Stockton takes a big step toward local clean energy

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, Stockton’s City Council unanimously approved a resolution selecting a consultant to complete a feasibility study on launching a Community Choice Energy program in Stockton.

Enabled by state law, the program would allow the City to procure power on behalf of residents, businesses, and municipal accounts while still receiving transmission and distribution service from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the existing utility provider.

Benefits of establishing a not-for-profit Community Choice agency, or CCA include consumer choice, local control, and enhanced public participation. Potential benefits include offering energy programs that meet community needs, lowering electricity rates, accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources and creating local jobs in sustainable energy development.

MRW & Associates, LLC was awarded the bid on a $92,750 contract to complete the feasibility study, which will assess how achievable these benefits are for the City. The study will also explore options for governance structure, specifically to address whether it would be most feasible for the City to establish a CCA on its own, or in a joint powers authority format with another municipality, such as San Joaquin County.

Still from Stockton City Council meeting

Beyond offering some rate relief, buying from cleaner sources and creating over 4,200 jobs, the 21 existing CCAs in the state have reinvested their reserve funds into several innovative community-tailored programs. They’ve helped their customers cover the costs of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure; solar and battery storage systems; and electrifying buildings and public transportation, to name a few.

These not-for-profit locally based agencies have also collectively donated millions of dollars to COVID relief efforts in their service areas, with grants to community-based organizations and local governments, in addition to rate relief for power generation.

Energy resilience has also been a huge priority for many CCAs – in just 10 years, they’ve supported the installation of more than 3,600 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy facilities and 240 MW of battery-backup storage systems to help prevent the impacts of mass power outages.

Vice Mayor Dan Wright has been championing Stockton exploring potential benefits of a CCA since 2016 when The Climate Center first reached out to him.

“The reason I was initially interested in the idea was our withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords,” Wright said in the meeting. “It’s that idea of moving toward a greener economy and zero carbon emissions that gets me behind this.”

Many community members submitted comments in support that were read into the record by the board clerk.

“We fully support this resolution,” wrote Little Manila Rising Executive Director Dillon Delvo. “Ultimately, we believe as shown in other communities, that establishing a Community Choice Energy program would provide our city with much-needed resources to help tackle the environmental challenges all of our Stockton families face together.”

Jonathan Pruitt, Environmental Justice Project coordinator at Catholic Charities Dioceses of Stockton spoke of the benefits of a CCA, including accountability and transparency in energy matters, as well as potential for procuring from greener sources and reinvesting in the community through local energy projects.

Margo Praus, Chair of the Delta-Sierra Group of the Sierra Club and other local groups praised CCA as one way to address wildfires, air pollution, extreme heat and other impacts of the climate crisis.

“This is an emergency,” Praus wrote. “Our efforts to curtail GHG emissions urgently need to be stepped up. CCAs give people a choice in where their energy comes from. We hope you choose a consultant, and we await the results with bated and masked breath.”

Stockton’s feasibility study should take about three to four months to complete, after which the City Council will be presented with the findings and faced with a decision to move forward.

We hope that the study will yield positive results, and that the City will continue down a path toward developing an agency that could reinvest in the community for years to come.

Sonoma Clean Power to Provide Local School Districts Free Battery Storage Assessments

Schools with existing solar arrays in SCP’s service territory can participate in energy storage feasibility study

 (SANTA ROSA, CA) – Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) is partnering with TerraVerde Energy to offer financial and technical feasibility assessments for battery storage systems, at no cost, to public K-12 schools in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.

Reliable backup power has become an essential asset for public-serving entities in California, especially for public schools, which in addition to being important educational facilities for their communities, often serve as emergency response centers during natural disasters.

In October of 2019, over 1,000 California schools were forced to close their campuses due to wildfire-related Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events.

