New Report Shines Solar Power Light on Fresno

On May 27 Environment California released its seventh annual survey of solar energy in America’s biggest cities. It found that in California, Fresno came in a very respectable fourth, behind only Los Angeles, San Diego, and San José in total megawatts of solar power capacity installed. Congratulations Fresno!

Fresno is in the process of evaluation Community Choice Energy as a means to accelerate solar development, create good jobs, and respond to needs in the community, among other things. To find out more, visit our Central Valley CCA page.

Click on the chart below to enlarge.

Solar Rankings Chart – click on chart to enlarge.

 

Environment California is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization that raises awareness of environmental issues and promote sensible solutions. To Download a copy of the complete report, click HERE.

MBCP and SVCE Sign New 20-Year Contract for Renewable Energy

125 MW solar + battery storage 

Monterey, Calif., Sunnyvale, Calif. May 27, 2020 – Today, Community Choice Energy (CCE) providers Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) announced the execution of a 20-year solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage contract with NextEra Energy Yellow Pine Energy Center I, LLC (“Yellow Pine”). The Yellow Pine contract will help the CCEs meet local clean energy goals, California energy goals and long-term procurement requirements.

“We are delighted to partner with NextEra Energy, increasing our solar generation and battery storage portfolio” said Tom Habashi, Chief Executive Officer, MBCP. “This long-term 20-year contract shows our dedication in partnership with SVCE to the advancement of renewable energy and battery storage in order to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of the communities we serve.”

The solar + storage project located in Clark County, Nevada will deliver California Renewable Portfolio Standard-eligible resources to both CCEs beginning December 2022 through November 2042. MBCP will be contracting for 75 MW of solar generating capacity and 39 MW of energy storage, serving 5% of its annual retail load. SVCE will contract for 50 MW of solar generating capacity and 26 MW of energy storage, serving 4% of its annual retail load.

“Adding this long-term solar and storage asset to SVCE’s portfolio, in partnership with MBCP, keeps us on the fast lane to bending the carbon curve downward, and at the same time enhances reliability and affordability for all our customers,” said SVCE Chief Executive Officer Girish Balachandran.  

The Yellow Pine contracts are a result of the joint Request for Offer (RFO) issued by MBCP and SVCE in April 2019. In addition to Yellow Pine, two geothermal contracts, one with Coso Geothermal Power Holdings and one with Ormat Technologies Inc., and a solar + storage contract with Rabbitbrush LLC. have been approved by both CCEs.

MBCP and SVCE have issued another joint RFO for additional renewable resources. More information can be found at SVCleanEnergy.org/solicitations.

About Monterey Bay Community Power

Monterey Community Power is a Community Choice Energy agency established by local communities to source carbon-free electricity for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties in addition to the Cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo. PG&E continues its traditional role delivering power as well as maintaining electric infrastructure and billing. As a locally controlled not-for-profit, MBCP is not taxpayer funded and supports regional economic vitality by providing cleaner energy at a lower cost, supporting low-income rate payers, and funding local energy programs. For more information, visit www.mbcp.org.

Contact: Shelly Whitworth, swhitworth@mbcp.org, 831-229-0277

About Silicon Valley Clean Energy

Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit 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.

Contact: Michaela Pippin, michaela.pippin@svcleanenergy.org , 408-721-5301 x1020

The Center’s Destiny Rodriguez Discusses Community Choice Efforts in Fresno

Community Choice Energy agencies are supporting their customers and communities across the state during this pandemic, offering millions of dollars in relief efforts in response to COVID-19. The City of Fresno could benefit from this model once implemented to utilize revenues for our own impacted residents and local businesses rather than waiting for aid. If the City of Fresno moved Community Choice forward, it could provide a stable revenue stream for any emergency needs or crisis that may come in the future. Destiny Rodriguez, Regional Community Relations for The Climate Center gives examples of how CCAs are being proactive during COVID-19 and where Fresno is in this process on Central Valley Talk, a local web based TV channel. Learn more about how you can become involved in making Community Choice Energy a reality for Fresno.

