Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Analyzing the critical energy and environmental issues of the day

Tag Archives: CPUC

PG&E Narrows Scope of the CPUC Proceeding to Shut Down the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant by Unilaterally Withdrawing Its Procurement and Cost Allocation Requests

Posted in California
On February 27, 2017, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”) announced it is withdrawing several portions of its plan to close its 2.3 gigawatt Diablo Canyon Power Plant near San Luis Obispo by 2025. Specifically, PG&E has withdrawn its requests that the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) authorize PG&E to replace Diablo’s generation capacity with… Continue Reading

FERC and CPUC Approve Utilities’ Innovative Request to Own a 50 MW Solar Project in Partnership with a Tax Equity Investor

Posted in California, FERC
For the first time, a regulated electric utility, Liberty Utilities (CalPeco Electric) LLC (“Liberty”), recently obtained all state and federal regulatory approvals to partner with a tax equity investor to acquire, own, and operate a utility-scale solar project.  By using a tax equity partnership, the utility can more efficiently take advantage of federal solar tax… Continue Reading

Can Electric Storage Resources Collect Both Cost-Based and Market-Based Revenue?

Posted in FERC
The short answer is: yes, with a few caveats. On January 19, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a policy statement that, under appropriate circumstances, electric storage resources may concurrently receive cost- and market-based revenues for providing separate services. If an electric storage resource owner/operator wants to receive cost-based rate recovery and market-based… Continue Reading

CPUC Hosts Workshop for New Safety Intervenor

Posted in California, Electric Power, Federal, Rulemakings
Earlier in 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) received approval from the Legislature to establish its own Office of Safety Advocates (OSA) as an effort to expand the participation of safety related intervenors in relevant CPUC proceedings.  This month, the CPUC is hosting a workshop to: (i) allow stakeholders to brainstorm an effective way… Continue Reading

CPUC Cracks Down on Secrecy of Utility Data

Posted in California, Electric Power, Federal, Rulemakings
For California utilities, ensuring their information stays confidential just got harder. On August 25, 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a decision updating the process for submitting potentially confidential documents to the Commission. The Commission intended for this process to ensure consistency across industries and to expedite Commission review of California Public Records Act… Continue Reading

CPUC Implementation of the Renewables Portfolio Standard Beyond 2020 Begins

Posted in California, Renewables
– a dispatch from  California Energy attorney Vid Prabhakaran – The California Public Utilities Commission is revving itself up to take on the task of putting together a whole new set of procurement requirements to implement the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS)-related provisions of Senate Bill (SB) 350. As described in an earlier blog entry, SB… Continue Reading

Reforms to Exit Fees for Departing Load Customers May Be On the California Horizon

Posted in California, Electric Power
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) signaled this month that the topic of exit fee reform for departing load customers may be back on the Commission’s agenda.  A significant public outcry arose late last year when Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) aimed to significantly increase its exit fees to such a level that much… Continue Reading

California Electric Vehicle Chargers Could Soon Qualify as Eligible Energy Storage Technology

Posted in California, Electric Power, Renewables
Later this year, the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) intends to issue a proposed decision addressing whether one-way managed or controlled charging of electric vehicles (often referred to as “V1G”) will be eligible for future energy storage solicitations.  Parties to the energy storage proceeding will have at least one more opportunity to convince the CPUC… Continue Reading

CPUC Takes First Step Towards Developing Integrated Energy Resource Plan

Posted in California, Renewables
Senate Bill (“SB”) 350, which the California legislature passed in 2015, sets ambitious goals for the state, including a 50% renewables portfolio standard and a doubling of energy efficiency by 2030.  To help encourage a coordinated approach to meeting these goals, SB 350 mandates that the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) examine the future of… Continue Reading

Distributed Energy Resources – California Caught In Its Own Regulatory Web

Posted in California, Rulemakings
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has spent a great deal of time and effort to reach the very broad, generic, and long-term goal to: deploy distributed energy resources that provide optimal customer and grid benefits, while enabling California to reach its climate objectives. In fact, it took the CPUC nearly a full year to… Continue Reading

