Archive by Author

The Buzz

18 Oct

The California Independent System Operator’s vision of the grid at its annual stakeholder symposium in Sacramento is far sighted, imagining a wholly remade energy system based on renewable power. A skeletal Federal Energy Regulatory Commission okays partial cyber security rules, as the chair remains sidelined by cancer complications. State utility regulators levy penalties on the […]

Three FERC Members Approve Cyber Protections

18 Oct

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Oct. 18 heard that natural gas inventories in Southern California going into winter are low. The three commissioners present at FERC’s meeting also acted to approve cyber security protection measures for the nation’s bulk power system. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Kevin McIntyre was again absent from the monthly business […]

CPUC Fines Edison & PG&E for Safety Violations

17 Oct

State utility regulators levied fines on two utilities for violating safety rules, penalizing Southern California Edison $8 million and Pacific Gas & Electric some $5 million. The California Public Utility Commission’s Safety & Enforcement District issued the citations Oct. 16. In 2015, the Safety Division found that Edison did not promptly repair a crossarm on […]

PG&E Energy Storage Deals Face Headwinds

16 Oct

A California Public Utilities Commission draft resolution supports Pacific Gas & Electric’s bid for cost recovery for four storage projects with a total 567.5 MW of capacity. However, last week several protests were filed over their cost and whether they were necessary. The protestors, including consumer advocates and community choice aggregators, support energy storage as […]

JUICE: The Direct Access Elephant

16 Oct

Energy regulators’ controversial vote last week to raise the fees on customers who’ve left investor-owned utilities for community energy programs is not expected to halt or significantly impede existing and emerging community aggregators up and down the state. The estimated 15 percent increase in community energy programs’ share of utility generation costs under the newly […]

Climate Roundup: ESPs Fall Short on Renewables

16 Oct

A new law raises the cap on direct access providers by 4,000 GWh, or up to 15 percent of total retail load. However, the bulk of the energy service providers who make power deals with commercial and industrial energy users get failing grades on their renewable portfolio standard compliance. Direct access companies are required to […]

Shorts

15 Oct

The 48 MW McGuinness Hills 3 geothermal power plant is slated to begin providing power to the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power by the end of the year, the muni’s staff told its board Oct. 16. The project is the second of a 177 MW three-stage geothermal procurement by the muni in Northern […]

The Buzz

11 Oct

Utility regulators whack community choice programs with higher costs in a long-awaited and controversial decision on the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment. The PCIA requires choice program customers to pay exit fees to utilities for power contracts said to be entered on their behalf. Regulators give the green light to seven new utility energy storage projects, […]

CPUC Hits Community Choice with Higher Costs

11 Oct

Facing significant opposition in a shifting energy world, the California Public Utilities Commission Oct. 11 unanimously approved a decision that will raise the bills of community energy and direct access customers by shifting more private utility portfolio costs onto them. In voting this week, commissioners backed revisions to the controversial Power Charge Indifference Adjustment methodology […]

Climate Roundup: SMUD Back$ All Electric Homes

10 Oct

A major municipal utility and homebuilder announced Oct. 10 that all electric homes are now for sale in a new housing tract in the Sacramento area. The 104 homes will help cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which incentivized the D.R. Horton-built homes in North Natomas. SMUD provided $466,000 of […]

PG&E Lines Implicated in Another Blaze

10 Oct

CalFire concluded Oct. 9 that Pacific Gas & Electric wires caused another of last year’s wildfires in Northern California, but the state agency found no violation of fire safety standards. On Oct. 8, 2017, high winds caused sagging electric lines to hit each other, sparking the Cascade Fire in Yuba County, according to CalFire. The […]

JUICE: Adequate Adaptation

9 Oct

In spite of his climate protection mantle, Gov. Jerry Brown has faced protests over his support of the fossil fuel industry, particularly his reluctance to ban fracking and impose a severance tax on oil and natural gas extraction from state lands. Grassroots criticism of Brown’s inaction on curbing polluting transportation fuels, despite his embrace of […]

Shorts

9 Oct

A 40 year-old law that requires utilities to buy power from renewable generators and co-generators should be waived in states with competitive solicitation requirements and other measures that ensure all technologies access to the power market. That’s the recommendation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a new white paper from the National Association of […]

SB 901 Saves Utilities from Even Lower Credit Ratings

4 Oct

California’s three major investor-owned energy utilities suffered credit downgrades last month by Moody’s, which would have been worse without the enactment of SB 901. The legislation signed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown loosens regulators’ criteria for evaluating rate recovery for liability and allows ratepayer-backed bonds to cover costs arising from wildfires started by electric […]

New FERC Nominee Seen as Pro-Coal

3 Oct

President Donald Trump nominated Bernard McNamee from Virginia to fill the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seat vacated by Trump’s former appointee Robert Powelson of Pennsylvania. McNamee is presumed to strongly back Trump’s push to prop up faltering coal and nuclear power resources. His predecessor, Powelson, opposed the proposed fossil fuel subsidy on grounds it interfered […]

Utilities, Car Makers & Regulators Launch EV Campaign

3 Oct

A private-public partnership on Oct. 3 announced its effort to create a $4 million public awareness campaign to promote the purchase of electric vehicles up and down the state. “The goal is for electric cars to become the new normal,” said Josh Boone, head of Veloz, the new coalition of automakers, utilities, the California Air […]

PG&E Seeks Another Transmission Rate Increase

2 Oct

Pacific Gas & Electric asked federal energy regulators for a 9.5 percent increase in transmission fees, which would mark an increase from a projected $1.79 billion this year to a $1.96 transmission revenue requirement for 2019. The proposed increase to PG&E’s 2019 transmission rate case, made in an Oct. 1 filing to the Federal Energy […]

Shorts

2 Oct

In an early look at how much SB 100 will raise electricity rates, preliminary modeling in support of Pasadena Water & Power’s upcoming integrated resource plan suggests moving to 100 percent clean energy may not cost that much. The modeling, according to an advisor to the muni, suggests the average $100 a month residential power […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Defends Against Trump’s Auto Standard Rollback

1 Oct

The California Air Resources Board amended its clean car standards Sept. 28 to protect the state against the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of federal auto standards. It did so by affirming what is known as the “deemed to comply” provision of California’s greenhouse gas vehicle regulation. “Today’s vote by the board ensures that California and […]

Brown Signs More Energy Bills

1 Oct

Gov. Jerry Brown wrapped up action on energy bills passed this year, signing into law measures to enhance consumer protection, meet resource adequacy on the grid with non-generating resources, and extend subsidies for self-generation equipment. Brown signed SB 1087 by Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) late in the day on Sept. 27. The new law, according […]