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California's PG&E eyes distributed energy support for reliability service

Author: Gianluca Di natale. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

December 7 (Renewables Now) - California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E) has prepared a plan to replace a 40-year-old fossil-fuel power plant in Oakland with distributed energy resources and storage.

The jet fuel-powered station has a Reliability-Must-Run (RMR) contract with the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) for up to 165 MW at periods of peak demand. Instead of building a new facility running on fossil fuels or new transmission lines, PG&E’s Oakland Clean Energy Initiative would solicit 20 MW to 45 MW of clean energy resources and upgrade existing substation infrastructure.

PG&E has submitted the proposal to the CAISO and expects its decision in the first quarter of 2018. To start the request-for-offers process, PG&E needs the ISO to give it the go-ahead. The utility is to work with East Bay Community Energy to run the market solicitation, under which distributed energy resource providers can propose innovative and competitive solutions. The Oakland Clean Energy Initiative is seen to go into service in mid-2022.

According to PG&E, this is the first case in which local clean energy assets would be proactively deployed as an alternative to fossil-fuel generation to provide transmission reliability. CEO Geisha Williams said the company expects to set a model for other cities in California and beyond.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for seven years now. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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