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The Buzz

18 Jan

The California grid operator plans to move into the western reliability coordination market. And, it plans to do so at a steep discount. An independent group of scientists finds that gas storage fields are needed now, but might later be converted to store clean fuels or captured carbon dioxide. Forthcoming federal standards aim to improve […]

ISO Plans Discounted Western Reliability Services

18 Jan

The California grid operator is working to expand its services to include reliability coordination and expects it to cost potentially less than half of what’s charged by Peak Reliability, the current reliability coordinator in the West. “We have a fairly high confidence that the cost will be at least a 50 percent discount to Peak […]

Science Panel Sees New Wine in Old Gas Storage Field Bottles

18 Jan

An independent state science panel concluded this week that California will continue to be reliant on natural gas storage facilities through 2020 to meet its energy needs, particularly for winter heating and power. Looking longer term, the panel suggested that California study how the storage fields will fit into a decarbonized economy. It suggested, for […]

FERC Rules Aim to Enhance Grid Cybersecurity

18 Jan

Federal regulators Jan. 18 approved new rules to strengthen cybersecurity for software, industrial control hardware, and computing and networking systems used to operate the nation’s bulk power system. The so-called “supply chain risk management protections” are supposed to guard against adversaries who would disrupt the grid by supplying counterfeit equipment and by tampering with the […]

Bill May Increase Diablo Closure Costs

17 Jan

Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) plans to introduce legislation to restore all or part of the $85 million in proposed mitigation funds for San Luis Obispo area communities that the California Public Utilities Commission excluded in its Jan. 11 closure decision for the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Monning has not yet determined the amount or the […]

Cap-&-Trade’s Effectiveness Questioned

17 Jan

Amid concern that California’s carbon cap-and-trade is awash in emissions rights so that companies face no pressure to reduce greenhouse gases, state lawmakers called on the California Air Resources Board to analyze how the various measures in the state’s climate program have worked over the past 10 years. “Experts say the state will meet the […]

CEC Chair Touts So Cal Gas Storage & Dispenses Funds

17 Jan

During the California Energy Commission’s Jan. 17 meeting, its chair noted that the initial urgency driving him and the California Public Utilities Commission president to halt new natural gas hookups fed by the Aliso Canyon storage field has diminished. December, according to CEC Chair Bob Weisenmiller, was “incredibly warm,” reducing normal heating demand by about […]

JUICE: Cazalet Pitches Plan to Grow Energy Storage

17 Jan

Energy storage technologies are considered by lawmakers, regulators, and many others as a key way to balance the ebb and flow of higher levels of intermittent solar and wind power feeding California’s grid. However, the growth of various storage technologies, which can store excess renewable flows and release the juice at times of high demand, […]

Choice Program & Utility Reps Inch Towards Exit Fee Deal

17 Jan

Utilities and community choice aggregators this week worked to find common ground on transferring utility power portfolios to community choice programs and direct access providers to replace exit fees imposed on the non-utility organizations by the California Public Utilities Commission. The parties outlined their alternatives during a Jan. 16-17 CPUC workshop held as part of […]

Undercurrents

16 Jan

The world’s energy supply increasingly is being dominated by solar and wind technologies, the International Energy Agency told U.S. lawmakers. Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, told the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Jan. 16 that by 2040 renewable technologies will produce 40 percent of the world’s electricity. Solar will dominate the march of […]

The Buzz

11 Jan

A controversial decision eliminating energy efficiency funding and slashing ratepayers’ tab in the Diablo nuclear plant closure plan is approved 5-0 by state energy regulators. The 2024/25 closure date may advance, however, because of the loss of PG&E customers and higher plant maintenance costs. Also Jan.11, the California Public Utilities Commission authorizes the three electric […]

BP to Pay CA for Excess Natural Gas Charges

11 Jan

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Jan. 11 unveiled a $102 million settlement with BP for overcharging California state and local governments for natural gas supplied between 2003 and 2012. At a press conference announcing the agreement, Becerra said the company provided false information to the state and local governments in order to overcharge them under […]

CPUC Approves $241M Diablo Nuclear Plant Closure

11 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 11 unanimously approved a decision significantly reducing the proposed amount Pacific Gas & Electric ratepayers are to pay to shut the 2,240 MW Diablo Canyon Nuclear plant along the Central Coast by 2025. “This moves California away from the era of nuclear power toward zero carbon renewable energy,” said […]

CPUC Okays 15 Utility Transportation Electrification Projects

11 Jan

Regulators gave the state’s three biggest electric utilities the green light Jan. 11 to spend $42.8 million on projects aimed at bolstering electric transportation. Under the unanimously-approved decision by the California Public Utilities Commission, a majority of the money will go toward projects that promote electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, according to Commissioner Carla […]

Shorts

10 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 11 approved spending $555 million for the Electric Program Investment Charge program from 2018-2020. This ongoing program run by the California Energy Commission continues funding of alternative and emerging energy resource research and development, technology pilots and market facilitation.  The EPIC funds, collected from investor-owned utility ratepayers, are to […]

Climate Roundup: Brown’s Budget Plan Light on GHG Fund Specifics

10 Jan

Gov. Jerry Brown provided few details during his Jan. 10 press conference on his proposed 2018-19 budget for the state and its climate protection and energy agencies. Brown did note that $1.25 billion from the carbon cap-and-trade auction would be dedicated largely to climate protection work in disadvantaged communities. Details of this allocation of 40 […]

CPUC Delays LA County Gas Hookup Moratorium

10 Jan

Updated Jan. 11, 2018. Strong opposition from local businesses and elected officials pushed the California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 10 to postpone enacting a gas hookup moratorium in Los Angeles County for new commercial and industrial buildings through the end of March. Fearing gas shortages because of outages of three pipelines that supply the area, […]

CAISO Plans Big Energy Market Expansion

9 Jan

The California Independent System Operator plans to significantly broaden its real-time Energy Imbalance Market to include its much larger day-ahead market. “We believe we can get many of the benefits of full regionalization,” said Greg Cook, CAISO director of infrastructure, during a Jan. 8 briefing to the EIM body of state regulators. He said the […]

Undercurrents: DOE Wants Nation to be Energy Top Dog

9 Jan

Energy dominance is a key Department of Energy goal under President Trump, a leading department official told a House panel this week. Reliable delivery of energy to consumers is another major goal. “We are closing in on our nation’s long-elusive goal of full energy independence,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette before the House […]

JUICE: Clashing Colors

8 Jan

Continued efforts by the Trump Administration to brown green federal protections are being met head on by this Blue State’s considerable political, legal and market clout. In his latest move, President Trump, along with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, said the administration is repealing the prohibition on coastal oil and gas drilling. Zinke said it would […]