CPX Regulatory Update for January 23, 2020

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 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 click on the proceeding number below or visit http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/documents/ Please contact us at info[at]cleanpowerexhange.org to report any errors or broken links.

Brief Notes:
  • The next CPUC voting meeting is scheduled for February 6 in Bakersfield. See AGENDA (Click on “current 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.
  • January 22 – PG&E Bankruptcy update: Gov. Gavin Newsom filed a formal objection to PG&E’s bankruptcy plan and reiterated his willingness to take over the utility as a last resort. Story in the Sacramento Bee.
  • January 18 – Wildfire payments claims tug-of-war between FEMA and PG&E. Article in Chico Enterprise.
Regulatory Proceedings we are monitoring:
  1. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking R.19-09-009
  2. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019
  3. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) R.12-11-005
  4. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  17-06-026
  5. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
  6. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  7. Distribution Resource Plans (DRP) 14-08-013 
  8. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  9. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  10. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct 12-02-009
  11. Direct Access 19-03-009
  12. 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. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking R.19-09-009

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

Key Documents:

Recent Developments:

  • January 21 – CPUC staff and IOU Resiliency proposals filed; ALJ Ruling seeking comments on Track 1. (note: many parties, including The Climate Center, have submitted a request for an extension of the comment period)
  • December 30, 2019: Ruling Directing Respondents to Address Ruling Questions as Part of Their January 21, 2020 Proposal
  • December 20, 2019: Scoping Ruling.

Next Steps:

  • January 30 – Comments on the resiliency proposals due (note: many parties, including The Climate Center, have submitted a request for an extension of the comment period)
  • February 6 – Reply comments on resiliency proposals due
  • Summer 2020 – Track 1 concludes.

 

2. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

Key Documents:

  • June 18 CPUC Order seeking proposals to improve PG&E safety culture
  • July 19 Climate Center Comments

Recent Developments:

  • December 13 – Letter from several LSEs, including a CCA, to CPUC Commissioners expressing interest in taking ownership of PG&E grid assets

Next Steps:

  • May 8, 2020 is the deadline for the conclusion of this investigation; it is not clear what steps may be taken prior to May 8

 

3. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) R.12-11-005

The Climate Center’s filing for Party status was filed on January 3rd, 2020 and is pending.

Key Documents:

Recent Developments:

  • January 18, 2020 – Commission heat pump workshop
  • December 19, 2019 – Proposed Decision.  This Decision grants the joint Petition for Modification filed by Southern California Gas Company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and the Center for Sustainable Energy and modifies Decision (D.) 11-09-015 and D.16-06-055 to remove the Self-Generation Incentive Program application fee for residential projects.

Next Steps:

  • January 31, 2020 – Administrators to submit Tier 1 advice letter containing final SGIP accounting data as of December 31, 2019
  • February 6, 2020 – Earliest possible vote on whether to remove the SGIP application fee for residential projects
  • April 1, 2020 – SGIP modifications effective.

 

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

Key Documents:

Recent Developments:

  • January 22, ALJ Ruling to modify the proceeding schedule for Working Group Three
  • December 11 Working Group 3 Presentation
  • December 9, 2019: Working Group 2 Final Report (Prepayment Issues)

Next Steps:

  • Q1 2020 – Proposed Decision on Working Group 2 issues
  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Working Group 3 issues

 

5. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020

Key Documents:

Recent Developments:

  • January 14, 2020 – Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling on Energy Division’s Resource Adequacy State of the Market Report [Energy Division’s second Resource Adequacy State of the Market report is attached to this ruling as Appendix A]
  • December 23. 2019 – Order granting CalCCA’s request for a stay of D.19-10-021 (Decision Affirming Resource Adequacy Import Rules)
  • November 17, 2019 – New RA Proceeding for 2020/2021 R.19-11-009

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.

 

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

Key Documents:

Recent Developments:

  • January 3, 2020 – Administrative Law Judge’s Final Baseline Ruling finalizing a baseline for purposes of procurement required by Decision 19-11-016

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).

 

7. Distribution Resource Plans (DRP) 14-08-013 

Key Documents: See Proceeding

Recent Developments:

  • November 21, 2019: Notice of Reassignment of Commissioner [R.14-08-013, A.15-07-002, A.15-07-003 and A.15-07-006] are being reassigned to President Marybel Batjer
  • November 8, 2019: Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling requesting comments on possible improvements to the 2020 Distribution Investment Deferred Framework process. Opening comments shall be filed and served by January 17, 2020. Reply comments shall be filed and served by January 31, 2020.

Background: This proceeding consolidates numerous proceedings and seeks to establish policies, procedures, and rules for investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs) to develop Distribution Resources Plan (DRP) Proposals, and to evaluate the IOUs’ infrastructure and planning to incorporating distributed energy resources into their systems. There are 3 parallel and concurrent Tracks in this proceeding. Track 1 concerns methodological issues. Track 2 concerns demonstration and pilot projects. Track 3 concerns policy issues. Track 3 also has 3 Sub-tracks. Although Decisions have been issued on all Tracks, there remain residual issues as well as newly identified issues within the scope of the proceeding.

