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Shorts

25 Jul

The grid operator kicked off its annual budget process July 25, saying that its annual revenue requirement and the rates it charges for managing the grid will remain largely flat in 2018. The California Independent System Operator plans to present a draft budget to its board in October and after public comment and discussion ask […]

Carbon Trading Program to 2030 Is Official

25 Jul

On Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation to continue California’s carbon cap-and-trade program 10 years through 2030. The July 25 signing on the windy island, created by landfill, was at the same site where former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger 11 years earlier signed AB 32, California’s climate protection law. […]

$14 B Port Cleanup Plan Lacks Funding

25 Jul

A joint plan by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to dramatically cut pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from their operations over the next two decades leans heavily on electrifying cargo handling equipment and trucks that haul shipping containers. But, it rests on an uncertain financial foundation. The plan, rolled out earlier this […]

Grid Operator Seeks to Avoid Solar Energy Crash

24 Jul

The California Independent System Operator is working to get utility-scale solar generators to reset the controls on their inverters to avoid massive losses of generation when transmission lines experience momentary faults. The effort comes after major solar systems have suddenly quit feeding power to the grid—in one case causing a sudden loss of almost 1,200 […]

The Buzz

21 Jul

The more things change, the more they don’t stay the same, Mike Picker, California’s head utility energy regulator tells a legislative panel. That includes the greening of the state’s energy supplies causing a flux in the grid, but with less impact than expected. In greater flux is the fate of the proposed Puente power plant […]

CA Grid in Flux, Picker Notes

20 Jul

State energy policy stands “at a unique point in time” with the chief goal ahead being to figure out the right mix of fossil fuel resources needed to keep power affordable and reliable, California’s top utility regulator told an Assembly committee July 19. California Public Utilities Commission President Mike Picker told the Assembly Utilities & […]

CEC Faces More Pressure to Reject Puente Power Project

20 Jul

Opposition to NRG’s proposed Puente power plant at the site of an existing power facility on the beach in Oxnard is continuing to build. Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks declared her “strong opposition,” and along with others, urged relying on preferred resources. “As renewable energy has become cost-effective and abundant, there is an important question […]

Agencies Give SoCal Gas Permission to Reopen Aliso Canyon

19 Jul

Two state agencies gave SoCal Gas authority to begin both injecting and withdrawing natural gas from the utility’s Aliso Canyon storage facility near Los Angeles July 19. The Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources and the California Public Utilities Commission gave the green light to resume operations at the facility on a scaled down […]

JUICE: Scaling CA’s Zero Carbon Summit

19 Jul

Politicians are to rope up next month and set the path for climbing to a 100 percent renewable/zero emissions energy peak under legislation proposed by the leader of California’s Senate. Investor-owned utilities and several public utilities warn about reliability and cost crevasses that may open beneath them on the trek under SB 100 by Senate […]

Legislation Sends Edison Penalty to Long Beach

19 Jul

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee July 18 passed a bill that would direct a $4 million penalty slapped on Southern California Edison for blackouts in Long Beach in 2015 to the city. SB 174 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) would keep the penalty issued by the California Public Utilities Commission from going […]

Cap & Trade Extension Soon to Become Law

18 Jul

The legislative package to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program to 2030 was sent to the governor’s desk July 17 after both the Senate and Assembly passed the two bills with Republican support that enabled a two-thirds majority. AB 398 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) was approved on a 28-12 vote on the Senate Floor and […]

Clean Tech: Using Gas Pipelines for Hydrogen Delivery Is Up Hill Struggle

18 Jul

While policymakers envision piggybacking on the natural gas utility pipeline distribution system to distribute hydrogen to fuel vehicles and burn in homes and businesses, a new study casts doubt about the economics and practicality of doing so, at least for the next 20 years. The University of California at Davis study, presented to the California […]

Undercurrents: Perry “Bullish” on LNG Exports

18 Jul

Energy Secretary Rick Perry told reporters in Washington July 18 that he envisions the U.S., along with Canada and Mexico, becoming a dominant force in international energy markets. Perry voiced support for a continuing Department of Energy and government role in funding research and development of a wide range of technologies—from clean coal and nuclear […]

Shorts

18 Jul

The House Energy & Commerce Committee began delving into how the nation’s electricity markets are functioning July 18. During the first of two hearings, the general assessment by a panel of utility and generator representatives was that the nation’s power industry is in the midst of rapid change, which is driving down the wholesale price […]

The Buzz

14 Jul

The governor’s carbon cap-and-trade renewable legislation passes through a Senate panel after a six-hour hearing in which environmental justice activists and local and regional air districts denounced the measure. The oil company-friendly bill package was introduced Monday. Gov. Jerry Brown’s cap-and-trade deal appears to be more about cementing his legacy than it is about improving […]

Cap & Trade Bill Passes Key Panel In Spite of Heavy Opposition

13 Jul

Three days after new legislation to extend the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program another 10 years was introduced, the Senate Environmental Quality Committee passed it over objections by Republicans, environmental justice advocates and regional air regulators. The July 13 vote came after Gov. Jerry Brown, in a rare appearance of a sitting state chief executive before […]

CPUC Trims Utilities’ Return on Equity

13 Jul

Utility regulators July 13 cut the allowable return on equity for the state’s major investor-owned energy utilities between 0.05 percent and 0.15 percent for the years 2018 and 2019. The California Public Utilities Commission also promised to review the future allowable rate. The CPUC decision came this week on July 13 in response to a […]

100% Renewable Bill Sails Ahead

13 Jul

Legislation setting a 100 percent renewable standard by 2045 advanced this week in the Assembly. The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee passed SB 100 by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León July 12 on a 10-4 vote. The next day on July 13, the bill also gained approval by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee […]

Juice: Brown’s Hollow Cap & Trade Bills

12 Jul

In his haste to secure his legacy as the world’s top greenhouse gas fighter, Gov. Jerry Brown this week threw the state’s environmental justice communities and advocates under the bus. In order to get the Legislature to renew the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program—the state’s hood ornament of environmental righteousness—Brown crafted a climate bill package that […]

Climate Roundup: Brown & Bloomberg Team Up on Emissions Tracking

12 Jul

Gov. Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg launched America’s Pledge on climate change July 12, which aims to compile and quantify the actions of states, cities and businesses in the U.S. to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions. “Today we’re sending a clear message to the world that America’s states, cities and businesses are moving forward […]