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Launch of a New Website for California Distributed Generation Statistics

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This week, in collaboration with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the Center for Sustainable Energy, we launched a new website for California Distributed Generation Statistics: www.californiadgstats.ca.gov.


This new website highlights data on all net energy metered solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the three large investor-owned utility territories, and makes available other publicly available distributed generation incentive program data sets, including the California Solar Initiative (CSI) -General Market and Thermal Programs, the Self Generation Incentive Program, and others.


The California Distributed Generation Statistics website is an evolution of the successful California Solar Statistics website (www.californiasolarstatistics.ca.gov), which, since 2009 has been the public reporting platform for the California Solar Initiative. For the time being, California Solar Statistics will continue to report on the California Solar Initiative program, but will eventually be retired and absorbed into the California Distributed Generation Statistics website. In the months and years to come, the California Distributed Generation Statistics website will expand to include and highlight additional distributed generation interconnection and incentive programs with the goal of serving as a “one-stop-shop” for all California distributed generation data.  


We hope you will find this new website useful.  Over the next few months the California Distributed Generation Statistics website team will continue to enhance the website by adding new data and highlighting additional distributed generation programs.

Director Blog: CPUC and CalOES Set Stage for Ongoing Collaboration

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Below is a blog from Elizaveta Malashenko, the Director of the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division   

In the last month, the CPUC and the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). It’s the result of over a year of discussions between the CPUC and CalOES about our respective roles and emerging issues. The effort kicked off with CPUC President Picker’s discussion with CalOES Director Ghilarducci about the need to bring our agencies closer together and establish a foundation for ongoing collaboration on key emerging issues, including physical and cyber security.

Building a closer relationship with CalOES was an historic change for the CPUC. When I joined the CPUC about five years ago, the prevalent thought was that the CPUC didn’t have a direct role in emergency response, since we were a regulatory agency and not first responders. From a policy perspective, we were focused on working with utilities to develop better emergency response plans for them, but we didn’t have the same focus on our own role during events. The more I worked with staff on the review of utility emergency response plans, the more clear it became to me that CPUC has some work to do in that area as well.

While it may not be intuitive to some, the CPUC has important responsibilities during emergencies that involve infrastructure under our jurisdiction. In an emergency, the CPUC’s various roles to promote safety and enforcement include:

–         Dispatching trained staff to the scene of the incident to investigate and identify potential violations of laws or policies

–         Monitoring the response of the regulated entities (and coordinating with their emergency response plans)

–         Providing accurate and timely information regarding utility and system safety to media outlets during any emergency

–         Coordinating with government officials to disseminate near-term information to the public

–         Supporting CalOES and providing assistance to other government agencies that have a more direct role in emergency responses

–         Ensuring internal CPUC communication regarding the incident

In the last five years, the CPUC has come a long way in understanding and formalizing the agency’s role during emergencies. We have trained key staff in National Incident Management System (NIMS), developed Internal Emergency Response Plan and Protocols, implemented an internal Safety Alert system, and have now formalized our relationship with CalOES in an MOU. Even prior to signing the MOU, the CPUC and CalOES collaborated closer than ever during the Southern California Gas Company leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility, working side by side on a daily basis.


It’s a nice moment to have the MOU completed. It symbolizes that a lasting partnership is important to the leadership of both organizations. I also look forward to continuing working with CalOES, which has become one of my favorite parts of my job.

Regionalization Workshops Set to Explore Locating Staff Outside S.F.

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We are headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Sacramento and Los Angeles. Senate Bill (SB) 840 directs us to report on options to locate operations and staff outside of our headquarters.


As such, we are holding workshops to hear suggestions, concerns, ideas, and comments from stakeholders and interested members of the public on options for leveraging additional facilities in areas of the State, such as Sacramento, which would allow us to collaborate with other departments and also allow our staff more opportunities for growth in promotion in the other state departments. 


The workshops will take place as follows:

  • Sacramento: Oct. 25, 2016, 9:15 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
  • November 1, 2016, 9:15 to 4:15 p.m., 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco; also available via video webcast 


For more information and the agenda, please see our workshop notice.

CPUC Engages in First Live Twitter Q&A

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 twitter feed from Commissioner Randolph

CPUC Engages in First Live Twitter Q&A  


We held our first live Twitter Q&A on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, at noon with Commissioner Liane M. Randolph. It was an exciting opportunity for Commissioner Randolph to engage with social media users that are interested in our work. 


