eBay HQ to Achieve 100% Renewable Energy through New Partnership with San José Clean Energy

San José, CA (September 19, 2019) – Today, eBay announced a partnership with San José Clean Energy (SJCE) to secure power for its San José headquarters from 100% renewable energy. SJCE’s TotalGreen service, which sources carbon-free solar, wind and geothermal energy, will power eBay’s two campuses in San José, including the company’s headquarters.

Operated by the Community Energy Department, SJCE is the City’s Community Choice Energy program. Through Community Choice, local governments like the City of San José buy electricity from cleaner energy sources, while the investor-owned utility (PG&E for San José) continues to deliver it to homes and businesses over their utility lines. SJCE is dedicated to creating a more sustainable future
for the community and future generations and plays a crucial role in Climate Smart San José, the city’s climate action plan.

“Operating in an environmentally and socially sustainable way is paramount to eBay’s operations and commitment to responsible business,” said Wendy Jones, SVP, Global Operations, eBay. “The City of San José has been our home for nearly 25 years, and we are thrilled to be able to partner with San José Clean Energy to achieve 100% renewable energy for our offices here.”

The SJCE partnership is part of eBay’s broader push to lower its carbon footprint by achieving 100% renewable energy by 2025 for its data centers and offices worldwide. eBay currently is participating in local, utility-driven green power programs around the globe. Most recently, eBay announced a partnership with Rocky Mountain Power in Utah to ensure the facilities there are supported by 100% renewable energy. Other eBay offices — including Dreilinden, Germany; Dublin, Ireland; and Portland, Oregon — all are powered by 100% renewable energy through local utility programs.

“We’re thrilled to see such demand for renewable energy from our large corporate customers,” said Lori Mitchell, Community Energy Department Director. “This demand is helping drive our investment in new renewable resources. Our local communities benefit when local government and the private sector work together to fight climate change.”

In August, SJCE signed its first long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for 100 megawatts (MW) of new solar and 10 MW of battery energy storage, to be built in Fresno County by EDP Renewables North America by the end of 2022. SJCE expects to sign two more long-term PPAs in 2019, totaling approximately 350 MW of additional new renewable resources.

About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040,
a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.

About the Community Energy Department
San José Clean Energy is the new electricity generation service provider for residents and businesses in the City of San José, operated by the City’s Community Energy Department. Governed by the City Council, it provides over 328,000 residential and commercial
electricity customers with cleaner, lower carbon power options at competitive prices, from sources like solar, wind and hydropower. For more information, please visit www.SanJoseCleanEnergy.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @SJCleanEnergy.

About eBay
eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace, StubHub and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, we connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity for all. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, California, eBay is one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. In 2018, eBay enabled $95 billion of gross merchandise volume. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.

Advanced Community Energy: Building a Clean and Resilient Electricity Grid

I am pleased to have joined the Center for Climate Protection to work on the new Advanced Community Energy (ACE) initiative.  

Advanced Community Energy (ACE) is an initiative to establish, through legislation, a program to provide funding, technical expertise, best practices and local capacity building for all cities and counties to plan and implement local ACE systems, starting with Community Microgrids. Under the proposed state program, ACE planning will involve collaboration between local government agencies, local residents and stakeholders, especially vulnerable households and disadvantaged neighborhoods, electric distribution utilities, and clean energy developers and technology companies. 

ACE is based on grid architecture developed by Dr. Lorenzo Kristov, taking advantage of dramatic recent developments in Distributed Energy Resources (DER).  

Decarbonization is the overarching policy priority given the climate crisis, although resilience is currently at the forefront of policymaker concerns in the current era of “Public Safety Power Shutoffs.”  Like other PG&E ratepayers, I received a letter advising me to be prepared for the power at my home in fire-prone Marin County to be shutoff for up to 96 hours.  That would be an inconvenience for my family. It could be life-threatening for people who rely on electricity for medical needs. My mother’s skilled nursing facility is required to have on-site back-up generation available for 6 hours. What happens if the power outage is longer than 6 hours?  

In response to power shutoffs, homeowners, businesses and managers of critical facilities are buying back-up power generation.  The town where I live recently decided to purchase a $30K back-up generator. The Association of California Water Agencies recently held a meeting to help water managers plan for how to maintain service during power shutoffs.  The quickest solution? Fossil fuel generators. 