 

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

Recent Developments:

  • December 19, 2019: Final Decision on 2019 RPS Plans. (and Proposed Decision on 2019 RPS Plans)
    • CCAs shall demonstrate, describe, and timeline actions necessary for 2019 procurement plan compliance within 30 days of 12/30/19
    • CCAs shall plan for the long-term procurement compliance period 2021-2024
    • CCAs shall furnish the CPUC copies of any contracts they enter into no later than 30 days following the date they intend to serve load, and in no event later than August 1, 2020
    • By March 31, 2020, Energy Division shall initiate stakeholder workshops before filing of the 2020 draft RPS Plans
    • RPS and IRP filings shall be consolidated
    • All LSEs shall analyze the impact of economic curtailment, over-generation or oversupply events on their individual resource portfolios in their future RPS Procurement Plans
    • PG&E’s Renewable Energy Credit sales framework is approved with modifications. The pricing that PG&E seeks is rejected; PG&E may use its previously approved price floor methodology or the methodology proposed by the Public Advocates Office
    • For 2020, CCAs and Electric Service Providers (ESPs) shall include more granular information regarding planning in the next annual procurement plan cycle, beyond a general statement that they will comply with the Renewables Portfolio Standard requirements and upcoming long-term procurement requirements

 

9. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003

No new developments.

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.

 

10. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct 12-02-009

Key Documents:

Recent Updates. No recent updates.

  • January 30 2018 – This proceeding re-emerged as a concern when the IOUs filed a Joint Petition for Modification to the rules imposed on them regarding lobbying against CCAs.

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.

 

11. Direct Access 19-03-009

Key Documents:

  • 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.

Recent Updates. No recent updates.

Background: 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.

 

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

Key Documents:

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

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

Next Steps: Unknown

CPX Legislative Update for January 23, 2020

Below are several, but not all, of the key bills we are tracking. For a complete list of bills we are tracking in 2020, click HERE. We do expect many more bills relating to Community Choice, electricity system resilience, microgrids, the climate crisis, and other related issues to emerge, so expect a lively 2020 session. We will be adding new bill numbers as the 2020 session progresses. Please let us know what energy or climate legislation your representative is cooking up! Send us an email to info[at]cleanpowerexchange.org. Our next update will be published on February 6.

 

AB 56 (Garcia) OPPOSE – This bill will empower the CPUC to order energy procurement based on real or perceived shortcomings in the Integrated Resource Plans submitted by Investor Owned Utilities, Direct Access providers, and CCAs. The bill will allow 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 July 2019 Letter of Opposition.

STATUS: No committee assignment and no hearing date set.

 

AB 235 (Mayes) – Now dubbed the “Catastrophic Wildfire Liability Recovery Act,” this bill will allow PG&E to issue bonds to cover 2017, 2018 wildfire liabilities that ratepayers could ultimately have to pay for, and allows the CPUC to arbitrarily set a limit on the amount a transmission & distribution utility must pay as a result of catastrophic wildfire that may have been the result of their infrastructure. It is essentially a defense of status quo corporate utility dominance.

STATUS: In the Senate Energy Committee. No hearing scheduled.

 

AB 1503 (Burke) – Existing law requires the CPUC, by February 1 of each year, to report to the Governor and the Legislature on recommendations for a smart grid, the plans and deployment of smart grid technologies by the State’s electrical corporations, and the costs and benefits to ratepayers. This bill would amend Section 913.2 of the Public Utilities Code to require in the report due on February 1, 2022, that the CPUC also describe workforce opportunities in the areas of distributed energy and microgrids, including emerging energy jobs and professions and the costs and benefits to the ratepayers. The bill would require the CPUC to collaborate with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency in the development of this section of the report.

STATUS: In the Asm Natural Resources Committee with no hearing scheduled.

 

AB 1839 (Bonta) – 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.

STATUS: No committee staff bill analysis is available, the bill has not been scheduled for a hearing, and we have yet to take a position.

 

AB 1847 (Levine) – 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: On January 17, referred to the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee.

 

SB 246 (Wieckowski) – Read our Support Letter. – This bill, if enacted as written, will impose an oil and gas severance tax on the privilege of extracting oil or fossil gas from the earth or water in California upon any operator engaged in such extraction. Read the bill author’s factsheet.

STATUS: SB 246 is dead. On January 15, the Chair of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee removed the bill from its agenda, effectively killing the bill. Contact the bill author’s office with questions.

 

SB 350 (Hertzberg) OPPOSE – 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.

STATUS: In Senate Energy Committee with no hearing scheduled.

 

SB 378 (Wiener): Would establish ratepayer protections related to Public Safety Power Shutoff incidents.

STATUS: Voted out of Se. Energy Committee on Jan. 15 with author’s amendments. Referred to Appropriations Committee and scheduled for a hearing TODAY, January 23.

 

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 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 January 15, 2020, this bill was held in the Senate Energy Committee pursuant to Senate Rule 29.10.

 

SB 702 (Hill) – This bill would amend section 399.13 of the Public Utilities Code to authorize a retail seller of electricity to rely on contracts of 10 years or more in duration or ownership agreements entered into directly by its end-use customer for eligible renewable energy resources located on the customer side of the meter to satisfy the portion of the 65% requirement attributable to the retail sales of that end-use customer.

STATUS: Out of the committees to the Senate Floor for a second reading.

 

SB-772 (Bradford) – OPPOSE – This bill relates to procurement of long duration bulk energy storage. Would require CAISO to procure 2,000MW of long-duration energy storage projects by 2022. Concerns center on forcing the hand of CCA procurement.

