It’s true. Consumer investments in distributed energy resources can save all ratepayers money by avoiding expensive grid infrastructure upgrades.
Solar advocates have long been making this argument in regulatory proceedings around the country. Today, that vision is becoming a reality.
In late March, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) approved its 2015-2016 Transmission Plan, which calls for canceling 13 transmission projects planned in Pacific Gas & Electric territory. The low-voltage transmission projects were deemed no longer necessary in light of materially lower load forecast levels since the projects were approved several years ago.
At a recent CAISO board meeting, Eric Eisenman, PG&E’s director of ISO relations and FERC policy, expressed support for the project cancellations, California Energy Markets reports:
“The need for those is just not there anymore,” he said. “We really appreciate the reappraisal of those projects.” Load forecast has flattened in the service area from a combination of energy efficiency and rooftop solar, which eliminates the need for these upgrades, Eisenman said.
The result is $192 million in transmission cost savings for PG&E customers. The canceled projects include line improvements, transformer replacements and bus upgrades.
Read the full story. (Greentech Media)