“Our service territory has endured a lot of challenges over the last few years. As an agency, it’s our priority to make sure our communities are adapting quickly and safely to be better prepared for future disasters and power outages. Helping our customers install battery storage systems where they can have the biggest impact is one of the best ways to facilitate that adaptation,” said Carolyn Glanton, Programs Manager at SCP.

Of the 52 School Districts in SCP’s territory, those with existing on-site solar arrays are invited to apply for the feasibility study.

Each participating School District will receive a report from TerraVerde outlining the financial benefits, infrastructure implications, and considerations of coupling their solar system with added energy storage. The report will also identify potential funding sources available to schools for installing a battery storage system.

“Schools play such a vital role in our communities and deserve our support! As independent energy advisors, TerraVerde has proudly served schools for more than 11 years in evaluating and deploying energy projects. We are thrilled to partner with Sonoma Clean Power with providing schools in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties with objective technical and financial assessments of the opportunity for deploying battery systems at their campuses.” said David Burdick, Executive Vice President of TerraVerde Energy.

SCP and TerraVerde will be reaching out to local School Districts via phone and email over the next few weeks to begin enrolling sites in the program.

Interested School Districts can also learn more by emailing programs@sonomacleanpower.org, or by visiting sonomacleanpower.org/solar-storage-study-for-schools.

# # #

About Sonoma Clean Power

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

About TerraVerde Energy

TerraVerde Energy is an independent energy consulting firm that supports Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) in designing and deploying Distributed Energy Resource programs that leverage energy technologies such as solar PV, battery energy storage, electric vehicle chargers, and smart thermostats. Through these programs, CCAs and their customers can enjoy reduced energy costs, increased power reliability, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. TerraVerde provides data-driven program design, efficient program deployment, and effective program administration services that deliver the strongest outcomes for CCAs and their customers. Learn more at terraverde.energy/cca.

Legislative Update for September 3, 2020

The 2020 Legislative session ended at midnight on Monday, August 31. Below is a summary of the results of some of the bills we monitored. The Governor has until September 30 to sign or veto bills.


For a complete list of the 135 bills we tracked in 2020, click HERE.

Endorse our Climate-Safe California platform here.

See our collected position letters here.


Assembly Bills

AB 326 (Muratsuchi) Supported – Would have made it legal for electric auto manufacturers to offer subscriptions for the use of electric vehicles directly to customers on a month to month basis with no dealer involvement. STATUS: Died in the Sen. floor process.

AB 345 (Muratsuchi) Supported – Read The Climate Center’s Letter of Support.  This bill would have established regulations to protect public health and safety near oil and gas extraction facilities, including a minimum setback distance from sensitive receptors such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, etc. STATUS: Died in the Senate Natural Resources Committee. In depth story about AB 345. For a factsheet on AB 345, click HERE.

AB 740 (Burke) No Position – Late gut & amend that addressed microgrid size. STATUS: Died in the Senate Energy Committee.

AB 841 (Ting) Supported – Reallocates funds to help upgrade school HVAC systems and advance electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  STATUS: On the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.

AB 1001 (Ting) Supported – This bill would have established the School Disaster Resiliency Act. STATUS: Died in the Senate Education Committee.

AB 1720 (Carillo) No Position – This bill compels LSE procurement of long-duration energy storage, impinging on CCA procurement autonomy. STATUS: Died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1839 (Bonta) No Position – The “Green New Deal” bill would have created the California Green New Deal Council with a specified membership appointed by the Governor. STATUS: Died in Comm. on Natural Resources.

AB 1847 (Levine) No Position – This bill would have authorized the CPUC, contingent on the Commission finding that an electrical corporation is not complying with State law, to appoint a public administrator to the electrical corporation for a period not to exceed 180 days. STATUS: Died in the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee.

AB 2145 (Ting) Supported – This bill would have helped ensure that by 2030 California will safely install enough EV charging ports to meet the demand through public and private investment. STATUS: Died in the Asm U&E committee.

