Per legislation passed in 2013, California’s investor-owned utilities finally had to disclose and map their energy system needs and information at the distribution level (i.e. areas served by wooden electric poles). The plans the utilities filed this month will greatly assist clean technology purveyors of all stripes:
Mandated by state law AB 327, these DRPs are essentially blueprints for how Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric are going to merge rooftop solar, behind-the-meter energy storage, plug-in electric vehicles and other distributed energy resources (DERs) into their day-to-day grid operations and long-range distribution grid planning and investment regimes.
As more solar, energy storage, and electric vehicles come on-line, utilities will need both to plan for these resources and make it easier for clean technology companies to know where to place the resources for optimal value and ideally optimal revenue. While not perfect, the plans filed this month are an important step to a cleaner and more reliable grid.