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Both Sides of the House Cheer Storage

18 Jul

Battery energy storage technology drew bipartisan praise July 18 during a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on the growing role of the technology in the nation’s power grid. Energy storage, said Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), is increasingly “important” to maintaining the nation’s energy supply and helping  “build resilience” in the power grid. Rep. Bobby […]

JUICE: Gridding Our Teeth

17 Jul

As the deadline for voting on legislation to allow California’s grid to become a regional entity gets closer, debate rages on as to whether it would be a boom or bust. A report released July 17, favoring removing barriers to establishing a Western Independent System Operator, warns of the inherent complexities of the legislation, AB […]

FERC v. CA Litigation over CAISO’s Board Selection

17 Jul

The conflict between federal energy regulators and California over the makeup of the California Independent System Operator’s board following the 2000-01 energy crisis was largely decided at the appellate court level. On June 22, 2004, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in California’s favor that its new board was indeed […]

Power Providers Integrated Resource Plans Due Soon

17 Jul

California’s utilities, community choice aggregators, and energy service providers are to file their first integrated resources plans Aug. 1 with the California Public Utilities Commission. The plans, required by SB 350, are to outline how the power providers will meet the future demand for electricity through 2030, as well as state requirements for increased levels […]

Undercurrents

17 Jul

The state’s investor-owned utilities will release their second quarter earnings statements later this month, and the results likely will be mixed. Pacific Gas & Electric announced that it expects to post a big loss. There is no indication, however, that the other two utility holding companies, Edison International and Sempra Energy, will do so. PG&E […]

Shorts

16 Jul

SoCal Gas is not allowing California Public Utilities Commission investigators to interview utility contractors who may have some knowledge of the utility’s Aliso Canyon facility. The CPUC is attempting to probe potential safety violations related to the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility leak in 2015. The commission’s Safety & Enforcement Division put the company […]

The Buzz

13 Jul

Editor’s Note: California Current will be taking a two-week summer break. The last stories before the break will be posted on July 20. Story posting will resume the week of Aug. 6. State energy regulators belatedly agree to approve Southern California Edison’s 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements to be developed […]

Edison’s Controversial Local Clean Energy Deals Win Approval

12 Jul

The California Public Utilities Commission voted 4-1 to allow Southern California Edison to recover more than $300 million from ratepayers for 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements slated for the constrained western Los Angeles sub-basin. “This will drive market transformation,” said Mike Picker, CPUC president, during the agency’s July 12 business […]

CPUC Focuses on Power Shutoffs

12 Jul

State energy regulators July 12 unanimously approved opening a rulemaking to assess the cause of the growing rate of residential utility disconnections because of non-payment. The goal is to reduce shutoffs. The California Public Utilities Commission also voted  to enhance utilities’ ability to de-energize power lines during risky weather events, such as hot high winds. […]

Power Industry Emissions Tumble

12 Jul

California surpassed its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal in 2016, according to the California Air Resources Board data  released July 11. The Air Board’s 2016 emissions inventory shows that greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere in California that year totaled 429 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. That was 12 million tons less than […]

High Court Nominee Rulings Scare Clean Air Advocates

11 Jul

D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday evening, wrote key rulings that restricted federal agencies’ ability to reduce climate pollution, including from power plants. “Kavanaugh’s views put the demands of polluters and big corporations before the rights of people, and he cannot be trusted to protect our communities, our […]

LA Choice Program Blasts CPUC Dissing CCAs

11 Jul

The state’s largest community choice aggregator late last month complained to the state Legislature about the California Public Utilities Commission’s customer choice project, which is outlined in what the commission calls “The Green Book.” The Clean Power Alliance, which is the new community choice program for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, wrote that “the Green […]

Energy Commission Okay Grants & Local Efficiency Rules

11 Jul

The California Energy Commission continued its pattern of funding microgrids. During its July 11 business meeting, the commission approved on a 4-0 vote a $5 million grant for a microgrid to support the reopening of a month-balled anaerobic digester at the City of Rialto’s wastewater facility. According to CEC staff, the microgrid in San Bernardino […]

Juice: Big Energy Bills on Vacation Hold

10 Jul

Before lawmakers went on their month-long summer break at the end of last week, they advanced a pile of energy legislation that is a mix of the old and new. Awaiting legislators’ return to the state capitol are significant measures to create full blown expansions of the state’s wholesale energy market, clean energy mandate and […]

Undercurrents

10 Jul

The harm to the marine environment from using ocean water to cool power plants is more widespread than thought, according to a new research report by the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team. The Council, a state agency, released the report July 9. It showed that ocean currents connect separate marine protection zones, essentially spreading […]

Shorts

10 Jul

Updated July 12. Greenhouse gas accounting in the grid operator’s energy imbalance market will be improved under changes approved by the EIM Governing Body July 12. The changes will allow a better job of accounting for “secondary dispatch” of resources to support out-of-state load when clean resources are sold into the California power market. Under […]

The Buzz

6 Jul

It was not just happy 4th of July, but also happy 3rd of July for many. There were mini fireworks after the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sent the 100 percent clean energy bill to the Assembly Floor. SB 100 sets a 60 renewable mandate for 2030, with another 40 percent to come from big […]

100% Clean Energy Bill Heads to Assembly Floor Again

3 Jul

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Senate Analysis Sees Legal Risks in Regional Grid

3 Jul

Grid regionalization legislation is advancing through the Legislature despite a bill analysis warning it could pose serious threats to the state’s control over its clean energy laws because of potential federal preemption and conflict. “Given the current administration and its ever-increasing appetite to usurp state control, it would arguably be dangerous policy to enter California […]

Wildfire Liability Bill Goes to Conference Committee

3 Jul

Details of Sen. Bill Dodd’s SB 901 are to be hammered out in a legislative conference committee. That includes terms of standards governing when utilities could be held liable for wildfire damages. The Napa Democrat’s measure would set standards requiring utilities to improve their efforts to prevent wildfires, including more effort to clear vegetation around […]