Twitter users asked Commissioner Randolph questions using #AskCPUC. The Q&A was open topic so we received many interesting questions ranging from California’s plans for residential time-of-use electricity rates to TNC regulation to ZNE goals. In addition, Commissioner Randolph tweeted a link to our subscription service for those who would like to receive updates on our proceedings or press releases.  


You can see some of the questions and answers in the photo on this page, and you can view everything that was submitted if you search #AskCPUC on Twitter. 


While you’re there, don’t forget to follow us @CaliforniaPUC. You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and subscribe on YouTube. 


Thanks to all who tuned in to our Twitter Q&A and to those who asked questions! 


Ruling Directs the Development of Utility Programs for Widespread Transportation Electrification

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A Commissioner Ruling issued this week provides guidance for utility programs to increase the use of electric power in the State’s transportation system. The ruling is in response to Senate Bill (SB) 350, which identifies widespread transportation as a key means to meet the State’s goals to improve ambient air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, enable an electric grid that is primarily powered by renewable energy, increase energy security, and grow jobs in this new sector.

The ruling of Assigned Commissioner Carla J. Peterman sets forth principles and recommendations for the design of utility programs that complement private investments and local, state, and national policies toward the goal of “widespread transportation electrification.” Originally ordered by the Legislature in SB 350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, transportation electrification will provide infrastructure and other programs to encourage the use of grid power for vehicles, vessels, boats, trains, and other mobile pollutant sources. California’s transportation sector, which includes on-road, off-road, maritime, aviation, and rail vehicles, emits nearly 40 percent of the State’s greenhouse gases and a majority of smog-forming and diesel particulate matter emissions.

The CPUC has previously supported Governor Brown’s Executive Order (B-16-2012) to deploy 1.5 million Zero-Emission Vehicles by 2025 with its approval of two pilots that will deploy 5,000 charging stations for plug-in cars in Southern California. However, this guidance ruling highlights the importance of utility proposals that will eventually inform scaled investments that are needed to reduce emissions to comply with federal health-based air quality standards, and to protect the state from the deleterious effects of climate change, per SB 32.

Furthermore, the Ruling identifies the need for the utilities to coordinate their investment proposals with existing transportation and renewable energy planning efforts at the CPUC, California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, and other state and regional organizations.

The CPUC will review the utilities’ Transportation Electrification applications in 2017. Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric are directed to file Applications by January 20, 2017. Liberty Utilities, Bear Valley Electric Company, and PacifiCorp are directed to file Applications by June 30, 2017.

More information on the CPUC’s Electric Transportation Programs, is available on our Zero-Emission Vehicles Proceeding webpage.

CPUC Provides Training on Passenger Carrier Regulations to Law Enforcement

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CPUC-regulated transportation providers training photo 02 CPUC-regulated transportation providers training photo 01Members of the CPUC’s Transportation Enforcement team joined the Stockton Police Department this week to deliver training on CPUC-regulated transportation providers (for-hire limousines, airport shuttles, chartered/scheduled buses, and Transportation Network Companies) and the important tools available to law enforcement to protect public safety.


The CPUC’s Transportation Enforcement Section maintains a staff of more than 20 field investigators who ensure that passenger and household goods carriers operate in conformance with consumer protection and safety requirements and compete fairly in the marketplace by investigating and prosecuting carriers who violate the law.  CPUC investigators utilize a range of enforcement tools to uphold transportation safety in the state, including issuing search warrants, cease-and-desist letters, and Citations as well as participating in joint efforts with law enforcement and regulatory agencies on sting operations.


A key feature of the training session was the authority to law enforcement conferred under Senate Bill 541 (Hill) which, among other things, authorizes a peace officer to impound a bus or limousine when the passenger stage coach or charter-party carrier of passengers is not properly licensed or permitted.  In their remarks, CPUC Transportation Enforcement investigators highlighted the importance of citing all relevant statutes when issuing a Citation to a CPUC-regulated transportation carrier as well as encouraging law enforcement to use their new authority to impound a vehicle in violation. 


Additional CPUC training sessions are being arranged for the law enforcement community as the CPUC Transportation Enforcement team continues to promote awareness among peace officers about the requirements of the Public Utilities Code related to transportation enforcement.

CAISO Symposium Brings Stakeholders Together

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CAISO Symposium photo - September 13, 2016(1)On Sept. 7-8, 2016, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) held its annual Stakeholder Symposium at the Sacramento Convention Center. The CPUC had speakers and attendees at the symposium, which also include speakers from across the U.S., including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chair Norman Bay and Commissioner Lorraine H. Akiba of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Governor Brown gave a lunchtime address on the first day.