STATUS: In the Senate committee process with no committee assignment and no hearing date.

 

SB 774 (Stern) – 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-801 (Glazer, McGuire) Electrical corporations: wildfire mitigation plans: deenergization: public safety protocol. This bill would require an electrical corporation to deploy backup electrical resources or provide financial assistance for backup electrical resources to a customer receiving a medical baseline allowance if the customer meets those conditions.

STATUS: Scheduled to be heard in the Senate Energy Committee.

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In the news… Rapid Decarbonization!

Clean Power Exchange introducing new content: The Climate Center’s Rapid Decarbonization Initiative

Since 2016, Clean Power Exchange (CPX) e-news has built a solid reputation for sharing news and information about Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and other significant clean energy developments in California. More recently, with the launch of our Advanced Community Energy (ACE) initiative, our e-news has grown to encompass a broader perspective with inclusion of more news and information about decentralized energy resource development, community microgrids, and other energy topics not directly related to CCA.

A big part of the purpose of creating the CPX e-news was to help build the CCA movement in California. With over 150 cities and 20 counties participating in 20 CCAs and growing, and with the ever-increasing power of the California Community Choice Association advocating CCA interests in the regulatory and legislative arenas, it can be argued that the movement has largely been built – mission accomplished!

CPX will continue to cover CCA and ACE-related news, but in 2020 we will broaden our scope to include The Climate Center’s flagship campaign, the campaign for rapid decarbonization. With climate impacts hitting harder and faster, the time we have to act in ways that meaningfully address the core of the problem, GHG emissions, is running out. The goal of the Rapid Decarbonization for a Climate-safe California campaign, launched in late 2019, is to enact by 2025 in California the bold policies required by science to be on track for a safe climate by 2030, securing a vibrant, equitable, and healthful future for all.

Key components of the campaign include:

  • Ensuring a just and equitable transition;
  • Achieving by 2022 a formal commitment by the State of California to carbon neutrality by 2030 and net negative emissions by 2035;
  • Create 100% clean, distributed, resilient energy & storage by 2030;
  • Embarking on a formal phase-out fossil fuel-powered vehicles beginning in 2025 with a goal of 80% sustainable (carbon-free) mobility by 2030;
  • Sequestering 100+ million metric tons of additional CO2e per year through healthy soils and vegetation management by 2030.

To learn more about the campaign click HERE for a brief overview, and to download our full prospectus as a pdf document, click HERE.

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented action

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change graph included in this blog is that body’s best collective effort at projecting what it will take for a 50% chance for a pathway to limiting warming to 1.5 degrees celsius by 2100. Will this be enough? The global climate crisis is an emergency with the highest possible stakes: the future of life on Earth. The gradual progress that has characterized the climate movement to date is woefully inadequate and we are running out of time to avoid long-lasting and/or irreversible impacts. Starting now, not decades from now, solving the climate crisis must be the top global priority with every government, organization, business, community, and individual. Therefore, CPX will be incorporating this priority more prominently and frequently into its standard fare. The time is now for more ambitious climate action in California, serving as an example to inspire and move the rest of the U.S. and the world.

Please share your feedback and interest in partnering together by emailing the Rapid Decarb team at: rapid-decarb@theclimatecenter.org

 

 

Irvine will pursue ‘community choice’ program to buy its own electric power

Flipping on the lights or running the dishwasher could get a little cheaper and a lot greener in Irvine, under a “community choice” energy program city leaders plan to implement.

Irvine would still depend on and pay Southern California Edison for the use of its electric transmission system – the poles, wires and substations – to deliver power to residents and businesses. But city officials say the community choice program could save customers an estimated 2% compared with Edison’s rates, which can pencil out to big savings for businesses, and it would allow the city to buy electricity from greener sources that could reduce impact on the climate.

“It lets us use power sources that we feel are better for our community,” said Irvine Councilwoman Melissa Fox, who began researching community choice for the city’s Green Ribbon Environmental Committee in 2017. “Why wouldn’t we want cheaper, cleaner power?”

State legislation passed in 2002 made community choice aggregation possible, and in 2010, Marin Energy Authority (now called Marin Clean Energy) was the state’s first community choice agency to launch. Today it serves 34 Bay Area communities.

Read more

CPX Regulatory Update for January 9, 2020

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 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 click on the proceeding number below or visit http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/documents/ Please contact us at info[at]cleanpowerexhange.org to report any errors or broken links.

Brief Notes:

  • The next CPUC voting meeting is scheduled for January 16 at CPUC headquarters. 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.
  • Significant recent development in bankruptcy proceeding: On December 9, 2019, PG&E reached a $13.5B settlement with wildfire victims. On December 14, Governor Newsom rejected the settlement. How this will be resolved is unclear. Check back for future updates.

Regulatory Proceedings we are monitoring:

  1. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking R.19-09-009
  2. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019
  3. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) R.12-11-005
  4. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA)  17-06-026
  5. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
  6. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  7. Distribution Resource Plans (DRP) 14-08-013 
  8. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  9. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  10. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct 12-02-009
  11. Direct Access 19-03-009
  12. 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. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking R.19-09-009

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

Key Documents:

Recent Developments:

  • December 20, 2019: Scoping Ruling.
  • December 30, 2019: Ruling Directing Respondents to Address Ruling Questions as Part of Their January 21, 2020 Proposal

Next Steps:

  • January 21 – Resiliency proposals due
  • January 30 – Comments on the resiliency proposals due
  • February 6 – Reply comments on resiliency proposals due
  • Summer 2020 – Track 1 concludes.

