In an attempt to avoid a repeat of last summer’s rolling blackouts, California regulators have proposed a set of actions by the power utilities to add grid safety and reliability.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) proposal addresses added efforts to shave demand in peak load periods of summer heat.
Earlier the CPUC had ordered the utilities to secure additional renewables capacity of up to 3,300 MW. The commission last year proposed enhancements to existing programs, such as added demand response with emergency load reduction programs, rate plans to encourage conservation and lifting reserve margins to 17.5% from 15%.
Following the blackouts last August, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) was approved to contract for 716.9 MW of alternative energy, at least half of which must come online by this August. Southern California Edison Co. was similarly approved for up to 770 MW of storage.
PG&E spokesperson James Noonan said the combination utility is supporting the CPUC’s efforts “to move quickly and decisively” this summer.
San Diego Gas and Electric Co. spokesperson Helen Gao said the Sempra Energy combination utility is “on track” to meet the requirements for avoiding rolling blackouts. “We’ve been working diligently, and with a sense of urgency, to ensure we have additional resources in place ahead of summer.”
Last month, the CPUC ordered utilities to contract for resources that can be online to serve peak and net-peak demand this summer.
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