As part of its mission to build a stronger, more resilient energy grid for the hometowns it serves, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is paving the way for more community-proposed microgrid projects to be constructed in its Northern and Central California service area.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently approved PG&E’s request to update its Community Microgrid Enablement Tariff (CMET), broadly expanding the eligibility requirements of where microgrids connected to PG&E’s electric distribution infrastructure can be built.
Prior to this update in October 2021, community microgrids — or self-sufficient energy systems serving a specific community or geographical area — were authorized only in CPUC-designated High Fire Threat Districts as a mitigation measure against extreme weather and Public Safety Power Shutoff events. Under the new rules, communities anywhere in PG&E’s service area are now able to pursue a microgrid as part of their unique energy resilience plans.
“Microgrids are a critical part of the sustainability and climate-resilience goals of many of our customers and hometowns. By expanding the rules around where these microgrids can be built, we’re able to remove barriers that would have prevented projects from moving forward, and instead work collaboratively to make these projects a reality,” said Quinn Nakayama, PG&E’s director of grid planning and innovation.
The expanded eligibility builds upon PG&E’s Community Microgrid Enablement Program, launched in April 2021 to support the development of microgrids centered around critical facilities in high-fire threat areas.
To date, PG&E has engaged with more than three dozen communities and customers to explore potential financial and infrastructure support options for developing microgrids and resilience solutions through the CMEP.
News item from PG&E