Advancing California’s Electricity Resource Planning Tools to Assess and Improve Climate Resilience

Lumen Energy Strategy, LLC

Recipient

CA

Recipient Location

beenhere

$562,833

Amount Spent

refresh

Active

Project Status

Project Update

As of April 2023, the study team is (a) developing methodologies to re-parameterize electricity demand forecasts to capture the impacts of weather variants and climate trends, and (b) translating best practices in resilience planning into specific resilience evaluation metrics and inputs and assumptions for a resilience evaluation model.

The Issue

Due to the complexity and constraints of resource planning processes, electricity resource planning models have been challenged to keep pace with California’s rapid policy and technology advancements towards deep renewables penetration, scalable storage, and more distribution- and customer-sited resources. The models also face challenges in keeping pace with the realities of extreme grid stressors due to climate change and how that impacts electricity supply and ratepayers. As a consequence, the state’s planning models have limited ability to evaluate climate resilience and to reasonably reflect the operability and affordability of the electricity grid to customers.

Specifically, the project targets 4 institutional barriers to planning for climate resilience: (1) Key stakeholders currently discuss resilience with no common definition or specific resilience evaluation metrics to support the resource planning decision-making process; (2) resource planning model inputs and assumptions key stakeholders rely upon currently have several concerning disconnects from climate projections and climate-driven risks to electricity supply and delivery; (3) current resource planning models used by key stakeholders are not structured to explicitly evaluate resilience; and (4) key stakeholders currently have no in-hand assessment of the resilience of alternative optimal resource portfolios identified in their resource planning models.

Project Innovation

Project will develop new inputs, assumptions, and tools to capture the impacts of climate change on electricity supply and demand of the electricity system in transition. This will include re-parameterization of tools used in currently used in California's electricity system planning to reflect historic and projected climate data, as well as creating a novel probabilistic loss-of-load resilience evaluation model. This latter model will assess different types of climate-linked resilience events at geographically granular level, and be publicly available for stakeholder user. In addition the project will evaluate the resilience of state resource planning output portfolios. These products and processes will advance the state’s electricity resource planning model framework to reflect the impact of climate projections and environmental extremes on electricity supply, demand, and the resulting resilience of electricity service to ratepayers.

Project Goals

Advance CA’s electricity resource planning model framework to reflect the impact of weather trends and extremes.

Project Benefits

The California Joint Agencies’ 2021 SB 100 Joint Agency Report (SB 100 Report) and other resource planning efforts are and will continue to be highly valuable to building and maintaining clean, reliable, and cost-effective electricity supply for California ratepayers. However, it is well understood by the California Joint Agencies and their stakeholders that these efforts rely upon system modeling architectures that do not fully estimate or address the costs of climate-related vulnerabilities. The driver of benefits of our proposed analysis is to define and reveal hidden resilience societal costs so they may be internalized in the planning process. This will help decision-makers to fine-tune future resource portfolios and/or development strategies to further reduce the net costs of meeting policy and system planning objectives. Primary benefits will be in the form of reduced resilience societal costs (negative consequences) partially offset by some increased resource investment cost.

Lower Costs

Affordability

The resilience framework offered, along with re-paramaterization of existing resource planning models to better reflect the impact of weather and climate change on resilience, will result in better electricity system predictability and lower costs to ratepayers due to more efficient investments.

Greater Reliability

Reliability

Improved understanding of the impact of weather on loads supports more effective grid planning and management, improving electricity system reliability.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Mariko Geronimo Aydin

Project Manager
Project Member

Onur Aydin

Principal Investigator

Match Partners

Rocket

Lumen Energy Strategy, LLC

Rocket

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