Amended in Assembly April 27, 2016

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 amended, 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 wouldbegin delete require the commission, by April 1, 2017,end deletebegin insert authorize the commissionend insert 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) begin deleteBy April 1, 2017, the commission shall end deletebegin insertThe
4commission mayend insert
begin insert end insertestablish an expedited distribution grid
5interconnection dispute resolution process with the goal of
6resolving disputes over interconnection applications that are within
7the jurisdiction of the commission in no more than 60 days from
8the time the dispute is formally brought to the commission.begin insert If the
9commission establishes an expedited distribution grid
10interconnection dispute resolution process, the commission may
11provide exceptions to the 60-day time period when more than 60
12days are needed to fairly and safely address a dispute.end insert

13(b) The expedited distribution grid interconnection dispute
14resolution process shall include the following elements:

15(1) A distribution grid interconnection technical advisory panel
16consisting of at least eight individuals selected by the commission.
17Four of the technical advisory panel members shall be from
18electrical corporations and four shall not be from electrical
19corporations. The commission shall determine the length of the
20term of each member. begin delete If any member of the panel is an employee
21of, or contractor to, an electrical corporation, an employee of a
22vendor with an open application, or has a financial interest or
23financial relationship to a person or corporation with a financial
24interest in the outcome of the decision, that member shall not
25participate in any discussion involving that electrical corporation,
26vendor, or financially interested person or corporation.end delete
begin insert A member
27shall not participate as a technical advisory panel member for the
28dispute resolution process for a contested interconnection
29application in any of the following situations:end insert

begin insert

(A) The member is an employee of, a contractor to, or an
31employee of a contractor to, an electrical corporation to which
32the contested interconnection application has been submitted.

end insert
begin insert

(B) The member is the applicant, an installer or an employee
34of an installer for the applicant, or a third-party electricity
35purchase agreement provider for the applicant.

end insert
begin insert

(C) The member has a direct financial interest in the contested
37interconnection application.

end insert

P3    1(2) A review panel of four members shall be selected from the
2technical advisory panel for each dispute.

3(3) If an applicant is unable to resolve an interconnection-related
4dispute after working with the electrical corporation operating the
5distribution grid, the applicant may seek resolution of the dispute
6using the commission’s expedited distribution grid interconnection
7dispute resolution process.

8(4) Upon agreeing to a final settlement of the dispute, parties
9shall be free to withdraw from the dispute resolution process.

10(5) If the dispute is filed with the commission, the commission
11shall ensure that a technical advisory panel shall review the dispute
12and make a recommendation to the executive director of the
13commission within 30 days of receiving the dispute.

14(6) The commission shall establish a public process to allow
15the electrical corporation, the applicant, and other interested parties
16to file written comments on the recommendation of the technical
17advisory panel.

18(7) The panel shall request appropriate documents from the
19electrical corporation involved in the dispute, including, but not
20limited to, interconnection application studies.

21(8) The scope of the technical advisory panel’s review shall be
22limited to issues regarding compliance with the established
23interconnection rules. Any recommendations shall ensure safe and
24reliable interconnection.

25(9) The scope of the technical advisory panel’s review is limited
26to making recommendations to resolve specific customer disputes
27and recommending associated corrective actions, and the panel
28shall have no authority to assess penalties.

29(10) Upon receipt of the recommendation from the technical
30advisory panel, the executive director shall have 30 days to review
31the recommendation and to prepare an order to the electrical
32corporation resolving the dispute. If the review panel from the
33technical advisory panel cannot agree on recommendations, then
34each recommendation of a review panel member shall be submitted
35to the executive director, who shall make the decision resolving
36the dispute.

37(11) Any interested person seeking commission review of the
38executive director’s determination shall file the request for review
39within 10 days of the determination. Upon receipt of the request
40for review, the executive director or the energy division director
P4    1shall prepare a proposed resolution of the matter for approval by
2the commission.

3(c) The commission shall provide the members of the technical
4advisory panel that are not from electrical corporations with an
5appropriate per diem compensation consistent with Section 19822.5
6of the Government Code.