Visualizing Climate-Related Risks to the Electricity System using Cal-Adapt

Providing historical and projected data, and innovative tools and visualizations, to convey climate change risk and impacts on California’s electrricity system.

The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley Campus

Recipient

Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location

9th

Senate District

15th

Assembly District

beenhere

$398,891

Amount Spent

closed

Completed

Project Status

Project Result

In November 2019, CPUC issued Decision 19-10-054 (Phase 1 of Adaptation Rulemaking18-04-019), which defines climate adaptation for investor-owned energy utilities in the state and directs IOUs to Cal-Adapt as a source of acceptable data for making resilient investments. In summer of 2019, the project final report was developed and submitted for publication.

The Issue

California's electricity system is vulnerable to a variety of weather- and climate-related events, and stakeholders involved in electricity system management, operations, and planning must have timely access to relevant, peer-reviewed data in a form that can support resilient decision-making. As part of California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment, a suite of energy sector research projects developed new projections of climate and climate-related parameters and used them to illuminate vulnerabilities and resilience options. The Cal-Adapt 2.0 platform -- developed and launched under EPIC funds -- enables energy sector stakeholders to access climate information and projection scenarios.

Project Innovation

This project developed an interactive web-based platform to provide electricity system stakeholders with actionable data pertaining to local climate risks. The project developed web-based visualization applications depicting climate-related risks of relevance to the electricity infrastructure. The project also provided for access to climate, sea-level rise, hydrological, and wildfire projections associated with California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment. Data access is key to enabling integration of projected climate into infrastructure planning and risk management. As articulated by electricity investor-owned utilities in the 2017 IEPR Adaptation Workshop, Cal-Adapt 2.0 is an instrumental tool for developing and implementing locally-appropriate adaptation options in the electricity sector.

Project Benefits

The platform developed in part by funds from this project continues to provide interactive visualizations and tools for download of data that directly support electricity sector decision-making with regard to infrastructure planning and management. In September, 2019, CPUC's decision on Topics 1 and 2 of its adaptation rulemaking anchored acceptable data for use by investor-owned utilities in California's Climate Change Assessment process. CPUC's decision points to Cal-Adapt as a key data source, as free access to the data recommended by California's most recent (fourth) climate change assessment is provided on Cal-Adapt. Use of Cal-Adapt 2.0 to build climate resilience contributes multiple benefits to California's electricity ratepayers by helping to stabilize the grid, improve service reliability, and reduce financial losses associated with power outages.

Greater Reliability

Reliability

Integrated planning supported by this project helps prepare for service reliability in a changing climate. For example, as discussed at the 2017 IEPR Adaptation Workshop, SDG&E is using Cal-Adapt to support a review of transmissi

Energy Security

Energy Security

Integrated planning supported by this project helps stabilize the grid and reduce system outages.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Nancy Thomas

Contact the Team

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