Archive by Author

CA’s Grid Faces Growing Fire Danger

28 Nov

Fire risks are expected to significantly rise in the Northern California foothills and Sierra Nevada Mountains by the end of the century, increasing threats to transmission systems, said Larry Dale of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and coauthor of a new report on fire and climate risks in California. Fire impacts to the grid are […]

JUICE: The Long Shadow of the Energy Crisis

27 Nov

Massive utility liability from the recent devastating wildfires potentially sparked by electric lines puts the companies, politicians, regulators and ratepayers between a rock and a hard place. California regulators and lawmakers are working to keep Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison from being financially overwhelmed by claims resulting from the tragic toll on […]

Shorts

26 Nov

The Bonneville Power Administration expects to decide by next fall whether or not to join the Energy Imbalance Market. In a presentation to the market’s governing board on Nov. 29, the administration said it expects to make a decision by late summer of 2019 and finalize a participation agreement in September. If it does decide […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Faces First of Legal Claims for Camp Fire

20 Nov

While the massive Camp Fire in Butte County still smoldered, a class action lawsuit was filed by nearly two dozen residents of Paradise against Pacific Gas & Electric and its parent corporation over utility equipment allegedly sparking the conflagration. The suit was filed in the San Francisco Superior Court Nov. 16. The day the fire […]

CEC Debates if Lithium Will Be the New Oil

19 Nov

The potential for recovering lithium from geothermal brine in the Salton Sea to meet the surging growth in use of batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage is high, but faces big hurdles. Tapping into the lithium potential, according to California Energy Commissioner David Hochschild, “could be an important part of California’s energy future.” He […]

McNamee on Senate Hot Seat over Coal & Nuke Bailout Plan

15 Nov

President Donald Trump’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee from Texas faced heavy criticism for not agreeing to recuse himself from decisions related to potentially subsidizing struggling coal and nuclear plants if he is confirmed for a commission seat. As the Department of Energy Policy Office Director, Bernard McNamee worked closely with Energy Secretary Rick Perry […]

Better Land Management Increases Climate Protection

15 Nov

A new report urges state legislators and policy makers to improve land use practices in California, from forested regions to farms, to help slash carbon pollution in the state. The report, Towards a Carbon Neutral California, by Next 10 and The Nature Conservancy released Nov. 15, is timed to influence the California Air Resources Board’s […]

Fires Threaten Utility Finances & Lead to CPUC Rulemakings

13 Nov

Updated Nov. 15. Given utility infrastructure may have ignited two massive wildfires that started last week, the importance of a yet-formed committee tasked with assessing wildfire risks and making recommendations on costs and liability under a 2018 bill is growing exponentially. Pacific Gas & Electric stock fell as low as $17.26 per share on Nov. […]

Juice: California Gets It Right on Nuclear Power

13 Nov

“An expensive enticing mirage” or “an imperative that cannot be ignored?” That’s the multi-billion question facing the power industry and energy policymakers as to whether nuclear power should be left to wither or maintained as an emissions-free bridge to a decarbonized future. That question stirred debate last week following a report by the Union of […]

Shorts

13 Nov

California community choice energy programs have signed long-term power purchase agreements for 2,000 MW of renewable electricity from new or recently opened facilities located in 16 counties in California, according to the California Community Choice Association. “This is a significant achievement for the community choice aggregation movement in California,” said Beth Vaughan, association executive director. […]

Demand Response Rises, But Not in CA, Says FERC

13 Nov

Demand response in wholesale power markets across the U.S. grew 3 percent, or by 27,541 MW, between 2016 and 2017, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s annual update on demand response and advanced meters released last week. However, when breaking down the amount of demand response by the regional markets the picture was mixed. […]

The Buzz

8 Nov

Overriding opposition, the California Public Utilities Commission gives Pacific Gas & Electric the green light to sign deals for more than 500 MW of electricity storage capacity at Moss Landing along the central coast. This week’s election brings more California Democrats who back clean energy into the House. Changes coming in the House leadership in […]

CPUC Okays PG&E’s Big Storage Deals

8 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission on a 4-to-5 vote approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s contracts for 567.5 MW of storage in the South Bay area near Moss Landing over consumer advocates’ and community choice program operators’ objections. Last month, they challenged the cost and need for the four lithium ion battery storage deals, including because […]

CPUC Works to Open Its Door Wide to the Public

8 Nov

State energy regulators are striving to make their complex energy, water and telecommunication proceedings more user friendly. The California Public Utilities Commission launched a series of pilot projects earlier this year to get a better feel for how to increase public participation in the commission’s meetings and workshops. Key barriers to greater public participation include […]

As New Governor Steps In, CPUC’s Peterman Steps Out

7 Nov

California’s Governor-elect Gavin Newsom will be able to appoint a new member to the California Public Utilities Commission in the new year. He also has the authority to name a new commission president. Energy regulator Carla Peterman will be leaving her post when her term expires at the end of this year. “I’m not seeking […]

Generator Earnings Are a Mixed Bag

6 Nov

Updated Nov. 8. Three of the handful of independent generators’ operating in California saw a rise in their latest earnings, while the others saw them fall. AES: This giant global power company had net earnings during the third quarter of 2018 of $101 million, or 15 cents a share, compared to $152 million, or 23 […]

Undercurrents: Solar Gets Thumbs Up, Gas & Coal a Thumbs Down

6 Nov

EDF Renewable’s proposed 500 MW photovoltaic project slated for public land in the desert of Riverside County was approved by the Bureau of Land Management. “The Palen Solar Project will provide benefits to the local community and the region both now and in the future, demonstrating the critical role multiple-use public lands play for the […]

The Buzz

1 Nov

California appears to have no problem meeting the state’s 33 percent renewable portfolio standard, finds the California Public Utilities Commission. But, regulators warn that community choice aggregators and direct access providers need to up their renewable procurement. While the utilities have lined up more storage than needed in 2020, only a fourth of that energy […]

Just 25% of Required Utility Storage is Online

1 Nov

Only one-fourth of the 1,325 MW of energy storage investor-owned utilities are required to have in place in little more than two years is currently operational, according the California Public Utilities Commission. The utilities have lined up a total 1,650 MW of storage deals and 1,047 MW worth of those projects have been approved. Currently, […]

Edison Pole Likely Sparked 2017 Thomas Fire

31 Oct

Southern California Edison said its electrical equipment appears to have been an ignition source at one and possibly two key points of last year’s devastating Thomas Fire. “Edison International and SCE expect to incur a material loss in connection with the Thomas Fire,” the company stated in a 10-Q Securities & Exchange Commission filing made […]