 There is a better way: every community should start by identifying its critical facilities and deciding where to install new local renewables and storage. It makes sense to use optimal spaces in a community to generate and store energy, rather than what’s happening now: everyone thinking only about their own facilities.  Some California local governments have already started developing community microgrid projects in order to enhance resiliency, including Oakland, Eureka, and Santa Barbara. These efforts need to expand to other communities.  A statewide program is needed to ensure that all cities and counties in the state have the financial and technical resources and guidance to conduct collaborative, participatory planning processes. In addition to funding support, a statewide ACE program would provide technical expertise and best practices, such as designs for critical-facility microgrids, building efficiency and decarbonization retrofit strategies, carbon-free local mobility services, a clearinghouse for best practices in local government energy planning and a library of case studies.

We also need transformation of our regulatory policies and institutions, revising market rules so that thousands of small-scale distributed energy resources can be compensated for providing local energy services.  We need to direct the CPUC to develop regulatory rules for its jurisdictional electric distribution utilities to collaborate with cities and counties in their service areas. It is essential that local ACE systems address decarbonization, equity and resilience be designed so as to improve the reliable operation of California’s electric grid while minimizing operational impacts and needs for new grid infrastructure investment. IOU distribution utilities must be fully engaged collaborators and provide the information needed for effective ACE planning. This would be a new role for the IOUs, however, so the ACE legislation would direct the CPUC to develop the regulatory framework governing this role and its associated responsibilities and incentives. An eventual transition to a “Distribution System Operator” model would allow local energy resources to reduce costs caused by local peaks and also defer some infrastructure investments.  When the grid experiences outages, local resources could be separated operationally from the central grid at and below the substation. The distribution system operator would implement smart switching and grid segmentation to enable different sub-sections of the distribution grid to maintain operations as needed. This would ensure that during any outage, critical services as established by each community would continue to receive electricity. 

California Fire Threat Map. Source: CPUC

We also need sufficient market signals to enable this transformation.  This would start by increasing state funding to support critical-facility microgrid projects, starting with high fire risk areas and eventually covering all of California. Eventually all California communities may be subject to severe climate-related disruptions, so a statewide “resilient communities” goal would focus on identifying critical facilities in all cities and counties — such as water supply, wastewater treatment, first responders and community care centers for displaced persons — and equipping them with carbon-free energy resources and energy storage to maintain electric service when disruptions occur.   This will build upon existing CPUC proceedings.   Last week the CPUC issued a Decision to use Self Generation Incentive Program funding for additional energy storage project incentives for vulnerable households and critical facilities in high fire threat districts. The CPUC also recently issued a Proposed Decision initiating a microgrid rulemaking pursuant to SB1339, which will also be pivotal for development of the future DER-based grid.  

ACE is the logical next step in California’s remarkable history of energy policy innovation.  Back in 2006, I worked at the California Public Utilities Commission on the implementation rulemaking for the $3B California Solar Initiative.  At the very beginning there was a clear vision for the end goal, 3000 MW of new solar in California, and lots of details to be worked out. That’s where we are now with ACE: a compelling vision for how to build a better electricity grid and lots of work ahead to make that vision become reality.   

If’ you would like to learn more about ACE, please sign up to receive our future newsletter or contact me at kurt@climateprotection.org.   I look forward to working together to build a clean and resilient California electricity grid.  

 

 

 

SV Clean Energy Issues Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan

Sunnyvale, Calif. – Silicon – Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) has released an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Joint Action Plan (EVI Plan), which assesses and prioritizes future EV charging needs across local communities. It outlines new SVCE programs focused on deployment of charging infrastructure needed to sustain and accelerate rapid adoption of electric vehicles.

The EVI Plan describes six new programs – two focused on building a local electric vehicle charging ‘support ecosystem’ and four focused on directly deploying infrastructure:

Silicon Valley Transportation Electrification Clearinghouse (SVTEC) Regional convenings of key EVI stakeholders focused on information sharing and attracting external funding to the SVCE community
Regional EV Leadership Recognition Recurring recognition for best practices in EV infrastructure deployment at local businesses, educational institutions and public agencies
Priority Zone Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) Competitive solicitation to fund DCFC in SVCE-designated “priority zones”, including support for nearby Multi-Unit Dwelling (MUD) properties
Multi-Unit Residential Charging Technical Assistance Technical assistance and rebates for shared Level 2 charging onsite at MUD properties
Workplace Charging Rebates Level 2 charging rebates, focused primarily on small/medium businesses and mixed-use locations
Fleet Electrification Grants Competitive solicitation for fleet electrification planning support and funding for site upgrades

“As a public agency dedicated to reducing use of fossil fuels and reinvesting in our community, we have been eager to make a significant impact towards advancing electric transportation in our communities,” says Margaret Abe-Koga, SVCE Board Chair. “With this plan we are focusing our efforts and funding to the places that need the most help with EV adoption. We look forward to realizing the impact our new investments will have in the years ahead.”

