- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week unanimously authorized Southern California Edison (SCE) to move ahead with the results of its second Preferred Resources Pilot (PRP) request for offers, which resulted in 19 contracts totaling 125 MW of preferred resources.
- A February proposed decision from the commission would have rejected the 19 contracts for not being cost-effective. The CPUC said its July 12 decision "reaffirmed its commitment" to innovation and clean energy.
- The alternative approved by the commission allows SCE to move ahead with cost recovery for the contracts, which include demand response, renewable distributed generation and energy storage.
California is increasingly looking to clean energy technology, where previously gas generation would have been the likely solution.
The first PRP request for offers came following the retirement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and anticipated closure of once-through cooled plants, representing about 7 GW of lost capacity.
The alternative was written by CPUC President Michael Picker, who said in a statement that executing the contracts would drive "market transformation and innovation." He justified the cost of the contracts based on the "collective expected contribution" to system reliability, greenhouse gas reductions, grid modernization and distributed energy resources penetration.
The commission said its second approval concludes that distributed energy resources "can be used to offset localized load growth," and the pilot program will "will help determine to what extent an integrated portfolio of preferred resources deployed at a high concentration can operate just as reliably as a traditional gas-fired power plant and meet future customer needs in a clean manner."
The 19 contracts include demand response using load reduction and battery energy storage, front-of-the-meter battery storage, and behind-the-meter battery storage plus solar.
"Our decision today sends important signals to the investment community that California’s support for a clean energy transformation is unwavering," Picker said.