Background

Senate Bill No. 884 (SB 884), which became law on Jan. 1, 2023, requires the Commission to establish a program for expediting the undergrounding of a utility’s electric distribution infrastructure. Only those electrical corporations with 250,000 or more customer accounts within the state (i.e., the large electric corporations Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric) may participate in the program.

To participate in the program, the large electrical corporation must submit a 10-year distribution infrastructure undergrounding plan (hereafter, “Plan”), including, among other requirements, the undergrounding projects that it will construct as part of the Plan, to the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety (Energy Safety). Energy Safety is required to review and approve or deny the Plan within nine months of submission. Before approving the Plan, Energy Safety may require the large electrical corporation to modify the Plan. Energy Safety may only approve the Plan if it finds that the electrical corporation’s Plan will achieve, at the least, both of the following:

  1. Substantially increase reliability by reducing use of public safety power shutoffs, enhanced powerline safety settings, de-energization events, and other outage programs.
  2. Substantially reduce wildfire risk.

If Energy Safety approves the large electrical corporation’s Plan, the large electrical corporation must submit to the Commission, within 60 days of Energy Safety’s approval, a copy of the Plan and an application requesting review and conditional approval of the plan’s costs (hereafter, “Application”). The Commission must approve or deny the Application within nine months of submission. The Commission may, however, require the large electrical corporation to modify or modify and resubmit the Application prior to approval.

Public Engagement Efforts

Public Workshops

As a starting point, the two responsible State entities, Energy Safety and the CPUC, jointly sponsored a first public workshop on February 24, 2023.

Workshop #1 - CPUC and OEIS Joint SB-884 Pre-Rulemaking Workshop, February 24, 2023

  Agenda

Background and Scoping Issues

Master Slide Presentation

Workshop Recording

Informal Comments

SB 884 Notification List - Send an email request to SB884@cpuc.ca.gov to be added to the SB-884 Notification List. 

 

Implementation

  Reply Comments on Draft Resolution SPD-15 (received January 2024)

Opening Comments on Draft Resolution SPD-15 (received December 2023)

  Final Staff Proposal for SB 884 Program (published November 2023)

  Draft Resolution SPD-15 (published November 2023)

  SPD-15 Comment Letter and Certificate of Service (published November 2023)

Draft Staff Proposal for SB 884 Program (published September 2023)

  Informal Comments for Draft Staff Proposal