The Resource Adequacy Program was created by legislation in response to the California energy crisis in 2000-2001(Public Utilities Code 380). Resource Adequacy (RA) combined with the Long-Term Procurement Planning process ensures a reliable and cost-effective supply of electricity generation. While the long-term planning process focuses on a 10-year horizon, the RA program is an annual compliance process that establishes mandatory obligations for utilities and other load serving entities to secure contracts for electricity capacity at least one-year ahead. This year-ahead obligation is determined by taking into consideration forecasts of electricity need (plus a 15% to 17% reserve margin), transmission constraints, and other factors. Separate capacity obligations are currently specified to meet local area and system-wide needs. The CPUC is currently in the process of establishing obligations for flexible capacity – on which it plans to establish year-ahead mandatory obligations for the 2015 compliance period – in order to balance the grid as more intermittent renewable resources are brought online. While not required, utilities and other load serving entities secure capacity contracts beyond the minimum year-ahead obligation as a normal course of business. ORA advocates for achieving electricity reliability on a least cost basis and facilitating the evolution of an electric grid that reduces greenhouse gas emissions while keeping rates affordable for customers.
The CPUC has completed Phase 1 regarding 2013 obligations and is currently working on Phases 2 and 3 regarding Local Capacity obligations.
Phase 1: 2013 Local Procurement Obligations and further Program Refinement
Phase 2: 2014 Local Capacity Obligations and Flexible Capacity
Phase 3: 2015 Local Capacity Obligations and Flexible Capacity
See the Proceeding docket.
CPUC Resource Adequacy Webpage.
CAISO Flexible RA Criteria and Must-Offer Obligation
CAISO FlexiRamp Product
CAISO Flexible Capacity Procurement
CAISO Renewable Integration
CAISO Multi-Year Reliability Framework