Bill Text: CA AB2696 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Amended

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Electricity: transmission facilities: study.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2022-08-02 - In committee: Referred to suspense file. [AB2696 Detail]

Download: California-2021-AB2696-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 18, 2022

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2696


Introduced by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia

February 18, 2022


An act to add and repeal Section 25234 25236 of the Public Resources Code, and to amend Section 454.53 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2696, as amended, Eduardo Garcia. Electricity: renewable energy and zero-carbon resources: state policy: transmission planning.
Existing law establishes the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission) and requires the Energy Commission to undertake a continuing assessment of trends in the consumption of electrical energy and other forms of energy and to analyze the social, economic, and environmental consequences of these trends, and to carry out, or cause to be carried out, under contract or other arrangements, research and development into alternative sources of energy, improvements in energy generation, transmission, and siting, fuel substitution, and other topics related to energy supply, demand, public safety, ecology, and conservation that are of particular statewide importance.
This bill would require the Energy Commission, in consultation with the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the Independent System Operator, and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), to conduct a study to review potential lower cost ownership and alternative financing mechanisms for new transmission facilities needed to meet the state’s clean energy and climate targets, as specified, and to submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature, on or before September 30, 2023, with findings and recommendations related to the study.
Existing law vests the PUC with regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations, as defined. Existing law prohibits an 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 PUC a certificate that the present or future public convenience and necessity require or will require that construction. Under existing law an application by an electrical corporation for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for new transmission facilities is necessary to the provision of electric service if the PUC finds that the new transmission facility is necessary to facilitate achievement of the renewables portfolio standard.
Existing law establishes as the policy of the state that eligible renewable energy resources and zero-carbon resources supply 100% of retail sales of electricity to California end-use customers and 100% of electricity procured to serve all state agencies by December 31, 2045.
This bill would require, where an electrical corporation has applied for a certificate authorizing the construction of new transmission facilities, the PUC to find that the present or future public convenience and necessity require construction if the new facility will facilitate achievement of the policy of the state that eligible renewable energy resources and zero-carbon resources supply 100% of retail sales of electricity to California end-use customers and 100% of electricity procured to serve all state agencies by December 31, 2045. If a transmission facility has been identified in the Independent System Operator’s transmission planning process as needed to achieve that state policy, the bill would require the PUC to direct the electrical corporation where the transmission facility is located to file an application for a certificate authorizing the construction of the transmission facility as specified.
Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because a violation of an order or decision of the commission implementing the bill’s requirements would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)California is falling behind in planning and building the electric transmission facilities needed to meet California’s clean energy and climate targets.

(b)California’s transmission planning process needs to be better aligned with the greenhouse gas reductions goals established by the State Air Resources Board, to ensure there is the transmission needed to interconnect and deliver clean energy to the California electrical grid.

(c) that California should investigate the potential for lower cost ownership and financing mechanisms for new transmission facilities, including public ownership, public financing, and partnerships with federal agencies.
SEC. 2.Section 25234 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:
25234.

SEC. 2.

 Section 25236 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

25236.
 (a) The commission, in consultation with the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the Independent System Operator, and the Public Utilities Commission, shall conduct a study to review potential lower cost ownership and alternative financing mechanisms for new transmission facilities needed to meet the state’s clean energy and climate targets, including, but not limited to, public ownership, public financing, and partnerships with federal agencies.
(b) (1) The commission shall submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature on or before September 30, 2023, with findings and recommendations related to the study conducted pursuant to subdivision (a).
(2) The report to be submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Section 454.53 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

454.53.
 (a) It is the policy of the state that eligible renewable energy resources and zero-carbon resources supply 100 percent of all retail sales of electricity to California end-use customers and 100 percent of electricity procured to serve all state agencies by December 31, 2045. The achievement of this policy for California shall not increase carbon emissions elsewhere in the western grid and shall not allow resource shuffling. The commission and Energy Commission, in consultation with the State Air Resources Board, shall take steps to ensure that a transition to a zero-carbon electric system for the State of California does not cause or contribute to greenhouse gas emissions increases elsewhere in the western grid, and is undertaken in a manner consistent with clause 3 of Section 8 of Article I of the United States Constitution. The commission, the Energy Commission, the State Air Resources Board, and all other state agencies shall incorporate this policy into all relevant planning.
(b) The commission, Energy Commission, State Air Resources Board, and all other state agencies shall ensure that actions taken in furtherance of subdivision (a) do all of the following:
(1) Maintain and protect the safety, reliable operation, and balancing of the electric system.
(2) Prevent unreasonable impacts to electricity, gas, and water customer rates and bills resulting from implementation of this section, taking into full consideration the economic and environmental costs and benefits of renewable energy and zero-carbon resources.
(3) To the extent feasible and authorized under law, lead to the adoption of policies and taking of actions in other sectors to obtain greenhouse gas emission reductions that ensure equity between other sectors and the electricity sector.
(4) Not affect in any manner the rules and requirements for the oversight of, and enforcement against, retail sellers and local publicly owned utilities pursuant to the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3) and Sections 454.51, 454.52, 9621, and 9622.
(c) Nothing in this section shall affect a retail seller’s obligation to comply with the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 2601 et seq.).
(d) The commission, Energy Commission, and State Air Resources Board shall do both of the following:
(1) Use programs authorized under existing statutes to achieve the policy described in subdivision (a).
(2) In consultation with all California balancing authorities, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 399.12, as part of a public process, issue a joint report to the Legislature by January 1, 2021, and at least every four years thereafter. The joint report shall include all of the following:
(A) A review of the policy described in subdivision (a) focused on technologies, forecasts, then-existing transmission, and maintaining safety, environmental and public safety protection, affordability, and system and local reliability.
(B) An evaluation identifying the potential benefits and impacts on system and local reliability associated with achieving the policy described in subdivision (a).
(C) An evaluation identifying the nature of any anticipated financial costs and benefits to electric, gas, and water utilities, including customer rate impacts and benefits.
(D) The barriers to, and benefits of, achieving the policy described in subdivision (a).
(E) Alternative scenarios in which the policy described in subdivision (a) can be achieved and the estimated costs and benefits of each scenario.
(e) Nothing in this section authorizes the commission to establish any requirements on a nonmobile self-cogeneration or cogeneration facility that served onsite load, or that served load pursuant to an over-the-fence arrangement if that arrangement existed on or before December 20, 1995.
(f) (1) Notwithstanding Section 399.2.5 and Sections 1001 to 1013, inclusive, where an electrical corporation has applied for a certificate authorizing the construction of new transmission facilities, the commission shall find that the present or future public convenience and necessity require construction if the new facility will facilitate achievement of the policy stated in subdivision (a).

(2)If a transmission facility has been identified in the Independent System Operator’s transmission planning process as needed to achieve the policy stated in subdivision (a), the commission shall direct the electrical corporation where the transmission facility is located to file an application for a certificate authorizing the construction of the transmission facility pursuant to the need determination in paragraph (1).

(3)

(2) Cost recovery for a transmission facility that meets the requirements of paragraph (1) or (2) shall be in accordance with subdivisions (b) to (d), inclusive, of Section 399.2.5.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
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