While sales of EVs in the Silicon Valley region are higher than the rest of the country, wider adoption of EVs is needed to meet local and state climate goals. The EVI Plan is the result of significant research and input from many local residents, businesses, organizations and agencies that participated in stakeholder workshops, as well as customer surveys.

SVCE recently partnered with the California Energy Commission (CEC) as part of the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP), which works with local community partners to develop and implement regional incentive projects for charging infrastructure that supports the adoption of EVs statewide. The CEC’s proposed CALeVIP investment for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties is $33 million working through a regional partnership with Peninsula Clean Energy, San Jose Clean Energy, City of Palo Alto Utilities and Silicon Valley Power.

The SVCE Board of Directors committed to match the CEC’s CALeVIP funding of $6 million directed to the SVCE territory for a total of $12 million in CALeVIP for SVCE customers. In total, the SVCE Board of Directors has dedicated $8 million in program funds towards EV initiatives over the course of four years, which includes the CALeVIP match. Funding for EVI investment leveraging CALeVIP funding is expected to begin in spring 2020 and span two to four years.

“With the EV infrastructure plan, SVCE will be leveraging our program investments with external funds and harnessing strong regional partnerships to make access to EV charging much more prevalent for our communities,” says Girish Balachandran, SVCE CEO. “SVCE’s commitment to innovation is also an opportunity to unlock new technologies and strategies that will further increase EV adoption.”

Additionally, to complement the EVI Plan’s foundational investments, the next SVCE Innovation Onramp application cycle will prioritize piloting innovative mobility solutions that take a higher-risk, higher-reward approach. Innovation Onramp is an SVCE program that engages Silicon Valley’s ‘innovation ecosystem’ in addressing key technical, market and policy barriers to achieving deep decarbonization, locally and beyond. The program offers two stages of grant funding for proof of concept ($10,000 – $75,000) and funding for demonstrations ($50,000 – $100,000).

The full EVI Joint Action Plan is available at svcleanenergy.org/programs.

About Silicon Valley Clean Energy

Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a community-owned agency serving the majority of Santa Clara County communities, acquiring clean, carbon-free electricity on behalf of more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Member jurisdictions include Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated Santa Clara County. SVCE is guided by a Board of Directors, which is comprised of a representative from the governing body of each member community. For more information, please visit SVCleanEnergy.org.

Media Contact:
Pamela Leonard
Communications Manager

pamela.leonard@svcleanenergy.org
(408) 721-5301 x1004

CalCCA Statement on the San Diego City Council’s Decision to Join a Regional JPA to Implement CCA

Today, in a -7-2 vote, the San Diego City Council gave the green light for the city to participate in the San Diego Regional Community Choice Energy Authority. The joint-powers authority (JPA) will govern and operate a regional community choice aggregation (CCA) program, with the primary goal of achieving a 100 percent renewable energy portfolio. San Diego – California’s second-largest city – is an affiliate member of the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA).

“CalCCA congratulates San Diego for moving ahead with CCA after a lengthy public process. We appreciate the city’s efforts to reach consensus with other communities in the region, and its willingness to make changes to the JPA agreement based on stakeholder input, all of which led to the creation of community-responsive principles for implementing CCA in the San Diego region,” said Beth Vaughan, CalCCA’s executive director. “CalCCA stands ready to support the city and its JPA partners as they continue on a path to launching a CCA program in 2021.”

###

About CalCCA
Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving approximately 10 million customers.

For more information about CalCCA visit www.cal-cca.org.

CPX Regulatory Update for September 19, 2019

Regulatory updates for September 19, 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 September 26 at CPUC headquarters. See AGENDA. For the livestream, click HERE.
  • We are continuing to monitor wildfire related proceedings but will no longer be reporting on a regular basis. We will report occasionally on any significant developments.
  • We will be monitoring the OIR for SB 1339 relating to microgrids, coming soon.

