Too Many Proceedings?
There are nine significant proceedings underway before the California Public Utilities Commission to address issues stemming from the California energy crisis in 2000 and 2001. The sheer number makes for slow progress. Brief descriptions of the most significant ongoing proceedings are below.
- R.04-04-003 – Referred to as the “umbrella proceeding,” this proceeding is intended to ensure policy consistency and overall coordination for the review of the utilities’ long-term procurement plans in conjunction with eight other proceedings.
- R.03-10-003 – “Community choice aggregation.” This proceeding will establish the implementation rules allowing cities and counties to purchase and sell electricity on behalf of residents and businesses in their jurisdictions.
- R.02-06-001 – Demand response. This proceeding will implement policies and practices for advanced metering, demand response and dynamic pricing. An objective of the proceeding is to expand demandresponse capabilities of large customers and assess the practical demand response potential of small customers.
- R.04-03-017 – Distributed generation. The scope of this proceeding is not yet completely defined, but a key priority will be to develop cost-benefit analysis methodologies to assist investor-owned utilities in the evaluation and interconnection of distributed generation projects.
- R.01-08-028 – Energy efficiency. This proceeding examines energy efficiency policies and programs, encourages utilities and non-utilities to propose energy efficiency programs and delineate specific program evaluation criteria, and determines who should administer commission- ordered energy efficiency programs.
- R.04-01-026 – Transmission assessment process. The CPUC is using this proceeding to attempt to streamline the transmission planning process and eliminate duplicative need assessments. Parties are also debating an economic methodology that would allow the CPUC to defer to the CAISO’s assessment of need for new transmission projects.
- I.00-11-001 – Transmission planning. This proceeding preceded R.04-01-026 and has served as a forum to consider a wide range of transmission-related issues as well as specific transmission projects.
- R.04-04-025 – Avoided cost and QF pricing. The CPUC opened this proceeding to develop a common methodology to calculate avoided costs in a variety of regulatory applications. The short-run avoided cost methodology for prices paid to QFs will be an important and contentious component of this proceeding.
- R.04-04-026 – Renewable portfolio standards. This proceeding will establish baseline levels of renewable generation for each utility and set the annual procurement target each utility must meet in 2004. The CPUC will also adopt standardized contract terms and conditions for renewable electricity sales, finalize the “market price referent” methodology, and continue to develop a “least-cost and best-fit” evaluation process.