Despite green outcry, CPUC approves SoCal Edison gas & storage plans
SCE’s LCR-RFO was challenged on several fronts by a variety of stakeholders. The Sierra Club, for instance, argued that certain contracts with affiliates of NRG Energy did not meet the requirements for a demand response resource or even a preferred resource under the LCR-RFO because they rely on reciprocating engines to support load during curtailment and do not reduce net demand.
The CPUC sided with the Sierra Club and rejected six of the seven NRG contracts, reducing the total capacity of the proposed resources to 70 MW from 75 MW on the grounds they use fossil fuels to back up curtailment. The seventh contract lacked information on the extent that fossil fuels would be used to support load during a curtailment, but the CPUC approved it based on NRG’s willingness to amend the contract to exclude behind-the-meter gas-fired generation.
The CPUC also clarified that gas-fired backup generation does not constitute a preferred resource. The agency also found that SCE is authorized, but not obliged, to procure further resources to make up for the loss of the 70 MW of capacity represented by the denied contracts.
A SCE spokesman said the utility “will attempt to leverage other procurement programs to add local resources” to fill the 70-MW shortfall, as well as a 99-MW shortfall in the preferred resource category identified by the CPUC, if the California ISO determines that capacity is needed.