WSR 10-01-196




[ Filed December 23, 2009, 8:24 a.m. ]

     Original Notice.

     Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 09-07-096.

     Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 480-100-505 Smart grid technology report, the proposed rule would establish requirements for each electric utility to submit periodic reports to the commission of the utility's evaluation of smart grid technologies that are available or likely soon to be available and any plans for implementing smart grid technologies affecting or applicable to ratepayers of Washington state. By order entered September 14, 2009, the commission determined not to go forward with the other federal electric and natural gas utility standards.

     Hearing Location(s): Commission Hearing Room 206, Second Floor, Richard Hemstad Building, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-7250, on February 25, 2010, at 1:30 p.m.

     Date of Intended Adoption: February 25, 2010.

     Submit Written Comments to: Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250, e-mail, fax (360) 586-1150, by January 28, 2010.

     Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Susan Holman by February 11, 2010, TTY (360) 586-8203 or (360) 664-1243.

     Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. §§ 2621 (a) and (d)(18), State regulatory commissions are required to consider and determine whether to require utilities to demonstrate that they considered qualified smart grid systems before investment in nonadvanced grid technologies based on appropriate factors that include: Total resource cost, cost-effectiveness, improved reliability, security, system performance, and societal benefit. The commission initiated this inquiry to determine whether adoption by rule of this standard for consideration of smart grid investment would be in the public interest and would further the objectives of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act to encourage: Conservation of energy supplied by electric utilities; optimal efficiency of electric utility facilities and resources; and equitable rates for electric consumers.

     The proposed rule will require electric utilities to report on smart grid technologies they are considering. The proposed rule does not alter chapter 480-100 WAC (integrated resource planning) because it does not require additional planning and does not alter the requirement in chapter 480-100 WAC for electric utilities to acquire the lowest reasonable cost set of resources. The proposed rule is in the public interest because it will provide information in a report on applicable smart grid technologies that are available or likely soon to be available allowing public consideration of smart grid technologies available or soon to be available for possible use by the electric utility.

     Reasons Supporting Proposal: See above.

     Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 80.01.040 and 80.04.160.

     Statute Being Implemented: Not applicable.

     Rule is necessary because of federal law, 16 U.S.C. §§ 2621 (a) and (d)(18).

     Name of Proponent: Washington utilities and transportation commission, governmental.

     Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Steve Johnson, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 664-1346; Implementation and Enforcement: David W. Danner, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 664-1208.

     No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule will not result in or impose more than minor costs. Because there will not be more than minor increase in costs resulting from the proposed rule changes, a small business economic impact statement is not required under RCW 19.85.030(1).

     A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The commission is not an agency to which RCW 34.05.328 applies. The proposed rule is not a significant legislative rule of the sort referenced in RCW 34.05.328(5).

December 23, 2009

David W. Danner

Executive Director and Secretary


WAC 480-100-505   Smart grid technology report.   (1) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish requirements for each electric utility to submit periodic reports to the commission of the utility's evaluation of smart grid technologies that are available or likely soon to be available and any plans for implementing smart grid technologies affecting or applicable to ratepayers of Washington state.

     (2) Definitions.

     (a) "Smart grid function" means one or more of the following:

     (i) The ability to develop, store, send and receive digital information concerning electricity use, costs, prices, time of use, nature of use, storage, or other information relevant to management of the electricity grid, utility operations, or customer energy use.

     (ii) The ability to sense local disruptions or changes in power flows on the electricity grid and to communicate such information instantaneously and automatically for purposes of enabling automatic protective responses or to inform the utility to make manual changes to sustain reliability and security or improve efficiency of grid operations.

     (iii) The ability of the utility to deliver signals, measurements or communications to allow an end-use load device to respond automatically or in a manner programmed by its owner or operator without human action.

     (iv) The ability to use digital information to operate functions on the electricity grid that were previously electromechanical or manual.

     (v) The ability to use digital controls to manage and modify electricity demand, enable congestion management, assist in voltage control, provide operating reserves, or provide frequency regulation.

