San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- April 18, 2008 – A bill has recently been passed by the California Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee which requires the development of a definition of an electrical ‘smart grid’ that will achieve certain goals, as well as developing standards and protocols for the deployment of smart grid technologies and services that will improve overall efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of electrical system operations, planning, and maintenance. The deadline has been set at January 15, 2009.

The bill also requires each electrical corporation, by June 30, 2010, to develop and submit a smart grid deployment plan to the commission for approval. In addition it allows the commission to authorize an electrical corporation to recover reasonable costs of deploying smart grid technologies and services from ratepayers. Costs may include capital investment, including a reasonable rate of return on the capital expenditures, operating expenditures, and other reasonable costs of the electrical corporation made for the deployment of the qualified smart grid system.

Smart grid technology may be deployed in an incremental manner to maximize the benefit to ratepayers and to achieve the benefits of smart grid technology. At each step of deployment, the commission – in consultation with the Energy Commission, the ISO, and the electrical corporations – is required to evaluate the impact of deployment on major initiatives and policies, including:

  • Implementation of new advanced metering initiatives.
  • Achievement of the renewables portfolio standard program requirements and the need to operate the smart grid of the future with a substantial increased percentage of electricity generated by eligible renewable energy resources.
  • Achievement of state goals for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases reduction goals as set forth in the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and other state directives.
  • Achievement of the energy efficiency and demand response goals.
  • Modernization of the aging utility grid infrastructure.
  • Meeting the future energy growth needs of the state with new and innovative technologies and methods that utilize the existing assets more efficiently, result in less environment impact on the state, meet stringent costs versus benefit assessments, and provide the ratepayers with new options in meeting their individual energy needs.