AB 2621 (Mullin) Supported. This bill would have required the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, by June 1, 2021, to establish a grant program and guidelines for the development of regional climate adaptation plans by regional collaboratives. STATUS: Died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2689 (Kalra) Supported – This bill would have updated IOU confidentiality provisions to allow a broader range of market experts to participate in complex IOU cost recovery proceedings. The California Community Choice Association was a sponsor of this bill. STATUS: Died the Asm U&E committee.

AB 2789 (Kamlager) No Position – Would have appropriated $1.5M and required the CPUC to request the California Council on Science and Technology to undertake and complete a study on electrical grid outages and cost avoidance resulting from deployment of eligible renewable energy resources, battery storage systems, and demand response technologies. STATUS: Died in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee.

AB 3014 (Muratsuchi) Supported – Would have created the Central Reliability Authority (CRA), a non-profit public benefit corporation, to purchase residual RA needed to meet state requirements while still allowing load-serving entities (LSEs), such as Community Choice Agencies (CCAs), to maintain their procurement autonomy. The California Community Choice Association was a sponsor of this bill. STATUS: Died in the Asm U&E committee.

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

AB 3214 (Limón) – Supported. Read coalition Letter of Support that The Climate Center’s signed on to. This bill increases existing fines for oil spills. STATUS: On the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.

AB 3251 (Bauer-Kahan) No Position – Would have required that charging of energy storage systems be treated as load in calculations for demand response programs, and that capacity from energy storage systems installed on the customer side of the meter be allowed to be aggregated for purposes of determining resource adequacy capacity; and electricity exported to the grid from the customer side of the meter be allowed to count toward the capacity obligations of load-serving entities. STATUS: WITHDRAWN by author.

AB 3256 (Eduardo Garcia, et al) – This bill would have placed a General Obligation Bond on the November 2020 ballot. This bill would enact the Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $6.9B to finance projects for a wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, climate resilience, drought preparation, and flood protection program. STATUS: Died in Asm. Rules Comm.

 

Senate Bills

SB 1215 (Stern) Supported – Would have required the CPUC to create a database of critical facilities and critical infrastructure, and related critical circuits that are located in high fire-threat districts served by electrical corporations, and identify with respect to each whether it serves a low-income and disadvantaged community. The bill would have required LSEs to collaborate with local governments within its service area to identify critical circuits and microgrid projects. The Climate Center has supported this bill in the past but is evaluating recent amendments. STATUS: Died in the Asm U&E Committee.

SB 1258 (Stern) Supported – Would have created the California Climate Technology and Infrastructure Financing Act that would have required the California Infrastructure Bank (IBank) to administer the Climate Catalyst Revolving Fund, which the bill would establish to provide financial assistance to eligible climate catalyst projects. STATUS: Died in Sen. Approps.

SB 45 (Allen, et al) Supported – Dubbed the “Wildfire Prevention, Safe Drinking Water, Drought Preparation, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2020.” This was a proposed $5.51 billion general obligation bond to be placed on the November 3, 2020 ballot. Would have included $570M for climate resiliency initiatives including microgrids, distributed generation, storage systems, in-home backup power, and community resiliency centers. STATUS: Died in the Assembly.

SB 808 (Mitchell) – Budget Bill. See this June 22 CalMatters Article for details. STATUS: Died in the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.

SB 774 (Stern) No Position – SB 774 would have required 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. STATUS: Died in the Assembly U&E Committee.

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

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

Please send suggestions and corrections to woody@theclimatecenter.org

Regulatory Update for September 3, 2020

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

Pursuant to Executive Order N-29-20, Commissioners may participate in CPUC meetings remotely. The public may observe, provide public comments during the public comment period, and otherwise participate remotely pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.

  • To listen or make comments not to exceed three minutes by phone, dial 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 9899501
  • Alternatively, you mail email brief written comments (which do not exceed three minutes when read aloud) to 09102020VotingMeetingComments@cpuc.ca.gov and the Public Advisor may read your comments out loud to the meeting if time permits. 