 

2. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

Key Documents:

  • June 18 CPUC Order seeking proposals to improve PG&E safety culture
  • July 19 Climate Center Comments

Recent Developments:

  • December 13 – Letter from several LSEs, including a CCA, to CPUC Commissioners expressing interest in taking ownership of PG&E grid assets

Next Steps:

  • May 8, 2020 is the deadline for the conclusion of this investigation; it is not clear what steps may be taken prior to May 8

 

3. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) R.12-11-005

The Climate Center’s filing for Party status was filed on January 3rd, 2020 and is pending.

Key Documents:

Recent Developments:

  • December 19, 2019 – Proposed Decision.  This Decision grants the joint Petition for Modification filed by Southern California Gas Company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and the Center for Sustainable Energy and modifies Decision (D.) 11-09-015 and D.16-06-055 to remove the Self-Generation Incentive Program application fee for residential projects.

Next Steps:

  • January 18, 2020 – Commission heat pump workshop
  • January 31, 2020 – Administrators to submit Tier 1 advice letter containing final SGIP accounting data as of December 31, 2019
  • February 6, 2020 – Earliest possible vote on whether to remove the SGIP application fee for residential projects
  • April 1, 2020 – SGIP modifications effective.

 

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

Recent Developments:

Key Documents:

Next Steps:

  • Q1 2020 – Proposed Decision on Working Group 2 issues
  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Working Group 3 issues

 

5. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020

Recent Developments:

  • November 17, 2019 – New RA Proceeding for 2020/2021 R.19-11-009
  • December 23. 2019 – Order granting CalCCA’s request for a stay of D.19-10-021 (Decision Affirming Resource Adequacy Import Rules)

Key Documents:

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.

 

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

Recent Developments:

  • January 3, 2020 – Administrative Law Judge’s Final Baseline Ruling finalizing a baseline for purposes of procurement required by Decision 19-11-016

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).

 

7. Distribution Resource Plans (DRP) 14-08-013 

Recent Developments:

  • November 21, 2019: Notice of Reassignment of Commissioner [R.14-08-013, A.15-07-002, A.15-07-003 and A.15-07-006] are being reassigned to President Marybel Batjer
  • November 8, 2019: Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling requesting comments on possible improvements to the 2020 Distribution Investment Deferred Framework process. Opening comments shall be filed and served by January 17, 2020. Reply comments shall be filed and served by January 31, 2020.

Key Documents: See Proceeding

Background: This proceeding consolidates numerous proceedings and seeks to establish policies, procedures, and rules for investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs) to develop Distribution Resources Plan (DRP) Proposals, and to evaluate the IOUs’ infrastructure and planning to incorporating distributed energy resources into their systems. There are 3 parallel and concurrent Tracks in this proceeding. Track 1 concerns methodological issues. Track 2 concerns demonstration and pilot projects. Track 3 concerns policy issues. Track 3 also has 3 Sub-tracks. Although Decisions have been issued on all Tracks, there remain residual issues as well as newly identified issues within the scope of the proceeding.

 

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

New Developments:

  • December 19, 2019: Final Decision on 2019 RPS Plans. (and Proposed Decision on 2019 RPS Plans)
    • CCAs shall demonstrate, describe, and timeline actions necessary for 2019 procurement plan compliance within 30 days of 12/30/19
    • CCAs shall plan for the long-term procurement compliance period 2021-2024
    • CCAs shall furnish the CPUC copies of any contracts they enter into no later than 30 days following the date they intend to serve load, and in no event later than August 1, 2020
    • By March 31, 2020, Energy Division shall initiate stakeholder workshops before filing of the 2020 draft RPS Plans
    • RPS and IRP filings shall be consolidated
    • All LSEs shall analyze the impact of economic curtailment, overgeneration or oversupply events on their individual resource portfolios in their future RPS Procurement Plans
    • PG&E’s Renewable Energy Credit sales framework is approved with modifications. The pricing that PG&E seeks is rejected; PG&E may use its previously approved price floor methodology or the methodology proposed by the Public Advocates Office
    • For 2020, CCAs and Electric Service Providers (ESPs) shall include more granular information regarding planning in the next annual procurement plan cycle, beyond a general statement that they will comply with the Renewables Portfolio Standard requirements and upcoming long-term procurement requirements

 

9. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003

No new developments.

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.

 

10. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct 12-02-009

No recent updates.

Key Documents:

January 30 2018 – This proceeding re-emerged as a concern when the IOUs filed a Joint Petition for Modification to the rules imposed on them regarding lobbying against CCAs.

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.

 

11. Direct Access 19-03-009

No Recent Updates

Key Documents:

  • 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.

Background: 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.

 

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

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

Next Steps: Unknown

CPX Legislative Update – January 9, 2020

Welcome to the 2020 legislative session! The Legislature reconvened on Monday, January 6. And away we go! See Utility Dive’s January 8 article predicting a “Wild West” of bills targeting PG&E as a result of their many troubles. Below are some key bills we are tracking. So far it is mostly bills that were held over from the 2019 session. We will be adding new bill numbers as the 2020 session progresses. Please let us know what energy or climate legislation your representative is cooking up! Send us an email to info[at]cleanpowerexchange.org.

