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Aggregators Contest CPUC Control Over Resource Planning

20 Nov

As the California Public Utilities Commission moves toward adopting a decision that sets parameters for its new integrated resource planning process for power utilities and other load serving entities, community choice aggregators want to get out from under CPUC authority. The California Community Choice Association maintains that community aggregators, like Marin Clean Energy and others, […]

Private Utility Portfolios Are Bulging with Renewable Credits

20 Nov

The three investor-owned utilities have an estimated 55,000 GWh worth of surplus renewable energy credits. These excess green credits, which are separate from the actual GWh of power produced, are being saved for use over the next 12 years to meet the utilities’ 50 percent renewable portfolio mandate in 2030. The hefty amount of renewable […]

Early Renewable Procurement Questioned

20 Nov

As the California Public Utilities Commission moves toward adopting a system-wide plan for buying generation resources and reducing greenhouse gases through 2030, a backlash is growing against requiring all load-serving entities to enter more long-term contracts for renewable energy. The CPUC’s draft Integrated Renewable Plan rolled out last month calls on investor-owned utilities and other […]

SMUD Clears Way for 5G Transceivers on Power Poles

20 Nov

In response to efforts by telecommunications companies to expand their 4G networks and build new 5G networks, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Nov. 16 set fees for hanging small cell communications equipment on power poles. The move could be a precursor of bigger things to come for power utilities across the board. The fee will […]

Climate Roundup: E-Highway Test for Trucks in Los Angeles

20 Nov

As the state targets heavy-duty trucks for electrification, news about Tesla’s plan to build battery-powered big rigs overshadowed the start of a demonstration project based on a different approach—using overhead catenary electricity supply lines to power trucks in urban areas. Converting the state’s huge truck fleet to zero or near zero emissions technology is a […]

The Buzz

17 Nov

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is jumping on the community choice bandwagon. This week its supervisors voted to seek the green light from the California Public Utilities Commission in spite of concerns about exit fees. As community choice aggregation programs expand and mature in Southern and Northern California, renewable power projects being built to […]

Riverside County Moves Ahead on Community Choice

16 Nov

After more than a year of work, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors Nov. 14 approved taking the next critical step towards becoming a community aggregator. The supervisors voted 3-2 to send the proposed community energy implementation plan for the unincorporated areas of the county, which have about 375,000 residential and business customers, to the […]

CAISO May Cancel PG&E 230 kV Project, Add Intertie Data Devices

16 Nov

Grid operator staff noted a shift in planning focus from whether a proposed high voltage project is needed for traditional reliability to whether it will advance renewables integration during a Nov. 16 meeting on the preliminary 2018-19 transmission plan. As part of addressing the impact of intermittent renewables, California Independent System Operator staff said it’s […]

Chatterjee Cites FERC Independence on Perry’s Proposal

16 Nov

Neil Chatterjee chaired his last meeting at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 16 after saying in a recent series of interviews that FERC is required by law to act on Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants with additional payments in wholesale electricity markets. Chatterjee, who will continue […]

Storage Clashes With State Goals

15 Nov

Battery electricity storage systems installed with California Public Utilities Commission-ordered subsidies are boosting peak load and increasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to analyses discussed at a Nov. 15 commission meeting. CPUC Regulatory Analyst Patrick Doherty called the evaluation “bad news.” Figuring out how to ensure systems help achieve the state’s goals of reducing emissions and […]

Choice Program Clean Energy Projects Gain Critical Mass

15 Nov

Updated Nov. 16, 2017. As community choice aggregation programs have matured, the number of renewable power plants being built in California to serve their customers has swelled. The newest project is expected to begin operating early next year. Together, three major choice programs in the state—Marin Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean Power, and Peninsula Clean Energy—have […]

Utilities & Community Choice Beat Renewables Target

14 Nov

California’s investor-owned utilities exceeded the 25 percent alternative energy mandate set for 2016 and are expected to have half their energy portfolios supplied by eligible renewable resources by 2020. That is according to a California Public Utilities Commission report submitted to the Legislature Nov. 13. The state’s community choice aggregators together exceeded last year’s mandate, […]

Opinionated: Plan to Power Through Weather-Related Outages

14 Nov

By Kevin Stenson Weather has impacted California significantly this past year, particularly wildfires fed by heavy winds. Like any major weather event, there are things that went well and things that can be improved. With California being the most populated state in the nation and the state’s energy demand being the second highest, it’s important […]

Shorts

14 Nov

Calpine has set a shareholders’ vote on its merger with Energy Capital Partners for Dec. 15. Under the proposed merger, a subsidiary of Energy Capital Partners known as Volt would purchase Calpine at a price of $15.25 a share. If approved, Calpine stock no longer would be traded, but instead controlled by the Energy Capital […]

Undercurrents

13 Nov

Renewable energy and the prospects for electric vehicles could be upended in part by Congressional action on tax legislation. At issue is the House tax package, which would cut the production tax credit for wind energy by more than a third, eliminate the federal $7,500 tax credit for purchasing electric vehicles, and ax a 10 […]

The Buzz

9 Nov

This week, energy regulators signed off on utility bill protections for victims of the Northern California wildfires, as called for by a consumer advocate.  At the same time, the California Public Utilities Commission put off voting whether to deny San Diego Gas & Electric nearly $400 million in fire-related expenses from three large fires in […]

CPUC Waives Utility Deposits & Okays Other Protections for Wildfire Victims

9 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission Nov. 9 unanimously approved a series of Pacific Gas & Electric utility bill protections for Northern California residential customers impacted by the devastating wildfires in October. “The Commission believes that persons affected by the wildfires should be assisted, and that California’s utilities should provide opportunities for help, in this time […]

CPUC Delays SDG&E Fire Cost Recovery Decision

9 Nov

California energy regulators again deferred voting on a decision rejecting San Diego Gas & Electric’s request to recover $379 million in costs and legal fees incurred from three extensive wildfires in San Diego in 2007. The pending ruling denies the money because SDG&E “did not reasonably manage and operate its facilities prior to the 2007 […]

CPUC Proposal Slashes Cost of PG&E’s Diablo Closure Plan

8 Nov

A fraction of the requested closure costs Pacific Gas & Electric seeks from its ratepayers to close the utility’s 2,240 MW Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by 2025 is authorized under a proposed decision by the California Public Utilities Commission. Under Administrative Law Judge Peter Allen’s proposal released Nov. 8, PG&E ratepayers would pay $190.4 million to close […]

Doubling Energy Savings Means Focus on Existing Buildings

8 Nov

Without a concerted effort to reduce energy use, particularly in existing buildings and homes, California is likely to fall short of a legislative directive to double energy efficiency by 2030. That’s the conclusion of a California Energy Commission report presented Nov. 8 on how to achieve the efficiency target outlined in SB 350, enacted in […]