(1)Existing law vests the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) with regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law defines “electrical corporation” for purposes of the Public Utilities Act to include every corporation or person owning, controlling, operating, or managing any electric plant for compensation within this state, except as provided.

This bill would revise and recast the definition of “electrical corporation” to, among other things, eliminate certain existing exceptions to the definition of “electrical corporation,” thereby expanding the scope of that term and the entities over which the PUC has regulatory authority. The bill would additionally exempt from that definition a corporation or person employing one or more distributed energy resources, as defined, that has the capacity to be coupled with one or more energy storage systems for the generation of electricity primarily for specified uses. The bill would also exempt from the definition of “electrical corporation” a microgrid, as defined, that primarily serves the included load of the microgrid, as provided. The bill would also make various conforming changes.

Existing law requires the Public Utilities Commission, in consultation with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission) and the Independent System Operator, to take specified actions by December 1, 2020, to facilitate the commercialization of microgrids for distribution customers of large electrical corporations, including, among other actions, by developing methods to reduce barriers for microgrid deployment without shifting costs between ratepayers.
This bill would require the Energy Commission to conduct a study on the benefits of microgrids for local governments and communities and would require the Energy Commission, on or before January 1, 2027, to submit a report on that study to the Legislature. The bill would repeal its provisions on January 1, 2031.