SVCE Solar Customers See Largest Cash Payout to Date

$791,000 being paid to customers generating excess solar power

Santa Clara County, Calif. – Throughout May, Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) is paying its solar customers for surplus solar energy produced over the past year. Solar ‘Net Energy Metering’ (NEM) customers having April credit balances greater than $100 will receive payments. More than 2,700 SVCE NEM customers will receive a total of $791,000 in payouts.

The SVCE NEM program tracks the difference between the amount of electricity a customer’s solar panels produce and the amount of electricity used. When a home or business produces a surplus of solar energy, SVCE values that electricity at the full retail rate during which it was generated. This amount is returned to the customer in an annual payment, up to a maximum of $5,000.

This year, SVCE saw its largest annual NEM payment total since beginning operations in 2017. NEM customers include local residences, small and large businesses, schools, municipalities, and other institutions.

SVCE encourages customers to take control of their energy generation, whether that be with rooftop solar, GreenPrime or GreenStart. Our customers and communities should be proud to know they are a part of the climate solution and are saving money,” said SVCE Chair and Saratoga Mayor Howard Miller.

Customers of SVCE have the choice of GreenStart, a carbon-free electricity mix with 50% coming from renewable sources such as wind and solar and 50% from hydropower; GreenPrime, carbon-free electricity 100% sourced from renewable wind and solar; or rooftop solar, with grid electricity supplied via GreenStart or GreenPrime. For more on these electricity options please visit SVCleanEnergy.org/choices/.

About Silicon Valley Clean Energy

Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit 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: 
Michaela Pippin
408-721-5301 x1020
michaela.pippin@svcleanenergy.org

SVCE Approves Programs to Disperse $10 Million in Relief Funding

Customer relief, workforce training & community resilience

Santa Clara County, Calif. – Building upon its April 2020 decision to allocate
$10 million to COVID relief efforts, on May 13 the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Board of Directors approved new programs for customer relief, workforce training and community resiliency. The goal of these programs is to provide immediate relief to SVCE customers and local communities impacted by the pandemic and anticipated power shutoffs in the coming years, while continuing to support a longer-term goal of transitioning to clean energy.

A customer relief program will distribute $3.5 million directly to qualifying customers. The program will provide immediate relief to residential CARE and FERA customers in the form of a $100 bill credit that will be automatically applied. In light of COVID, access to CARE, a monthly electricity discount of 20% or more, and FERA, a monthly electricity discount of 18% for homes of three or more people, has been expanded. SVCE encourages customers who have been affected by the pandemic to learn more about CARE and FERA discounts at the PG&E website.

SVCE also aims to support the local community by providing a $250 bill credit to qualifying small business customers. Qualifying businesses will receive information on how to apply for the credit in a letter sent via mail from SVCE.

“We want to ensure that all customers are supported during these times, especially those who have been financially affected by the pandemic,” said Howard Miller, SVCE Board Chair and City of Saratoga Mayor. “Our goal for these innovative programs is to help local communities as they begin to recover from the impacts of COVID.”

In addition, SVCE has dedicated $1.5 million for the development and delivery of an online contractor training program. The program aims to provide the tools and resources needed to expand knowledge and awareness related to all-electric technology for the contractor community. Local contractors, apprentices, and journeymen will be eligible to receive a $500 financial relief stipend upon completion of the training program.

A third program, anticipating involuntary power supply shutoffs, will support local clean energy job creation, community resilience, and local air quality improvements by allocating $5 million to support regional energy resilience planning and deployment.

“The towns and cities that make up SVCE have shown great strength and resilience during this pandemic, we aim to assist in a way that will benefit the entire community,” said SVCE CEO Girish Balachandran. “Supporting our communities in resilience implementation will immediately create local jobs while having the long-term benefits of energy resilience and public health.”
For more information on SVCE COVID relief programs please visit SVCleanEnergy.org/covid-19.
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy

Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit 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: 
Michaela Pippin
408-721-5301 x1020
michaela.pippin@svcleanenergy.org

Good news for The Climate Center’s Community Energy Resilience program

by Ellie Cohen

The last few weeks have brought good news related to The Climate Center’s Community Energy Resilience program, part of The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California campaign.

