To meet anticipated power shortfalls in 2022 and 2023, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued Decision 21-12-015 authorizing the large investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company) to make a number of changes in demand-side programs and supply-side energy procurement practices.(See CPUC Focused on Addressing Summer 2022 and 2023 Electric Liability for background on the proposals considered by the CPUC in this and other dockets.)
In August 2020 the state experienced power outages blamed in part on inadequate planning and resource procurement to meet energy demand during an extreme heat wave. On July 30, 2021, Governor Newsom issued an Emergency Proclamation urging all state energy agencies to ensure there is adequate electricity to meet the needs of Californians in 2022. The CPUC has determined that 2000-3000 megawatts of new demand and supply-side resources will help address grid reliability concerns during extreme weather events in 2022 and 2023.
This week’s decision provides a detailed discussion of how it reached the conclusion that current procurement efforts may fall short, and adopts both demand and supply-side measures to provide additional “contingency resources” to meet this near-term need.
Demand-side measures include:
In a limited response to concerns about the climate, environmental justice and public health impacts of using diesel generators during emergency events, the adopted decision prohibits the use of backup generators to achieve incremental load reduction in the ELRP by non-residential participants located in disadvantaged communities.
Supply-side measures include:
The CPUC decision acknowledges that the approved measures may not yield the target IOU procurement by summer 2022 or 2023, and observes that in the event that “sufficient progress” has not been made by mid to late spring 2022, “the State can determine whether there is a need for additional action to further reduce the risk of outages resulting from an extreme weather event…”
Contact: Andy Brown or Lynn Haug