CPUC Issues Draft DER Action Plan 2.0

On July 23, 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued the Draft Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Action Plan 2.0. The Draft Plan is a sequel to the original DER Action Plan last updated on May 3, 2017. The purpose of the Draft Plan is to “ensure that DER policy implementation in support of SB 100 and California’s energy and climate goals is coordinated across proceedings related to grid planning, affordability, load flexibility, market integration, and customer programs.” The Draft Plan will not determine outcomes in individual proceedings but will be used to coordinate policies related to DERs.

The Draft Plan expresses the CPUC’s vision for a high DER future through four distinct tracks: (1) load flexibility and rates; (2) grid infrastructure; (3) market integration; and (4) DER customer programs. In describing each track, the CPUC lists goals and the anticipated year of their completion. In the load flexibility track, the Draft Plan proposes offering dynamic and real time pricing (RTP) rates to customers, providing a menu of time-varying rate options to load management technologies through a “universal access” pricing platform, and requiring utilities to offer electric vehicle owners and fleet operators RTP pilot rates. In the grid infrastructure track, the Draft Plan proposes refining the utilities’ Integration Capacity Analysis, requiring the utilities to pilot a notification-only interconnection process, and revisiting interconnection fees and the cost allocation for distribution network upgrades. In the market integration track, the Draft Plan will consider whether DERs serving as Resource Adequacy resources receive fair compensation for all services provided to the grid, and whether market rules and tariffs allow DERs to effectively participate in wholesale markets. Lastly, in the DER customer programs track, the Draft Plan contemplates conducting a programmatic review of all DER customer programs and implementing a DER recycling program.

The CPUC will host a public workshop to discuss the Draft Plan on August 26 at 9 am. CPUC staff will also hold a Tribal consultation meeting to provide information and receive feedback from Tribal government representatives. Following the workshop and Tribal consultation meeting, the public can submit comments on the Draft Plan before the DER Action Plan 2.0 is adopted by the CPUC.

In a related action, the CPUC also recently issued a new Order Instituting Rulemaking to Modernize the Electric Grid For a High Distributed Energy Resources Future (R.21-06-017). Comments on the rulemaking are due August 16, and a workshop to discuss scoping for this proceeding has been scheduled for September 22.

For more information please contact Christian Briggs or Brian Biering.