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The Buzz

8 Jun

The feisty Air Resources Board knocks hard on federal regulators’ door. The aim is to have a serious discussion with the Trump Administration about plans to knock out California’s tighter greenhouse gas controls for autos. Other potential bad news for the Golden State is the mega bucks it will cost if Trump et al succeed […]

PG&E Belatedly Moves on Biomass Deals

5 Jun

At the end of last week, state regulators were urged to prod utilities, particularly Pacific Gas & Electric, to sign requisite agreements with developers of small facilities that convert dead and dying trees into energy. “It is vital that we not close the door on these bioenergy endeavors,” Regine Miller told the California Public Utilities […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Supports Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles

29 May

California air quality regulators late last week approved a plan to spend $423 million to subsidize replacement of big rig trucks and other heavy-duty diesel vehicles with zero- or low-emissions vehicles that will cut smog-forming pollution and greenhouse gases. The California Air Resources Board approved the plan May 25. It is to use some of […]

Undercurrents

25 Apr

A bill to carve out a utility procurement mandate for biomass, biogas, and geothermal power made it through an Assembly Committee April 23, but only after specific numeric requirements were axed and replaced with vague placeholder language. AB 2208 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), who represents the Geysers geothermal resource area, said her bill “will […]

Bills Aim to Bolster Biomass, Geothermal, Reduce Munis Power Costs

18 Apr

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee voted to move two controversial measures forward April 18 setting procurement mandates for geothermal and biomass energy and to preserve a tariff that offers some municipal governments and others favorable rate treatment when they have solar systems. Lawmakers okayed the bills despite warnings they would raise the cost of […]

PG&E Balking at BioEnergy Order Riles Regulators

22 Mar

Two state energy regulators took Pacific Gas & Electric to task for stating it would not comply with the California Public Utilities Commission’s resolution directing it to contract with biomass projects fueled by dead and dying trees. “It is not up to PG&E to decide whether it will or won’t comply with our order,” Commissioner […]

Shorts

13 Feb

Updated Feb. 15. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is purchasing biomass power from the American Renewable Power-Loyalton Biomass project in Sierra County. LADWP will get 8.9 MW of biomass energy from American Renewable for five years under the deal at a cost of $97.50 per MWh. The deal helps satisfy an obligation […]

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, […]

Shorts

11 Oct

Fires raging in wine country continued to cause extensive power and gas outages on Oct. 12, according to a Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson. Some 39,000 customers were affected in Santa Rosa and another 4,500 in Napa County. Including other counties affected by wildfires, PG&E had a total of 49,000 customers without service in its […]

Shorts

25 Sep

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposal to facilitate aggregated energy storage and distributed energy resources to participate in wholesale power markets has drawn wide support in comments filed on the federal agency’s proposal, according to an analysis released Sept. 27 by the Solar Electric Power Alliance and the Edison Electric Institute. However, the two organizations’ […]

CEC Backs Innovative Energy Projects

14 Sep

A biomass project to reduce wildfire threats by turning dead and dying trees in Shasta County into electricity won a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission Sept. 13. CEC awarded the ratepayer-funded Electric Program Investment Charge program money to the Fall River Resource Conservation District for a 2.8 MW biomass facility in the […]

Bills Approved Include Ones to Grow Renewable Baseload and EV Chargers

11 Jul

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee July 10 passed legislation to encourage the use of geothermal and biomass resources, automatically inform ratepayers of utility bill spikes, and expand ratepayer-funded installations of electric vehicle charging stations. AB 920 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) seeks to increase the use of baseload renewable resources as fossil fuel […]

Bills Okayed to Expand Solar Incentives, Green Baseload & Data Access

20 Apr

Legislation to extend solar thermal subsidies and create geothermal and biomass carve outs were among measures advancing this week in the state capitol. The Assembly Utilities & Communications committee passed on an 8-5 vote AB 797 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Oxnard). It would extend by five years the solar hot water incentive program. The California […]

CPUC Reluctantly Orders Utilities to Enter More Biomass Power Deals

13 Oct

Utility regulators Oct. 13 ordered the state’s investor-owned utilities to procure 96 MW of generation capacity from biomass plants that use forest waste, including dead and dying trees from forest areas of California that pose a high fire hazard. (more…)

CLIMATE ROUNDUP: CAISO Grapples With Greenhouse Gas Accounting

8 Sep

The California Independent System Operator continued to struggle with how to account for greenhouse gas emissions in a regionalized grid during a stakeholder meeting Sept. 6. (more…)

LADWP, Energy Commission Meet on Renewable Standards for Biomethane

28 Jul

Behind closed doors, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power this week argued that the California Energy Commission should reconsider its rejection of muni Renewable Portfolio Standard applications. At issue is how the commission should treat biomethane under the standard. (more…)

Regulators Okay PG&E Biomass Tolling Agreement

9 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission June 9 amended Pacific Gas & Electric’s renewable energy power purchase contract with Sierra Pacific Industries to allow use of dead tree biomass resulting from the drought and bark beetle infestation for fuel. (more…)

Four Energy Bills Sail Through Assembly Panel, One Slowed by Tide

31 Mar

The Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee approved four energy-related bills March 30, including ones to expand eligibility for renewable feed-in tariffs to small biomass plants and improve review requirements of utility balancing accounts by the California Public Utilities Commission. (more…)

State Regulators Back Small Biomass Power Procurement in Response to Executive Order

17 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission March 17 reluctantly ordered the state’s investor-owned electric utilities to enter new power procurement contracts with biomass plants for 50 MW of power. The order is aimed at helping to dispose of a mounting number of dead and dying trees in state forest areas that are creating an extreme fire […]

Bills Target Natural Gas Facilities, Carbon Auction Money, & Other Energy Matters

10 Mar

As lawmakers gear up for the 2016 legislative season in Sacramento, policy committees in the upcoming months face some 140 bills that affect the power and natural gas industries in California. (more…)