California Energy Commission Letterhead

In the Matter of:

Preparation of the
2008 Integrated Energy Policy Report
Update and the 2009 Integrated Energy
Policy Report

Docket No. 08-IEP-1B



Notice of Staff Workshop on Transmission Issues for 33 Percent Renewables by 2020

In support of the 2008 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update (2008 IEPR Update), the California Energy Commission staff will conduct a workshop to discuss electric transmission-related initiatives and processes underway to support a minimum of 33 percent renewables by 2020. The Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Committee with Commissioner Jeffrey Byron as Presiding Member and Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel as Associate Member oversees this work. While this is a staff workshop, commissioners from the Energy Commission may attend and participate in this workshop. In addition, commissioners and staff from the California Public Utilities Commission may also attend and participate.

The workshop will be held:

9:30 a.m.
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Audio from this meeting will be broadcast over the Internet.
For details, please go to:
To participate in the meeting by phone,
please call 888-566-5914 by 9:30 a.m
Passcode: IEPR Call Leader: Suzanne Korosec

PLEASE NOTE: If you are planning to attend this meeting, please be aware that there may be traffic congestion and delays due to repair work on Interstate 5 in the downtown Sacramento area. Information on road closures and alternate routes is available at the Fix I-5 website at or call 5-1-1 to receive information in English and Spanish.


The purpose of this workshop is to seek comment on the sufficiency of existing initiatives in removing the major transmission barriers associated with higher levels of renewables penetration. These initiatives include, for example, California's Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy's and Bureau of Land Management's Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, the Western Governors' Association Western Renewable Energy Zones effort, and the California Independent System Operator's generation interconnection queue reform effort.

The workshop will begin with a staff presentation that provides an overview of major transmission issues and recommendations from the Energy Commission's 2007 Strategic Transmission Investment Plan (2007 STIP), followed by a status update on major initiatives underway to address transmission barriers to higher levels of renewables penetration. An Energy Commission contractor will then present the results of its scoping level study on strategic transmission, operations, and reliability issues associated with renewable resource integration. (Note: The project report summarizing the work will be posted on the Energy Commission's website prior to the workshop.) In addition, the California Independent System Operator will describe the results of its preliminary transmission plans for meeting higher renewables penetration, originally presented at the June 18, 2008 Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative Stakeholder Steering Committee meeting (see the Energy Commission's website for the June 18 presentation at:

Following these presentations, there will be a roundtable discussion with approximately 15 to 20 stakeholders representing diverse perspectives on whether existing initiatives designed to remove the major transmission barriers associated with higher levels of renewables penetration are sufficient, and collectively whether they are complementary or incompatible. The public will also have the opportunity to comment on any of the workshop topics.

This workshop is the second of three staff workshops planned to address these topics. The first workshop on July 21 will discuss several topics associated with higher levels of renewables penetration, including the following: definition of the 33 percent renewables target; comparison of resource mix scenarios; impact of contract delays or cancellations; potential wholesale and retail price impacts; operational and physical changes needed to integrate renewables while maintaining reliability; potential impacts on natural gas supplies and prices; and general environmental concerns associated with the development of large-scale renewable generation. The third workshop on July 31 will focus on research and development needs and enabling technologies for integration of high levels of renewable energy into the electricity system.

The IEPR Committee plans to hold a Committee workshop on achieving higher levels of renewables in California's electricity system on August 21, 2008. The IEPR Committee will consider public feedback from this series of workshops in its recommendations for further studies and analyses that will be needed on this topic in the 2009 IEPR and the 2009 STIP.


Public Resources Code section 25300, et seq., directs the Energy Commission to develop the IEPR every two years, with updates in the intermediate years, and directs state government entities to carry out their energy-related duties and responsibilities using the information and analyses contained in the adopted IEPR reports.

California currently has a mandate to achieve 20 percent of retail electricity sales from renewable resources by 2010, and the Governor and the state's energy agencies have identified a further goal of 33 percent renewables by 2020. This higher goal is a key strategy for meeting the state's greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The IEPR Committee issued its Committee Scoping Order for the 2008 IEPR Update on May 15, 2008. One of the topics identified in that order is to identify how the 2020 electricity system could be structured to accommodate higher levels of renewables, including the identification of necessary transmission expansions and upgrades. Analysis and evaluation on this topic will continue in the 2009 IEPR as well.


The staff will take comments either orally at the workshop or through written comments. The staff requests that written comments on the workshop topics be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29, 2008. Please include the docket number 08-IEP-1B and indicate "Transmission Issues for 33% Renewables by 2020" in the subject line or first paragraph of your comments.

The Energy Commission encourages comments by e-mail. Please include your name or organization's in the name of the file. Those submitting comments by electronic mail should provide them in either Microsoft Word format or as a Portable Document File (PDF) to []. One paper copy must also be sent to the Energy Commission's Docket Unit at the address shown below.

Parties may also submit comments in hard copy. Please hand deliver or mail an original plus 10 paper copies to:

California Energy Commission
Dockets Office, MS-4
Re: Docket No. 08-IEP-1B
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

Participants may also provide an original and 10 copies at the beginning of the workshop. All written materials relating to this workshop will be filed with the Dockets Unit and become part of the public record in this proceeding.

Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Elena Miller, provides the public assistance in participating in Energy Commission activities. If you want information on how to participate in this forum, please contact the Public Adviser's Office at (916) 654-4489 or toll free at (800) 822-6228, by FAX at (916) 654-4493, or by e-mail at If you have a disability and require assistance to participate, please contact Lou Quiroz at (916) 654-5146 at least five days in advance.

Please direct all news media inquiries to the Media Office at (916) 654-4989, or by e-mail at []. General questions regarding the 2008 IEPR Update and 2009 IEPR proceedings should be directed to Suzanne Korosec, Assistant Director for Policy Development, at (916) 654-4516 or by email at []. If you have questions on the technical subject matter of this forum, please call Judy Grau at (916) 653-1610 or by e-mail at

Date posted: July 11, 2008

Electronic Mail Lists: Energy Policy, Transmission, RET

Note: California Energy Commission's formal name is State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission