High DER Future Grid Proceeding 

An Order Instituting Rulemaking to Modernize the Electric Grid for A High Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Future issued on July 2, 2021 and is available here. The Order Instituting Rulemaking presents a preliminary scope and schedule for proceeding R.21-06-017 (the “High DER” proceeding). The new proceeding is the successor to the Distribution Resources Plans (DRP) proceeding (R.14-08-013).


The High DER proceeding is expected to spearhead achievement of the overall vision and action elements of the CPUC’s Distributed Energy Resources Action Plan 2.0 as well as elements specific to the Grid Infrastructure track identified in the Plan. 


Request for Proposals for consultant support for the High DER proceeding issued May 27, 2021. Proposal are due on July 30, 2021.


Upcoming Workshops

Prehearing Conference for the High DER proceeding will occur on August 17, 2021. Information about the Prehearing Conference and comment deadlines are available at the notice provided in the documents available at the website for the formal proceeding, here.

An Energy Division workshop is planned to occur on September 22, 2021 to discuss scope and schedule for the High DER proceeding. An agenda and further details will be circulated to applicable service lists and posted here several weeks prior to the workshop date. See below for information about being added to the High DER proceeding service list.

Anticipated Scope, Schedule, and Studies

The anticipated scope and schedule for the High DER proceeding is described in Section 5 of the Order Instituting Rulemaking. Details about the content and timing of studies expected to support the proceeding are provided in the Request for Proposals for consultant support. The following schedule is anticipated.

High DER Proceeding Overview Schedule as Proposed in Order Instituting Rulemaking

The following ten Energy Division and consultant deliverables are anticipated (color coded by proceeding track). Each study, report, and staff proposal are expected to include one or more workshops.


1. White Paper for Future Grid Study 

2. Distribution Investment Deferral Framework (DIDF) Guidelines

a. Document existing DIDF requirements (not develop new ones)

3. Phase 1: Electrification Impacts on Distribution Planning Report

4. Phase 2: Electrification Impacts on Distribution Planning Staff Proposal

5. Data Portal Improvement Technical Report 

6. Distribution Planning Process (DPP) Guidelines Staff Proposal

a. Supersede the DIDF Guidelines

b. Include electrification impacts and data portal improvement report findings as relevant to DPP development 

c. Establish public outreach requirements, among other DPP improvements

7. Smart Inverter Operationalization (SIO) Working Group Report

a. Present consensus and non-consensus outcomes

8. SIO Staff Proposal 

9. Grid Modernization Plan Improvement and General Rate Case (GRC) Alignment Staff Proposal 

10. Future Grid Study and En Banc


Distribution Investment Deferral Framework


The DIDF is an ongoing annual process to identify, review, and select opportunities for competitively sourced distributed energy resources to defer or avoid utility traditional distribution capital investments. DERs as alternatives to traditional grid investments are commonly referred to as non-wires alternatives. The DIDF was established in decision D.18-02-004.

The process requires annual filings by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The annual filings are called Grid Needs Assessment and Distribution Deferral Opportunity Reports (GNA/DDORs). Within the filings, the three utilities propose a list of DER opportunities most likely to successfully defer a traditional grid investment. An advisory group of stakeholders called the Distribution Planning Advisory Group reviews the GNA/DDOR filings. After review, the utilities seek to procure DERs for the selected opportunities.

Extensive information about the DIDF process is provided in the implementing decision and the series of Administrative Law Judge rulings that refined the process. The Rulings are available at the DRP proceeding website (R.14-08-013). A summary of process updates and outcomes is provided in California’s Grid Modernization Report prepared by the CPUC.

Data Portals

Data portals hosted by PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E provide extensive geospatial mapping data to the public about the electric distribution grid. The purpose of the portals is to support DER siting. Among the data hosted are Integration Capacity Analysis (ICA) data, which are designed to help contractors and developers identify project sites where existing grid infrastructure has capacity available to interconnect new DERs. A January 27, 2021 Ruling for the DRP proceeding directed the IOUs’ to refine their ICA online maps to ensure the data are accurate and increase usability.

  • PG&E’s data portal is available here.
  • SCE’s data portal is available here
  • SDG&E’s data portal is available here.

Distribution Resources Plans Proceeding

The former DRP proceeding website is available here.  It provides background information about the regulatory and legislative precursors to the DRP, including Public Utilties Code Section 769 and Assembly Bill 327.

CPUC Contacts and Service List

For media inquiries, please contact the News and Outreach Office at news@cpuc.ca.gov  or 415-703-1366.

For general public inquiries, please contact the Public Advisor’s Office at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov or 1-866-849-8390.

For High DER Future Grid proceeding inquiries, please contact Rob Peterson at robert.peterson@cpuc.ca.gov.

For DIDF, data portal, and DER Action Plan inquiries, please contact Keishaa Austin at keishaa.austin@cpuc.ca.gov.

For inquiries about the DIDF DER pilots and pilot evaluation (e.g., Participation Pilot and Standard Offer Contract Pilot), please contact Naseem Golestani at naseem.golestani@cpuc.ca.gov.

Join the service list to receive e-mails with all documents sent by the Commission and parties regarding a specific proceeding. Visit the Public Advisor's Office website for instructions about being added to the service list for the High DER Future Grid proceeding (R.21-06-017). Information about becoming a party to a proceeding and other participation topic areas are also addressed at the Public Advisor's Office website.