WORLD-GEN June/July 2018

WORLD-GEN June/July 2018

WORLD-GENERATION JUNE/JULY 2018 8 The national press reported on May 9 and 10 that by 2020 California would require all new housing in the state to have solar panels on rooftops. And it would increase the cost of a new home an addi- tional $9,000 plus. What the press missed was the release by the California Public Utilities Commission on May 3 of its draft “Green Book.” I don’t blame the press for missing it – probably more likely ignored it. The Green Book only asks questions. It is “designed as a platform for conversations with and among a wide range of stakehold- ers and interests about the future of California’s electricity market rather than make specific recommendations.” ”We are seeing disaggregation of the energy market affecting reliability and pro- curement, creating warning signs such as fragmented decision making, and a dis- persed supply system to supply customers at all times. The answers will be complex,” authors of the Green Book say. For those who were involved in California’s energy industry in the early 1990s you may remember the “Yellow” and “Blue” books which outlined the CPUC’s plan for retail and wholesale competition. What resulted after the state legislature got involved was the Energy Crisis in 2000 and 2001. The CPUC’s Green Book starts with the premise that current policy shifts are reshaping California’s electricity markets without a plan. “We could drift into another crisis,” it says. Fragmentation is coming from legislative actions, CPUC policies, dis- tributed generation and expansion of com- munity choice aggregation where cities or communities decide to provide electricity to its residents and businesses. Now many utility customers have choices outside the utility they never had before. For example, the state mandate to decrease global greenhouse gases is driv- ing major increases in renewable energy. And the proliferation of utility and rooftop solar plants is quickly reshaping the state’s daily electricity peak loads. The Green Book assesses markets for help in New York, Illinois, Texas and Great Britain, but declares none of these provide a “cookie cutter” plan. So the CPUC is looking for input to inform the next stage of the process. It wants to ensure reliable, clean and afford- able electricity for customers while looking for equitable treatment for all market par- ticipants. This latter “want” is one of the issues that drove the plan behind the origi- nal yellow and blue books! It is scheduled to release a final Green Book with a plan in summer 2018. If you’re curious and want to read the Green Book, visit http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/ customerchoice/ A POTENTIAL MODEL FORTHE STATE An example of what disaggrega- tion looks like is marching forward in the coastal region in Southern California north of Los Angeles where electricity is supplied by two small transmission lines coming off one of the state’s major transmission lines and the two local power plants that are being forced to retire. The CPUC and Southern California Edison will be attempting to find renewable resources, energy efficiency, demand response and a small peaker, all of which will be owned by or the responsibility of various independent entities, to replace two large former utility plants. In the long term, as a result of this change in resources, will the area be subject to a reduction in reli- ability and resilience? And will this be a forerunner of what will happen in other parts of the state? SCE signed a contract with NRG to in 2013 to buy electricity from the proposed 262-MW Puente project in response to a CPUC request for new capacity in the Moorpark sub-area. This area stretches from east of Ventura (about an hour’s drive north from Los Angeles) in the southern end of the area to Goleta north of Santa Barbara along the Pacific Coast. Also approved was 12 MW of preferred resourc- es contracts for energy efficiency, demand response, renewables, and distributed gen- eration. The need arose because the older plants serving the area have to be retired by 2020 because they use once-through ocean cooling. The State Water Quality Control Board ruled in 2010 that this tech- nique to cool power plants is killing small fish and plankton and it gave coastal power plants alternatives – one of which is to retire and replace the plants by a date cer- tain. The two plants, along with a third small gas-fired plant located along the coastline in Oxnard, are part of the Moorpark sub-area and represent 318 MW. However, for the past ten years, the city of Oxnard, environmental groups and com- munity members have lobbied for the removal of all gas-fired power plants located along the coast within city limits, including the Puente Power Plant once it began review for certification at the California Energy Commission. The city and several environmental groups argued that all power needs could be furnished by renewable and distributed generation. CALIFORNIA’S ELECTRICITY MARKET INTRANSITION BY LYN CORUM,CLASS OF 2003 PERSPECTIVE (continued page 16)

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy MzA4Mjc=