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Utility Dive: California Governor Signs Bill To Speed Utility Interconnections

Posted by Robert Walton on Oct 9, 2023
Utility Dive reports on the Powering Up Californians Act, quoting Emilie Olson's explanation of how the bill will help to improve delays in the utility interconnection process and speed up clean energy technology adoption in the Golden State.

SB 410, known as the Powering Up Californians Act, directs the California Public Utilities Commission to set average and target time periods for grid connections and upgrades. It is supported by several clean energy groups while Pacific Gas & Electric has expressed concern about the balance between speed and safety when it comes to grid upgrades

SB 410 is a key initiative to speed adoption of electric vehicles, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

The reporting, which will be required at least annually, will include data on the average, median, and standard deviation times for interconnection requests that exceed target maximum timelines. The bill also requires the CPUC to ensure that utilities “have sufficient and timely recovery of costs,” and allows for the commission to utilize a balancing mechanism for energization costs that exceed authorized rates.

“I am signing this bill because many of its provisions address this acute and critical issue with accountability metrics and a new, one-time revenue stream, with sensible customer protections,” Newsom wrote.

Advanced Energy United said interconnection delays are “a major obstacle” to customer adoption of clean energy technologies. SB 410 “helps break through the logjam,” said Emilie Olson, a senior principal who manages Advanced Energy United’s legislative engagements in California and Colorado.

“The bill enables faster interconnection timelines and increased transparency for utilities so they can make evaluations more quickly and speed up wired connections from homes and businesses to the grid,” Olson said after the bill passed the state’s legislature in September.

SB 410 was among a slate of clean energy bills Newsom signed this legislative session. Among others, AB 1373 creates a central procurement process for California to acquire clean energy, SB 48 aims to help improve efficiency in large commercial buildings, and SB 49 allows highway rights-of-way to be utilized for solar, storage and transmission. AB 3, the Offshore Wind and Jobs Act, aims to speed offshore renewable development by upgrading California’s ports.

Read the full article here.

Topics: United In The News, Emilie Olson, California