The Buzz

9 Mar 2018

A sizable midweek natural gas leak in San Diego shuts down a freeway, a huge mall and requires evacuations. As bad is the accompanying lack of a quick and easy shut off.

Hours before, information leaked out that natural gas withdrawals from Aliso Canyon by SoCal Gas were quietly okayed over the weekend, riling a Southern California lawmaker. During a hearing by the Senate Energy Committee, Sen. Henry Stern faces off with the California Public Utilities president over whether a non public decision to allow withdrawals of natural gas from Aliso Canyon did more to fan the flames of distrust or heat homes.

Private utilities think they have it bad with the growth of community energy. They need only take a look at independent generating companies, which largely saw sorry earnings in 2017.

One of those struggling generators, NRG, announced it’s selling $3.2 billion of its generation assets. But, the latest earnings reports show most of NRG’s gas and renewable plants in the Golden State remain in the company’s portfolio.

This week’s JUICE looks at the battle between the private utilities and community choice organizations over whether utilities should be given the green light to use ratepayer money to fend of aggregation. The outcome most likely won’t be determined by the merits of the opposing petitions, but by politics.

It looks like a preferred resource grab bag for Southern California Edison. It’s soliciting non-traditional resources to meet local power capacity needs in a subarea of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties for three years down the road. Who wins will be influenced by a potential transmission alternative and a transition to community choice.

–The Editors



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