CPUC Kicks Off Process To Develop Multi-Property Microgrid Tariff

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued a Scoping Memo and Ruling establishing a new track in Rulemaking 19-09-009 for development of a standard multi-property microgrid tariff that would be available to customers of the three large investor-owned electric utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison Company (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E).

Since initiating the microgrid rulemaking in 2019 the CPUC has addressed threshold statutory requirements (established in Senate Bill 1339) and has taken incremental steps toward enabling the development of microgrids. These steps included approval of PG&E’s Community Microgrid Enablement Program, which authorizes incremental technical and financial support for community microgrids for Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) mitigation purposes, and adoption of Decision 23-04-034 establishing rules for a limited Microgrid Incentive Program (MIP) intended to enable microgrids in disadvantaged communities affected by grid outages.

While the 2023 MIP decision imposed strict eligibility requirements that exclude various categories of generation resources, locations, microgrid designs, and customer applications, it also promised that outstanding matters such as the appropriate form of a multi-customer tariff and the value of resiliency would be addressed in the next phase of the proceeding. The new Scoping Memo and Ruling identifies a new Track 5 for examination of:

  • What guiding principles should the Commission adopt to assist in the development of a microgrid multi-property tariff;
  • Whether PG&E should modify its Community Microgrid Enablement Tariff for the purposes of a statewide, microgrid multi-property tariff;
  • Whether PG&E, SCE and SDG&E should form a single, unified multi-property tariff, for statewide application, and whether it should be modeled from PG&E’s Community Microgrid Enablement Tariff; and
  • To what extent should a single, unified microgrid multi-property tariff align with or impact environmental and social justice communities; including the extent to which it could impact achievement of any of the nine goals of the Commission’s Environmental and Social Justice Action Plan.
  • Per the Scoping Memo and Ruling, PG&E has submitted its Community Microgrid Enablement Tariff into the record. Other upcoming activities scheduled for Track 5:

  • On August 9 the Administrative Law Judge will issue a ruling ordering the IOUs to develop and submit a pro-forma standard multi-property microgrid tariff based on PG&E’s Community Microgrid Enablement Tariff, with any necessary IOU-specific deviations;
  • On October 9, 2023 the IOUs will submit a pro-forma tariff responsive to the August 9 ruling;
  • On October 27, 2023, parties will file opening comments on the IOUs’ pro-forma tariff proposal;
  • On November 10, 2023 parties will file reply comments on the IOU’s pro-forma tariff proposal;
  • On January 22, 2024 the ALJ will circulate an Energy Division staff proposal;
  • On February 5, 2024 the CPUC will hold a workshop on the staff proposal;
  • On February 29 and March 11, 2024, parties will file another round of opening and reply comments on the staff proposal;
  • Within 90 days of the submission of reply comments the ALJ will issue a proposed decision.
  • Interested parties can find more background on the CPUC’s microgrid website.

    Contact: Lynn Haug or Brian Biering