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SB-1215 Electricity: microgrids.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/09/2020 09:00 PM
SB1215:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  July 27, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  June 18, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  June 02, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  May 12, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1215


Introduced by Senator Stern
(Coauthor: Senator Allen)

February 20, 2020


An act to amend Section 8370 of, and to add Section 8373 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1215, as amended, Stern. Electricity: microgrids.
(1) Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law requires the commission, in consultation with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission and the Independent System Operator, to take specified actions by December 1, 2020, to facilitate the commercialization of microgrids for distribution customers of large electrical corporations, including developing microgrid service standards necessary to meet state and local permitting requirements and developing methods to reduce barriers for microgrid deployment without shifting costs between ratepayers.

The

This bill would require the commission, in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services, to create a database of critical facilities and critical infrastructure, and related critical circuits that are located in tier 2 or tier 3 high fire-threat districts served by electrical corporations, and identify with respect to each whether it serves a low-income and disadvantaged community. households or low-income communities, as defined. The bill would require an electrical corporation, electric service provider, or community choice aggregator, upon request, to collaborate with local governments or community choice aggregators within its service area to identify critical circuits and microgrid projects. The bill would authorize the above listed entities and local publicly owned electric utilities to use capacity resulting from a microgrid project to satisfy specified resource adequacy requirements. The bill would require electrical corporations to provide local governments, tribal governments, and community choice aggregators with electrical distribution equipment data, transmission and distribution circuit data, grid hardening plans, and other information requested by those entities to ensure that they are able to plan and develop microgrid projects collaboratively with the electrical corporations. The bill would authorize the electrical corporations to require the use of a commission-approved nondisclosure agreement before providing the requested information.
(2) Existing law requires the commission, in consultation with the Independent System Operator, to establish resource adequacy requirements for electrical corporations, community choice aggregators, and electric service providers.
This bill would require the commission and the Independent System Operator, in an existing proceeding, to develop a methodology methodology, as provided, to account for the resource adequacy value of distributed storage no later than March July 31, 2021.
(3) Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Deenergization of electrical infrastructure should be a last resort strategy for wildfire prevention by electrical corporations. Losing power for any extended period of time results in hardship and losses for an impacted community. An electrical corporation should take all necessary steps to ensure that any electricity outage causes minimal disruption to its customers.
(b) Cities, counties, and special districts affected by deenergization events have essential government services shut down during these outages, affecting public health and safety.
(c) Critical facilities and critical infrastructure are vital public resources that serve essential functions. Critical facilities may include law enforcement and emergency response facilities, schools, hospitals, prisons, and major roads, but can also include facilities serving essential needs of a community, including facilities that provide wastewater treatment or health assistance, pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, local nonprofit organizations, and emergency shelters. Uninterrupted electrical supply to these facilities is essential in order to maintain public health and safety.
(d) Medically vulnerable electricity customers face unique threats to health and safety during outages. The longer a power shutoff lasts, the more dangerous the consequences can become.
(e) The Office of Emergency Services’ State of California Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment outlines capability targets for infrastructure systems during defined threats and hazards. Those infrastructure system capability targets include stabilizing critical infrastructure functions, including energy, transportation, telecommunications, water, and wastewater services, and public health and medical systems, within the first 72 hours after an incident. In addition, communities that are in vulnerable transmission areas or in high fire-risk areas should be a priority.
(f) Clean and renewable distributed energy resources, including microgrids, that can disconnect from the grid can serve as a source of electricity for critical loads during emergencies or disruptions in the supply of electricity, thereby reducing the fire risk of providing electrical service, and can improve overall electrical grid resiliency. These same resources in nonemergencies can enhance electrical distribution grid reliability, provide economic benefits, and help the state meet its clean energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8370 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

8370.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Access and functional needs population” has the same meaning as defined in Section 8593.3 of the Government Code.
(b) “Community choice aggregator” has the same meaning as defined in Section 331.1.
(c) “Critical circuit” means an electrical circuit that supplies electricity to one or more critical facilities or to critical infrastructure, as reported to the commission by each electrical corporation.
(d) “Critical customer” means a customer of an electrical corporation receiving a medical baseline allowance pursuant to Section 739 who resides within a high fire-threat district or vulnerable transmission area, or a customer of a local publicly owned electric utility enrolled in a life support discount program who resides within a high fire-threat district or vulnerable transmission area.
(e) “Critical facilities and critical infrastructure” means facilities and infrastructure that are essential to health and public safety that require assistance and advance planning to ensure their resiliency during a deenergization event, as reported to the commission by the Office of Emergency Services based on consultations with local governments, including, but not limited to, facilities and infrastructure within the United States Department of Homeland Security’s critical infrastructure sectors.
(f) “Customer” means a customer of a local publicly owned electric utility or of a large electrical corporation. A person or entity is a customer of a large electrical corporation if the customer is physically located within the service territory of the large electrical corporation and receives bundled service, distribution service, or transmission service from the large electrical corporation.
(g) “Distributed energy resource” means an electric generation or storage technology that complies with the emissions standards adopted by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to the distributed generation certification program requirements of Section 94203 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, or any successor regulation.
(h) “High fire-threat district” means a geographic area identified by the commission as a Tier II or Tier III fire-threat area, where there is an elevated or extreme risk for fires caused by electrical infrastructure igniting and spreading rapidly.
(i) “Large electrical corporation” means an electrical corporation with more than 100,000 service connections in California.
(j) “Local government” means a city, county, or city and county.
(k) “Low-income communities” means census tracts with median household incomes at or below 80 percent of the statewide median income or with median household incomes at or below the threshold designated as low income by the Department of Housing and Community Development’s list of state income limits adopted pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.
(l) “Low-income households” means households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the statewide median income or with household incomes at or below the threshold designated as low income by the Department of Housing and Community Development’s list of state income limits adopted pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.

