California Energy Systems for the 21st Century
California's three largest investor owned
utilities – PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E – requested
the CPUC authorize $150 million in ratepayer funds over a five year period
to conduct research in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
for the 21st Century Energy System (CES-21). The proposed research
would apply computationally-based problem solving resources to emerging
challenges of electric and natural gas issues for California. As
proposed, the specific research projects will be developed and approved by
a governing Board of Directors, comprised of five voting directors selected
from: PG&E, SCE, SDG&E, CPUC, and a representative from academia.
In December 2012 the CPUC approved a Final
Decision to fund the project.
In April 2013, the joint utilities submitted an Advice
Letter requesting CPUC approval of year-one projects and budgets for the
first 18 months of the five-year CES-21 program and for the Cooperative Research
and Development Agreement between utilities and LLNL.
ORA recommends that the CPUC reject the
utilities’ April 2013 Advice Letter request because the utilities’ proposed
research projects fail to comply with the CPUC’s directives and criteria from
its December 2012 Decision, making review of the proposal difficult. The
utilities fail to demonstrate:
- Quantifiable customer benefits
- No duplication of research by other utilities, research institutes, or
other California and federal agencies
- Proposed budgets are just and reasonable, with clear details and rational
See ORA's May 16, 2013 Protest
to the Joint IOUs' April 2013 Advice Letter requesting year-one project
See ORA's full Policy
Position on the CPUC's decision whether to fund CES-21.
Current Proceeding Status
See the proceeding