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

Closed proceedings that matter:

Other CPUC activities with no docket number:

~ ~ ~

 

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

New and recent developments:

  • Reply Comments from PG&E, Office of Ratepayer Advocate, others. Not posted to proceeding documents list
  • On July 19, the Center, along with adviser Lorenzo Kristov, PhD, filed Comments pursuant to the June 18 Order seeking proposals to improve PG&E safety culture
  • 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 ability to maintain a safe transmission and distribution system

Key Documents:

  • Orderextending statutory deadline to May 8, 2020

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 (PCIA) (Proceeding #17-06-026)

New and recent developments:

  • 6 – Proposed Decision – Decision refining the method to develop and true up market price benchmarks; may be heard Oct. 10
  • 3 – Administrative Law Judge’s Rulingdenying in part the Motion of the Protect Our Communities Foundation for Evidentiary Hearings and modifying the proceeding schedule
  • August 1 – Proposed Decisionmodifying the PCIA Methodology. The deadline for comments on the APD is September 6, 2018 at 5 p.m. The deadline for consolidated reply comments on the PD and the APD is September 11, 2018 at 5 p.m.

Key Documents:

Next Steps (Tentative):

  • September – Proposed decision on Group 1 issues 1 – 7
  • September 26 – Group 3 second update

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:

  • 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
  • 8/2/19 Comments of CalCCA on the informal workshop reports
  • Assigned Commissioner’s Rulingon July 3 seeking comment on clarification to resource adequacy import rules. Responses to questions were due by July 19, 2019. Reply comments were due by July 26, 2019.

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.

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:

  • 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
  • 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.

Key Documents:

  • Order Instituting Rulemaking
  • Decision D.18-02-018 setting IRP requirements for LSEs
  • Amended Scoping Memo

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 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.

 

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

New or Recent Developments:

  • 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

 

Closed proceedings that matter: 

  • CCA Rulemaking03-10-003 This 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 agreementwith 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:

  • Sept 28 – Deadline for PG&E to propose reorganization plan

 

Our next CPX Regulatory Update will be published on Thursday, October 3.

 

CPX Legislative update for September 19, 2019

Check back frequently for updates during legislative sessions (January – October every year).

Updated 9/19/19

Legislative Calendar Check: The legislature adjourned on September 13. The governor has until October 13 to sign bills. We will issue two more legislative updates on October 3 and 17, and then will be on break until the legislature resumes business in January 2020. In the meantime, visit the CPX legislative page for occasional updates.

In this 2019 session we are monitored about 29 energy and/or climate-related bills, not all of which would 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.

Two-year bills that will come back in 2020:

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 OppositionStatus: Two-year bill.

AB 235 (Mayes) – This bill was amended recently to 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. Status: AB 235 is now a two-year bill.

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. Status: Two-year bill. It will be brought back in January 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 that is also a tw0-year bill. Status: Two-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.

Bills we opposed that were enacted:

AB 1054 (Holden, Mayes, Burke) – Enacted: This 200-page bill was fast-tracked through the legislature. In addition to encumbering ratepayers with nonbypassable charges for more than a decade just as they were set to expire, and no safeguard against rate increases, the bill includes a clause that is completely outside of any wildfire concern, and it impacts Community Choice agencies. The clause empowers the CPUC to obstruct sales of IOU assets to other load serving entities and public entities. This could hobble local governments wanting to launch their own municipal service, and/or emerging CCAs that may benefit by acquiring assets that the IOUs no longer want or need. Status: AB 1054 passed out of the legislature on July 11 and was signed by the governor. It is now being challenged in federal court by two PG&E customers on grounds that it may allow for ratepayer funds to be used to pay for cost increases due to PG&E negligence.

AB 1584 (Quirk) – Until recently this bill would have impinged on Community Choice agency’s statutory procurement authority. Due to recent amendments, CalCCA has shifted to a neutral position. We remain opposed due to the original mal-intent of the bill and our assessment that there is no compelling merit to the current version of the bill. Status: The bill made it through its final vote on Sept 10 and is on the governor’s desk.

SB 155 (Bradford) – This bill expands CPUC’s authority over CCA procurement and Integrated Resource Plans. Read the Center’s July Letter of Opposition. Due to amendments made in early July, CalCCA has shifted to a neutral position. We remain opposed. Status: SB 155 made it through its final votes in both houses on Sept 10 and 11 and is on the governor’s desk.

