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SB-1312 Electrical corporations: undergrounding of infrastructure: deenergization.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/19/2020 09:00 PM
SB1312:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 19, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  April 22, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  March 25, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1312


Introduced by Senator Senators McGuire and Stern

February 21, 2020


An act to amend Section 320 of, and to add Article 14 (commencing with Section 925) to Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 1 of of, the Public Utilities Code, relating to public utilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1312, as amended, McGuire. Electrical corporations: undergrounding of infrastructure: deenergization.

Under

(1) Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing Under existing law, the Legislature has declared that it is the policy of this state to achieve, whenever feasible and not inconsistent with sound environmental planning, the undergrounding of all future electric and communication distribution facilities that are proposed to be erected in proximity to designated state scenic highways and that would be visible from those highways if erected above ground. The commission’s existing Electric Tariff Rule 20 establishes policies for the undergrounding of electric facilities and includes, among other programs, the Rule 20A undergrounding program, which requires electrical corporations to convert overhead electric facilities to underground facilities when it is in the public interest for specified reasons.
This bill would require the commission to revise Electric Tariff Rule 20 to additionally authorize and fund, whenever feasible, the undergrounding of electrical and communication infrastructure within certain commission-designated high fire-threat areas for purposes of wildfire mitigation.
(2) Existing law requires each electrical corporation to annually prepare a wildfire mitigation plan and to submit its plan to the commission for review and approval, as specified. Existing law requires the wildfire mitigation plan to include, among other things, protocols for disabling reclosers and deenergizing portions of the electrical distribution system that consider the associated impacts on public safety.
This bill would require the commission to develop a standard against which to measure the prudency of an electrical corporation’s conduct of a public safety power shutoff, as defined, and an electrical corporation’s hardening of fire risk mitigation capital expenditures on the distribution or transmission infrastructure that motivated the public safety power shutoff. The bill would require an electrical corporation that conducts a public safety power shutoff to report specified information about the shutoff and its infrastructure hardening efforts expenditures to the commission. The bill would require the commission to hold hearings a public hearing to determine whether a public safety power shutoff was conducted prudently. The bill would require the commission, if it determines a shutoff or related hardening was expenditures were not conducted prudently, to levy fines and penalties against the electrical corporation.
The bill would require an electrical corporation to notify the commission, the Office of Emergency Services, and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection of a potential public safety power shutoff. The bill would also require an electrical corporation, on or before July 1, 2021, to identify and report to the commission at least 15% of its transmission and distribution infrastructure that is most likely to cause a public safety power shutoff and to need grid hardening. or ignite a wildfire, that needs fire risk mitigation capital expenditures, and for which fire risk mitigation capital expenditures have not been made by July 1, 2021. The bill would require fire risk mitigation capital expenditures to be made on at least 50% of that infrastructure to be hardened to the extent so that a public safety power shutoff is not necessary due to that infrastructure except in extraordinary circumstances by July 1, 2023, on at least 75% of that infrastructure to be hardened to that extent by July 1, 2024, and on all of that infrastructure to be hardened to that extent by July 1, 2025. The bill would prohibit an electrical corporation from earning a rate of return on rates imposed to recover the electrical corporation’s costs for hardening its infrastructure under these provisions.

Under

(3) Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act, or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission, is a crime.
Because the provisions of the bill would be included in the act and would require action by the commission, a violation of which would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 320 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

320.
 (a) (1) The Legislature hereby declares that it is the policy of this state to achieve, whenever feasible and not inconsistent with sound environmental planning, the undergrounding of all future electric and communication distribution facilities which that are proposed to be erected in proximity to any highway designated a state scenic highway pursuant to Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 260) of Chapter 2 of Division 1 of the Streets and Highways Code and which that would be visible from such those scenic highways if erected above ground. The commission shall prepare and adopt by December 31, 1972, a statewide plan and schedule for the undergrounding of all such those utility distribution facilities in accordance with the aforesaid that policy and the rules of the commission relating to the undergrounding of facilities.

The

(2) The commission shall coordinate its activities regarding the plan with local governments and planning commissions concerned.

The

(3) The commission shall require compliance with the plan upon its adoption.

This section

(4) This subdivision shall not apply to facilities necessary to the operation of any railroad.
(b) The commission shall revise Electric Tariff Rule 20 to additionally authorize and fund, whenever feasible, the undergrounding of electrical and communication infrastructure within a commission-designated Tier 2 or Tier 3 high fire-threat area for purposes of wildfire mitigation.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Article 14 (commencing with Section 925) is added to Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code, to read:
Article  14. Public Safety Power Shutoffs

925.
 For purposes of this article, “public safety power shutoff” means the deenergization of any portion of the electrical distribution or transmission system to reduce the risk of wildfire ignition.

