Senate Bill (SB) 350, known as the Clean Energy & Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, introduced a statewide approach to resource planning and required the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC or Commission) to support the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals.
SB 350 requires the CPUC to oversee an integrated planning process involving a wide range of LSEs and numerous state programs, such as energy efficiency, demand response, and renewables portfolio standards. The law requires LSEs to develop an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) every two years and submit those plans to the Commission for approval. As part of the process, the CPUC performs electric grid modeling of the entire state to determine the amounts and types of new resources (e.g. wind, solar, and storage) that are necessary to achieve the state’s GHG emissions reduction targets while meeting future electricity needs. The CPUC collects and aggregates all of the individual IRPs. The CPUC then will review to ensure the state’s goals will be met and determine if the implementation of new policies is necessary to achieve the goals.
Rulemaking 20-05-003 is the successor proceeding to the original IRP Rulemaking (R.16-02-007) and will continue the Commission’s oversight of the IRP program. The Order Instituting Rulemaking was issued May 14. The proceeding will be split into the Planning Track and the Procurement Track.
In the Planning Track, the Commission will address, among other things, modeling inputs and assumptions, loading forecasting issues, transmission planning, filing requirements for individual LSEs, and compliance and enforcement. In the Procurement Track, the Commission will primarily address reliability issues at the system level and consider renewable integration and flexible resources.
There are ongoing working groups and activities to address various issues. CalCCA provided reply comments to the Commission discussing some of these issues, and supporting comments made by the Administrative Law Judge during the prehearing conference regarding issues to be addressed as the Rulemaking unfolds. CalChoice is represented on the various staff-level technical working groups, as well as at the CalCCA strategic decision-making level.
The next IRP submission is due September 1. CalChoice and its legal and technical teams are preparing our members’ IRPs for submission. Governing body approval, which may occur after the submission of the IRPs, is targeted for each member’s early September council meeting.
CalChoice, through CalCCA, will continue to engage in this proceeding through the appropriate procedural channels. Comments and replies are well underway on the Procurement Track. A workshop, anticipated next spring, will include the results of the individual IRP aggregation, as well as input from the transmission planning process, which will feed into the Planning Track.