California’s Big 2021 Decision on Grid Reliability: Expand Supply or Manage Demand?

By [email protected] California is facing a major decision under a tight deadline — whether it should push for large-scale power plants and batteries to prevent a repeat of its August 2020 rolling blackouts this coming summer or turn to behind-the-meter resources such as batteries and demand response.

Right now, the California Public Utilities Commission is moving more quickly to find supply-side solutions. But a rising chorus of stakeholders, from smart thermostat kingpin Google Nest to major demand-response provider Enel X, are demanding an equivalent push to free up behind-the-meter flexibility.

Last week, the CPUC issued a ruling asking the state’s three big

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