On April 29th, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a Proposed Decision in its microgrid proceeding which included recommendations The Climate Center had filed with the CPUC. The Proposed Decision directs utilities to provide information and assist local governments in developing energy resilience projects. Final CPUC approval — expected in June – should make it easier for local governments to access the utility data they need to engage in Community Energy Resilience planning.

On May 14th, Governor Newsom issued his updated budget proposal for the upcoming FY 2020-2021 fiscal year.  Notwithstanding severe state budget cutbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor’s latest budget proposal retained $50M in funding for community energy resilience which The Climate Center and Partners have been advocating for.  The Climate Center and Partners will continue to urge State leaders to retain these funds in the final budget.

On May 28th  the California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee passed SB 1215, legislation to promote the development of microgrids.

The Climate Center is hosting multiple upcoming energy resilience events, including a May 29th webinar as well as a Community Energy Resilience webinar series to provide practical information regarding the immediate need to keep critical facilities powered during the upcoming fire season as well as the long-term opportunities to simultaneously advance local resilience and climate goals.

There remains a huge amount of work ahead in our effort to transform California’s electricity system to becoming clean, affordable, reliable, equitable, and safe – and we have seen some promising forward progress in recent weeks.

If you would like to support our efforts, click here.

MCE Receives 2020 Acterra Business Environmental Award

MCE Solar One Recognized in the Environmental Project Category in Partnership with City of Richmond and RichmondBUILD
 

SAN RAFAEL and CONCORD, Calif. — MCE will be the recipient of Acterra’s 2020 Business Environmental Award in the Environmental Project category, along with the City of Richmond and RichmondBUILD, for its partnership on the MCE Solar One project, a 10.5 megawatt solar array developed on a brownfield site owned by Chevron. Since construction was completed in 2018, Solar One has produced enough energy each year to power approximately 4,000 homes.

Acterra is a Palo Alto-based nonprofit that promotes climate change solutions in energy and other fields. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Acterra’s business award, which “honors the accomplishments of organizations with innovative sustainable programs.”

“The Acterra judging committee was impressed by the collaborative effort involving MCE and the City of Richmond,” said Nicole Angiel, Acterra’s Director of Sustainability. “Not only does the project provide a green energy option for rate payers in the East Bay, its development generated fixed-term, much-needed, high-paying jobs for Richmond residents.”

MCE Solar One was conceived by the Richmond community to integrate renewable energy and solar facilities in the Chevron Modernization Project. MCE teamed up with RichmondBUILD – which has successfully graduated hundreds of students and placed an impressive 80% of its graduates into well-paying jobs – to train and hire its skilled local graduates for the project. The 2020 Acterra Business Environmental Award will be the third award MCE Solar One has received since it’s unveiling in 2018.

“RichmondBUILD was very excited to be able to partner with MCE on this project along with the City of Richmond, sPower, Chevron, and Cenergy Power,” said Fred Lucero, Program Manager at RichmondBUILD. “This project represents the largest public-private solar partnership in the Bay Area and provided our program participants – who are from low-income households and largely minorities – with training in green-collar jobs that will help build a brighter future for themselves and their families.”

The Solar One project eliminates 3,234 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year and repurposed 60 acres of a remediated brownfield site while supporting over 340 jobs with a 50% local hire requirement.

“MCE Solar One produces enough renewable energy to serve nearly six percent of Richmond’s electricity load,” said Mayor Tom Butt of Richmond. “I’m proud that we’re not only generating electricity close to home, but this project has also given us a way to model the types of collaborations we need – from the public and private sector, as well as local unions – to combat climate change.”
 

MCE would also like to congratulate the other award winners for their achievements in sustainability and the environment. A full list of the award winners can be viewed online on Acterra’s website here: www.acterra.org/bea-2020-awardees. The award ceremony will be accessible online on May 28, 2020 starting at 4:30pm. Interested parties can visit www.acterra.org/bea-2020-reception to learn more about the event and register to participate.

