Check out the highlights from last year’s California’s Distributed Energy Future Conference and don’t forget to register for #CDEF2016 this March in San Francisco!*

*Please note – March 17th will be the separate MTS-hosted workshop and we would love for you to attend!

California’s “Distribution Resource Plans” (Rulemaking 14-08-013)

“It is my intent that in 2-3 years, we will move beyond questions like how to quantify and operationalize the locational value of DERs, towards a focus on the relationship between the IOUs, consumers, third party DER providers and the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). What we learn from this round of DRPs will help frame these discussions and provide a critical foundation to evaluate questions related to future business models and market designs.” -CPUC President Picker in the Final Guidance


From the initial CPUC Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) issued in August 2014 that included the MTS Framework paper to the final DRP guidance issued by the CPUC in February 2015, California has operationalized the MTS Framework and has learned valuable lessons that can be applied to any state following a similar process.

California’s DRP process is focused on developing an integrated distribution grid planning effort that has used the More than Smart Framework for building a comprehensive plan. Each of the three California Independently Owned Utilities (IOU’s) that generate over 80% of the state’s electricity were required to submit “Distribution Resource Plans” (DRP’s) (under CPUC Rulemaking 14-08-013) by July 1, 2015. As defined in the MTS California Working Group, these DRP’s outline a stepwise approach for assessing the capacity on the existing distribution grid, outline a strategy for increasing DER (defined as distributed renewable generation resources, energy efficiency, energy storage, electric vehicles, and demand response technologies) on this system, and for eventually optimizing DER generation across the state.

At a minimum, the DRP’s are the first attempt to develop a systematic approach to building out the distribution grid across the state. The California Public Utilities Commission initiated a grid planning framework with stakeholders regarding guidance on how the state’s IOU’s would complete DRPs to implement the guidance outlined in Assembly Bill 327 (AB 327: Perea) in 2013.

AB 327 outlined a series of general requirements (Section 8) the CPUC was required to follow in providing guidance for state IOUs to develop DRPs, working to identify optimal locations for DERs, and calculating costs and benefits of these options by July 1, 2015. The MTS Working group used these requirements to develop a workplan to help IOUs, the CPUC and stakeholders dive deeply into the MTS Walk/Jog/Run framework (figure 1 below) implementable by the July deadline. The MTS Working Group split the six requirements in AB 327 into three work tasks that provided the agenda for each workshop. For a more detailed discussion of the comprehensive work accomplished by the MTS Working Group, visit the WG Page.

Comments on the DRP filings are due August 31, 2015.

Figure 1: More Than Smart Walk/Jog/Run FrameworkPicture1

The figure above outlines the tasks, schedule and deliverables expected from the DRPs using the Walk/Jog/Run framework.  The Walk stage outlines what the IOUs were expected to complete in the DRPs that were submitted July 1, 2015 to the CPUC.  The Jog deliverables are expected for completion by 2018 leading to the Run deliverables, and full DER optimal location framework including markets and new distribution service framework by 2020. More information on the Walk/Jog/Run Framework



  • February 1st
  • November 6, 2015 – IOU/CAISO Transmission and Distribution Planning Overview slide deck
    • Webcasts and slide deck have been removed by the CPUC
  • November 9, 2015 – Workshop on DRP Roadmap
  •   November 10, 2015 – Workshop on Integration Capacity Analysis and Demo Project A
    • Announcement
    • Agenda
    • CPUC Power Point Presentation
    • PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E Power Point Presentation
    • ORA presentation on ICA (Tom Roberts)
    • WebEx Recording
  • November 16, 2015 – Workshop on Academic Perspectives on the Utilities’ Distribution Resources Plans
    • Webcast
    • Agenda
    • Presentations
      • IOU overview
        • SCE
        • PG&E
        • SDG&E
      • Data Roundtable
        • Rajagopal
        • Liang Min
      • Locational Value Roundtable
        • Low
        • Stadler
      • DRP Pilot Projects
        • Rajit Gadh
        • Kiliccote
        • Brown