considerable ratepayer costs. Status: SB 676 is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Utilities Committee on July 3.

SB-520 (Hertzberg) – This bill empowers the CPUC to determine what load serving entity should serve as the provider of last resort (POLR), based on certain criteria. Currently IOUs serve as the provider of last resort. Status: SB 520 has been set for a hearing on July 3 @ 1:30 p.m.

 

Key Community Choice Energy-related bills to watch:

SB 774 (Stern) – This bill 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. As currently written, the bill would exclude all except IOUs from participating in microgrid development. Community Choice advocates are working with the bill author to amend the bill to include CCAs as participants. Status: SB 774 is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Utilities Committee on July 10.

Note: SB-772 (Bradford), a bill we have been tracking but not reporting on has become a 2-year bill. Subject: Long duration bulk energy storage: procurement. Status: On May 30 the bill was ordered to the inactive file on request of Senator Bradford.

Note: AB 1362, that bill that as originally written would have destroyed the utility “Code of Conduct” was amended in May to a point of harmlessness.

Bills we support:

AB 684 (Levine) – Read our Support Letter. Rules proposed in this bill would ensure that the infrastructure necessary for EV charging in multi-family dwellings is codified through multi-family building standards. Status: AB 684 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Housing Committee on July 2.

SB 246 (Wieckowski) – Read our Support Letter. – This bill, if enacted as written, will impose an oil and gas severance tax of upon any operator for the privilege of extracting oil or fossil gas from the earth or water in California. Status: This is a bill that requires a supermajority vote, meaning that two thirds of the legislature must approve it. Such bills are not encumbered by the usual committee process. It can be brought to committee/s or full Senate at any time at the author’s discretion.

SB 288 (Wiener) – The former “Solar Bill of Rights” is no more. The “SB 288” bill number is now a different subject altogether. Urge your representative to work with Senator Wiener to revive a similar bill.

For the complete list of bills we are monitoring click HERE.  Next CPX legislation update will be on Thursday, July 11.

 

Agency’s effort to retire Oakland power plant moves forward

An old fossil-fuel burning power plant in Oakland’s Jack London Square area is one step closer to being replaced with cleaner energy sources.

The board of East Bay Community Energy, an Alameda County agency that buys green power for local residents, on Wednesday approved a contract with the plant’s owner for an 80-megawatt-hour battery installation that will pave the way for the closure of the plant, whose equipment is about 40 years old.

While the Martin Luther King Jr. Way plant is used only a few times annually when demand in the area is especially high, local officials have wanted to shut it down for years.

State grid managers last year approved a plan to swap the facility out with cleaner energy, including storage. The East Bay energy agency and Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which still controls the power lines in the area, subsequently sought proposals to wind down the plant.

Read more

How California became far more energy-efficient than the rest of the country

The Trump administration is currently attempting to stop California from setting its own pollution standards for automobiles. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has proposedfreezing federal fuel economy standards for 10 years (a measure so extreme that even automakers oppose it), but as things stand, California has a waiver under the Clean Air Act that allows it to opt out of federal standards and implement its own vehicle standards. Other states are also allowed to opt for California’s standards if they so choose, which 12 states and Washington, DC, have done.

If Trump sets absurdly lax standards, more states are likely to defect to California’s. So the EPA has set out to deny the state its waiver. There’s going to be a whole huge legal fight over it.

These aren’t just any standards, and this isn’t just any fight. Trump’s EPA is going after California because of the state’s long and, to this administration, dangerous history of dragging the nation forward on clean energy and energy efficiency — precisely by using ambitious performance standards.

California boosters often note that the state has become more energy-efficient than the rest of the US, which has helped keep its residents’ energy bills low even as the per-unit cost of energy increases. Skeptics have said that the state is merely taking credit for the effects of a temperate climate and copious natural resources, including hydroelectric power.

Oddly, no one seems to have run the numbers on it, to figure out whether California really is a leader or if it’s just lucky. But now, in a report for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ralph Cavanagh, Peter Miller, and Charlie Komanoff gathered the official statistics, made the spreadsheet, and dug into the question of whether California really is doing something right.

The answer: yes. It is.

Read more

CPX Regulatory Update for May 30, 2019

The biggest change for this update is that we have added the Net Energy Metering (NEM) Successor Tariff Rulemaking R.14-07-002 to the list of proceedings we are monitoring. Most of the activity over the past month has been in the Wildfire Mitigation Plans proceeding.