###

About MCE: As California’s first Community Choice Aggregation Program, MCE is a groundbreaking, not-for-profit, public agency that has been setting the standard for energy innovation in our communities since 2010. MCE offers cleaner power at stable rates, significantly reducing energy-related greenhouse emissions and enabling millions of dollars of reinvestment in local energy programs. MCE is a load-serving entity supporting a 1,000 MW peak load. MCE provides electricity service to more than 480,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents and businesses in 34 member communities across four Bay Area counties: Contra Costa, Marin, Napa and Solano. For more information about MCE, visit mceCleanEnergy.org.

CPX Regulatory Update for May 14, 2020

Due to the COVID19 crisis, the CPUC is holding its meetings remotely. They have initiated a COVID19 information page on their website that contains information relevant to the regulated community. Here is the Remote Meeting Notice from CPUC:

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

For each agenda item, a summary of the proposed action is included on the agenda as well as a link to the related electronic document; the Commission’s decision may, however differ from that proposed. Public Comments are taken up at the beginning of the meeting (10am). To listen or make comments not to exceed three minutes by phone, dial 1-800-857-1917 and enter passcode 92105. Alternatively, you mail email brief written comments (which do not exceed three minutes when read aloud) to 05072020VotingMeetingComments@cpuc.ca.gov and our Public Advisor may read your comments out loud to the meeting if time permits.

Written comments must be received prior to 10:00 a.m. to be read aloud. Comments that are not able to be read aloud, or are received after the deadline, will be circulated to the Commissioners. Individuals wishing to observe the meeting can do so by accessing our website at http://www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc/


Brief Notes:

  • On April 23, CPUC held a workshop on COVID-19 impacts on Customer-Oriented Clean Energy Programs. A recording and workshop-related materials can be accessed on THIS PAGE.
  • The next CPUC voting meeting takes place on May 21. See AGENDA. For the livestream, click HERE.
  • We continue to monitor wildfire and PG&E bankruptcy-related proceedings but no longer report on those items on a regular basis. We will report occasionally on any significant developments.

Updates on proceedings we are tracking

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

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

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

 

Closed proceedings that matter:

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

Summaries:

 

  1. SB 1339 Microgrid Rulemaking R.19-09-009

The Climate Center is a Party to this proceeding. The Climate Center’s Advanced Community Energy program received a boost with the April 29th  Proposed Decision issued by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) which included many of the suggestions that The Climate Center and Partner organizations had been making in the CPUC’s microgrid proceeding about how to support local governments in addressing climate and enhancing resilience.

The Proposed Decision directed the state’s Investor Owned Utilities to:

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

After final CPUC approval of the proposed decision – expected this summer – 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:

Recent Developments:

  • 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.
  • April 13 – Ruling Granting Motions of Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric but Granting and Denying in Part Pacific Gas and Electric’s Motion(s)
  • March 23 – Utility Dive Article: PG&E, SCE abandon big microgrid plans for temporary emergency measures as wildfire season nears.
  • March 19 – The Climate Center participated in an Ex Parte communication with CPUC staff
  • January 30 – Climate Center comments on R.19-09-009 Microgrid Track 1 Proceeding

Next Steps: Summer 2020 – Track 1 concludes.

  1. Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Key Documents:

Recent Developments:

  • April 1 – The application window for the new SGIP incentives levels opened, following up on the CPUC’s Decision in January (see below) authorizing adding funds to SGIP’s energy storage budgets. Of particular note, the newly-created Equity Resiliency Budget ($513M) provides enhanced SGIP incentives for on-site residential and non-residential storage systems for low-income, vulnerable customers in high-risk fire threat districts (HFTD) or those who have been affected by PSPS events. The new SGIP Decision also created a $0.15/Wh resiliency adder for non-residential customers with critical resilience needs such as police stations, fire stations, hospitals, etc. Additional information is available in the new SGIP Handbook.
  • February 6, 2020 – Decision granting Petition for Modification of Decision 11-09-015 and Decision 16-06-055 concerning SGIP application requirements; this Decision closed the 12-11-005 proceeding. A new SGIP proceeding is expected to be opened later this year.
  • January 27, 2020 – Decision in Self-Generation Incentive Program – revisions pursuant to SB 700 and other program changes