     (vi) The ability to deliver two-way communication of real time prices or other contract terms and to enable customer demand response programs.

     (vii) The ability to manage new end-use services to reduce operating or power costs, improve reliability, or improve energy efficiency, such as charging electric vehicles.

     (viii) The ability to use real time measurement of power generated from customer-owned power facilities to reduce operating or power cost, improve energy efficiency, or improve reliability.

     (ix) The ability to use digital information to improve the reliability or efficiency of generating equipment in an integrated manner to improve flexibility, functionality, interoperability, cyber-security, situational awareness, and operational efficiency of the transmission and distribution system.

     (b) "Smart grid pilot" means a project designed to test the feasibility of smart grid technologies or customer acceptance of such.

     (c) "Smart grid technologies" means any technology intended to improve the reliability or efficiency, or to reduce the operating costs, of electrical transmission and distribution systems by enabling one or more smart grid functions. Smart grid technologies include, without limitation, measurement devices, communication equipment, information processing equipment and software, and control devices.

     (d) "Smart grid technology report" or "report" means a report describing the utility's evaluation of, and any implementation plans for, smart grid technologies.

     (3) Reporting requirement.

     (a) Each electric utility must file with the commission a smart grid technology report no later than September 1, 2010, and a subsequent report no later than September 1st of each even-numbered year thereafter through September 2016.

     (b) Unless otherwise ordered by the commission, this reporting requirement shall expire after the filing of the report due September 1, 2016.

     (4) Content. At a minimum, the smart grid technology report must include:

     (a) A description of the smart grid technologies the utility has considered for integration into its system, and the utility's evaluation of such technologies. The description required by this subsection shall contain details that the utility has considered and evaluated: Examples of such details include:

     (i) Goal or purpose of the smart grid technologies described in the report;

     (ii) Total costs of the deployment and use of smart grid technologies including meter or other equipment costs, installation costs, and any incremental administration costs including the cost of changes to data storage, processing and billing systems;

     (iii) Overall cost-effectiveness of smart grid technologies planned to be implemented and, to the extent it can be quantified, possible impacts on customer bills;

     (iv) Operational savings associated with meter reading or other utility functions;

     (v) Effects on system capability to meet or modify energy or peak loads;

     (vi) Effects on service reliability including storm damage response and recovery, outage frequency and duration and voltage quality;

     (vii) Effects on integration of new utility loads, such as recharging batteries in electrically powered vehicles;

     (viii) Cyber and physical security of utility operational information;

     (ix) Cyber and physical security of customer information and effects, if any, on existing consumer protection policies;

     (x) Interoperability and upgradability of technology and compliance with applicable national standards;

     (xi) Customer acceptance and behavioral response;

     (xii) Tariff and rate design changes necessary to implement the technology;

     (xiii) Nonquantifiable societal benefits, if any; and

     (xiv) Economic considerations recognizing the above-listed factors.

     (b) Identification of any smart grid technologies that may be cost-effective and available for the utility and its customers during the subsequent ten-year period.

     (c) A description of the utility's plans and timeline for implementing any smart grid technologies during the two years following submission of the report.

     (d) After the first report, all subsequent reports should include information on the utility's progress on any smart grid technologies scheduled for implementation as stated in its previously filed reports and any smart grid pilot project the utility has undertaken.

     (5) The smart grid technology report may include:

     (a) The utility's assessment of the risk of investment in smart grid technologies and any recommendations for regulatory treatment, supported by the utility's rationale for such treatment.

     (b) Any other factors considered by the utility.

     (6) To the extent that some of the information required or allowed to be included in the report also is included in other reports, such as the utility's most recent integrated resource plan, the utility may incorporate that information by specific reference.

     (7) The commission may consider the information contained in a smart grid technology report when it evaluates, in rate and other appropriate proceedings, the performance of the utility and its investments in transmission, distribution and metering infrastructure.


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