Below is a numbered list of the regulatory proceedings we are tracking, followed by a summary of new developments for each of the proceedings, if any. Note that these 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 visit http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/documents/

Regulatory Proceedings we are monitoring:

  1. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation I.15-08-019
  2. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  R.17-06-026
  3. Resource Adequacy (RA) R.17-09-020
  4. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct R.12-02-009
  5. Wildfire Cost Recovery R.19-01-006
  6. Utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans (SB 901) R.18-10-007
  7. PG&E Bankruptcy (no formal docket #)
  8. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) R.16-02-007
  9. Distribution Resource Plans (DRP) R.14-08-013 
  10. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) R.18-07-003
  11. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources R.4-10-003
  12. Direct Access R.19-03-009
  13. NEM Successor Tariff R.14-07-002

Closed proceedings that matter:

  1. CCA Bond and Re-Entry Fees – 03-10-003 and 18-05-022
  2. CCA Rulemaking 03-10-003

Other non-adjudicatory activities:

  • Customer Choice Project
  • AB 2514 Implementation

 

1. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation I. 15-08-019 – Two forums were held in this investigation in April. April 15 hearing can be found HERE, April 26 video is HERE. CPX staff attended both forums. Developments as of early May:

Next Steps: June 13, 2019 – Earliest vote on the Proposed Decision.

Background: In this case, Center for Climate Protection is a Party to the Proceeding. Read our Opening Comments HERE. The Investigation originated after the San Bruno incident, and has been reinvigorated due to the 2017/18 wildfires.

 

2. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) (Proceeding #R.17-06-026)

On Monday April 29, 2019 Working Group 3 in the PCIA proceeding held a workshop regarding options to manage excess IOU resources. Working Group 3 is chaired by SCE, CalCCA, and Commercial Energy. Working Group 3’s topic is Portfolio Optimization and Cost Reduction, and Allocation or Auction Mechanisms. This workshop focused on sales of excess attributes, including RA, bundled RPS energy, and voluntary allocation. Future workshops will tackle GHG free energy, brown energy, and allocations. In the future it is possible that the Working Group will discuss Total Portfolio Sales, whereby the IOU would put up for sale or auction all the resources in its portfolio and then buy back the resources they need. The IOUs are highly resistant to that idea.

Next Steps:

  • Mid June – Second working group 3 meeting.
  • June 24 – Progress report.

Background: Phase 2 of the PCIA proceeding has been underway since early 2019. Three working groups have been established to address various aspects going forward. The most important to Community Choice is Working Group 3 where opportunities for cost reduction are addressed. Group 3’s first report is expected in late June.

 

3. Resource Adequacy – The Track 2 Central Buyer Workshop was held on Wednesday, May 15. The topic of the workshop revolved around alternatives to a central procurement entity. The meeting was held in the CPUC Auditorium in SF. No recording available.

Also see:

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.

 

4. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct – No new developments. Background: Original CCA law, AB 117 stipulates that IOUs must “cooperate fully” with local governments pursuing Community Choice. In the mid-to-late 2000s, San Francisco, Marin, and the San Joaquin Valley experienced egregious disinformation campaigns waged by the incumbent utility for these jurisdictions against their efforts. The obstruction was documented in a series of California Senate Select Committee on Renewable Energy hearings in 2010 chaired by Senator Mark Leno. The result of the hearings was SB 790, which created an IOU Code of Conduct that prohibits IOUs from marketing against CCAs unless they establish a separate marketing division that does not use ratepayer funds, among other provisions.

 

5. Wildfire Cost Recovery – New Developments: There is currently bill relevant to this proceeding making its way through the legislative process. AB 235 introduced by Chad Mayes (Dist. 42, Yucca Valley, R) The bill authorizes the CPUC, when determining recovery by an electrical corporation for costs and expenses arising from a catastrophic wildfire occurring on or after January 1, 2019, to consider the electrical corporation’s financial status and determine the maximum amount the corporation can pay without harming ratepayers or materially impacting the electrical corporation’s ability to provide adequate and safe service. It is very much a work in progress and was voted out of the Assembly on May 22. It is now on the Senate side of the legislature.

  • May 2019 – Target date for CPUC approval of IOU Wildfire Mitigation Plans.
  • July 1, 2019 – Report from Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery.