Next Steps:

 

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

Key Documents:

Recent Developments:

  • March 26, 2020 – Final Decision 20-03-019 on Load Departure and PCIA line on bills. Adopts no changes to load forecasts. CalCCA advocated for a probabilistic approach to load forecasts. Changes in specific proceedings possible. CPUC acknowledges that IOUs utilize the Clean Power Exchange map/database but declines to order its use citing the need for further scrutiny of the sources and reliability of the data in this database. CalCCA opposes use of CPX data because it is maintained by a third party, may not be up-to-date, and does not reflect binding CCA commitments.
  • March 17 – CalCCA Opening Comments on Proposed Decision
  • February 25 Proposed Decision
  • January 22, ALJ Ruling to modify the proceeding schedule for Working Group Three

Next Steps:

  • Q2 2020 – Resolution of Working Group 3 issues

 

 

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

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

Recent Developments:

  • April 2, 2020 – Ruling modifying Track 2 schedule for local capacity a flexible capacity requirement issues
  • January 22, 2020 Commissioner’s Scoping Ruling
  • January 14, 2020 – Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling on Energy Division’s Resource Adequacy State of the Market Report [Energy Division’s second Resource Adequacy State of the Market report is attached to this ruling as Appendix A]
  • December 23. 2019 – Order granting CalCCA’s request for a stay of 19-10-021 (Decision Affirming Resource Adequacy Import Rules)

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

Key Documents:

Recent Developments:

  • 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

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

Key Documents

Recent Developments:

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

No new developments.

Key Documents:

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

 

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

Key Documents:

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

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


 

CPX Legislative Update for May 14, 2020

CPX LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – May 14, 2020

The legislature has resumed hearings as of May 4, albeit in a modified version pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-25-20.   Something that you might find helpful is that the legislature has released revised schedules for the remainder of the session.  For the Assembly schedule, click HERE.  For the Senate schedule, click HERE.

Although the two bills we sponsored this year to advance community energy resilience and utility reform did not survive the Covid disruption, we will be back in 2021. In the meantime please review and endorse our Climate Safe California initiative if you like what you see.

Below is the list of several, but not all of the key bills that we are tracking listed in bill number numerical order, including bills on which The Climate Center has taken a public position. For a complete list of the 126 bills we are currently tracking in 2020, click HERE. Our next update will be published here on May 28. Please send updates, suggestions, corrections to woody@theclimatecenter.org


 

Bills we are tracking:

 

Assembly Bills

 

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

 

AB 1839 (Bonta) WATCH – The “Green New Deal” bill. Introduced on January 6, this bill would create the California Green New Deal Council with a specified membership appointed by the Governor. The bill would require the California Green New Deal Council to submit a specified report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2022. So far the plan is scant on specifics including how goals will be met or how much the State will pay to meet those goals. STATUS: In Asm, referred to Comm. on Natural Resources. on 4/24

 

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) WATCH – 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 4/24.

 

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 4/24.

 

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) WATCH – 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 4/24.

 

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 3214 Limón SUPPORT – Increased penalties for oil & gas spills. Read the SUPPORT LETTER The Climate Center signed on to.

 

AB 3251 (Bauer-Kahan) – This bill has been withdrawn by the author. It 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. Basically a virtual power plant bill. STATUS: WITHDRAWN by author.