Brief Notes:

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

Updates on proceedings we are tracking

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

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

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

Closed proceedings that matter:

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

Summaries:

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

Recent Developments:

  • August 28 Climate Center/Vote Solar Joint Reply Comments, Track 2
  • August 14 – The Climate Center and Vote Solar Joint Comments on Track 2 Ruling
  • July 3 Scoping Ruling – Assigned Commissioner’s Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling for Track 2.
  • June 11 Decision adopting Short-Term (Track 1) Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

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

Key Documents:

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

Next Steps: Track 2 for longer term measures has begun.


  1. Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Recent Developments:

  • There is currently no open SGIP proceeding.
  • May 7, 2020:  The Energy Division held part two of the workshop webinar on how to include heat pump water heaters in SGIP.  The final presentations are available here.
  • April 1 – The application window for the new SGIP incentives levels opened, following up on the CPUC’s Decision in January (see below) authorizing adding funds to SGIP’s energy storage budgets. Of particular note, the newly-created Equity Resiliency Budget ($513M) provides enhanced SGIP incentives for on-site residential and non-residential storage systems for low-income, vulnerable customers in high-risk fire threat districts (HFTD) or those who have been affected by PSPS events. The new SGIP Decision also created a $0.15/Wh resiliency adder for non-residential customers with critical resilience needs such as police stations, fire stations, hospitals, etc. Additional information is available in the new SGIP Handbook.

Next Steps: A new proceeding is expected to be opened in late 2020.

Key Documents:


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

Recent Developments:

  • August 1, 2020 – Proposed Decision Modifying the PCIA Methodology
  • June 30, 2020 – Decision Adopting a Framework and Evaluation Criteria for the PCIA Prepayment Agreements. Opening comments, which shall not exceed 15 pages, were due July 20, 2020. Reply comments, which shall not exceed 5 pages, are due 5 days after the last day for filing comments.
  • June 22 – Protect Our Communities Foundation in San Diego is challenging the PCIA in state appellate court in San Diego. We will continue to provide updates on this case as it proceeds.

Next Steps:

  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Working Group 3 issues

Key Documents:


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

Recent Developments:

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

Next Steps:

Key Documents:

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

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


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

Recent Developments:

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

Next Steps:

Key Documents:

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


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

Recent Developments:

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

Key Documents:

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


  1. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003

Recent developments: None at this time

Key Documents:

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


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

Recent Updates:

  • The NEM 3.0 proceeding has been initiated
  • August 14 2020 – OIR Issued for NEM 3.0
  • August 14 2020 – The “Lookback Report” on the results of NEM 2.0 produced by Itron

Key Documents:

Background: The current NEM program was adopted by the CPUC in Decision (D.)16-01-044 on January 28, 2016 and is available to customers of PG&E, SCE and SDG&E.  The current NEM program went into effect in SDG&E’s service territory on June 29, 2016, in PG&E’s service territory on December 15, 2016, and in SCE’s service territory on July 1, 2017.  The program provides customer-generators full retail rate credits for energy exported to the grid and requires them to pay a few charges that align NEM customer costs more closely with non-NEM customer costs.

Integrating Environmental Stewardship Principles into Power Procurement

California’s ambitious clean energy mandate of 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2045 (SB 100) will require renewable energy development to increase significantly over the next two decades. These infrastructure investments, essential to removing carbon from California’s economy, will require a significant amount of land.

Local community choice aggregators (CCAs) are leading the charge when it comes to investing   in the new clean energy resources the state will need to meet its SB 100 goal. CCAs to date having signed long-term power purchase agreements totaling more than 3,600 megawatts with new-build solar, wind, geothermal, and energy storage facilities. A key question is how are CCAs ensuring a power project delivers multiple benefits for air, water, and nature while avoiding impacts to environmentally sensitive lands and species? 