Background: The CPUC’s R.19-01-006 is a proceeding to implement Public Utilities Code Section 451.2 regarding criteria and methodology for wildfire cost recovery pursuant to Senate Bill 901 (2018). Major questions include:

  • How much a utility can be required to pay out of pocket?
  • What are the costs that a utility can legitimately pass on to ratepayers?
  • What will be used as a cost recovery calculation methodology?

 

6. Utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans (SB 901) 18-10-007

Senate Bill 901 requires electric utilities to prepare and submit wildfire mitigation plans that describe the utilities’ plans to prevent, combat, and respond to wildfires affecting their service territories. Through a proceeding it opened on Oct. 25, 2018 (R.18-10-007), the CPUC will review the initial plans, and develop and refine the content of and process for review and implementation of wildfire mitigation plans to be filed in future years.

 

7. PG&E Bankruptcy (Wildfires, restructuring, bankruptcy court, CA Senate oversight hearings, US District Court) In addition to the above proceedings, we are also keeping a close eye on the PG&E bankruptcy, which is playing out in four arenas: the bankruptcy court, the CPUC, the CA State legislature, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Developments in May:

  • PG&E’s Quarterly Earnings Report has revealed an SEC investigation. Statement by PG&E.
  • PG&E hires former TVA CEO Bill Johnson.
  • New board of directors members Richard Barrera, Jeffrey Bleich, Nora Mead Brownell, Fred Buckman, Cheryl Campbell, Michael Leffell, Kenneth Liang, Dominique Mielle, Meridee Moore, Kristine Schmidt and Alejandro Wolff join continuing directors Fred Fowler and Eric Mullins.
  • PG&E will propose increasing its Board to 15 directors at the Annual Shareholders Meeting.
  • US District Court Probation Order suspending dividends until PG&E complies with vegetation management and wildfire mitigation plan.

 

8. Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) (Proceeding # R.16-02-007) – Developments: On April 25 the CPUC unanimously approved a Proposed Decision that approves or certifies 20 individual LSE IRPs. Grants exemptions to 9 LSEs. Requires another 19 LSEs to refile their individual IRPs as Tier 2 advice letters, with additional information about the criteria pollutants associated with serving their load. It also adopts a Preferred System Portfolio to use as the basis for future planning and to transfer to the CAISO for use in its Transmission Planning Process (TPP) as the reliability base case and policy-driven base case. Lastly, it requires LSEs serving load in the territory of PG&E to include in their next IRPs a section addressing retirement of Diablo Canyon. The decision primarily relies on Community Choice agencies to procure the new clean energy resources the State needs over the next decade to achieve California’s renewable energy and GHG emissions reduction targets attributable to the State’s electricity sector. A video of the proceeding is HERE. Item 51 on the agenda. The CPUC’s action represents a major vote of confidence in the critical role CCAs are playing in California’s rapidly evolving energy system.

 

9. Distribution Resource Plans – No update. Background: This proceeding consolidates numerous previous proceedings and seeks to establish policies and rules for IOUs to develop Distribution Resources Plan Proposals, and to evaluate the IOUs’ infrastructure and planning to incorporate distributed energy resources (DERs) into their systems. There are three parallel and concurrent Tracks in this proceeding. Track 1 concerns methodological issues. Track 2 concerns demonstration and pilot projects. Track 3 concerns policy issues.  Decisions have been issued on all three tracks, but there are still residual issues and new issues being addressed.

 

10. Renewable Portfolio Standard – New developments:

  • May 31, 2019 – IOUs, ESPs, and CCA RPS procurement plans deadline.
  • June 28 – Comments on plans and coordination with IRP proceeding.
  • July 12 – Deadline for Motion to request evidentiary hearings.
  • July 12 – Reply comments on RPS plans.
  • August 1 – Updates to RPS procurement plans.
  • Fourth Quarter 2019 – Proposed Decision.

Background: The RPS program implements SB 350 and SB 100 by requiring all LSEs to increase their procurement of renewable energy to 44% by 2024, 52% by 2027, 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2045.

 

11. Integrated DER – No new developments. Recent ALJ Ruling directing responses to post-March 4-5, 2019 Workshop questions. 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.

 

12. Direct Access Rulemaking (SB 237) – No new developments.  On March 14, 2019 CPUC issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) for proceeding R. 19-03-009 regarding implementation of Senate Bill 237 (SB 237 – Hertzberg) concerning expansion of the Direct Access (DA) program. DA is available to non-residential customers. Background: DA access was restricted after the energy crisis by SB 1X. DA access is currently capped and accessible via a lottery system, with 7,603 GWh of load on the waitlist. SB 237 increases the maximum total annual kilowatt-hours allowed under the DA program by a total of 4,000 GWh apportioned among the three IOU service territories. That increase must be implemented by June 1, 2019. SB 237 also gives CPUC until June 1, 2020 to provide the legislature with guidance on expanding DA access to all interested non-residential customers. The proceeding will have two phases to address the two mandates.