AB 56 (Garcia) OPPOSE – This bill will empower the CPUC to order energy procurement based on real or perceived shortcomings in the Integrated Resource Plans submitted by Investor Owned Utilities, Direct Access providers, and CCAs. The bill will allow 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 July 2019 Letter of Opposition. STATUS: No committee assignment and no hearing date set.

AB 235 (Mayes) – Now dubbed the “Catastrophic Wildfire Liability Recovery Act,” this bill will allow PG&E to issue bonds to cover 2017, 2018 wildfire liabilities that ratepayers could ultimately have to pay for, and allows the CPUC to arbitrarily set a limit on the amount a transmission & distribution utility must pay as a result of catastrophic wildfire that may have been the result of their infrastructure. It is essentially a defense of status quo corporate utility dominance. STATUS: In the Senate Energy Committee. No hearing scheduled.

AB 1839 (Bonta) – 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. STATUS: No committee staff bill analysis is available, the bill has not been scheduled for a hearing, and we have yet to take a position.

AB 1847 (Levine) – 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: No committee assignment or hearing as of the date of this update.

SB 246 (Wieckowski) – Read our Support Letter. – This bill, if enacted as written, will impose an oil and gas severance tax on the privilege of extracting oil or fossil gas from the earth or water in California upon any operator engaged in such extraction. Read the bill author’s factsheet. STATUS: Scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on January 15, 2020.

SB 350 (Hertzberg) OPPOSE – 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. STATUS: In Senate Energy Committee with no hearing scheduled.

SB 378 (Wiener): Would establish ratepayer protections related to Public Safety Power Shutoff incidents. STATUS: Scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Energy Committee on January 15.

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 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: Scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Energy Committee on January 15, 2020.

SB 702 (Hill) – This bill would amend section 399.13 of the Public Utilities Code to authorize a retail seller of electricity to rely on contracts of 10 years or more in duration or ownership agreements entered into directly by its end-use customer for eligible renewable energy resources located on the customer side of the meter to satisfy the portion of the 65% requirement attributable to the retail sales of that end-use customer. STATUS: Scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Energy Committee on January 15.

SB-772 (Bradford) – OPPOSE – This bill relates to procurement of long duration bulk energy storage. Would require CAISO to procure 2,000MW of long-duration energy storage projects by 2022. Concerns center on forcing the hand of CCA procurement. STATUS: In the Senate committee process with no committee assignment and no hearing date.

SB 774 (Stern) – 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-801 (Glazer, McGuire) Electrical corporations: wildfire mitigation plans: deenergization: public safety protocol. This bill would require an electrical corporation to deploy backup electrical resources or provide financial assistance for backup electrical resources to a customer receiving a medical baseline allowance if the customer meets those conditions.

For a complete list of bills we are tracking, click HERE. We do expect many more bills relating to Community Choice, electricity system resilience, microgrids, the climate crisis, and other related issues to emerge. So expect a lively 2020 session. our next update will be published on January 23.

Accelerating Rule Changes for Electricity System Resilience

CPUC adopts some good suggestions to engage local government in energy planning

Pursuant to 2018’s Senate Bill 1339 (Stern), which is all about accelerating microgrid development in California, The Climate Center became a Party to the proceeding and filed comments, along with others such as Vote Solar, in part calling for more collaboration with local governments and CCAs in localized energy planning. Since then, through our Advanced Community Energy (ACE) Initiative, one of the key suggestions we have made in several contexts is to break the proceeding into separate tracks that would allow for one of the tracks to be for near-term, expedited measures that can result in resilience-building technologies being deployed at high fire-risk critical facilities before the 2020 fire season arrives.
In the CPUC’s December 20th scoping ruling for the SB 1339 proceeding, the Commission did what The Climate Center and others have been asking them to do: set-up a fast-track proceeding (Track 1) and engage local government. The CPUC decision states:
“…the issues within scope of Track 1 are: 1. Prioritizing and streamlining interconnection applications to deliver resiliency services at key sites and locations; 2. Modifying existing tariffs to maximize resiliency benefits; 3. Facilitating local government access to utility infrastructure and planning data to support the development of resiliency projects; and 4. Investor Owned Utility proposals for immediate implementation of resiliency strategies, including partnership and planning with local governments.”
This is a welcome development. More recently, the Center filed comments regarding Commissioner Rechtschaffen’s Proposed Decision on Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) Revisions. In this more recent filing, The Center recommended that the final decision (1) create a new budget category as a subset of SGIP marketing, education and outreach (ME&O) administrative expenses to support local governments and CCAs in completing local government energy resilience planning, and (2) specify straightforward procedures whereby CCAs and local governments in their service areas can apply for and receive these funds and access needed utility infrastructure and planning data. We are hopeful that the Commission agrees with our SGIP comments.
For more on all of the above, visit our  ACE information page, where you can download our one-page handout on ACE and access more of our filings. Also good read in this arena is this December 17 Utility Dive article: California moves to boost storage to combat safety-driven power shutoffs
The ACE message about the importance of local government involvement in energy planning is starting to be heard!