SB-520 (Hertzberg) This bill empowers the CPUC to determine what load serving entity should serve as the provider of last resort (POLR). Currently IOUs serve as the provider of last resort in their service territories. A big problem with the bill is that it gives the IOUs veto control over the POLR application process. If another LSE (e.g., a CCA) wants to become the POLR, the incumbent IOU must agree to the application submitted to the CPUC, which is unacceptable. This bill is a step in the wrong direction. It gives the existing utilities control over whether they continue to have the exclusive right to serve as the utility and gives them control over who if anyone would take over the role of POLR. Why should the State hand over that kind of decision-making authority to the existing utilities? We are concerned that over time, this will make the utilities less accountable. We encourage firm opposition to this bill in its current form. Status: SB 520 The bill was made it through its final votes in both houses on Sept 10 and 11 and is on the governor’s desk.

SB 676 (Bradford) – This bill would require the CPUC, by December 31, 2020, in an existing proceeding, to establish strategies and quantifiable metrics to maximize the use of feasible and cost-effective electric vehicle grid integration. Based on amendments made in early July, CalCCA has shifted to a neutral position. Status: SB 676 made it through both houses and is on the governor’s desk.

Bills we supported that were enacted:

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 made it through its final votes on Sept 9 and 10 and is on the governor’s desk.

Unclear:

AB 1046 (Ting) – Clean Vehicle Rebate Program. Read our Letter of Support. This bill requires the California Air Resources Board to develop a plan to provide for the continuous funding of a program with a goal of supporting deployment of 5 million electric vehicles by December 2030. Status: AB 1046 was heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 30 and is being held under submission, an action taken by a committee when a bill is heard in committee and there is an indication that the author and the committee members want to work on or discuss the bill further, but there is no motion for the bill to progress out of committee. It is not clear whether this bill is dead or a two-year bill. Update coming soon.

For the complete list of bills we monitored in 2019 click HERE.  Next CPX legislation update will be on Thursday, October 3rd.

California’s new, $100 million, low-income solar program

A new program expanding solar access to low-income families in California has been unanimously passed by state regulators.

Disadvantaged Communities – Single-family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) aims to increase the adoption of solar power by low income households in disadvantaged communities by investing $120 million dollars into incentives annually through 2030. Specifically, the program will provide $8.5 million in annual total to customers who meet income qualifications and live in the top-25% most disadvantaged communities in the state.

And, while bringing solar to disadvantaged communities cannot be overstated in its importance, both in terms of expanding solar as a generation resource and narrowing the racial and socioeconomic expanse of solar, those are the topics most frequently focused on when a program like DAC-SASH goes into effect.

What has the most personal impact potential is the focus on the community members under DAC-SASH. Specifically, the notion outlined in the program’s announcement that says

The program will also integrate job training opportunities into every project, creating ladders of opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to access well-paid jobs in California’s solar industry, and ensuring lasting community benefit.

DAC-SASH is being administered by GRID Alternatives, a non-profit organization which also oversaw the implementation of the Single-family Solar Home (SASH) program and claims to have engaged over 40,000 people in solar education and training.

That 40,000 reach is impressive, compounded by the fact that most of those people would otherwise have no resources to pursue that type of training and education. One of the biggest issues with these disadvantaged communities is the cycle born from the lack of resources. Without access to quality education, those living in these disadvantaged communities have no means to escape their current conditions, effectively putting entire communities in generational limbo.

What makes these programs so valuable is that they offer a way out. Someone living in these communities can show up to a project site and immediately receive training in a practical, real, setting. What’s more is GRID Alternatives shares that, as of 2017, only seven percent of solar installation jobs required a bachelor’s degree. With those to factors together, the program can effectively create an entire new workforce with the skills to work jobs that will allow the workers to escape the cycle of poverty afflicting these communities.

This was a fact noted by California Public Utility Commission Deputy Executive Director for Energy and Climate Policy, Edward Randolph, who said:

We look forward to working with GRID Alternatives and program stakeholders to ensure the program provides maximum impact in our most vulnerable communities.

Any reader interested in applying for or learning more about DAC-SASH can do so through GRID Alternatives’ Energy for All Program.

 

California’s new, $100 million, low-income solar program, by Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine, September 17, 2019.

California Supercharges Battery Incentive for Wildfire-Vulnerable Homes

California has passed its first-ever subsidy aimed specifically at bringing more distributed solar and energy storage to people at highest risk of having their power shut off by utilities trying to prevent wildfires.