The major themes of the conference were regionalization governance, pricing of ancillary and other grid services, and the role of pricing and consumer demand reduction in grid management.


There was general support for a western regional grid, with out-of-state panelists expressing concern about California policy objectives dictating energy planning decisions elsewhere. But among panelists, there was consensus that an interconnected, larger grid is the most efficient solution from a physics perspective.

Hawaii Commissioner Akiba stressed that ancillary services have to be valued correctly and that demand response tariffs need to be laser targeted to incentivize demand reductions at the correct time and place. She also spoke of the reactive power benefits of demand response and the value of this service to the grid. She emphasized communication of benefits directly to customers. This was echoed by a number of the speakers on the customer perspectives panel on Day 2.

Panelists on the consumer perspectives panel discussed how to align customer behavior with system needs. Panelists spoke of changing peak demand times, and the emergence of transmission and distribution peaks at times not coincident with energy demand. Panelists urged that pricing signals should work for both customers and grid operators.

Information on the symposium, including the agenda, speaker bios, presentations, and videos, is available on the ISO Symposium website. 

Join Us For Our First Live Twitter Q&A

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Comm Liane Randolph - Twitter Q&A at desk photoWe are very excited to invite you to join us for our first live Twitter Q&A on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, at noon (California time, naturally)!

At the keyboard responding to your questions will be Commissioner Liane Randolph. Commissioner Randolph was appointed to the CPUC by Governor Brown in January 2015. She formerly served as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel at the California Natural Resources Agency and was appointed to that position by Governor Brown in May 2011.

Our Twitter Q&A is your chance to ask Commissioner Randolph your questions about the work of the CPUC. Interested in our low income programs? Want to know how to follow our proceedings? Need information on making comment about a particular issue? You can ask these questions and others you have during the Q&A.

To participate, all you have to do is tweet your question during the Q&A using the hashtag #AskCPUC. Commissioner Randolph will retweet the question before she tweets her answer so everyone can follow the Q&A @CaliforniaPUC.

If you’re not on Twitter, go to https://twitter.com/ and sign up, then follow @CaliforniaPUC.

New Division Gets New Interim Director

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For the last few years we have been exploring ways of expanding the participation of safety related intervenors in our relevant proceedings.  Earlier this year, working with the Legislature, we were able to receive approval to establish our own Division of Safety Analysis to analyze safety issues associated with a utility’s investments and operations.


This week, our Executive Director Timothy Sullivan named Dorothy Duda as Interim Director of the this new Division. Dorothy has worked at the CPUC for 24 years, most recently serving as Assistant Chief Administrative Law Judge supervising and training judges in their work on both energy and telecommunications matters.  As Assistant Chief, she supervised Administrative Law Judges managing electric and gas rate cases and Administrative Law Judges managing our proceeding on Risk Safety Assessment and the Safety Model Assessment. Dorothy has an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley and a BA in Government/Public Policy Analysis from Pomona College.


Dorothy’s immediate focus is to get the new Division set up and staffed. Stakeholders will brainstorm an effective way to establish the new Division of Safety Analysis at a Workshop on Sept. 15, 2016. The Workshop is free and open to the public. Details are on our website.

Climate Scientists to Discuss Climate Change at CPUC Event

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Mark your calendars for our Sept. 29, 2016, Thought Leaders Speaker Series, which will feature Stanford University Professor Chris B. Field and Senior Research Associate Dr. Katherine J. Mach of Carnegie Science’s Department of Global Ecology as part of a lively discussion on a wide range of climate change topics from the current science, to the Paris Treaty and the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, to the imperatives of mitigation and adaptation actions. The session will be introduced and moderated by CPUC Commissioner Liane M. Randolph.


We started our Thought Leaders Speaker Series a few years ago in order to provide a free public forum that would stimulate thought and discussion of some of the most pressing challenges facing California utility regulators and the private sector industries impacted by state policies. We invited leading experts from around the world to take center stage to offer their expertise and vision in areas such as communications, energy, water, transportation, the environment, green jobs, and more.


Here is information on our upcoming session:


WHEN: Thursday, September 29, 2016, 3 p.m.–5 p.m.


WHERE: CPUC Auditorium, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco; also available in real time and archived via video webcast  

WHO: - Liane M. Randolph, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission

- Christopher B. Field, Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies

- Dr. Katharine J. Mach, Senior Research Associate, Carnegie Science’s Department of Global Ecology  


You can access archived video webcasts of prior Thought Leaders events on our website.

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