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The Buzz

22 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission unveils a plan to establish a multi-year procurement framework for resource adequacy, but leaves it open as to who will be responsible for actually entering power generating capacity contracts. As planners gather to discuss western transmission projects, Phil Anschutz’s TranWest Express line is about ready to break ground to bring […]

CPUC Proposes Multi-Year Resource Adequacy Requirement

22 Feb

Facing growing concerns about the cost of assuring resource adequacy for the state’s electric grid, the California Public Utilities Commission rolled out a plan to establish a multi-year capacity procurement obligation, which it debuted at a meeting Feb. 22. The proposal comes against the backdrop of the grid operator recently resorting to reliability must-run contracts […]

Planners Discuss Western Transmission Projects

22 Feb

Western transmission system planners gathered Feb. 22 at the California Independent System Operator’s headquarters in Folsom to share information about new transmission facilities across the western U.S. Tom Green, planning management committee chair for WestConnect and Xcel Energy, noted that increasing numbers of wind and solar facilities being built in the West to serve California […]

CEC Energy Forecast Points to Rising Electricity Demand

22 Feb

The latest versions of the Integrated Energy Policy Report and state energy demand forecast were approved by the California Energy Commission during its Feb. 21 meeting and they show faster growth in electricity use than previously forecast. Annual demand growth from 2016-2027 in the forecast averages 1.64 percent in the high case, 1.32 percent in […]

Undercurrents: Grid Regionalization Legislation Rises

21 Feb

Grid regionalization legislation appears to be back on the table, with draft language being circulated in Sacramento by Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena). Holden amended a bill late in last year’s legislative session to include provisions to allow the California Independent System Operator to move forward with a regionalized western grid […]

Legislature Sets Busy Agenda with More Energy Bills

20 Feb

Legislators in Sacramento continued introducing energy-related measures through the end of last week, including perennial bills that to make large hydropower a qualified source of renewable energy and to promote electric vehicles. While some are largely statements of intent at this juncture—with the substance to be developed later—two of the more developed measures introduced in […]

OPINIONATED: A New CPUC Tool to Reduce Ex Parte Exchanges

20 Feb

By Todd Edmister A recent CA Current article described a Feb.7, 2017, CPUC Commissioner informational webinar on “Impacts of Climate Change and Resulting Resiliency Challenges.” Though noticed as addressing “select questions submitted by the public,” the purpose of the meeting was limited to addressing questions from “investor groups,” as Commissioners Picker and Peterman stated in […]

Climate Roundup: First Joint Carbon Auction With Ontario Slated

20 Feb

California and Quebec Province on Feb. 21 will hold their first joint greenhouse gas emissions allowance auction with Ontario Province. More than a million allowances are to be auctioned off at a minimum bid price of $14.53 apiece. Ontario officially linked its new carbon cap-and-trade program with California’s and Quebec’s at the beginning of this […]

SMUD Approves WaterFix Environmental Document

20 Feb

The California WaterFix project, a potential $16 billion dollar public works plan to divert water from the state’s largest delta in order to improve water supplies, has moved a little closer to reality after a Feb. 15 vote by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s board. On a 7-0 vote, the SMUD board approved findings within […]

Shorts

20 Feb

Updated Feb. 22. Edison International reported a fourth quarter 2017 net loss of $545 million compared to net income of $329 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 on Feb. 22. Earnings at its utility, Southern California Edison, declined $437 million from those in the fourth quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, earnings also slowed at Pacific […]

The Buzz

15 Feb

Community choice aggregators see mostly smooth sailing ahead in forming new programs and expanding existing ones after significant changes were made in a California Public Utilities Commission policy adopted last week that as originally proposed was seen as draconian. Meanwhile, Los Angeles County’s community choice energy program is now operational, with two rounds of expansion […]

CPUC Resource Adequacy Action to Have Little Impact on CCAs

15 Feb

Community choice aggregation programs won’t be hampered or delayed in forming anew or expanding in the wake of a California Public Utilities Commission action last week. That’s according to Beth Vaughn, California Community Choice Association executive director. Vaughn predicted that up to twelve new community choice programs will be launched this year, including the two […]

Olsen Elected to Chair CAISO’s Board

15 Feb

David Olsen became the new chair of the California Independent System Operator board Feb. 15 to replace Richard Maullin, who has served as chair for some five years. CAISO’s Board of Governors elected Olsen to a one-year term as chair. They also elected Angelina Galiteva to serve as vice chair in the year ahead. Maullin […]

FERC Order Promises to Be a Boon for Energy Storage

15 Feb

Federal energy regulators Feb. 15 adopted an order to expand participation of energy storage providers in wholesale power markets and another to enhance the frequency response capabilities of new generation facilities. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s order on storage, said Kevin McIntyre, commission chair, requires independent system operators and regional transmission organizations to remove “unnecessary […]

New Energy Bills Pile Up Before Deadline

14 Feb

As lawmakers work furiously to meet a Feb. 15 deadline for introducing new legislation in Sacramento, numerous energy-related measures were introduced as of Feb. 13. In the Senate, new measures would backfill the loss of local government revenue in San Luis Obispo County projected to result from the upcoming closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear […]

Shorts

13 Feb

Updated Feb. 15. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is purchasing biomass power from the American Renewable Power-Loyalton Biomass project in Sierra County. LADWP will get 8.9 MW of biomass energy from American Renewable for five years under the deal at a cost of $97.50 per MWh. The deal helps satisfy an obligation […]

JUICE: MetroWatt

13 Feb

I’m in the enviable position of driving below 4,000 miles a year. My weekday commute is a staircase. My car use is further limited because of my transportation options, including bike, BART and Capitol Corridor train service. The hike in my recent auto insurance bill motivated me to switch to insurance with comparable coverage with […]

The Buzz

9 Feb

California utility regulators extend their control over community choice aggregation programs this week by mandating that they participate in the California Public Utilities Commission’s integrated resource planning and resource adequacy processes. The CPUC holds an experimental webinar to answer written questions from financial firms as utilities complain of deteriorating financial conditions. The benefits of energy […]

Regulators Okay Expanded Integrated Resource Planning Process

8 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 9 approved including community energy and independent retail suppliers in its Integrated Resource Planning process. The unanimous decision requires these energy providers, along with the state’s private utilities, to submit resource plans demonstrating how they’ll do their part to help cut greenhouse gases in California by 42 million metric […]

CPUC Extends Supply Cushion Mandate to Community Choice

8 Feb

State energy regulators on a 5-0 vote approved a controversial measure to extend the California Public Utilities Commission’s resource adequacy authority over community energy programs. The resolution was on the California Public Utilities Commission’s Feb. 9 consent agenda, but was discussed during Thursday’s meeting because of significant opposition from choice advocates up and down the […]