The California Public Utilities Commission approved changes (PDF) late last week to the Self-Generation Incentive Program, the state’s premier behind-the-meter battery incentive program. Among them is a $100 million carve-out for vulnerable households and critical services in Tier 2 and Tier 3 “high fire threat districts,” offering incentives that could pay for nearly all of a typical residential battery installation, according to the CPUC analysis.

This supercharged incentive is aimed specifically at people at the highest risk of being hurt if, or when, grid power is cut off for hours or even days at a time under the state’s heightened wildfire prevention regime. While utilities have been sparing in their use of this new “public safety power shutoff” authority so far this summer, they are largely at the mercy of the weather to determine how often they’ll be forced to use it in the future, or how many customers might be affected.

Climate change is driving hotter and drier conditions, putting large swaths of the state at high risk of catastrophic wildfires, including those caused by utility power lines. Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy was driven by its liabilities from wildfires in 2017 and 2018 caused by its power lines, and Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric have faced credit downgrades and the threat of insolvency if they’re hit with blame for a major fire.

State regulators and lawmakers have responded to the crisis with steps including a $21 billion wildfire fund for utilities, as well as mandates to invest billions in grid repairs, tree-trimming, weather forecasting, and other wildfire prevention efforts. Thursday’s decision marks the first time the CPUC has approved one of the several proposals from utilities and distributed energy resources vendors such as Sunrun to put market-based incentives to work on the same task.

The funding will come from SGIP’s equity budget, a set-aside for low-income, medically compromised or otherwise disadvantaged residents. Utilities and solar-storage vendors have struggled to enroll many of these customers in what’s still an expensive solar-storage proposition, leaving large portions of the equity budget unspent.

The regulator’s decision addresses many of challenges on this front, such as opening SGIP funding to specific Central Valley disadvantaged communities and participants in existing multi-family housing solar programs. It also boosts the current cap of 50 cents per watt-hour for battery installations, already higher than the mainstream incentive, to 85 cents per watt-hour.

Higher premium

The $100 million carve-out would apply an even higher premium to systems meant to bolster grid resilience against wildfires, up to $1 per watt-hour. “This will address the primary barrier to participation in SGIP by equity budget-eligible customers, particularly residential customers, which is lack of access to financing or capital,” the CPUC noted.

Indeed, at $1 per watt-hour, SGIP pays for $13,200, or 98 percent, of the cost of the typical Tesla Powerwall residential battery system used as the CPUC’s reference case, compared to $6,600 or 50 percent at 50 cents per watt-hour, or $11,200, or 83 percent, at 85 cents per watt-hour.

“Party comments on the proposed decision persuaded us that the risk of setting the incentive levels too low for the new equity resiliency budget and the equity budget, leading again to no or very low participation in these budgets, outweighs the risk that developers will inflate costs,” the CPUC wrote.

Not everyone living in Tier 2 or 3 areas will be eligible for this funding, only “SGIP critical resiliency needs” customers. With a few exceptions, this includes people who meet the equity budget’s low-income and disadvantaged criteria, or are “medical baseline” customers who have notified their utility of a “serious illness or condition that could become life-threatening if electricity is disconnected.”

Critical services and critical infrastructure in Tier 2 and 3 districts can also apply for the carve-out, although CPUC’s decision makes clear it will prioritize “only the most critical facilities and infrastructure and those with the least ability to fund a storage system.”

The CPUC also set up new rules for critical resilience customers, who are meant to use their batteries to “island,” or run disconnected, from the grid, to deal with the fact that the SGIP program wasn’t designed for islanding. These include requirements to have the system inspected by the local utility or another authority with jurisdiction over its interconnection, and to file data on how long it can operate in island mode under different conditions.

Beyond the $100 million wildfire carve-out, the decision makes some important changes to SGIP’s approach to low-income, disadvantaged and multifamily housing, the CPUC’s press release noted. Those include granting eligibility to participants in the Single Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program, the SASH for Disadvantaged Communities program, the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program, and the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing program.

The CPUC also approved $4 million for heat pump water incentives and $10 million for SGIP storage incentives to support pilot projects in 11 San Joaquin Valley disadvantaged communities.

 

California Supercharges Battery Incentive for Wildfire-Vulnerable Homes, by Jeff St. John, Greentech Media, September 17, 2019.

