ORIGINAL REPORTING: California Regulators See Increased Value In Customer-Owned Resources
CPUC Updates Distributed Resources Plan to Capitalize on Broad Benefits
Herman K. Trabish, August 3, 2021 (California Current)
California’s groundbreaking 2016 Distributed Energy Resources Action Plan will be updated to better align rising levels of clean local renewables with ratepayer and society interests, particularly air quality, climate resiliency, and economic opportunities in disadvantaged communities, the California Public Utilities Commission announced July 23.
It is “mission critical” to bring clean distributed energy resources to “all customers, including disadvantaged customers,” Mathew Tisdale, executive director of think tank Gridworks, said. The hope is that the new Action Plan drives “real investment of time and energy.”
Significant growth is expected from California’s rooftop solar and other distributed generation, storage, electric vehicles (EVs), time-varying rates, load management, demand response, and energy efficiency. The state leads the nation in rooftop photovoltaics and other behind-the-meter clean energy.
The key goal of the DER Action Plan 2.0 plan is to coordinate electric sector policy, grid planning, affordability, load flexibility, market integration, and customer initiatives, the CPUC said. That will include coordination with the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, and the California Independent System Operator. The plan update’s goal was well-received.
Southern California Edison “could not be more aligned” with the commission’s vision and goals, SCE Managing Director for State Regulatory Operations Shinjini Menon said. Utility-scale renewable are more economic, but developing the needed transmission will take time, “which means DER have to be part of the equation” to achieve the state’s policies.
Earlier, accelerating DER activity was not coordinated through an overarching framework. The Action Plan 1.0 “connected the commission’s interdependent proceedings and initiatives, but this is a timely update for the expanding capabilities of DER,” Tisdale added… click here for more