CPX Regulatory Update – December 12, 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 click on the proceeding number below or visit http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/documents/

Brief Notes: The next CPUC voting meeting is on schedule for December 19 at CPUC headquarters. 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.

Regulatory Proceedings we are monitoring:

1. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking R.19-09-009
2. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019
3. Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) 17-06-026
4. Resource Adequacy (RA) 17-09-020
5. Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) R.12-11-005
6. SB 790 IOU Code of Conduct 12-02-009
7. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
8. Distribution Resource Plans (DRP) 14-08-013
9. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
10. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
11. Direct Access 19-03-009
12. NEM Successor Tariff 14-07-002

Closed proceedings that matter:

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

~ ~ ~

1. Microgrids (SB 1339) – R.19-09-009

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding. Read our October 21, 2019 Opening Comments HERE.

Recent Developments:

Order Instituting Rulemaking (Issued 9/19/19).
Major Issues:

  • Role of CCAs in microgrid development
  • Microgrid operation, value, and technical challenges
  • Microgrid regulation and service standards
  • How microgrids can improve the grid and further policy goals.

Key Documents:

Next Steps:

  • December 12 – Workshop
  • December 17 – Prehearing Conference

Background: Sponsored by Sen. Henry Stern in 2019, SB 1339 was born out of concern that California needs microgrids, but their development is hobbled. The law and rulemaking are intended to boost microgrid development and streamline project interconnections.

 

2. PG&E Safety Culture Investigation 15-08-019

Recent developments:

  • PG&E’s 4th Quarterly Report
  • Notice of re-assignment to President Mary Batjer
  • Comments from CC, PG&E, TURN, Institutional Equity Investors
  • Reply Comments from City and County of San Francisco, PG&E, PAO
  • Order establishing process for parties to comment on proposals to improve PG&E
    safety.

Major Issues:

  • PG&E’s ability to maintain a safe transmission and distribution system

Key Documents:

  • Order extending statutory deadline to May 8, 2020

Background: In this case, The Climate Center 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.

 

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

New and recent developments:

  • Working Group 3 workshop #3 Presentation
  • Decision 19-10-001  on market price benchmark and true up (WG1 issues 1 – 7)

Key Documents:

Next Steps:

  • December 9 – Group 2 Final Report
  • December 11 – WG 3 workshop #4
  • January 30 – WG 3 Report Due
  • Q1 2020 – Proposed Decision on Groups 2 issues
  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Group 3 issues.

Background: The PCIA is a fee charged to CCAs to pay for a utility’s stranded cost of procuring electricity on behalf of customers departing in CCAs.

 

4. Resource Adequacy (Was 17-09-020) (Now R.19-11-009)

New and recent developments:

  • There is a new RA proceeding number for 2021-2022 R.19-11-009.
    • Comments by CalCCA, SanFrancisco, PG&E, CAISO.
  • CAISO Application for Rehearing of D.19-10-021.
  • CalCCA Application for Rehearing and Motion for Stay of D.19-10-021
    • Responses in support by CAISO, Shell, Calpine
    • Decision 19-10-021 re RA Import Rules
  • Proposed Decision to determine qualifying capacity (QC) value of hybrid resources (generation + storage)
    • Comments on the Motion by CalCCA and SDG&E
  • Cal Advocates Protest of RA waivers
    • 3 Phases Renewables, CleanPowerSF, Constellation, Direct Energy, EDF, Just Energy Solutions, Pilot Power Group, San Jose Clean Energy, and Shell submitted summaries but not documentation that they solicited bids.
  • CalCCA Petition for Modification of D.19-06-026 adopting capacity obligations
    • Market conditions justify a waiver process for System and Flex RA similar to Local RA because solicitations and bilateral market inquiries are not producing offers at commercially reasonable prices and in some instances produce no offers at all
    • Citations:$150,109 in 2017; $9,201,172 in 2019
    • Several IOUs did not offer RA for sale until after the October 31 deadline
    • Assemblymembers and State Senators noted that RA pricing has doubled between 2018 and 2019. They suggested that the IOUs’ failure to offer excess RA to the market in a timely manner has created an artificial shortage of RA supply.

Next Steps:

  • Jan 12, 2019 – Possible vote on hybrid resources qualifying capacity.
  • Ruling on Applications for Rehearing of D.19-10-021 – TBD
  • Decision on RA central procurement entity – 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.

 

5. Self-Generation Incentive Program R.12-11-005

Recent Developments:

Decision (issued 9-18-19) modifying equity budget program requirements and incentive levels to increase participation. Establishes a new equity resiliency budget set-aside for vulnerable households located in Tier 3 and Tier 2 high fire threat districts, critical services facilities serving those districts, and customers located in those districts that participate in two low-income solar generation programs Effective 4-1-20.

Appendix A modifications
Appendix B remaining funds
Appendix C testing standards for storage

Program administered by PG&E, SCE, SoCalGas, Center for Sustainable Energy.

Next Steps:

  • December 18, 2019 – Administrators’ joint Tier 2 advice letter due
  • January 18, 2020 – Commission heat pump workshop due
  • January 31, 2020 – Administrators to submit Tier 1 advice letter containing final SGIP accounting data as of December 31, 2019
  • April 1, 2020 – SGIP modifications effective
  • March 31, 2021 – Tier 2 advice letter re the 2021- 2025 SGIP evaluation plan.

 

6. 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.

