California Advances State Microgrid Policy

By: Buck B. Endemann, and Olivia B. Mora

Microgrids have long been seen as a means to provide electricity customers with more control and security regarding their energy use.  In 2018, California passed Senate Bill (“SB”) 1339, which directed the California Public Utilities Commission (the “Commission”), the California Independent System Operator, and the California Energy Commission to jointly craft a microgrid policy framework.  This policy has taken on new urgency in the wake of last fall’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs, as consumers evaluate their energy security options to mitigate the intentional blackouts imposed during periods of heightened wildfire risk.  On September 19, 2019, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking that will evaluate whether and how microgrids will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect California ratepayers, and advance California’s progressive environmental goals.

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