California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1453


Introduced by Assembly Member Rendon

February 27, 2015


An act to amend Section 1005.1 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1453, as introduced, Rendon. Electrical transmission: certificates of public convenience and necessity.

Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations, as defined. The Public Utilities Act prohibits any electrical corporation from beginning the construction of, among other things, a line, plant, or system, or of any extension thereof, without having first obtained from the commission a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity require or will require that construction (certificate of public convenience and necessity). Existing law requires the commission to issue a decision on an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity within 18 months of the filing of a completed application if the application is for a certificate for building or upgrading an electrical transmission line that the commission finds necessary to provide transmission to load centers for electricity generated in a high-priority renewable energy zone or is reasonably necessary to facilitate achievement of the renewables portfolio standard established pursuant to the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program and the commission considers specified matter. The matter that the commission is required to consider includes the availability of cost-effective alternatives to transmission, such as energy efficiency measures and distributed generation.

This bill would require the commission to consider the availability of cost-effective alternatives to transmission, such as energy efficiency or demand response measures and distributed generation.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

Section 1005.1 of the Public Utilities Code is
2amended to read:

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1005.1.  

(a) The commission shall issue a decision on an
4application for a certificate within 18 months of the date of filing
5of the completed application, when all of the following are true:

6(1) The application is for a certificate for building or upgrading
7an electrical transmission line that the commission finds necessary
8to provide transmission to load centers for electricity generated in
9a high priority renewable energy zone or is reasonably necessary
10to facilitate achievement of the renewables portfolio standard
11established in Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of
12Chapter 2.3.

13(2) The commission has considered all of the following:

14(A) The utilization of rights-of-way by upgrading existing
15transmission facilities instead of building new transmission
16facilities, where technically and economically justifiable.

17(B) The expansion of existing rights-of-way, if technically and
18economically feasible, when construction of new transmission
19lines is required.

20(C) The creation of new rights-of-way when justified by
21environmental, technical, and economic reasons.

22(D) The availability of cost-effective alternatives to transmission,
23such as energy efficiencybegin insert or demand responseend insert measures and
24distributed generation.

25(3) The commission has not expressly found any of the
26 following:

27(A) That the investment is not reasonable and necessary to
28maintain or enhance reliability of the transmission grid.

P3    1(B) That the building or upgrading of the electrical transmission
2line will not maintain or enhance efficient use of the transmission
3grid.

4(C) That the transmission line fails to meet other applicable
5standards and requirements for approval and construction.

6(b) An extension of time may be granted by the commission if
7it finds the extension is necessary for completion of review
8pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (Division
913 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources
10Code).



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