City Hall to encourage replacing gas appliances with electric alternatives

City Hall will encourage residents and businesses to replace natural gas appliances with electric heating and cooking equipment as it pursues its goal of reducing carbon emissions to 20% of their 1990 levels by 2030.

The City Council discussed Tuesday how to incentivize consumers to forgo appliances powered by natural gas in favor of electric heating and cooling systems, stoves and dryers.

Natural gas is the second-largest source of Santa Monica’s emissions after gasoline since the city switched from Southern California Edison to the Clean Power Alliance in January. About 92% of residents and businesses now pay slightly higher rates for 100% renewable electricity and about 5% opted to stay with SCE.

Natural gas is more than 90% methane, which is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Extracting, producing, transporting and storing natural gas results in methane leaks at a rate of up to 3%, said sustainability analyst Drew Lowell.

While renewable natural gas is one alternative, its scarcity and high cost relative to renewable electricity makes it unlikely to ever meet a significant share of the demand for natural gas, Lowell said. It also still consists largely of methane and still leaks into the atmosphere. But replacing heating and cooling systems, gas stoves and clothes dryers is a lot trickier than changing utilities.

Eliminating natural gas in Santa Monica’s buildings will also only reduce carbon emissions by 2%, while renewable electricity cut emissions by 19%. Lowell said a new building with electric instead of gas equipment is $5,000 to $10,000 cheaper to construct and twice as efficient. The city is developing building codes that incentivize developers to construct electric buildings, he said.

Replacing an existing building’s gas appliances improves indoor air quality and eliminates hazards like carbon monoxide and explosions, he said.

However, most consumers are unfamiliar with electric equipment and may not want to replace their appliances until they are unusable, Lowell said. Older buildings may also have limited electrical capacity.

Councilmembers said the city would need to develop an outreach program to educate property owners about how to replace natural gas appliances and possibly offer financial incentives.

“We need to guide people into this,” said Councilmember Sue Himmelrich.

Mayor Gleam Davis said financial incentives or rebates should go toward people who most need them.

“When we gave rebates for people to switch out their lawns for drought-tolerant plants, people who took advantage of that were people in single-family homes who could afford to do it anyway,” Davis said. “We need to figure out if there is a way to focus rebates on people with the least wherewithal to make those changes.”

Councilmember Greg Morena said it would be challenging for restaurants to switch to electric induction stoves because the vast majority of chefs cook with gas. Induction stoves are also much more expensive than gas stoves, he said.

“I want to caution us against going down a path that we don’t necessarily have a solution for,” Morena said. “Costs increasing in a restaurant industry where margins are single digit … we don’t have a lot of room for it.”

 

City Hall to encourage replacing gas appliances with electric alternatives, by Madeleine Pauker, Santa Monica Daily Press, September 16, 2019.

Electrification is an all-around winner

At a time when all the news about climate change seems abysmal, there are rays of hope. Berkeley, California, has become the first major city to ban the use of natural gas in new construction. Over 50 other cities in California are poised to follow.

This is part of a positive trend to go all-electric and decarbonize — to eliminate sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including from all fossil fuels like natural gas.

Why we can and should eliminate gas from new construction

Not too long ago, natural gas was seen as a bridge to the renewable energy future, as its GHG emissions were thought to be much lower than those from coal and oil. However, recent reassessments of gas’s lifecycle emissions and environmental impacts — from extraction by fracking, drilling, and other means to end-use burning for heat and electricity — show that the leakage during gas extraction and transport combined with emissions from combustion make gas far more damaging than previously thought.

Given the additional fact that it is now cheaper to bypass the entire gas system for new buildings and go all-electric, it’s a no-brainer to eliminate gas from all new building projects and communities. Making this cost flip possible are advances in new high-efficiency heat pump technologies for HVAC, water heating, and even clothes drying; highly efficient induction cooking; electric vehicles (EVs); and other advances. When you factor in the harmful effects of gas in the home — unregulated toxic fumes of burned and unburned gas emissions increasing rates of asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, and heart disease — going all-electric is a clear win for public health and safety.

How we can electrify existing buildings 

The next challenge is to decarbonize existing buildings. There are many inefficient older structures to address before our communities and states can completely wean off natural gas. This problem can be overcome, but it will take more time.

