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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 […]

The Buzz

11 Apr

Southern California Edison asks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a 28 percent boost in its revenue requirement for transmission assets, saying that wildfire-related expenses justify the increase. In Sacramento, a bill to set up a centralized backstop power purchaser clears a committee, but lawmakers have reservations about changing the existing order. Another bill to […]

The Buzz

4 Apr

Bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric announces a new slate of directors. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s former chief is named the new CEO, with final voting to take place at the end of May. California energy and waste regulators start to grapple with surging quantities of aging solar panels and batteries. Steps needed to avert a […]

The Buzz

28 Mar

The California Independent System Operator adopts changes to its backstop procurement programs to address concerns they unnecessarily drive up costs. CAISO also adopts a new transmission plan, which shows only Pacific Gas & Electric needs to build new projects at a cost of up to $644 million to maintain reliability and control costs. Gov. Gavin […]

The Buzz

21 Mar

Two federal energy regulators warn of litigation risks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been creating with its deficient greenhouse gas impact assessments of commission-approved projects. California’s top lawyer throws his weight behind the Bay Area Cities climate change suit against the oil majors. Also, it is mixed messages from FERC. The right wing chief […]

Opinionated: Charging With the Sun

19 Mar

By Severin Borenstein You aren’t getting “green electrons”, but charging at the right times still lowers GHG emissions. I spent a fascinating few days at the California Independent System Operator last month, following my appointment in January to the CAISO’s Board of Governors. The most exciting part was getting to visit the CAISO grid control […]

The Buzz

14 Mar

Southern California Edison equipment ignited the deadly Thomas Fire in 2017 in Ventura County, investigators find. Edison, however, maintains there were two separate points of ignition and it may not be responsible for both. California’s chief utility regulator tells lawmakers that the California Public Utilities Commission lacks expertise and capacity in utility fire safety regulation […]

The Buzz

7 Mar

House Dems blast the Department of Energy’s foot dragging on efficiency standard implementation while Republicans point elsewhere. Both sides agree, however, that saving energy is a good thing. State lawmakers, regulators, other power providers and generators agree that ensuring the energy caterpillar becomes a butterfly requires that decarbonization of the energy sector be affordable and […]

Opinionated: Gadgets Are Increasingly Connected

4 Mar

By Fereidoon Sioshansi Every year hordes of people from around the world gather in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, one of the biggest shows in town. This year was no exception with 4,000 companies showing their latest gadgets to 150,000 delegates from 100 countries. For the past few years, all sorts of smart […]

The Buzz

28 Feb

California’s investor-owned utilities, with the exception of Sempra Energy’s utilities, show big losses in 2018 due to billions of dollars of wildfire liabilities. In the state Assembly, lawmakers introduce an avalanche of bills, including two measures to get utilities to pay for new state-run wildfire insurance funds. Meanwhile, state Senators introduce a solar rights bill […]

Opinionated: State Puts Buildings in Energy Policy Spotlight

25 Feb

By Pierre Delforge California took another pioneering step in tackling carbon emissions from millions of homes and commercial buildings across the state Feb. 20. The California Energy Commission’s latest policy report puts reducing the climate and air pollution from buildings front and center for the first time, representing a bold—and necessary—shift in energy priorities. It […]

The Buzz

21 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission approves Pacific Gas & Electric’s and Southern California Edison’s $7 billion in energy purchase forecasts. But the approved decision also requires that annual projected power expenses—from renewables to fossil—be compared to the actual tab. State energy regulators unanimously agree to a three-year resource adequacy requirement and to later create a […]

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 […]