926.
 (a) (1) The commission shall develop a standard against which to measure the prudency of an electrical corporation’s actions regarding both of the following:
(A) A public safety power shutoff, as to which the standard shall measure only the electrical corporation’s compliance with all applicable statutory standards and procedures, and with the provisions of the electrical corporation’s wildfire mitigation plan described in Section 8386.
(B) The hardening of electrical corporation’s fire risk mitigation capital expenditures on distribution or transmission infrastructure after a public safety power shutoff pursuant to subdivisions (d) and (e).
(2) The commission shall develop the standard described in paragraph (1) in a manner that does not increase the liability of the state for any damage or injury arising from a wildfire, public safety power shutoff, or any related conduct or incident.
(b) An electrical corporation shall report to the commission on a public safety power shutoff within 30 days of the shutoff. A 10 business days after each deenergization event in accordance with decisions of the commission. In addition to requirements imposed by the commission, a report provided pursuant to this subdivision shall set forth the portions of the electrical corporation’s distribution or transmission infrastructure, presented in an identifiable format, where safety risk motivated the electrical corporation to initiate the public safety power shutoff.
(c) (1) Within 60 days of a public safety power shutoff by an electrical corporation, the commission shall hold a hearing hearing, which shall be open and available to the public for participation, on the shutoff. Upon completion of the hearing, the commission shall make a determination whether the public safety power shutoff was conducted prudently.
(2) If the commission determines the public safety power shutoff was not conducted prudently, the commission shall levy fines and penalties against the electrical corporation.
(d) Within 60 days of a hearing held pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c), an electrical corporation shall report to the commission on the steps it will take to reduce the risk along the portions of distribution or transmission infrastructure described in subdivision (b) to prevent future public safety power shutoffs due to the risk posed by that infrastructure.
(e) (1) Within one year of a public safety power shutoff, an electrical corporation shall report to the commission on the level of hardening completed fire risk mitigation capital expenditures made on the distribution or transmission infrastructure described in subdivision (b) to prevent future public safety power shutoffs due to the risk posed by that infrastructure. If the grid hardening steps fire risk mitigation capital expenditures described in the report under subdivision (d) are not completed made within one year of a public safety power shutoff, the electrical corporation shall outline in the report under this paragraph the additional time required to complete the grid hardening. make the fire risk mitigation capital expenditures.
(2) If the commission determines pursuant to subdivision (a) that an electrical corporation’s failure to harden make fire risk mitigation capital expenditures on its infrastructure following a public safety power shutoff was not prudent, the commission shall levy fines and penalties against the electrical corporation.

927.
 (a) (1) An electrical corporation shall notify the commission, the Office of Emergency Services, and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection of a potential public safety power shutoff. An electrical corporation shall provide an updated notice to those state agencies during each stage of a potential public safety power shutoff, as specified in paragraph (2), to the extent the scope or scale of the potential public safety power shutoff changes.
(2) An electrical corporation shall notify the commission, the Office of Emergency Services, and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection when it does each of the following:
(A) Activates deenergization protocols.
(B) Decides to deenergize a portion of its transmission and distribution infrastructure.
(C) Begins deenergizing a portion of its transmission and distribution infrastructure.
(D) Initiates reenergization protocols.
(E) Completes reenergization protocols.
(3) Notice provided pursuant to this subdivision shall be conducted in accordance with forms and detailed mapping procedures specified by the Office of Emergency Services.
(b) Deenergization protocols established by the commission shall include contingency plans for when other natural disasters, including wildfires, occur concurrently with a public safety power shutoff.
(c) The Office of Emergency Services, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and the commission may jointly adopt emergency regulations based on the risks to public health and safety resulting from public safety power shutoffs. The adoption of a regulation authorized by this subdivision is deemed to address an emergency, for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the Government Code, and the Office of Emergency Services, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and the commission are hereby exempted for this purpose from the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code.

928.
 (a) (1) On or before January 1, 2021, the commission shall identify any specific information, other than the information described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2), needed for the reports relating to grid hardening fire risk mitigation capital expenditures described in paragraph (2).
(2) On or before July 1, 2021, an electrical corporation shall identify and report each of the following to the commission:
(A) At least 15 percent of the electrical corporation’s transmission and distribution infrastructure that is most likely to cause a public safety power shutoff and need grid hardening and that is not already hardened or ignite a wildfire, that needs fire risk mitigation capital expenditures, and for which fire risk mitigation capital expenditures have not been made by July 1, 2021.
(B) All grid hardening conducted fire risk mitigation capital expenditures made between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2021, by region, type of line, and other relevant factors.
(C) Any other information identified by the commission pursuant to paragraph (1).
(b) (1) On or before July 1, 2023, fire risk mitigation capital expenditures shall be made on at least 50 percent of the infrastructure identified pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall be hardened to the extent so that a public safety power shutoff is not necessary due to that infrastructure except in extraordinary circumstances.
(2) On or before July 1, 2024, fire risk mitigation capital expenditures shall be made on at least 75 percent of the infrastructure identified pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall be hardened to the extent so that a public safety power shutoff is not necessary due to that infrastructure except in extraordinary circumstances.
(3) On or before July 1, 2025, fire risk mitigation capital expenditures shall be made on all of the infrastructure identified pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall be hardened to the extent so that a public safety power shutoff is not necessary due to that infrastructure except in extraordinary circumstances.
(c) An electrical corporation may recover in rates its costs incurred for hardening fire risk mitigation capital expenditures on its infrastructure pursuant to this section, but shall not earn a rate of return on those costs. and consistent with Section 8386.3.

929.
 An electrical corporation shall not charge ratepayers for electricity service not provided during a public safety power shutoff.

SEC. 2.SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.