CPUC Augments Historic Clean Energy Procurement Goals To Ensure Electric Reliability
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in ongoing efforts to ensure electricity reliability in the state and meet clean energy goals, today ordered load serving entities to procure an additional 4,000 megawatts (MW) of Net Qualifying Capacity in addition to the mid-term reliability procurement requirements ordered in 2021. The CPUC also approved four energy storage contracts totaling 372 MW for Southern California Edison (SCE) to meet a portion of its prior mid-term reliability procurement requirement.
The CPUC ordered utilities to procure an additional 4,000 MW of Net Qualifying Capacity in addition to the 11,500 MW ordered in June 2021. The 11,500 MW is enough to power approximately 2.5 million homes, representing the largest capacity procurement ordered at a single time by the CPUC, and the largest requiring only clean resources. The 4,000 MW of additional procurement for 2026 and 2027 is in response to the increasing and accelerating impacts of climate change, and updated load forecasting from the California Energy Commission that suggests that electricity demand is increasing and will continue to increase compared to when the CPUC adopted its 2021 decision. The additional procurement order also takes into account the updated anticipated retirements of some additional fossil-fueled generation resources, as well as the likelihood that the previously authorized long-lead time resources will need additional time to be brought online.
The CPUC also recommended an electric resource portfolio for use in the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) 2023-24 Transmission Planning Process, which will allow the CAISO to identify and authorize transmission development needed to accommodate new resource capacity expected to be built to meet a 30 million metric ton greenhouse gas target. The recommended portfolio includes more than 85 gigawatts (GW) of new resources by 2035. These new resource additions include 54,000 MW of renewable resources, including 2,000 MW of geothermal and 4,700 MW of offshore wind. It also includes more than 28,000 MW of batteries, 2,000 MW of long-duration storage, and 1,100 MW of demand response. The proposal voted on is available at docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M502/K651/502651263.PDF.
“Our Decision is an important step in helping us prepare for the large-scale transmission investments we will need to meet our ambitious decarbonization goals,” said CPUC President Alice Reynolds.
“The CPUC plays a key role in assuring that the CAISO has what it needs for this coming year’s transmission planning process,” said Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma. “I am confident that the multidisciplinary CPUC team has carefully studied the clean energy procurement needs exemplified in the Decision we approved today. It will be key to closely monitor the load serving entities’ implementation and compliance with the Decision towards getting California to a steady state on energy.”
“Today’s Decisions ordering 4 GW of new clean energy capacity and more than 350 MW of energy storage contracts represent another major step forward in supporting reliability and the clean energy transition. As a result, California will be in a much better position to handle extreme weather events,” said Commissioner Karen Douglas.
The CPUC also approved four energy storage contracts for 372 MW of nameplate capacity for SCE to help ensure electricity reliability. The contracts will help SCE meet a portion of its procurement obligations ordered by the CPUC in June 2021 to address mid-term reliability needs. The proposal voted on is available at docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M502/K486/502486587.PDF.
The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.