The Buzz

10 May 2018

Utility regulators decide to take extra time to review a first of its kind spending plan by the state’s power utilities to help get electric vehicle chargers installed on a widespread basis for heavy-duty electric trucks and buses. They also delay action on an a pricey eight-year energy efficiency plan.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s transmission planning process doesn’t get any respect on Capitol Hill this week. Stakeholders and a former commissioner find little positive to say about Order 1000.

Summer energy supplies look as rocky as they were more than a decade ago, according to the grid operator’s annual forecast. Meanwhile, the state’s energy agencies warn of tight natural gas supplies in Southern California due to limits from major pipelines that look like they’ll remain out of service into fall or later and restrictions on the use of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field.

The California Energy Commission adopts revolutionary energy efficiency standards requiring new homes in the Golden State to have solar rooftops beginning in 2020. The same day, the commission also backs spending almost $300 million on electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refueling stations for zero emissions vehicles.

The state’s investor-owned utilities remain in the black in the first quarter of 2018 and generator earnings generally strengthen compared to weak earnings or losses during the same period in 2017.

This week’s Juice column wonders why the CPUC sees a power industry crisis looming. Then, after more than a year of study and discussion, it offers no suggestions about what’s needed to head it off.

—The Editors

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