In August, the CPUC sought comments on implementation of SB 840, which waives some interconnection requirements for forest BioMAT projects. BAC’s Comments and Reply Comments are below.
The CPUC has taken an important step in reducing the cost uncertainties and variability facing bioenergy developers. In late June, the Commission adopted a “Cost Envelope Approach” to interconnection costs for distributed generation (electricity) projects that prevents utilities from increasing interconnection costs more than 25 percent between the initial estimate and final costs to interconnect. The Decision also requires greater transparency so that, over time, costs should begin to go down for distributed generation bioenergy projects. To learn more, click on the Final Decision, below.
The Staff proposal is based on recognition of the principle that underlies existing Interconnection application processing: simpler projects with little or no impacts should be afforded a streamlined application and review, while more complex projects require a somewhat more complex approach. In both cases, however, applying cost-certainty to the studies, cost estimates and construction process should be done in a reasonable manner without undue cost shifting. By removing cost as a barrier to the interconnection process, the integrity of the interconnection process will be bolstered, the inefficient cost conversations that cause undue delays mid-interconnection process will be removed, and the goals of the Interconnection Rulemaking will be within reach.