Senate Bills

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

SB 1215 (Stern) SUPPORT – SB 1215, the “California Emergency Services Act” establishes the Office of Emergency Services in the office of the Governor and provides that the office is responsible for the state’s emergency and disaster response services for natural, technological, or manmade disasters and emergencies. Creates a grant program for microgrids. STATUS: In Senate, double-referred to the Governmental Organization and Energy Committees. (Support letter pending)

 

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: In the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. (Support letter pending)

 

 

 

MCE Announces Partner for Comprehensive Energy Storage Program

TRC will help support MCE’s community and vulnerable customer resiliency efforts
 

SAN RAFAEL and CONCORD, Calif. — MCE is pleased to announce TRC as our partner to develop and implement an innovative, dispatchable, behind-the-meter battery energy storage resiliency program for MCE customers. MCE’s Energy Storage Program will deploy 15 megawatt hours of customer-sited storage throughout its four-county service area over a two-year period.

This program will allow participating customers to keep electricity flowing during Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) and other outages, and to lower energy costs and carbon emissions during normal conditions. MCE expects the Energy Storage Program to launch this summer and be available to all customer types, while prioritizing vulnerable customers and critical facilities to support community safety during PSPS and other grid outages. These priority customers will own and receive the benefits of the battery at little- to no upfront cost to them with support from MCE and resource programs.

“TRC is excited to work with MCE on this initiative,” said Mark Lorentzen, TRC Senior Vice President, Distributed Energy. “As a leader in the energy space, MCE’s innovative programs increase energy equity in their communities while thoughtfully tackling financial and market considerations. We believe that this partnership will provide benefits for customers for years to come.”

TRC will lead a team of 10 highly skilled firms and organizations with expertise in energy storage, technical implementation, and workforce development. TRC was selected for their deep experience and success in program implementation and distributed energy resource (DER) management. A competitive selection process included responses from 18 qualified vendors. TRC will maximize local workforce development opportunities by partnering with Rising Sun Center for Opportunity, an Oakland-based nonprofit that focuses on training and employing low-income youth and adults in traditionally underserved populations.

“As a community partner, MCE’s first priority is to help ensure the health and safety of our customers in relation to their energy needs,” said Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “We are proud to announce our partnership with TRC on our Energy Storage Program, which will enable clean energy resources and backup power to be deployed, especially in vulnerable populations that are disproportionately impacted by the pollution and costs associated with fossil fuel generation resources.”

Priority residential customers include those who are low income or have a medical necessity that could become life threatening without power and live in Tier 2 or 3 high fire threat districts (HFTD) or have been impacted by two or more PSPS events. Priority critical facilities provide essential services during PSPS events or other community emergencies, such as police and fire stations, homeless shelters, and grocery stores. They must be located in Tier 2 or 3 HFTDs, or have been impacted by two or more PSPS events, and serve state-designated low-income or disadvantaged communities.

MCE’s Energy Storage Program and other resiliency efforts will be funded through MCE’s $6 million Resiliency Fund approved by its Board of Directors. The Marin Community Foundation also awarded a two-year grant of $750,000 to MCE through the Buck Family Fund to install solar plus storage at nonprofit critical facilities and affordable multifamily housing in Marin County. For more information on MCE’s resiliency efforts, please visit our website at mceCleanEnergy.org/resiliency or contact Jamie Tuckey at jtuckey@mceCleanEnergy.org.

###

About MCE: As California’s first Community Choice Aggregation Program, MCE is a groundbreaking, not-for-profit, public agency that has been setting the standard for energy innovation in our communities since 2010. MCE offers cleaner power at stable rates, significantly reducing energy-related greenhouse emissions and enabling millions of dollars of reinvestment in local energy programs. MCE is a load-serving entity supporting a 1,000 MW peak load. MCE provides electricity service to more than 480,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents and businesses in 34 member communities across four Bay Area counties: Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Solano. For more information about MCE, visit mceCleanEnergy.org.
About TRC: For more than 50 years, TRC has delivered energy breakthroughs from distributed and renewable energy to energy efficiency and grid modernization. TRC is a tech-enabled, global consulting company with 5,700 employees and 140 offices, including 20 offices in California. They partner with energy providers, agencies, and communities to make energy visions actionable, from initial strategy through technical design and implementation.