The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) hosted a July 31 webinar that focused on this very important question, with speakers from The Nature Conservancy and Clean Power Alliance (CPA), California’s largest CCA. The webinar, “Integrating Environmental Stewardship Principles into Power Procurement,” highlighted TNC’s work on low-impact clean energy deployment and CPA’s approach to integrating environmental stewardship into clean energy procurement.  

Purchasers of electricity, such as CPA, are uniquely positioned to drive the market toward procuring renewable electricity from low-impact areas. By integrating criteria to minimize impacts to land and habitat into electricity procurement, buyers can advance their energy, climate, and conservation goals, while also reducing business risks.

CPA serves approximately 1 million customer accounts in 32 communities in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. To date, CPA has approved 10 long-term clean energy contracts totaling about 1,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, wind, and energy storage resources. The aggregator is continuing to procure additional resources to meet the needs of its customers and state energy mandates. Renewable and zero-carbon energy facilities, and the electric lines that carry the electricity, can spread across thousands of acres, and if not put in the right places, can alter pristine natural lands and wildlife habitat, inhibit the ability of those lands to store carbon, and extract water from arid landscapes. Fortunately, as compared to conventional energy sources, renewable generation has the potential to harness large amounts of energy and reduce impacts on land, water, human health, and climate, through better siting in places such as rooftops, parking lots, and lands with fewer natural resources – low-impact areas.

A study by The Nature Conservancy and Energy & Environmental Economics (E3) analyzed multiple pathways to achieve California’s clean energy targets by mid-century while limiting the impacts of energy development on natural and agricultural landscapes. The study found that between 1.6 to 3.1 million acres may be needed for new wind and solar installations alone. The study demonstrates that it is possible to avoid significant land use conflicts and achieve California’s clean energy goals cost-effectively.

The Green Light Study by The Nature Conservancy and ECONorthwest explores the economic benefits of developing low-impact renewable energy projects. After performing analysis on 16 utility-scale solar projects in California, habitat mitigation costs for high biodiversity value land were greater than that of low biodiversity value land, resulting in 7 to 14-percent savings on overall project costs. These studies show that aligning environmental stewardship with renewable energy projects allows California to reach its clean energy goals by midcentury while simultaneously providing conservation benefits in a cost-effective manner.

Solar PV facility on previous agricultural lands in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California

As the demand for renewable energy increases, community choice energy providers are uniquely positioned to pioneer new approaches to procurement that integrate considerations for natural resource conservation, resulting in clean, reliable, and affordable energy for their communities while minimizing environmental impact.

In May 2018, The Nature Conservancy partnered with Clean Power Alliance (CPA), California’s largest community choice energy provider, to learn about their decision-making process for purchasing renewable energy and develop a method to inform procurement decisions through an environmental valuation framework.

CPA developed an “Environmental Stewardship Principle” to guide the agency’s approach for incorporating environmental stewardship into procurement decision-making. By September 2018, CPA adopted the following environmental stewardship principle:

“CPA is committed to being an environmental leader by providing customers with energy that delivers multiple benefits for air, water, and nature.” 

CPA’s first and second Long-term Clean Energy Request for Offers (RFO) included environmental stewardship as one of six key evaluation criteria, stating its commitment to prioritize renewable energy projects with multiple benefits and de-prioritize high conflict areas. The Nature Conservancy collaborated with other environmental NGOs to provide relevant environmental and conservation information to CPA. CPA then used this information to develop qualitative assessment questions that aligned with their environmental stewardship principle, and a qualitative evaluation framework for ranking projects according to environmental stewardship. 

Through this partnership, CPA has continued to be a champion for conservation-compatible clean energy procurement. For any further inquiries on a conservation-compatible approach to clean power procurement, please reach out to Erica Brand (ebrand@tnc.org), Energy Strategy Lead at The Nature Conservancy in California. For more information on Clean Power Alliance, please contact Natasha Keefer (nkeefer@cleanpoweralliance.org), Director of Power Planning and Procurement. For information about the CalCCA “Community Energy Innovation” webinar series go to:  https://cal-cca.org/webinars/.

