Electrical System Reliability Needs of the South Coast Air Basin (AB 1318)

This page last reviewed on October 07, 2013


Chino Cogen Assembly Bill 1318  (AB 1318, Perez, Chapter 285, Statutes of 2009) requires the Air Resources Board, in consultation with the California Energy Commission (CEC), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Independent System Operator (CAISO), and the State Water Resources Control Board, to prepare a report for the Governor and Legislature that evaluates the electrical system reliability needs of the South Coast Air Basin (SCAB) and recommends the most effective and efficient means of meeting those needs while ensuring compliance with State and federal law.

Draft Report Available for Public Comment:

The 10-year outlook grid studies in support of AB 1318 have been completed, with results representing a range of capacity needs and estimated offset requirements using scenarios that reflect compliance with the 33 percent Renewables Portfolio Standard, phase out of once-through cooling (OTC) systems at existing power plants to comply with State Water Board Policy, the retirement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), future load growth, and additional policy-driven preferred resources. The draft report documenting the electric reliability and offsets need assessment is posted here for public review and comment.

Process for Finalizing the Report

The draft report is available for a 30-day public review and comment period. Comments on the draft report should be submitted electronically via the following webpage by November 7, 2013: AB1318-WS comment submissions form. All comments will be reviewed and considered prior to finalizing the report.

Main Report


Brief History of Project

The original 2010 timeframe for delivery of the final AB 1318 report was deemed infeasible at the project outset as existing electric reliability studies, completed or underway, were inadequate to answer the expectations of AB 1318. Instead, an Interim Report and Work Plan were produced to outline the responsibilities, studies, and overall strategy for conducting the evaluation and completing the final report. The Interim Report and Work Plan were made available to the public and discussed at a workshop in 2011. The report deliverable date was further extended in 2012 due to the SONGS outage and critical need to re-examine reliability requirements without capacity contributions from both nuclear generating units. An update on the studies and preliminary results were presented at public meetings in June 2012 and July 2013.

Relation to Other Processes Evaluating Reliability Needs

Of importance to note is the September 9, 2013, release of the Preliminary Reliability Plan for the Los Angeles and San Diego Areas by the staffs of the CEC, CPUC and CAISO. The AB 1318 studies were used to inform the Preliminary Reliability Plan, which examines near- and long-term actions that should be taken to replace the energy and voltage support previously provided by SONGS. The Preliminary Reliability Plan outlines a strategy to pursue options that minimize reliance on gas-fired generation and how preferred resources and transmission can play a role in minimizing conventional generation solutions.

The AB 1318 project and Reliability Plan are separate but related efforts. The AB 1318 studies reflect an "all gas case" where capacity losses from the shut down of SONGS and OTC plant retirements are replaced with conventional natural gas generation through repowers or replacement with new generation to illustrate a worst-case offset need within the 10-year study timeframe. Additional scenarios are currently being evaluated under separate processes through the CAISO's annual transmission planning process and CPUC's Long-Term Procurement Plan (LTPP) proceeding, which are expected to provide information on the effects of additional preferred resources and transmission options. As a result of these efforts, the potential future reliability needs introduced in the AB 1318 report are expected to be further evaluated, refined, and addressed through these separate venues.

Information on the Reliability Plan can be accessed through the Energy Commission website.