California regulators modify grid map requirements to ease solar integration By David Wagman on Feb 1 2021
The California Public Utilities Commission ordered several key improvements to the Integration Capacity Analysis, a grid transparency tool.
The motion requesting the changes that the CPUC responded to was filed last October by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, the California Solar & Storage Association, and California Energy Storage Alliance. Regulators issued their decision at the end of the January.
Integration Capacity Analysis (ICA), called hosting capacity analysis in other states, is a process of modeling conditions on the distribution grid that impact where additional distributed energy resources can be added without the need for costly upgrades and/or lengthy interconnection studies.
The maps can be critical tools for enabling more efficient and cost effective deployment of clean energy and energy storage.
The ruling establishes new requirements to improve the accuracy and usefulness of ICA maps. These include requiring investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to:
- Identify changes to enable the ICA results to aid customers seeking to add electric vehicle charging stations or reduce their use of natural gas in buildings,
- Reduce how much data they redact from their ICA maps,
- Improve their ICA data validation practices to avoid the presence of undetected errors, and
- More broadly engage in a process of continuing improvements to ICA.
The CPUC’s action will make ICA more useful in showing the capacity of the grid to host new load, IREC said. Due to problems in initial ICA maps released by California’s IOUs, they previously were not useful for this purpose. In particular, IREC said the maps showed the distribution grid to be “significantly more constrained” in its ability to host new load than it actually is.
As part of the order, IOUs must make a filing describing the methodology, inputs, and assumptions of the load ICA; these will then be refined through workshops and public comment.
Another element of the decision related to data redaction. The CPUC had previously established redaction rules to protect customer information; however, earlier ICAs redacted more information than was necessary to protect customers’ privacy.
In particular, IREC said that San Diego Gas & Electric omitted the locations of substations. As a result, large portions of its map appeared blank because SDG&E redacted more than is allowed under the CPUC’s rules. The CPUC order confirmed that SDG&E redacted too much information and required IOUs to publish the location of transmission lines.
Finally, the CPUC ordered a number of other changes designed to make ICA results more useful. The order requires a process of continuing improvements, and establishes requirements for data validation.
Improvements include requiring better search and query functionality, publishing downloadable map files, updating user guides when map functionality changes, and displaying other useful information in the ICA maps.
The CPUC also required IOUs to file better data validation plans, and to hire an independent technical expert to review ICA data validation plans, identify best practices, and suggest improvements.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: email@example.com.
David Wagman is a senior editor at pv magazine USA. David is a seasoned energy journalist and editor. More articles from David Wagman
Xcel hosting capacity maps
Hosting Capacity Map – Xcel Energywww.xcelenergy.com › how_to_interconnect › hosting…Energy Saving Tip. Turn off your lights when you leave the room—even if you’ll only be gone for a moment. Contemporary light bulbs require very little energy to …
Hosting Capacity Map Disclaimer – Xcel Energywww.xcelenergy.com › how_to_interconnect › hosting…Hosting capacity is defined as the amount of generation that can be accommodated at a point on the distribution system without requiring mitigations such as …
Updated grid maps will offer Minnesota developers more …energynews.us › 2020/09/17 › midwest › updated-grid-…Sep 17, 2020 — Xcel Energy is updating its grid congestion maps in Minnesota with new data and details for clean energy developers in response to an order …
The Southwest Power Pool yesterday expanded its wholesale market to include utilities in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, part of a broader movement to regionalize energy grids. (Greentech Media)
Duke Energy launches a subsidiary company to help companies, local governments, school districts and transit agencies to convert their fleets to electric vehicles. (Charlotte Business Journal)
** A new report from investment firm Morgan Stanley projects coal-fired generation will be eliminated from the U.S. grid by 2030, with renewable energy supplying 55% of electricity by 2035. (Bloomberg).
Replacing coal-fired generation with clean energy will likely coincide with declining wholesale power prices, experts say. (S&P Global). Operators of a coal plant that feeds a Texas carbon-capture project announced last week that the plant will shut down this summer. (Reuters)
If the Biden administration is to meet its goal of 10 million clean energy jobs, it will have to move at a pace and scale that far exceeds the recession response of the Obama years. (CNN)
Despite high unemployment, solar installers are struggling to find workers as many positions in the field are labor-intensive and lack opportunities to advance. (E&E News). A Wall Street trader says major oil companies promoting green initiatives “is mostly horseshit and P.R. propaganda.” (Vanity Fair)
The REGRowth program lets owner/occupants produce as much solar as the roof can support, with 100% of the energy sold to the power grid. John Weaver says the program should be a model for the nation.