Regulatory Update for August 20, 2020

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

Remote Meeting Notice from CPUC:

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

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

Brief Notes:

  • The next CPUC voting meeting takes place on August 27 @ 10am. See AGENDA. For the livestream, click HERE.
  • See item 8, The NEM proceeding, which has had no updates in a while. There is recent activity.
  • Information about the PG&E bankruptcy is HERE.

Updates on proceedings we are tracking

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

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

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

Closed proceedings that matter:

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

Summaries:

 

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

Recent Developments:

  • August 14 – The Climate Center and Vote Solar Joint Comments on Track 2 Ruling
  • July 3 Scoping Ruling – Assigned Commissioner’s Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling for Track 2.
  • June 11 Decision adopting Short-Term (Track 1) Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

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

Key Documents:

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

Next Steps: Track 2 for longer term measures has begun.


  1. Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Recent Developments:

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

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

Key Documents:


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

Recent Developments:

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

Next Steps:

  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Working Group 3 issues

Key Documents:


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

Recent Developments:

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

Key Documents:

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

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


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

Recent Developments:

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

Next Steps:

Key Documents:

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


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

Recent Developments:

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

Key Documents

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


  1. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003

Recent developments: None at this time

Key Documents:

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


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

Recent Updates:

  • August 14 – OIR Issued for NEM 3.0
  • August 2020 – A report on the results of NEM 2.0 is expected very soon, produced by Itron
  • The NEM 3.0 proceeding is expected to be initiated in August 2020

Key Documents:

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

Legislative Update for August 20, 2020

All meetings are held in a modified version pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-25-20.   

Recent revised August tentative calendar for the Assembly is HERE.

Recent revised August calendar for the Senate is HERE.


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

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

Note that the last category is a new feature to these updates. For a complete list of the 134 bills we are currently tracking in 2020, click HERE. Our next update will be published here on June 11. Please send updates, suggestions, corrections to woody@theclimatecenter.org

Endorse our Climate-Safe California platform here.

See our Letters of Support here.

 


Assembly Bills

AB 326 (Muratsuchi) – SUPPORT Amendments are expected to make this bill enable electric auto manufacturers to lease vehicles directly to customers on a month to month basis with no dealer involvement. STATUS: In suspense file in Sen. Appropriations committee.

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

AB 841 (Ting) SUPPORT – Reallocates funds to help upgrade school HVAC systems and advance electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  STATUS: In suspense file in Asm Appropriations Committee.

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

AB 1720 (Carillo) WATCH – This bill compels LSE procurement of long-duration energy storage, impinging on CCA procurement autonomy. STATUS: August 3 hearing in Appropriations Committee postponed by the committee.

AB 2621 (Mullin) SUPPORT. This bill would require the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, by June 1, 2021, to establish guidelines for the development of regional climate adaptation plans by regional collaboratives. The bill would require the Council, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to develop a grant program to assist the development of qualified regional climate adaptation plans. STATUS: On July 2 amendments made by author; re-referred to the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality.


Senate Bills

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

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


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

AB 345 (Muratsuchi) SUPPORT – Read The Climate Center’s Letter of Support. This bill will would have established regulations to protect public health and safety near oil and gas extraction facilities, including a minimum setback distance between oil and gas activities and sensitive receptors such as schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, residences, hospitals, and health clinics. STATUS: Heard in Senate Natural Resources Committee on August 5. Failed on a 5/4 vote. Motion to reconsider passed. The bill was removed from the committee agenda on 8/12. For a factsheet on AB 345, click HERE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SB 774 (Stern) WATCH – SB 774 would require IOUs to collaborate with the State’s Office of Emergency of Services and others to identify where back-up electricity sources may provide increased electrical distribution grid resiliency and would allow the IOUs to file applications with the CPUC to invest in, and deploy, microgrids to increase resiliency. Concerns focus on too much control being placed in the hands of the IOUs over microgrid development when other LSEs and stakeholders can and should play a role. STATUS: In the Assembly U&E Committee: on July 5, a scheduled July 10 hearing was postponed by the committee.