California PUC Set to Address Handling of Confidential Records

Posted in California
confidentialOn August 14, 2015 California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Rafael Lirag extended the deadline for public comment in the CPUC Confidentiality/Public Records Act rulemaking proceeding. This proceeding will have a major impact on record submitters (utilities), public advocates, and news agencies alike by dictating how, and which, documents will remain confidential… Continue Reading

California Governor Aims to Reduce Emissions 40 Percent Below 1990 Levels by 2030

Posted in California, Climate Change
In an Executive Order issued yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown set “a new interim statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is established in order to ensure California meets its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by… Continue Reading

Long-Awaited California Residential Rate Design Reform Proposed at California Public Utilities Commission

Posted in California, Electric Power
On April 21, two Administrative Law Judges at the California Public Utilities Commission issued a long-anticipated proposed decision on residential rate design reform for the 3 large investor-owned utilities (IOUs) in California.  The long-term vision of the Proposed Decision is to prepare for widespread enrollment of residential customers in time-of-use (“TOU”) rate schedules with a… Continue Reading

Charging Forward: California PUC Expands Utility Role in EV Charging Infrastructure Deployment

Posted in California, Electric Power, Rulemakings
In a final decision determined on December 18th, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) overturned its blanket prohibition on utility ownership of electric vehicle (EV) service equipment (such as EV charging stations) and endorsed an expanded role for utilities in developing and supporting plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging infrastructure. The CPUC’s earlier July 2011 decision prohibited electric utilities… Continue Reading

New Renewable RFOs in California on the Horizon

Posted in California, Renewables, Rulemakings
By accepting the renewable procurement plans of the various California utilities, the Commission has authorized the utilities to issue Request for Offers (“RFOs”) in mid-to-late December.   Shortlists must be submitted to the Commission in late March 2014. Importantly, shortlisted bidders are no longer restricted to negotiating with only one utility.… Continue Reading

CPUC Rejects Constitutional Challenge to RPS Rules

Posted in California, Renewables
In a matter of great interest to owners of renewable generating facilities throughout the West, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) has finally responded to the constitutional challenge raised by Cowlitz PUD against the CPUC’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) rules.  In a decision issued on November 1, two and one-half years after Cowlitz raised the challenge,… Continue Reading

California Public Utilities Commission to Consider New Proposals to Improve Renewables Portfolio Standard Procurement Process

Posted in California, Renewables, Rulemakings
On Oct. 5, 2012, Commissioner Mark Ferron of the California Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”) issued a 39-page ruling including a number of proposals to improve California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) procurement process. Specifically, he proposed an: [E]ffort to streamline the RPS contract review process, increase the transparency of the Commission’s review of RPS procurement, establish… Continue Reading

Renewables Portfolio Standard Rulemaking to Continue

Posted in Renewables, Rulemakings
Having dispensed with many of the preliminary issues regarding the new and improved 33% by 2020 Renewables Portfolio Standard, Commissioner Ferron issued a new scoping ruling on Wednesday providing a preliminary list of issues for the remainder of the proceeding. The scoping ruling extends the proceeding for another two years, however no specific procedural guideline… Continue Reading

Pre-AB 32 Contracts: Are generators entitled to some relief for their greenhouse gas costs?

Posted in California, Cap and Trade, Climate Change, Renewables, Rulemakings
Generators that may have executed bilateral contracts with a California utility prior to the passage of Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32) in California such that their contract does not have specific terms and conditions assigning greenhouse gas cost responsibility should be aware that the matter of whether the generator is entitled to some sort of… Continue Reading

Net Metering Cap Clarified by California Public Utilities Commission

Posted in California, Renewables, Rulemakings
In a huge win for the solar industry, the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to issue a decision that clarifies the calculation of the California’s five-percent Net Metering cap.  Net Metering (“NEM”) allows customers to earn credit for excess solar electricity they produce that is distributed to other customers on the grid. Electric utilities… Continue Reading