 

13. NEM Successor Tariff  Rulemaking R.14-07-002

Pursuant to direction in the NEM Successor Tariff Decision, the Commission will review the NEM successor tariff some time in 2019, when the proceedings related to distributed energy resources are completed and after default TOU rates are implemented. Energy Division staff will 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

 

Closed proceedings that matter:

 

14. CCA Bond Requirements and Re-entry Fees – No new developments. Background: Rulemaking R.03-10-003 was initiated in October 2003 to implement portions of AB 117 concerning Community Choice Aggregation. That Rulemaking is closed. One result of the proceeding was Decision 18-05-022 issued on May 31, 2018 which established reentry fees and financial security requirements applicable to CCAs as required by Public Utilities Code Section 394.25(e). The IOUs were ordered to provide a Tier 1 Advice Letter detailing their costs and to identify that in their general rate cases. CCA parties assert that the Advice Letters submitted by the utilities are overly broad and exceed the scope permitted in D.18-05-022 because they would impose liability on returning CCA customers over and above the CCA Bond amount, permit the utility to dictate whether financial instruments and arrangements were satisfactory, and require that particular agreements drafted by the utility be used to satisfy a financial security amount.

 

15. CCA Rulemaking 03-10-003 This was the original rulemaking that occurred between 2003 and 2005 to cross the Ts and dot the Is on CCA law.

 

Other regulatory matters:

 

Customer Choice Project. No update. This is an informal activity in progress that relates directly to CCAs, the California Customer Choice Project (formerly known as the “Green Book”). The Center submitted Comments on this matter in June 2018.

 

AB 2514 Energy Storage Mandate. Lastly, all LSEs in California are required to procure certain levels of storage under the Energy Storage Mandate in AB 2514. The CPUC oversees the implementation. Recent news is that due to CCA customers paying for IOU procurement of storage via nonbypassable charges, the obligation for CCAs to meet the mandate has been dismissed.

 

 

 

 

CPX Legislation Update for May 30, 2019

Note: we will be on Summer vacation for most of June. There will be no update on June 13. Our next CPX legislation update will be on June 27.

The key highlighted bill remains AB 56, which would erode CCA procurement authority. See below. Other than that, we are monitoring about 28 energy and/or climate-related bills, not all of which directly impact Community Choice Energy. This is a very active and unusual session due to the catastrophic wildfires and the implications for the delivery utilities that have been found responsible in some instances. On April 12, Governor Newsom’s “Strike Force” released “Wildfires and Climate Change: California’s Energy Future” that challenged the Legislature to revise state laws on utilities’ wildfire liabilities, presenting lawmakers with a series of potentially controversial strategies to shield electric companies from growing costs fueled by the global climate crisis. CCA advocates should read it as it mentions Community Choice several times.

Bills we oppose:

Action Alert: Tell your representative to vote NO on AB 56
AB 56 (Garcia) is all about central procurement of electricity and grants far too much authority to the CPUC to procure electricity. In its current form, this bill is nothing more than a power grab by the CPUC. The authority granted to the CPUC would significantly scale back local control—and create significant problems for your local electricity provider. CalCCA members have testified before the legislature for months about their support for a central buyer model that would create a true “backstop” to address reliability issues across the grid. They are prepared to work with the author and other stakeholders to address this clearly identified need and problem. However, as currently drafted, AB 56 grants far too much authority to the CPUC to procure any energy resources as they see fit. Read CCP’s initial Letter of Opposition. Status: As of this May 30 update, the bill is still on the Assembly Floor, item 11 today.

CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE  and urge them to vote NO on AB 56.

AB 1584 (Quirk) This bill would expand CPUC authority over CCAs. It would allow the CPUC to set obligations for renewable energy “integration” and potentially for load management and demand response. It would require the CPUC to audit CCA compliance and allow the CPUC to buy any kind of resource it deems necessary to meet any un-procured resources and assign those costs to a CCA. This bill could effectively transfer significant planning and procurement rights from CCAs to the CPUC because all resources have some impact on renewable integration, which is a broad term meaning ensuring system reliability while increasing the percentage of energy from renewable sources. Status: The bill was passed out of the Assembly on May 22 and has been assigned to the Senate Energy Committee.

