Amended in Senate August 1, 2016

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.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

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 would authorize the commission 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.begin insert The bill would require the commission to appoint a qualified electrical systems engineer with substantial interconnection expertise to advise the director of the energy division and to provide adequate commission staff to assist in resolving interconnection disputes.end insert

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 769.5 is added to the Public Utilities
2Code
, to read:

3

769.5.  

(a) The commission may establish an expedited
4distribution grid interconnection dispute resolution process with
5the goal of resolving disputes over interconnection applications
6that are within the jurisdiction of the commission in no more than
760 days from the time the dispute is formally brought to the
8commission. If the commission establishes an expedited
9distribution grid interconnection dispute resolution process, the
10commission may provide exceptions to the 60-day time period
11when more than 60 days are needed to fairly and safely address a
12dispute.

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

15(1) A distribution grid interconnection technicalbegin delete advisoryend delete panel
16consisting of at least eight individuals selected by the commission.
17Four of the technicalbegin delete advisoryend delete 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. A member shall not participate as abegin delete technical
21advisoryend delete
begin insert reviewend insert panel member for the dispute resolution process
22for a contested interconnection application in any of the following
23situations:

24(A) The member is an employee of, a contractor to, or an
25employee of a contractor to, an electrical corporation to which the
26contested interconnection application has been submitted.

27(B) The member is the applicant, an installer or an employee
28of an installer for the applicant, or a third-party electricity purchase
29agreement provider for the applicant.

30(C) The member has a direct financial interest in the contested
31interconnection application.

32(2) A review panel of four members shall be selected from the
33technicalbegin delete advisoryend delete panel for each dispute.

P3    1(3) If an applicant is unable to resolve an interconnection-related
2dispute after working with the electrical corporation operating the
3distribution grid, the applicant may seek resolution of the dispute
4using the commission’s expedited distribution grid interconnection
5dispute resolution process.

6(4) Upon agreeing to a final settlement of the dispute, parties
7shall be free to withdraw from thebegin insert expedited distribution grid
8interconnectionend insert
dispute resolution process.

9(5) If the dispute is filed with the commission, the commission
10shall ensure thatbegin delete a technical advisoryend deletebegin insert the reviewend insert panel shall review
11the dispute and make a recommendation to the executive director
12of the commission within 30 days of receiving the dispute.

13(6) The commission shall establish a public process to allow
14the electrical corporation, the applicant, and other interested parties
15to file written comments on the recommendation of thebegin delete technical
16advisoryend delete
begin insert reviewend insert panel.

17(7) Thebegin insert reviewend insert panel shall request appropriate documents from
18the electrical corporation involved in the dispute, including, but
19not limited to, interconnection application studies.

20(8) The scope of thebegin delete technical advisoryend deletebegin insert reviewend insert panel’s review
21shall be limited to issues regarding compliance with the established
22interconnection rules. Any recommendations shall ensure safe and
23reliable interconnection.

24(9) The scope of thebegin delete technical advisoryend deletebegin insert reviewend insert panel’s review
25is limited to making recommendations to resolve specific customer
26disputes and recommending associated corrective actions, and the
27panel shall have no authority to assess penalties.

28(10) Upon receipt of the recommendation from thebegin delete technical
29advisoryend delete
begin insert reviewend insert panel, the executive director shall have 30 days
30to review the recommendation and to prepare an order to the
31electrical corporation resolving the dispute. If the review panel
32begin delete from the technical advisory panelend delete cannot agree on
33recommendations, then each recommendation of a review panel
34member shall be submitted to the executive director, who shall
35make the decision resolving the dispute.

36(11) Any interested person seeking commission review of the
37executive director’s determination shall file the request for review
38within 10 days of the determination. Upon receipt of the request
39for 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
4begin delete advisory panel thatend deletebegin insert panel whoend insert are not from electrical corporations
5with an appropriate per diem compensation consistent with Section
619822.5 of the Government Code.

begin insert

7
(d) The commission shall appoint a qualified electrical systems
8engineer with substantial interconnection expertise to advise the
9director of the energy division and shall provide adequate
10commission staff to assist in resolving interconnection disputes.

end insert


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