The California Public Utilities Commission has issued a decision setting forth a new framework for modernizing the state’s electric grid. The PUC characterized its decision as being consistent with October 2009 California state legislation calling for the formalization of state policy as to the deployment of smart grid systems. The PUC decision focuses on utility communications infrastructure requirements as well as both physical plant security and cyber security, requiring investor-owned electric companies within the state to develop a strategy for transforming the grid into a safer, more reliable, and more efficient interoperable network. According to the PUC, smart grid technology will not only allow the utilities to function in a more efficient manner, but also will provide customers with advanced measures for using energy more efficiently.
Although each electric utility is charged with devising its own individual smart grid plan, the PUC established an organizational structure to which each utility must conform. That structure includes 8 elements that must be included in any utility smart grid filing: (1) a smart grid vision statement; (2) a deployment baseline; (3) a smart grid strategy; (4) a separate strategy for both grid and cyber security; (5) a smart grid roadmap; (6) cost estimates; (7) estimates of associated benefits; and (8) performance metrics.
In Re Smart Grid Technologies,D.10-06-047, R. 08-12-009, June 24, 2010 (Cal.PUC).