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Resource Adequacy

What it Does: The Resource Adequacy program has two goals.  First, it provides sufficient resources to the California Independent System Operator to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the grid in real time.  Second, it is designed to provide appropriate incentives for the siting and construction of new resources needed for reliability in the future. 

The Basics: The CPUC adopted a Resource Adequacy (RA) policy framework (PU Code section 380) in 2004 to in order to ensure the reliability of electric service in California.  The CPUC established RA obligations applicable to all Load Serving Entities (LSEs) within the CPUC’s jurisdiction, including investor owned utilities (IOUs), energy service providers (ESPs), and community choice aggregators (CCAs).  The Commission’s RA policy framework – implemented as the RA program -- guides resource procurement and promotes infrastructure investment by requiring that LSEs procure capacity so that capacity is available to the CAISO when and where needed.  The CPUC’s RA program now contains three distinct requirements: System RA requirements (effective June 1, 2006), Local RA requirements (effective January 1, 2007) and Flexible RA requirements (effective January 1, 2015).  System requirements are determined based on the each LSEs CEC adjusted forecast plus a 15% planning reserve margin.  Local requirements are determined based on an annual CAISO study using a 1-10 weather year and an N-1-1 contingency.  Flexible Requirements are based on an annual CAISO study that currently looks at the largest three hour ramp for each month needed to run the system reliably.  There are two types of filings; Annual filings (filed on or around October 31st) and monthly filings (filed 45 calendar days prior to the compliance month).

For the annual filings, LSEs are required to make an annual System, Local, and Flexible compliance showing for the coming year.  For the System showing, LSEs are required to demonstrate that they have procured 90% of their System RA obligation for the five summer months the coming compliance year.  Additionally each LSE must demonstrate that they meet 90% of its Flexible requirements and 100% of its local requirements for each month of the coming compliance year.  For the monthly filings LSEs must demonstrate they have procured 100% of their monthly System and Flexible RA obligation.  Additionally, on a monthly basis from May through December, LSEs must demonstrate they have met their revised (due to load migration) local obligation.

Commission staff evaluates LSE filings annually and monthly ensure accuracy and completeness. Commission staff also lead annual RA proceedings (R.14-10-010) is the most recent proceeding) to refine the RA program.

Instructions for new registered ESPs and CCAs.

Final Reports



Last Modified: 8/28/2015

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