(k)

(m) “Microgrid” means an interconnected system of loads and energy resources, including, but not limited to, distributed energy resources, energy storage, demand response tools, or other management, forecasting, and analytical tools, appropriately sized to meet customer needs, within a clearly defined electrical boundary that can act as a single, controllable entity, and can connect to, disconnect from, or run in parallel with, larger portions of the electrical grid, or can be managed and isolated to withstand larger disturbances and maintain electrical supply to connected critical infrastructure.

(l)

(n) “Project” means a microgrid project that meets the resiliency needs of a local government, joint powers authority, or special district and may include microgrid projects that meet the resiliency needs for critical facilities and critical infrastructure, critical customers, or customers from an access and functional needs population that can operate disconnected from the distribution system for a predetermined period of time.

(m)

(o) “Resiliency” means the ability to mitigate and recover from an electrical service disruption using generation resources that maintain all or essential electrical service to customers, including critical facilities and critical infrastructure. Electrical service disruptions include, but are not limited to, emergencies, natural disasters, planned or unplanned electricity outages, or other events that may cause disruptions to important public services.

(n)“Vulnerable transmission area” means a geographic area likely to experience a loss of electrical service from a planned deenergization event caused by an increased fire risk from electrical infrastructure located within a high fire-threat district.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8373 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

8373.
 (a) (1) The commission, in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services, shall create a database of critical facilities and critical infrastructure, and related critical circuits that are located in tier 2 or tier 3 high fire-threat districts served by an electrical corporation, and identify with respect to each whether it serves alow-income and disadvantaged community. low-income households or low-income communities. The commission and the Office of Emergency Services may prioritize which critical facilities, critical infrastructure, and related critical circuits, or any combination of those items, to include within the database.
(2) An electrical corporation shall collaborate upon request with local governments or community choice aggregators within its service area to identify critical circuits and microgrid projects.
(3) (A) An electrical corporation shall provide local governments, tribal governments, and community choice aggregators with electrical distribution equipment data, transmission and distribution circuit data, grid hardening plans, and other information requested by local governments, tribal governments, and community choice aggregators to ensure the local governments, tribal governments, and community choice aggregators are able to plan and develop microgrid projects collaboratively with the electrical corporation.
(B) The electrical corporation shall respond to the data request no later than 30 days after receipt.
(C) The electrical corporation may require use of a commission-approved nondisclosure agreement before providing the requested information. The nondisclosure agreement shall be developed by the commission by March 1, 2021.
(b) (1) An electrical corporation, electric service provider, or community choice aggregator may use capacity resulting from a microgrid project to satisfy the resource adequacy requirements established in Section 380 and a local publicly owned electric utility may use that capacity to satisfy its resource adequacy requirements pursuant to Section 9620.
(2) (A) The commission and the Independent System Operator, in Rulemaking 17-09-020 (September 28, 2017) Order Instituting Rulemaking to Oversee the Resource Adequacy Program, Consider Program Refinements, and Establish Annual Local and Flexible Procurement Obligations for the 2019 and 2020 Compliance Years, shall develop a methodology to account for the resource adequacy value of distributed storage no later than March July 31, 2021.
(B) In determining the resource adequacy value of distributed storage, the commission shall incorporate the full electrical output of the resource, including all electricity delivered to the grid.
(C) The methodology developed pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall account for customer-sited energy storage resources and customer-sited hybrid resources.
(D) For purposes of this paragraph, “hybrid resource” means an energy storage system, as defined in Section 2838.2, that is paired with a colocated distributed energy resource and where the energy storage system obtains charging energy from that colocated distributed energy resource.

SEC. 4.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 3 of this act, which adds Section 8373 to the Public Utilities Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
To ensure the safety of the electrical distribution and transmission grid, the interest in the public disclosure of electrical equipment data, transmission and distribution circuit data, and grid hardening plans of electrical corporations is outweighed by the interest in maintaining the confidentiality of this information.