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Getty Images 1303756984
Getty Images 1303756984
Getty Images 1303756984
Getty Images 1303756984

California Commission Adopts Updates to DER Action Plan

May 2, 2022
The plan helps the CPUC guide its utility infrastructure planning and improve coordination across proceedings related to grid planning, affordability, load flexibility, market integration, and customer programs in anticipation of a high-DER future.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in its ongoing efforts to help the state achieve a 100% clean energy future, adopted Version 2.0 of its Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Action Plan. The Plan helps the CPUC guide its utility infrastructure planning and improve coordination across proceedings related to grid planning, affordability, load flexibility, market integration, and customer programs in anticipation of a high-DER future.

Distributed energy resources include rooftop solar and other distributed renewable generation resources, energy storage, electric vehicles, time variant and dynamic electric rates, flexible load management, demand response, and energy efficiency technologies. California leads the nation in the growth of DER, which will continue due to groundbreaking policies such as Senate Bill 100, as well as strong consumer interest. Additional drivers of DER growth include new State commitments to increase transportation and building electrification and continued commitment to behind-the-meter solar generation and storage. The DER Action Plan 2.0 will serve as a roadmap for CPUC decision-makers, staff, and stakeholders as they coordinate development and implementation of policies related to DER.

The CPUC is committed to ensuring that DER policy is harmonized with CPUC policy directives related to safety, reliability, affordability, equity, and environmental stewardship. The scope of the DER Action Plan 2.0 includes an overall vision statement and four distinct tracks that collectively advance the CPUC’s overall vision for a high-DER future, focusing on load flexibility and rates in Track 1; grid infrastructure in Track 2; market integration in Track 3; and DER customer programs in Track 4.

The CPUC will continue to explore new policies, technologies, business models, and ideas to advance DER 2 cpuc.ca.gov | 415-703-2782 | 800-848-5580 | deployment in a manner that maximizes ratepayer and societal value and contributes to equity and affordability for all customers.

In 2016, the CPUC endorsed an earlier version of a DER Action Plan, covering the 2016-2020 period. The DER Action Plan 1.0 served as a roadmap to coordinate activities across multiple CPUC proceedings aimed at advancing DER policy and reforming utility distribution planning, investment, and operations. The CPUC has completed the majority of the Action Elements set forth in the first Plan and is now proceeding with DER Action Plan 2.0 to facilitate forward-thinking DER policy in an anticipated high-DER future.

This update highlights how a unified vision for the development of DER policy can support CPUC consideration of specific actions undertaken through various proceedings and external initiatives    

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