Over the past few years, we’ve been tracking the slow progress of California’s Distribution Investment Deferral Framework. That’s the program that orders the state’s three big investor-owned utilities to look over their multibillion-dollar annual budgets for reinforcing their distribution grids with new wires, poles and transformers, and find a handful of projects that could be solved instead with distributed energy resources.
In other words, the DDIF is California’s version of a non-wires alternative program for the distribution grid. But much like similar efforts underway in other states, it hasn’t yielded much in the way of real-world projects so far. In fact, only Southern California Edison has successfully delivered a non-wires alternative as part of the underlying regulatory proceeding that created the DIDF, and none of the state’s utilities has yet awarded a contract through the DIDF process.
That could change in the coming months.