California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 2861

Introduced by Assembly Member Ting

February 19, 2016

An act to add Section 769.5 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


AB 2861, as introduced, Ting. Electricity: distribution grid interconnection dispute resolution process.

Existing law places various duties upon the Public Utilities Commission with respect to distributed generation and requires each electrical corporation to submit to the commission for its approval a distribution resources plan proposal to identify optimal locations for the deployment of distributed resources, as defined. Pursuant to existing law, the commission has established operational and metering requirements for a generation facility to be interconnected to an electrical corporation’s distribution grid.

This bill would require the commission, by April 1, 2017, to establish an expedited distribution grid interconnection dispute resolution process, as specified, with the goal of resolving disputes over interconnection applications within the jurisdiction of the commission in no more than 60 days from the time the dispute is formally brought to the commission.

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

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

P2    1


Section 769.5 is added to the Public Utilities
, to read:



(a) By April 1, 2017, the commission shall establish
4an expedited distribution grid interconnection dispute resolution
5process with the goal of resolving disputes over interconnection
6applications that are within the jurisdiction of the commission in
7no more than 60 days from the time the dispute is formally brought
8to the commission.

9(b) The expedited distribution grid interconnection dispute
10resolution process shall include the following elements:

11(1) A distribution grid interconnection technical advisory panel
12consisting of at least eight individuals selected by the commission.
13Four of the technical advisory panel members shall be from
14electrical corporations and four shall not be from electrical
15corporations. The commission shall determine the length of the
16term of each member. If any member of the panel is an employee
17of, or contractor to, an electrical corporation, an employee of a
18vendor with an open application, or has a financial interest or
19financial relationship to a person or corporation with a financial
20interest in the outcome of the decision, that member shall not
21participate in any discussion involving that electrical corporation,
22vendor, or financially interested person or corporation.

23(2) A review panel of four members shall be selected from the
24technical advisory panel for each dispute.

25(3) If an applicant is unable to resolve an interconnection-related
26dispute after working with the electrical corporation operating the
27distribution grid, the applicant may seek resolution of the dispute
28using the commission’s expedited distribution grid interconnection
29dispute resolution process.

30(4) Upon agreeing to a final settlement of the dispute, parties
31shall be free to withdraw from the dispute resolution process.

32(5) If the dispute is filed with the commission, the commission
33shall ensure that a technical advisory panel shall review the dispute
34and make a recommendation to the executive director of the
35commission within 30 days of receiving the dispute.

36(6) The commission shall establish a public process to allow
37the electrical corporation, the applicant, and other interested parties
P3    1to file written comments on the recommendation of the technical
2advisory panel.

3(7) The panel shall request appropriate documents from the
4electrical corporation involved in the dispute, including, but not
5limited to, interconnection application studies.

6(8) The scope of the technical advisory panel’s review shall be
7limited to issues regarding compliance with the established
8interconnection rules. Any recommendations shall ensure safe and
9reliable interconnection.

10(9) The scope of the technical advisory panel’s review is limited
11to making recommendations to resolve specific customer disputes
12and recommending associated corrective actions, and the panel
13shall have no authority to assess penalties.

14(10) Upon receipt of the recommendation from the technical
15advisory panel, the executive director shall have 30 days to review
16the recommendation and to prepare an order to the electrical
17corporation resolving the dispute. If the review panel from the
18technical advisory panel cannot agree on recommendations, then
19each recommendation of a review panel member shall be submitted
20to the executive director, who shall make the decision resolving
21the dispute.

22(11) Any interested person seeking commission review of the
23executive director’s determination shall file the request for review
24within 10 days of the determination. Upon receipt of the request
25for review, the executive director or the energy division director
26shall prepare a proposed resolution of the matter for approval by
27the commission.

28(c) The commission shall provide the members of the technical
29advisory panel that are not from electrical corporations with an
30appropriate per diem compensation consistent with Section 19822.5
31of the Government Code.