 

7. Integrated Resource Plans – R.16-02-007

New Developments:

  • Application for Rehearing D.19-11-016
    • CEJA, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, PAO.
  • D.19-11-016 requiring reliability procurement
    • OTC plants should remain online
    • Incremental procurement of 3,300 MW of system-level RA by all LSEs (50% by Aug 1, 2021. 75% by 2022, 100% by 2023)
    • LSEs that do not self-procure will be allocated costs by the IOU based on CAM, not PCIA
    • Procurement contracts of new resources shall be for at least 10 years.

Energy efficiency shall be for 5 years, existing resources shall be 3 years. o IRPplansshalldetailprojects,capacities,anddatesbywhichtheLSE expects the projects to be providing service and demonstrate that the projects are incremental to meet the 2021, 2022, and 2023 requirements.

Key Documents:

  • Order Instituting Rulemaking.
  • Decision D.18-02-018 setting IRP requirements for LSEs.
  • Amended Scoping Memo.
  • Final Decision adopting the Reference System Plan as the Preferred System Plan.

Next Steps:

  • February 15, 2020 – LSE summaries of incremental RA procurement
  • May 1, 2020 – Updated LSE contract data in IRP plans. Standing data request for

Major Issues:

  • Near, medium, and long-term local reliability needs
  • Approval of a Preferred System Plan
  • Co-ordinating LSE procurement to meet CA GHG goals
  • Non-IRP filing years.

 

8. Distribution Resource Plans (14-08-013 ) – No new updates.

August 9 – Ruling postponing capacity analysis workshop.

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.

 

9. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) R.18-07-003

New and recent developments:

  • Proposed Decision on 2019 RPS Plans
    • LSEs must demonstrate a path to SB350 long-term contracting requirements
    • Workshops to combine RPS with IRP plans.
  • Decision re IOU Effective Load Carrying Capability. Customer-side-of-the-meter Photovoltaic (PV) must be treated as a supply-side resource; annual loss of load expectation study must be conducted
    • Comments by PG&E.
  • Decision enforcing RPS program rules, fining Liberty Power $431,014 and Gexa $1,725,461.
  • Joint Utility comments and Joint CCA reply comments on combining IRP and RPS programs.
  • Updated Schedule of Review for 2019 RPS Plans.Key Documents:• •
    • Decision implementing SB100.
    • D.12-06-038 setting RPS compliance rules.
    • OIR to further develop the RPS program.
    • 2018 RPS Annual Report to Legislature.
    • Amended Scoping Memo.Next Steps:
    • Dec 9, 2019 – Comments due on RPS PD.
    • Dec 19, 2019 – Possible vote on RPS PD.
    • March 31, 2020 – Energy Division to initiate workshops.

 

10. Integrated DER – No new developments.

Most recent development: 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.

 

11. Direct Access Rulemaking (19-03-009) – 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.

 

12. 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

That’s all for this update. Next Update will be on January 9. Have a great holiday break!

CPX Mid-Recess Legislative Update – December 12, 2019

Hi Folks!

We hope you are enjoying the holiday season.

In the interest of gearing up for what is shaping up to be a dynamic 2020 legislative session, we offer this mid-recess assessment and overview.

The most exciting news for The Climate Center and our Clean Power Exchange Program is that we have secured a political consultant to work with us in 2020 to help advance our legislative agenda, defend against threats to our interests, and in general, to increase our presence in Sacramento. We look forward to a lot more engagement with all of the many stakeholders engaging on Advanced Community Energy policy in California in 2020.

The legislature will reconvene on Monday, January 6. Several bills that have bearing on Community Choice Energy or Climate were held over from the 2019 session. This includes:

AB 56 (Garcia) OPPOSE – This bill will empower the CPUC to order energy procurement based on real or perceived shortcomings in the Integrated Resource Plan submitted by Investor Owned Utilities, Direct Access providers, and CCAs. The bill will allow 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.

AB 235 (Mayes) – Now dubbed the “Catastrophic Wildfire Liability Recovery Act,” this bill will allow PG&E to issue bonds to cover 2017, 2018 wildfire liabilities that ratepayers could ultimately have to pay for, and allows the CPUC to arbitrarily set a limit on the amount a transmission & distribution utility must pay as a result of catastrophic wildfire that may have been the result of their infrastructure. It is essentially a defense of status quo corporate utility dominance.

SB 246 (Wieckowski) – Read our Support Letter. – This bill, if enacted as written, will impose an oil and gas severance tax on the privilege of extracting oil or fossil gas from the earth or water in California upon any operator engaged in such extraction.

SB 350 (Hertzberg) OPPOSE – 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.

SB 378 (Wiener): Would establish ratepayer protections related to Public Safety Power Shutoff incidents.

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 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.

SB-772 (Bradford) – OPPOSE – This bill relates to procurement of long duration bulk energy storage. Would require CAISO to procure 2,000MW of long-duration energy storage projects by 2022. Concerns center on forcing the hand of CCA procurement. Likely oppose.

SB 774 (Stern) – 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.

We do expect many more bills relating to Community Choice, electricity system resilience, microgrids, and other related issues to emerge. So expect a lively 2020 session.

Till then,

Happy Holidays from the CPX Team!

