Archive by Author

Early Renewable Procurement Questioned

20 Nov

As the California Public Utilities Commission moves toward adopting a system-wide plan for buying generation resources and reducing greenhouse gases through 2030, a backlash is growing against requiring all load-serving entities to enter more long-term contracts for renewable energy. The CPUC’s draft Integrated Renewable Plan rolled out last month calls on investor-owned utilities and other […]

Climate Roundup: E-Highway Test for Trucks in Los Angeles

20 Nov

As the state targets heavy-duty trucks for electrification, news about Tesla’s plan to build battery-powered big rigs overshadowed the start of a demonstration project based on a different approach—using overhead catenary electricity supply lines to power trucks in urban areas. Converting the state’s huge truck fleet to zero or near zero emissions technology is a […]

Chatterjee Cites FERC Independence on Perry’s Proposal

16 Nov

Neil Chatterjee chaired his last meeting at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 16 after saying in a recent series of interviews that FERC is required by law to act on Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants with additional payments in wholesale electricity markets. Chatterjee, who will continue […]

Storage Clashes With State Goals

15 Nov

Battery electricity storage systems installed with California Public Utilities Commission-ordered subsidies are boosting peak load and increasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to analyses discussed at a Nov. 15 commission meeting. CPUC Regulatory Analyst Patrick Doherty called the evaluation “bad news.” Figuring out how to ensure systems help achieve the state’s goals of reducing emissions and […]

Choice Program Clean Energy Projects Gain Critical Mass

15 Nov

Updated Nov. 16, 2017. As community choice aggregation programs have matured, the number of renewable power plants being built in California to serve their customers has swelled. The newest project is expected to begin operating early next year. Together, three major choice programs in the state—Marin Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean Power, and Peninsula Clean Energy—have […]

Utilities & Community Choice Beat Renewables Target

14 Nov

California’s investor-owned utilities exceeded the 25 percent alternative energy mandate set for 2016 and are expected to have half their energy portfolios supplied by eligible renewable resources by 2020. That is according to a California Public Utilities Commission report submitted to the Legislature Nov. 13. The state’s community choice aggregators together exceeded last year’s mandate, […]

Doubling Energy Savings Means Focus on Existing Buildings

8 Nov

Without a concerted effort to reduce energy use, particularly in existing buildings and homes, California is likely to fall short of a legislative directive to double energy efficiency by 2030. That’s the conclusion of a California Energy Commission report presented Nov. 8 on how to achieve the efficiency target outlined in SB 350, enacted in […]

Climate Roundup

8 Nov

Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed creating a new international carbon market. In a Nov. 7 address to European Union leaders in Brussels, Brown noted that California recently extended its carbon cap-and-trade program to 2030. “We could explore linking California and the European Union,” he added. He pointed out that the state’s emissions trading program is […]

Generator Earnings Generally Lower

6 Nov

Independent generator earnings were generally down in the third quarter of 2017, except for bright spots at NextEra and Calpine, with the latter changing hands after ongoing losses. AES, which like most of its generating brethren, is moving to modernize a handful of once-through cooled plants along the Southern California coast, reported a fall in […]

CPUC Rolls Out CA Power System Resource Plan

2 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission laid out its goals for the upcoming integrated resource planning process to guide future procurement of power resources towards a lower carbon future. Under the integrated resource planning process, said CPUC staff member Forest Kaser, the reference plan aims to identify the least-cost approach to meeting the state’s 2030 greenhouse […]

Undercurrents

1 Nov

As cooler temperatures take hold in Southern California, SoCal Gas is warning of energy supply risks in the coming season due to limitations placed on its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field that reopened earlier this year. SoCal Gas President Bret Lane outlined the concerns in an Oct. 30 letter to the California Energy Commission […]

No Clear Path to More Consumer Choice

1 Nov

California utility regulators ongoing struggle with how to create more customer choice in electricity was not alleviated during a workshop held in the state capital building this week. At the end of the day, few concrete proposals emerged from various industry stakeholders’ differing, but largely piecemeal perspectives. The Oct.31 meeting was the second that the […]

Former Fed Regulators Say Perry Plan is Off Base

31 Oct

Four former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members criticized Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to reward coal and nuclear plants in power markets for offering fuel security during a forum an Oct. 31 sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. The commissioners, whose service spanned administrations dating back to President Ronald Reagan, said Perry’s proposal—which […]

CA Lags on Demand Response, Report Finds

26 Oct

California is working to make better use of demand response strategies for meeting peak loads, but the Golden State is hardly a leader in the effort, according to a report released Oct. 25 by the Smart Electric Power Alliance. While the report credited the state’s demand response auction mechanism adopted by the California Public Utilities […]

Quantum Tech Seen as Gold Standard for Grid Security

26 Oct

Ultimately the U.S. must develop quantum communications to prevent its energy infrastructure from remaining vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to cybersecurity specialists. “The ability of hackers to infiltrate grid networks and corrupt these communications is real and growing,” Duncan Earl, president of Quibitekk, told lawmakers during an Oct. 26 U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee […]

DOE Eyes Roll Back of Appliance Standard

25 Oct

The U.S. Department of Energy is embarking on a bid to change the way it sets energy efficiency standards for some 60 types of appliances to allegedly reduce the regulatory burden on manufacturers. “Through our ongoing efforts,” stated Energy Secretary Rick Perry Oct. 23, “we will promote job creation and economic growth, unleash American energy […]

Winter Power Supply Looks Good, FERC Says

23 Oct

California will have an adequate supply of natural gas and electricity this winter, with gas prices down slightly from last year, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s 2017-18 winter energy assessment. “Fuel and electricity demand likely will be moderate this winter,” Alan Haymes, FERC economist, said Oct. 19. Moderate demand is expected, he said, […]

SHORTS

23 Oct

Energy regulators should require Southern California Edison to meet local power needs through a feed-in tariff for renewables, demand response, and energy efficiency and storage, according to the Clean Coalition. It began pushing for a tariff instead of a request for offers for preferred resources after the California Energy Commission signaled it would reject a […]

LADWP Sees Big Load Growth from Electric Vehicles

17 Oct

The Los Angeles Department of Water expects its power load to grow 50 percent if all the vehicles operating in Los Angeles run on electricity, according to Dave Wright, the muni’s general manager. On an interim basis, meeting that power demand might require an increase in the muni’s carbon emissions rights allocation from the California […]

OPINIONATED: Binary Geothermal Gives PV a Run for Its Money

17 Oct

By Paul Thomsen In 2017, for the first time, the combined energy and capacity values of geothermal energy significantly exceeded the value of solar photovoltaic resources in California. In the first quarter of 2017, geothermal’s wholesale energy value in Southern California was $13.50/MWh greater than solar PV. At the same time, utility estimates of marginal […]