CPUC Takes Action To Modernize Electric Grid for High Distributed Energy Resources Future
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in ongoing actions to support energy reliability, today took action, through the opening of a new proceeding, to modernize the state’s electric grid to integrate a high number of distributed energy resources, including electric vehicle charging. The proceeding focuses on preparing the grid to accommodate what is expected to be a high distributed energy resources future and capturing as much ratepayer value as possible through actions such as clarifying grid roles and responsibilities, vehicle charging infrastructure forecasting, and community engagement.
“The expected proliferation of distributed energy resources in California, led by millions of new electric vehicles, will pose new challenges for distribution planning and load management, as well as new opportunities for making customer demand more flexible, integrating renewable generation, increasing customer resiliency, and promoting equity,” said Commissioner Darcie L. Houck “The new rulemaking serves as a timely forum to consider reforms to utility distribution planning to fully leverage this new wave of distributed energy resources towards promoting clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy service.”
The proceeding will consider increasing community engagement with distribution grid planning and investigating the evolving roles and responsibilities of utilities, distribution operators, and distributed energy resource stakeholders, towards achieving the following goals:
- Enable swift evolution of grid capabilities and operations to integrate solar, storage, electric vehicles and charging equipment, flexible load management, and other distributed energy resources to safely and reliably meet the State’s 100 percent clean energy goals;
- Improve distribution planning, including charging infrastructure forecasting to support cost effective and widespread transportation electrification; and,
- Optimize grid infrastructure investments by facilitating community input about planned developments, distributed energy resources siting plans, and resiliency needs.
As the successor to the Distribution Resources Plans proceeding (R.14-08-013), which opened in 2014, the new proceeding will continue to address how improved planning, and increasing grid data transparency can inform optimal siting and operations of distributed energy resources. It will also investigate how grid modernization technologies such as advanced “smart” inverters and distributed energy resource management systems can support grid reliability.
“The electric grid is evolving as more distributed energy resources are anticipated. With the rapid growth of distributed energy resources in California, this rulemaking will lead the state in the right direction to accommodate this growth,” said Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma.
Comments on the Rulemaking opening the proceeding are due in 45 days. A workshop on the proceeding’s scope and organization is anticipated in September.
To subscribe to receive proceeding documents, please visit http://subscribecpuc.cpuc.ca.gov.
The proposal voted on is available at: https://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M382/K451/382451995.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.