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SB-1314 Community Energy Resilience Act of 2020.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/21/2020 09:00 PM


Senate Bill
No. 1314

Introduced by Senator Dodd

February 21, 2020

An act to add Division 16.7 (commencing with Section 26450) to the Public Resources Code, relating to energy.


SB 1314, as introduced, Dodd. Community Energy Resilience Act of 2020.
Existing law establishes the Strategic Growth Council in state government consisting of various state agency heads and 3 public members. Existing law assigns to the council various duties, including managing and awarding grants and loans to support the planning and development of sustainable communities, as provided.
This bill, the Community Energy Resilience Act of 2020, would require the council to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans. The bill would set forth guiding principles for plan development, including equitable access to reliable energy, as provided, and integration with other existing local planning documents. The bill would require a plan to, among other things, ensure a reliable electricity supply is maintained at critical facilities and identify areas most likely to experience a loss of electrical service.
The bill would require the council to establish a stakeholder review board to provide statewide oversight for purposes of the grant program. The bill would require a local government, as a condition of receiving grant funding, to submit its plan and a report of project expenditures to the stakeholder review board within 6 months of completing the plan. The bill would require the stakeholder review board to annually report specified information about the grant program to the Legislature.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


 (a) This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Community Energy Resilience Act of 2020.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) California local governments need to develop and implement community energy resilience plans to ensure continuous electricity service during outages, including unplanned outages as well as intentional deenergizations of the electrical grid, which in 2019 imposed enormous costs on California communities.
(2) Developing reliable electrical systems for critical facilities is a paramount public safety priority to protect the health and well-being of California residents and businesses.
(3) Local governments typically lack the financial resources or expertise needed for community energy resilience planning based on distributed clean energy resources.
(4) In the absence of community energy resilience plans, local governments, investor-owned utilities, businesses, and the public are spending enormous sums purchasing fossil-fuel powered back-up generation, expenditures which run counter to California’s environmental goals.
(5) Local governments, including community choice aggregators, are the logical entities to direct local energy resilience planning and siting of distributed energy resources since they have the greatest degree of local political accountability and the authority to identify which facilities are most important to local residents and to site distributed energy resources capable of providing electricity during outages.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature to do both of the following:
(1) Increase employment in California through deployment of community energy resilience improvements based on clean energy.
(2) Direct the Strategic Growth Council, in collaboration with the Office of Planning and Research and the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, to develop necessary guidelines and procedures for program implementation within 90 days of the effective date of this act.

SEC. 2.

 Division 16.7 (commencing with Section 26450) is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

DIVISION 16.7. Community Energy Resilience Planning

 For the purposes of this division, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Community choice aggregator” has the same meaning as defined in Section 331.1 of the Public Utilities Code.
(b) “Community energy resilience plan” means a planning document prepared by a local government or community choice aggregator pursuant to this division that sets forth a strategy for maintaining a reliable supply of electricity during both scheduled and unintended outages. Unless context requires otherwise, “plan” means a community energy resilience plan.
(c) “Council” means the Strategic Growth Council established pursuant to Section 75121.
(d) “Local government” means a city, county, or city and county.
(e) “Public utility” means an electrical corporation, as defined in Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code, or a local publicly owned electric utility, as defined in Section 224.3 of the Public Utilities Code.

 (a) The council shall develop and implement a grant program pursuant to this division for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans.
(b) (1) The council shall establish funding procedures and guidelines for developing a community energy resilience plan and for overall plan structure and content, including development of a formula for allocating planning funds in amounts commensurate with the population served. The council shall provide grants to local governments for the development of a plan described in this section.
(2) The council shall establish a stakeholder review board as a public steering committee to provide statewide oversight for purposes of the grant program. The stakeholder review board shall include representatives from across the state from relevant nongovernmental organizations, including environmental justice organizations, and local governments.
(c) All of the following are guiding principles for plan development:
(1) Equitable collaboration between public utilities, local governments, and state agencies to yield plans that not only help achieve local energy resilience objectives, but also decarbonization and grid stability goals.
(2) Integration of available mobile storage resources that will become available through transportation electrification.
(3) Equitable access to reliable energy, with highest priority for receipt of planning funds granted to critical facilities in low-income or disadvantaged communities in high fire threat districts that are most likely to experience future electrical grid deenergization events, followed in priority by all other critical facilities statewide.
(4) Integration of community energy resilience plans with other existing local government planning documents, including general plans and climate action plans, with an assumption that upon completion, a community energy resilience plan would be incorporated by the local government into the existing general plan.
(d) The council’s role in the plan development process shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following activities:
(1) Identifying and coordinating with appropriate local government staff and outside consultants capable of drafting the plan. A local government may hire a resilience manager to manage the plan development process and the implementation of any specific projects identified in the plan.
(2) Convening one or more community workshops enlisting local stakeholders, including, but not limited to, community members, local government staff in departments relating to emergency services, planning, and public works, disability rights advocates, and representatives from special districts, load-serving entities, school districts, environmental justice communities, communities of color, and other marginalized groups, to ensure that a diversity of perspectives and input is incorporated into the plan.
(3) Soliciting input from public utility operational and technical subject matter experts, including relevant data to enable local governments to design their plans to make efficient use of existing distribution infrastructure and support grid operation.
(4) Providing guidance and support to each local government receiving plan funds for the local government to designate a diverse plan steering committee to ensure robust and meaningful public participation.
(e) A plan for which a local government receives grant funding shall do all of the following:
(1) Identify critical facilities and ensure that a reliable electricity supply is maintained at critical facilities.
(2) Identify areas most likely to experience a loss of electrical service based on public utility determinations of remote or hazardous areas likely to be subject to a planned deenergization of the electrical grid.
(3) Include a feasibility analysis of expected costs and benefits for anticipated projects within the local jurisdiction. A proposed plan shall also include an analysis of multiple project options for each location, including distribution segmentation and microgrids.
(f) The council shall adopt proposed final statewide plan guidelines following a public engagement process, during which the council shall publish proposed draft guidelines on its internet website and hold a publicly noticed meeting allowing time for public comment. The council shall provide written public notice of a meeting at least 15 days before a meeting.
(g) Grant funding awarded to a local government pursuant to this division shall not affect the entity’s eligibility to receive other incentives available from federal, state, or other local governments, public utilities, or any other source, or to leverage the grant funding awarded pursuant to this division with any other incentive.

 (a) The council shall maintain a publicly available and searchable database of all local governments receiving grant funding pursuant to this division, including information on specific plan projects. The database shall include relevant metrics to be determined by the council.
(b) As a condition of receiving grant funding, within six months of completing its plan, a local government shall submit the plan and a report of project expenditures to the stakeholder review board created pursuant to Section 26451.
(c) (1) The council shall prepare an annual summary of statewide program expenditures and submit a summary to the stakeholder review board, which shall convene to quantify and evaluate the effects of the program.
(2) Pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code, the stakeholder review board shall annually report the information it receives to the Legislature. The stakeholder review board shall also post the report on a publicly accessible internet website.