 

CPX Regulatory Update for October 17, 2019

Regulatory updates for October 17, 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 click on the proceeding number below or visit http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/documents/

Brief Notes:

  • The next CPUC voting meeting is on schedule for October 10 at CPUC headquarters. See AGENDA. For the livestream, click HERE.
  • We are continuing to monitor PG&E bankruptcy and wildfire related proceedings but will no longer be reporting on a regular basis. We will report occasionally on any significant developments.
  • We will be filing comments on and monitoring the OIR for SB 1339 relating to microgrids, item 11 below. Opening Comments are due on Oct 21.

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. Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) 16-02-007
  6. Distribution Resource Plans (DRP) 14-08-013 
  7. Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) 18-07-003
  8. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003
  9. Direct Access 19-03-009
  10. NEM Successor Tariff 14-07-002
  11. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking 19-09-009

Closed proceedings that matter:

Other CPUC activities with no docket number:

~ ~ ~

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

New and recent developments:

  • On July 19, the Center, along with adviser Lorenzo Kristov, PhD, filed Commentspursuant to the June 18 Order seeking proposals to improve PG&E safety culture
  • Interim Decisionordering reporting of PG&E Directors’ safety qualifications by August 1 and establishing CPUC advisory panel on corporate governance.

Major Issues:

  • PG&E’s ability to maintain a safe transmission and distribution system
  • Fundamental restructuring of the electricity system

Key Documents:

  • Orderextending statutory deadline to May 8, 2020

Background: In this case, The Climate Center 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 (PCIA) (Proceeding #17-06-026)

New and recent developments:

  • Oct 11 – Notice of Reassignment of Commissioner. R.17-06-026 has been reassigned to Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves
  • Oct 1 – CalCCA Reply Comments on Proposed Decision
  • Sept 6 – Proposed Decision– Decision refining the method to develop and true up market price benchmarks; may be heard Oct. 10
  • Sept 3 – Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling denying in part the Motion of the Protect Our Communities Foundation for Evidentiary Hearings and modifying the proceeding schedule

Key Documents:

Next Steps: TBD

Background: The PCIA is a fee charged to CCAs to pay for a utility’s stranded cost of procuring electricity on behalf of customers departing in CCAs.

  1. Resource Adequacy (17-09-020)

New and recent developments:

  • 26 – Decision D1909054 – Order Extending Statutory Deadline. This decision extends the statutory deadline in this proceeding to March 28, 2020.
  • 6 – Proposed Decision– This decision clarifies the requirements governing the use of energy imported into California to meet Resource Adequacy requirements, as set forth in Decision (D.) 04-10-035 and D.05-10-042.
  • On August 30, CalCCA announced a joint settlement agreementamong multiple stakeholders.
  • CalCCA 8/8/19 Notice of Settlement Conference

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 CPUC’s RA measurement hours with CAISO’s.

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. Integrated Resource Planning (16-02-007)

New and recent developments:

  • Oct 8 – Amended reply comments of the California Community Choice Association on Proposed Decision requiring electric system reliability procurement for 2021-2023
  • 12 – Proposed Decision– In this Decision, the Commission takes a number of steps to address the potential for electricity system resource adequacy shortages beginning in 2021. The Decision includes CCAs in SCE service territory.
  • Comments on procurement track and reliability issues by CalCCA, TURN, PG&E

Key Documents:

Major Issues:

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

Next Steps:

  • Late 2019 – Proposed Decision on Procurement Track

Background: On April 25 the CPUC unanimously approved a Proposed Decision that approves or certifies 20 individual LSE IRPs. 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 new updates for Oct 17, 2019.

August 9 – Ruling postponing capacity analysis workshop.

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 (18-07-003)

No new developments for Oct 17, 2019.

  • August 23 – Decisionre IOU Effective Load Carrying Capability. Behind-the-meter Photovoltaic (PV) must be treated as a supply-side resource; annual loss of load expectation study must be conducted.
  • August 8 – Proposed Decisionrelaxing 2018 RPS Plan reporting for 6 new CCAs. Comment by CalCCA.
  • August 1 – Decisionenforcing RPS program rules, fining Liberty Power $431,014 and Gexa $1,725,461.
  • Joint Utility commentsand Joint CCA reply comments on combining IRP and RPS programs.

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 and coordination 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.

Next Steps:

  • Fourth Quarter 2019 – Decision on RPS plans
  • May 1, 2020 – Tentative consolidation of IRP/RPS filings.

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.

Most recent development: 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.

  1. Direct Access Rulemaking (19-03-009) – 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

 

  1. Microgrids – R.19-09-009

New or recent developments:

Major Issues:

  • Role of CCAs in microgrid development
  • Microgrid operation, value, and technical challenges.
  • Microgrid regulation and service standards.
  • How microgrids can improve the grid and further policy goals.

Key Documents:

Next Steps:

  • October 19, 2019 – Comments on the OIR are due.
  • November 3, 2019 – Reply comments on the OIR 

Closed proceedings that matter: 

  • 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. 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.

Other CCA-relevant CPUC activities with no docket number:

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. 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.

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).

Recent Developments

  • Judge lifts the stay and RULES that litigation revolving around the 2017 Tubbs Wildfire can proceed
  • Fast-tracked legislation (AB 1054) enacted on July 11, 2019 creates $21M fund for future fires, partly at ratepayer expense
  • 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

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:

  • Deadline for PG&E to propose reorganization plan

Our next CPX Regulatory Update will be published on Thursday, October 31. Boo!