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The Buzz

14 Feb

State utility regulators begin reviewing wildfire risk management plans under which utilities would spend around $3 billion a year and launch new programs that would essentially become permanent. Pressure mounts on the California Public Utilities Commission to turn Pacific Gas & Electric into a wires only business and let community choice aggregators or other government […]

CCAs Ask CPUC to Restructure PG&E

14 Feb

The California Community Choice Association asked the California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 14 to turn Pacific Gas & Electric into a wires-only business. Under its plan, community choice aggregators would purchase power needed to serve customers and take over transportation electrification, demand response, and energy efficiency programs from the utility too. “The joint CCAs strongly […]

CPUC Must Decide on $3B/Year of Utility Fire Protection Work

14 Feb

The staggering scope and cost of utility plans to prevent electric lines from sparking wildfires came into focus for regulators Feb. 13 during an all-day meeting. This year alone the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities plan to spend about $3 billion to minimize wildfire risks in areas with elevated threats. That’s projected to increase to […]

Energy Cyber Security Advances, Lawmakers Told

14 Feb

A key U.S. Senate committee took a deep dive into the state of cyber security in the nation’s energy industry this week as increasing digitalization and automation open the nation’s power grid and pipelines to vulnerabilities. “While advances in technology are always welcome and can help us run things more efficiently,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski […]

Climate Roundup: National Carbon Emissions Dip

13 Feb

Transportation nudged out electricity production as the nation’s leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest tally of carbon emissions. Transportation sources emitted 1,794 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2017, or about 28 percent of the total. Meanwhile, there were 1,734 million tons from the electric power industry, […]

Newsom Awaits State Plan on PG&E’s Bankruptcy

12 Feb

Gov. Gavin Newsom intends to have a plan for dealing with Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy within 60 days. “We are all frustrated and angry that it’s come to this,” Newsom told lawmakers Feb. 12 in his State of the State Address. “PG&E didn’t do enough to secure dangerous equipment or plan for the future.” […]

Juice: Green Dealing

12 Feb

The Green New Deal Resolution by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) seeks to beat California’s clean energy standard by 15 years. When comparing the two, there’s a slim to no chance it will be able to do that. The new federal proposal seeks to create socially just and emissions-free electricity, transportation, […]

LA Mayor Nixes LADWP Gas Plant Rebuilds

11 Feb

Updated Feb. 12. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Feb. 12 announced that the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power will forgo rebuilding three aging gas-fired coastal power plants. Instead, they will be replaced with renewable energy. “This is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles,” said Garcetti. “The climate crisis […]

Gas Supply Crimps Stress Southern California

11 Feb

Cold weather in Southern California is continuing to stress natural gas supplies, resulting in gas withdrawals by SoCal Gas from its constrained Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. The utility notified the California Public Utilities Commission that it had to withdraw gas from the field beginning at 11:22 p.m. on Feb. 10 as temperatures dipped […]

Shorts

11 Feb

Updated Feb. 12. Sempra Energy is selling its remaining wind power plants to American Electric Power for $551 million in cash, the San Diego-based company said Feb. 12. Under the agreement, it will sell wind projects in Hawaii and east of the Rockies with 724 MW of combined capacity. The deal is subject to regulatory […]

So Cal Utilities File Wildfire Risk Reduction Plans

7 Feb

Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric submitted new proposals for beefing up safety measures to the California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 6. Pacific Gas & Electric also filed its wildfire safety plan the same afternoon. The measures in the 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Plans range from significantly increasing inspections of lines and other […]

CAISO Improves Interconnection Process

7 Feb

The California Independent System Operator Board Feb. 7 approved changes that aim to reduce the interconnection barriers generation and storage projects face. There are 288 active generation and storage projects in CAISO’s interconnection queue. The latest policy changes seek “to smooth the process for getting these projects online,” according to the grid operator.  The enhancements […]

The Buzz

31 Jan

State utility regulators give Southern California Edison the go ahead to collect $1 billion from ratepayers to cover the utility’s underestimate of its power purchase needs in 2018. That is a 5 percent increase in customer bills over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, the California Public Utilities Commission squelches a SoCal Gas gambit to keep […]

CPUC Prohibits SoCal Gas from Keeping $1B+ in Cap-Trade Money

31 Jan

At its end of the month business meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission forbade Southern California Gas from redirecting $1.21 billion generated by greenhouse gas cap-and trade revenue away from its natural gas ratepayers to cover utility administrative costs. The five commissioners, including the newest member, Genevieve Shiroma, directed the gas utility Jan. 31 to […]

Shorts

31 Jan

The West’s energy imbalance market saved electric utility customers $62.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 by finding purchasers for 23,425 MWh of surplus renewable energy that otherwise would have been curtailed, according to the California Independent System Operator on Jan. 31. Since the market— which facilitates short-term trades of excess power—began operating in […]

$40B in Power Contracts at Issue in PG&E Bankruptcy

30 Jan

Clarification: The story was revised on Feb. 1 to note that PG&E is not seeking an immediate ruling on the fate of its power purchase deals. Changes are in italics. During Pacific Gas & Electric’s first day in federal bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali’s courtroom, it asked the court to allow it to end its $42 […]

PG&E Files for Bankruptcy

29 Jan

Pacific Gas & Electric entered the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California Jan. 29, as expected. Although last week PG&E was found not responsible for sparking the largest fire in Northern California in 2017, the Tubbs Fire, it still faces enormous liability for other wildfires that year and in 2018. “Throughout this […]

JUICE: Regulators & Others Move to Keep Skin in PG&E Bankruptcy Game

29 Jan

State and federal energy regulators took expedited actions to protect their authority over Pacific Gas & Electric before it entered into the unknowns of federal bankruptcy court. Renewable energy companies and other generators asked both agencies to protect their ongoing power agreements with PG&E. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late on Jan. 25 stepped into […]

The Buzz

24 Jan

Pacific Gas & Electric got good news the week. A Cal Fire investigation concludes PG&E did not spark the Tubbs Fire in 2017, which killed 22 people and burned through a good part of Santa Rosa. NextEra asks federal regulators to protect its power sales deals with Pacific Gas & Electric from any diminution in […]

PG&E Equipment Did Not Start the Tubbs Fire, Cal Fire Finds

24 Jan

Cal Fire investigators determined Jan. 24 that a private electrical system adjacent to a residential structure caused the destructive Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa in 2017, not Pacific Gas & Electric equipment. The Tubbs Fire in October of that year killed 23 people and destroyed 5,636 structures as it quickly burned through 36,807 acres of […]