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CPUC Recognizes Pivotal Role of Local Government in Community Energy Resilience Planning

On June 11, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a Decision in the microgrid proceeding (19-09-009) which recognized the pivotal role of local governments in energy resilience planning, a core principle of The Climate Centers’ Community Energy Resilience program.  The recent Decision directs investor-owned utilities to:

  • Dedicate specific staff to help manage local jurisdiction resilience needs;
  • Create a data portal for local governments to obtain data essential to effectively develop microgrid and resilience projects;
  • Sponsor workshops and meetings to brief local jurisdictions on vulnerable transmission and distribution infrastructure; and
  • Create a step-by-step guide to help fast track local jurisdictions’ ability to interconnect with the grid as part of projects dedicated to improving energy resilience.

The Decision reflects many of The Climate Center’s policy recommendations as reflected in formal comments submitted into the CPUC proceeding by The Climate Center and its coalition partners, as well as public and ex parte meetings with CPUC staff.

The Climate Center will continue working with its coalition partners to advocate for new state policy to strengthen community energy resilience, with a focus on ensuring a just energy transition, prioritizing energy resilience for low-income and disadvantaged communities.

To learn more, register here for The Climate Center’s energy resilience webinar series.

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.