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

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

August 5th Community Energy Resilience Policy Summit Focuses on Equity in State Clean Energy Resilience Programs

As California turns its attention to enhancing energy resilience in the face of widespread power outages, wildfires, and COVID19, policymakers need to prioritize clean energy resilience for California’s lower-income communities.  This was the focus of August 5th’s Community Energy Resilience Policy Summit. Here’s an event summary blog, the agenda with links to presentations,  speaker bios,  and a link to the full video presentation. The Climate Center will be hosting a follow-up statewide policy event on Wednesday, November 18th.

Below is a 9-minute video with the highlights of the 3-hour summit:

Here is the full recording:

Clean Energy Alliance Accepting Applications for Community Advisory Committee

Aug. 5 – The Clean Energy Alliance, a Joint Powers Authority between the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach, is seeking interested residents and business owners from its member cities to apply to serve on its inaugural Community Advisory Committee.

The new community-based committee will advise the board of directors on its Community Choice Aggregation (also known as Community Choice Energy) program operations, provide feedback, act as a liaison between the board and the community and serve as a forum for community input. 

Interested volunteers can apply here.

In November 2019, the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach formed the Clean Energy Alliance, a non-profit public entity that will operate a Community Choice Energy program within their service territories. Community Choice Energy is a model that allows communities to purchase power to meet their electricity needs, offering an alternative to the traditional SDG&E model. Community Choice Energy can provide the communities they serve with competitively priced, clean energy choices while reinvesting revenues into projects and programs that directly support the local economy. The CEA received official certification of its Community Choice Energy Implementation Plan from the California Public Utilities Commission in March 2020, putting it on track for program launch in May 2021.

For its Community Advisory Committee, the CEA board will select two appointees from each member city to serve three-year terms, with one inaugural appointee seat serving an initial two (2) years, with a two-term limit.

Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020 to the CEA Board Secretary at secretary@thecleanenergyalliance.org.  Learn more about the CAC policy and fill out the CAC application.

  

More Information 

About Community Choice Energy

About the Clean Energy Alliance 

Subscribe to the CEA Newsletter

Regulatory Update for August 6, 2020

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

Remote Meeting Notice from CPUC:

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

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

Brief Notes:

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

Updates on proceedings we are tracking

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

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

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

Closed proceedings that matter:

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

Summaries:

 

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

Recent Developments:

  • July 31 – Agenda here and slide deck here for the workshop on August 5th, 2020.
  • July 23 – Announcement on all-day Track 2 Staff Proposals and 8/5 workshop issued.
  • July 3 Scoping Ruling – Assigned Commissioner’s Amended Scoping Memo and Ruling for Track 2.
  • June 11 Decision adopting Short-Term (Track 1) Actions to Accelerate Microgrid Deployment and Related Resiliency Solutions. The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding.

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

Key Documents:

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

Next Steps: Track 2 for longer term measures has begun.


  1. Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Recent Developments:

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

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

Key Documents:


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

Recent Developments:

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

Next Steps:

  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Working Group 3 issues

Key Documents:


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

Recent Developments:

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

Key Documents:

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

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


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

Recent Developments:

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

Next Steps:

Key Documents:

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


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

Recent Developments:

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

Key Documents

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


  1. Integrated Distributed Energy Resources 4-10-003

Recent developments: None at this time

Key Documents:

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


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

Recent Updates:

  • August 2020 – A report on the results of NEM 2.0 is expected very soon, produced by Itron
  • The NEM 3.0 proceeding is expected to be initiated in August 2020

Key Documents:

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