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The Buzz

26 Sep

So. Cal Gas and SDG&E get whopping increases in their 2019-21 general rate cases. State energy regulators say the hefty revenue hikes are needed to fully fund the gas and electric companies’ safety programs. It is a long shot but bondholders try again to inject their plan for paying off PG&E’s massive debts at the […]

The Buzz

5 Sep

California’s energy agencies begin developing a plan to achieve the monumental task of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Southern California Edison files a massive rate hike request with the California Public Utilities Commission, aiming to boost its revenue by 32 percent. Los Angeles Department of Water & Power faces a showdown with its union […]

The Buzz

29 Aug

A newly amended bill that would make PG&E greener financially at ratepayers’ expense is floated. But, it may be headed for a crash landing. Another legislative action, one seeking a Constitutional Amendment, would make nuclear energy eligible for green status under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. The proposal seeks to bolster the financial prospects of the […]

The Buzz

15 Aug

The California Public Utilities Commission says goodbye to President Mike Picker. The five commissioners also approve new decade-long energy efficiency targets and SDG&E’s $100 million heavy-duty vehicle electrification program. The California Independent System Operator gets a CEC pat on the back for being the new Reliability Coordinator. The Energy Commission also adopts impressive new rules […]

The Buzz

8 Aug

Two of California’s major utilities show reasonable profits in their second quarter results and bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric says it expects to show a profit when it releases its financial results. Meanwhile, independent power generators post largely ho hum financial statements, although NextEra stands out with earnings that shine. In a sign of better […]

The Buzz

18 Jul

Editor’s Note: California Current will be taking its two-week summer break beginning today, July 19. Story posting will resume the week of Aug. 5. The California Public Utilities Commission gets a new President after Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Marybel Batjer to the post this week. Batjer will take over an agency that has lost much […]

The Buzz

11 Jul

Gov. Gavin Newsom successfully gets the Legislature to pass utility wildfire liability legislation, though lawmakers express reservations that it will do little more than buy time for yet unknown solutions. This week’s Juice column opines that distributed energy may be needed to end utility-sparked wildfires, at least in fire prone areas of the state. Inaction […]

The Buzz

27 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission announces it’s considering slapping penalties on PG&E for sparking huge wildfires in the fall of 2017. Earlier, state regulators unanimously approve a utility financial stress test with much consternation. They warn that the legislative mandate unfairly requires ratepayers to bail out utilities even if unacceptable behavior led to their wildfire liability. […]

JUICE: Clean Car & Air Chaos

25 Jun

If President Donald Trump follows through on his threat to yank California’s authority to enact automotive emissions and fuel efficiency standards that are tighter than federal requirements, the work of the Golden State and utilities here to promote electric vehicles and develop charging infrastructure will be jeopardized. Not only will California’s climate change goals be […]

The Buzz

14 Jun

A House Energy panel zeros in on federal legislation and tactics to resolve the troubling issue of long-term storage of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. Lawmakers also grapple with how to consolidate onsite spent fuel in 121 communities, including in Southern California and Sacramento. The day before, another House Energy & Commerce subcommittee tells […]

JUICE: Sailing to Grid Regionalization

11 Jun

The announcement by California’s transmission operator that it will become the regional coordinator, not only in its territory, but across big parts of the western grid beginning July 1 generated few headlines. However, the California Independent System Operator becoming the new high wires reliability cop on the beat from Northern Mexico to Canada is a […]

The Buzz

6 Jun

As lawmakers contemplate a legislative course to deal with the mounting financial implications of wildfires, it’s increasingly evident that utility ratepayers will have to shoulder billions of dollars of costs. Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders appear to rule out eliminating strict liability for utilities that spark wildfires, at least for now. California’s developing […]

The Buzz

30 May

This week is all about measures to reduce the impacts of utility-sparked wildfires in California. In the midst of all the smoke, CPUC president Mike Picker says he’ll soon retire. Earlier, he and other state energy regulators approve the investor-owned utilities’ 2019 plans to stem wildfire risks from their equipment. But, the CPUC notes, this is […]

Opinionated: Solar+Storage Challenges Gas Peakers

28 May

By Fereidoon Sioshansi Gas peakers have been around well before the recent rise of renewables made them even more indispensible. How else could grid operators fill in the void created by the vanishing solar generation when the sun sets at the end of the day or when wind stops spinning the wind turbines’ blades? And […]

The Buzz

16 May

It is better late than never for Southern California Edison, which finally gets its 2018-2020 rate case approved. State energy regulators okay a revenue requirement for 2018 of nearly $5.2 billion. Over the three-year period, Edison will reap a 4 percent increase, not counting recovery of its wildfire safety costs. Utility regulators this week also […]

Opinionated:To CPE or Not To CPE

14 May

By Steven Kelly After many years of work, the California Public Utilities Commission earlier this year finally adopted a multi-year resource adequacy program to help ensure grid reliability. Now, the CPUC is considering additional changes to the adopted framework, particularly the insertion of a “central procurement entity” to mitigate the risk that the California Independent […]

The Buzz

9 May

Lawmakers may need to create a $40 billion wildfire risk pooled insurance fund plus take other actions to deal with crushing wildfire liabilities and expenses faced by utilities as large power rate increases loom. Amid rising revenue, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes budget boosts for the CPUC and grants to help communities plan for power shutoffs […]

JUICE: Muddy Waters & Rates

30 Apr

While passing through a corner of Nevada along Highway 395 during a drive to the Eastern side of the Sierra I was struck by the differences in the price of gasoline in the Golden and Silver states. Filling up in Nevada April 19, I paid $3.30 a gallon, saving well over a dollar per gallon. […]

The Buzz

18 Apr

A group of West Coast utilities launches a major study of how to develop and locate charging infrastructure for electric big rig trucks. Federal energy regulators approve two LNG export projects, but the decisions omit their greenhouse gas impacts. Subsequently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s 2018 market report shows record U.S natural gas exports, while […]

Juice: Green Power vs. Green Jobs?

16 Apr

The New Green Deal, a 14-page national resolution to clean up the environment and simultaneously address social inequity by creating new job opportunities and strengthening the social safety net, lacks the force of law. But, it is a powerful, timely idea and symbol that’s causing lots of people to cheer or chastise it. Its potency […]