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The American West Working Group

Grant Lahring on Flickr

The Bill Lane Center is dedicated to promoting research and scholarly exchanges related to the American West. The AmWest Working Group, which meets weekly on Fridays at noon, offers an inter- and multi-disciplinary platform for researcherst opreent and receive feedback on their latest work. To that end, participants are particularly encouraged to share work-in-progress and preliminary findings. Attendees include faculty, students, staff and other affiliates.

Registser here or email Iris Hui for more information.

Upcoming Sessions:

October 16th, 12 PM: Presentations by Summer Energy Interns

Prateek Joshi and Alex Evers 

Western Interconnection Data System to Inform Utility Wildfire Mitigation Efforts

After analyzing data from the 2019 Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events in California, the summer interns (Alex Evers and Prateek Joshi) determined that current data collection and reporting practices for instances of circuit damage and other “ignition near miss” events are inadequate. They suggests improvements to these procedures that can better inform three broad categories of wildfire mitigation actions: vegetation management, grid hardening, and sectionalization. The project culminates in a framework for building a Western Wildfire Mitigation Data System, analogous to NERC’s Transmission Availability Data System (TADS). The information, which would be collected and shared in an accessible format throughout the Western Interconnection, could help reduce costs by allocating utility resources more efficiently and improve overall grid reliability by sharing best practices for reducing utility-caused wildfires.

Mondee Lu
Working toward energy resiliency in California
Abstract: The CPUC is tasked with implementation of state energy policies while maintaining a reliable grid and protecting consumer welfare. I’ll discuss my experience working on microgrids and energy resiliency policy against the backdrop of wildfires and climate change.
 
Erin Pang
Institutionalizing Environmental and Social Justice at the CPUC

This past summer, I interned at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) where the Commissioners have expressed a commitment to environmental and social justice. One of my main projects was writing a report on “Institutionalizing Environmental and Social Justice at the CPUC." The goal is to identify ways that ESJ considerations can be institutionalized at the CPUC such that they are integrated into all levels of decision making and policy implementation. The report is organized around the idea of adopting an ESJ framework – essentially a guide to integrate ESJ principles into policy making – and building the structural capacity necessary to utilize the ESJ framework in all division and program work at the CPUC. The report also discusses existing ESJ efforts at the CPUC and gives examples of how other agencies have incorporated equity considerations into their processes.