ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Utility Rate Case That Is The Coal Mine Canary For DER
The SoCal Edison rate case: A canary in the coal mine for DER policy debates; SCE wants $2.1B to upgrade its grid for distributed resources — a request that's raised ire from consumer advocates and DER providers alike
Herman K. Trabish, May 18, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The GRC is still being debated but a new SCE white paper shows it is still a leader in moving to New Energy.
The $2.1 billion spend that Southern California Edison (SCE) wants regulators to approve for readying its system for distributed resources has raised a lot of stakeholder questions. Some of the questioning is standard rate case skepticism about whether the $14.7 billion revenue request will serve customers or shareholders. But there are also new concerns related to the utility’s plan to spend $2.1 billion on grid modernization…In particular, the distributed energy industry is concerned SCE is not taking advantage of all DERs have to offer by not valuing them properly in its planning. Consumer advocates, meanwhile, dismiss both sets of arguments as excessive spending.
To get a better sense of what’s at stake, Utility Dive asked SCE to identify exactly what it wanted and then took answers to four stakeholder questions: Does the spending benefit ratepayers? Can these investments be deferred or eliminated by DER? Is this spending due to normal utility operations or DER? And, is DER spending needed now and properly targeted? SCE promised that its GRC is a work in progress and stakeholder input would help shape it as it moves to the goals defined in its just-published white paper, The Clean Power and Electrification Pathway; Realizing California’s Environmental Goals. A final decision from California regulators is due in January 2018… click here for more
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