SB 155 (Bradford) – This bill expands CPUC’s authority over CCA procurement and Integrated Resource Plans. Status: SB 155 was voted out of the Senate on May 20 and is now on Assembly side. Read first time, no committee assignment yet.

SB 350 (Hertzberg) – This bill would “authorize the CPUC to consider a multiyear centralized resource adequacy mechanism,” meaning, a central buyer, which would encroach on CCA statutory authority on procurement autonomy. Status: The bill passed out of the Senate and is now in the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee with no hearing date set as of this update.

SB 386 (Caballero) – Read our Letter of Opposition. This bill would allow Turlock, Modesto, and Merced Irrigation Districts to count their large hydro assets (dams) toward their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) obligations. This would significantly impact progress with renewables. These Irrigation Districts will already be able to count their dams as carbon-free pursuant to state policy on decarbonization and mechanisms are in place to protect low-income communities. Status: The bill was amended on May 29 and was ordered to a second reading on the Senate Floor.

SB 676 (Bradford) – Another bill that would expand CPUC authority over CCAs. This bill would empower the CPUC to establish targets for electric vehicle grid integration and would grant the CPUC authority over CCA electric vehicle grid reliability activities, removing CCA authority over their EV programs. The general concept of promoting smart EV charging is good, but removing CCA control would both slow down initiation and  implementation of CCA-driven EV programs and almost certainly add considerable ratepayer costs. Status: The bill passed out of the Senate to the Assembly on May 20. No committee assignment as of May 30.

Key Community Choice Energy-related bills to watch:

SB-520 (Hertzberg) – This bill empowers the CPUC to determine what load serving entity should serve as the provider of last resort (POLR), based on certain criteria, as outlined. Currently IOUs serve as the provider of last resort. Status: SB 520 was voted out of the Senate unanimously on May 21. It is on the Assembly side with no committee assignment as of this update.

SB 774 (Stern) – This bill would require IOUs to collaborate with the 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. As currently written, the bill would exclude all except IOUs from participating in microgrid development. Community Choice advocates are working with the bill author to amend the bill to include CCAs as participants. Status: The bill was voted out of the Senate on May 23 and is now on the Assembly side with no committee assignment as of this update.

Bills we support:

Alert! SB 288 has been gutted and must be restored to be meaningful! SB 288 (Wiener) “Solar Bill of Rights” –  Status: 288 was voted out of the Senate unanimously on May 23, but was gutted. For details on that, see this article in PV Magazine. The bill is now on the Assembly side with no committee assignment as of this update. Read our initial Support Letter. If enacted as written, this bill would require a number of provisions to support the deployment of customer-sited solar and other distributed energy resources, specifically energy storage systems. For the latest visit the bill sponsor Solar Rights Alliance’s Solar Bill of Rights page.

SB 246 (Wieckowski) – Read our Support Letter. – This bill, if enacted as written, will impose an oil and gas severance tax of upon any operator for the privilege of extracting oil or fossil gas from the earth or water in California. Status: This is a bill that requires a supermajority vote, meaning that two thirds of the legislature must approve it. such bills are not encumbered by the usual committee process. It can be brought to committee/s or full Senate at any time at the author’s discretion.

AB 684 (Levine) – Read our Support Letter. – Rules proposed in this bill would ensure that the infrastructure necessary for EV charging in multi-family dwellings is codified through multi-family building standards. Status: AB 684 was passed out of the Assembly on May 23 and is in its first reading on the Senate side. No committee assignment as of this update.

SB 255 (Bradford) – A Bradford CCA bill to support? SB 255 would require each CCA with gross annual revenues exceeding $1,000,000 to annually submit a plan to the CPUC for increasing procurement from small, local, and diverse business enterprises in all categories, including, but not limited to, renewable energy, energy storage system, and smart grid projects. The bill would also require CCAs to submit an annual report to the CPUC regarding their procurement from women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises. (Note: Senator Steven Bradford is well-known among the Community Choice community as the author of 2014’s AB 2145, a bill that would have destroyed Community Choice if it had prevailed. It died in the Senate.). Status: 255 made it out of the Senate on May 21 on a unanimous vote. It is on the Assembly side in its first reading. No committee assignment as of this May 30 update.

For the complete list of bills we are monitoring click HERE.  Note: we will be on Summer vacation for most of June. Our next CPX legislation update will be on June 27.