The Buzz

23 Mar 2018

The grid operator’s board adopted big time reforms to increase gas power plant generator revenues and curb speculation in the transmission congestion market.

Pacific Gas & Electric was chastised for balking at complying with the CPUC’s order to sign contracts for biomass projects to help reduce the huge number of dead trees.

Biomass got  a further vote of confidence from the CPUC’s sister agency. The Energy Commission approved a $5 million grant to support a 2.4 MW biomass  plant in Mariposa County, a region riddled with huge numbers of dead pine trees.

The launch of the Southern California Clean Power Alliance looks like it’s getting waylaid by the combination of a tight CPUC deadline on resource adequacy and being at loggerheads with the Southern California Edison over buying its supply cushion deals.

Ongoing lawsuits filed in the San Francisco Federal District Court against the major oil companies for global warming damages took an education pause midweek. The judge received input on climate change basics.

A bill to allow California’s grid operator to become a western balancing authority was amended to give the Energy Commission the power to decide whether to a proposed governance plan is acceptable. AB 813 also gives the thumbs down to a centralized capacity market.

Other legislation would restore millions of dollars for employee retention and community mitigation slashed by state regulators when approving the closure terms for Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.

The plant’s closure represents the end of commercial nuclear power in California, more than 50 years after its launch. This week’s guest editorial lays out the history and the false promise of this technology being supposedly “too cheap to meter.”

As the state faces up to the loss of power from Diablo by 2025,  the Energy Commission looks at nearby offshore sites as promising sites for wind energy projects.

Energy utilities in general are lagging behind other business sectors in offering their customers effective digital interfaces on the internet, according to a ranking by J.D. Power released March 21. California utilities are near the bottom of the industry.

–The Editors

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