By providing incentives to electrify appliances, vehicles, and essentially everything that now burns fossil fuels, as well as incentives for energy efficiency retrofits, we can transform our existing infrastructure. The constant cost reductions surrounding solar, wind, and energy storage will help achieve this goal. A multi-agency bi-coastal working group of building science organizations known as Realize is working out the details of efficiency retrofits in order to create a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels. This transition will create new solutions and plentiful jobs — jobs that will mostly remain local. We can address climate change strongly and maintain or even improve a robust economy.

The goal is lofty but essential: to begin reversing the damage that climate change is causing now and will increasingly cause moving forward. Anything less is unacceptable for the sake of our children and future generations.

 

The pressing need for resilience 

As more communities make significant commitments to address climate change through electrification, a new and ever-growing need must also be addressed: resilience.

Even in the face of today’s relatively limited effects of climate change, resilience is already a pressing need. As climate impacts grow, resilience becomes ever more important. Thus, while it is extremely important to electrify as rapidly as possible, it is critical to enhance resilience ahead of the growing climate emergency.

Does eliminating sources of fossil fuel decrease resilience? Not if it’s done right and includes making our electricity infrastructure more resilient.

Natural gas is inherently dangerous and not resilient. Gas line explosions make frequent headlines, and the associated infrastructure is highly susceptible to fires, earthquakes, terrorism, and other disasters.  For example, gas service takes 30 times longer than electricity to restore after large earthquakes:

Solar+storage microgrids as a resilience solution 

The fundamental resilience solution is based on local solar and other distributed energy resources (DER), especially as part of community microgrids and facility microgrids, even nanogrids at the residential level. DER coordinated into microgrids provide unparalleled resilience that could never be matched by the historic energy system that relies on centralized fossil fuel infrastructure and vulnerable transmission grids. Community microgrids deliver economic, environmental, and resilience benefits to communities; smaller microgrids deliver the same benefits at a facility level.  

Along with local renewables, energy storage is key DER solution. Solar+storage can be combined at any level to provide resilience and eliminate points of failure that impact large geographic areasRenewables+storage are the foundation of microgrids, which can be configured like layers of an onion: if the outer layer is damaged, there are deeper layers of protection. The more distributed an energy system is designed to be, the more layers it has and the more resilience it offersSignificant examples of community microgrids are happening in the Santa Barbara, California region, including Montecito, and in Calistoga.   

The grid as we know it will morph into an interconnection of layered microgrids, each layer having the capability to operate independently if needed for any reason: 

  • The outer layer is large community microgrid with wholesale distributed generation (WDG) renewables and storage, including largely commercial-scale solar+storage that can protect both at the community layer and at deeper site-level layers, depending on circumstances 
  • Deeper layers serve individual buildings, including down to single-family homes 
  • All the layers interconnect to share renewables+storage for balancing energy at whatever microgrid scenario is currently active 

To facilitate electrification and microgrids, the Clean Coalition has developed Electrification & Community Microgrid Ready (ECMR) guidelines, intended to enhance building codes and assist real estate developers. The ECMR guidelines provide details for achieving full electrification and a facility microgrid while incorporating the wiring and communications required for participating in a larger community microgrid that comes later. This document should be part of the reach code for any municipality with ambitions for electrification and resilience. 

 

Enabling the transition to a resilient energy future 

The beauty of the transition to resilient energy solutions is that it happens smoothly over time. To a great extent microgrids are a bottomsup solution, starting with critical community facilities as well as homes and businesses. What the transition does require is innovations in policy and market mechanisms, and aligning key stakeholders, including property owners, utilities, municipal leadership, solution providers, and community members. In general, DER promote equity in development and ownership by greatly expanding investment opportunities that are individually small and local 

This idea is similar in concept to the development and growth of the internet — except with energy instead of data. Interestingly, the internet will greatly facilitate this transition by enabling instantaneous communicationsUtility asset investment should shift from centralized to distributed solutions. The astronomical costs of centralized generation and transmission can be repurposed in part to fund distributed assets as the microgrid systems grow. The dangers of longrange transmission have become alarmingly clear amidst an increasing torrent of devastating fires in California. 

The technologies for microgrids exist today, and they are ready to deploy. The solutions will comprise a system of widely distributed but highly coordinated local solar and other DER that grow like a beautiful and resilient gardenThe time is now, and the need is great to electrify our communities while ensuring unparalleled resilience. 

 

Electrification is an all-around winner, by John Sarter, PV Magazine, September 17, 2019.