gmhTODAY 16 gmhToday Sept Oct 2017 - Page 16

PG&E… investing in POWER PG&E’s new CEO Geisha Williams In March 2017, PG&E appointed Geisha Williams as its new CEO. Previously, she led the company’s Electric Division. She confirmed PG&E’s position that climate change is real, and preventing its worst effects is crucial. She also confirmed the company’s commit- ment to making energy cleaner by integrating more renewable resources, building infrastructure for electric vehicles, and modernizing the electric grid. Williams noted that, as California’s experience has shown, market-based approaches are the most powerful tools for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “If climate change is truly the defining challenge of our time, then we have a duty to respond both individually and collectively, and bring every tool to bear, while leaving no one behind.” Geisha Williams, CEO, PG&E 16 Our regional economy depends on the health of the power infrastructure, and it takes a highly reliable power source to meet the combined demands of our agriculture, commerce, industry, education, and public sectors. PG&E is evolving its process to maintain the electric and gas infrastructure that underpins that reliability. To pay for maintenance and upgrades to the power infrastructure, PG&E submits a request for funding to the CPUC every three years. The request, known as the General Rate Case, was last submitted in 2015 for 2017-19. After public and judicial review, the CPUC determines what revenues are needed to meet the request. This forms the basis for the rates we pay as PG&E customers. The way to a clean energy future for our region is through increased energy storage as well as increased use of renewable energy sources. This requires ongoing public support for investments in electric and gas distribution and informa- tion technology to modernize the power grid. With this in mind, PG&E asked the CPUC to increase gas distribution, electric distribution, and generation base revenue requirements to $489 million and $390 million for the years 2018 and 2019 respectively. PG&E’s total gas and electric operations capital investment for 2017 was fore- cast at about $3 billion. For gas operations, much of the expected costs were for upgrade or replacement of gas pipeline systems; and for electric, costs were for upgrades of overhead equipment, substation facilities, and increased capacity. It may surprise some people that additional costs for both gas and electric operations were allocated to emergency preparedness and response systems—a growing priority for many of our regional agencies and service providers. How PG&E develops ELECTRIC projects PG&E identifies the needs of our local power grid, develops projects to address the need, and submits them to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). • CAISO validates project needs, holds public meetings, approves projects as part of its Annual Plan, and determines eligibility for competitive solicitation. • Potential project sponsors submit proposals to build a new substation. • CAISO reviews proposals and selects sponsor to build the new substation. • PG&E assumes responsibility for connecting the substation to the grid. • Sponsor and PG&E perform community outreach; conduct environmental, routing and siting studies; develop project plans and alternatives; and file application with California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). • CPUC begins environmental review process, conducts environmental and technical analysis, and holds public meetings • CPUC releases draft Environmental Document, followed by 45-day public comment period. • CPUC releases final Environmental Document, then reviews and announces proposed decision, followed by public comment period. • CPUC issues final decision and certifies Environmental Document, enabling sponsor to begin engineering, procurement, and construction. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017