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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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Generator Earnings Generally Lower

6 Nov

Independent generator earnings were generally down in the third quarter of 2017, except for bright spots at NextEra and Calpine, with the latter changing hands after ongoing losses. AES, which like most of its generating brethren, is moving to modernize a handful of once-through cooled plants along the Southern California coast, reported a fall in […]

CPUC Rolls Out CA Power System Resource Plan

2 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission laid out its goals for the upcoming integrated resource planning process to guide future procurement of power resources towards a lower carbon future. Under the integrated resource planning process, said CPUC staff member Forest Kaser, the reference plan aims to identify the least-cost approach to meeting the state’s 2030 greenhouse […]

No Clear Path to More Consumer Choice

1 Nov

California utility regulators ongoing struggle with how to create more customer choice in electricity was not alleviated during a workshop held in the state capital building this week. At the end of the day, few concrete proposals emerged from various industry stakeholders’ differing, but largely piecemeal perspectives. The Oct.31 meeting was the second that the […]

CPUC Continues Annual $13.5 M Negawatt Pilots

26 Oct

California energy regulators voted unanimously to continue funding short-term private utility demand response pilots to boost anemic third-party demand response programs. The pilots “will help shape how we move forward” on third-party programs, said California Public Utilities Commission member Martha Guzman Aceves, who authored the alternate decision approved Oct. 26. She said the goal is […]

CA Lags on Demand Response, Report Finds

26 Oct

California is working to make better use of demand response strategies for meeting peak loads, but the Golden State is hardly a leader in the effort, according to a report released Oct. 25 by the Smart Electric Power Alliance. While the report credited the state’s demand response auction mechanism adopted by the California Public Utilities […]

Confidentiality May Block Choice Exit Fee Revise

25 Oct

After years of building controversy, the California Public Utilities Commission has launched in earnest a proceeding to revise how exit fees for community choice aggregators are calculated. But, the effort is off to a rocky start. We may be “doomed to failure,” said CPUC Administrative Law Judge Stephen Roscow at one of the first meetings […]

The Buzz

13 Oct

Utility regulators approved $30 million for energy storage facility subsidies in disadvantaged communities, mostly for institutional systems. The California Public Utilities Commission’s former chief administrative law judge is preparing to sue the agency in court on claims of a retaliatory firing after blowing the whistle on alleged collusion by the commission staff with Pacific Gas […]

CPUC Okays $30M of Storage Subsidies for Poor Communities

12 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission Oct. 12 unanimously approved parameters for spending one quarter of the annual energy storage incentive program funds in qualifying disadvantaged and low-income communities. “I hope this is a good example of making a good program more equitable,” said Cliff Rectenschaffen, the presiding commissioner on the decision. He added that the […]

Retalitory Firing Claim by CPUC Head Judge Heads to Court

12 Oct

The State Personnel Board rejected a whistleblower complaint filed by the California Public Utilities Commission’s former head administrative law judge last month. The Personnel Board’s rejection “is good news,” Daniel Siegel, attorney for Karen Clopton, former CPUC chief administrative law judge, told Current Oct. 11.  It opens the door to file a whistleblower suit in […]

Puente Project Gets Shot Down

6 Oct

NRG’s construction license application for its 261 MW Puente natural gas-fired project on the beach in Ventura County was blown out of the water Oct. 6. “On the record currently before us, we are unwilling to override the significant impacts or [laws, ordinances, regulations or standards] inconsistencies” posed by the project, states the proposed decision […]

The Buzz

5 Oct

A top legislative staffer gives an insider’s look at the fallout from the governor’s ill-fated effort to push through a bill to create an integrated western grid in the waning days of the legislative session. Electric transportation advocates flock to a meeting this week on the California Air Resources Board’s plan to give away $1.5 […]

JUICE: Energy Hangover

4 Oct

California’s continuing drive to clean up the electricity sector has big pluses, but also minuses. The latter includes unintended consequences. Last week, the drawbacks were on display at the Independent Energy Producers Association’s annual conference next to the stunning Fallen Leaf Lake above Lake Tahoe. The meeting marked yet another in a more than three-decades-long […]

Puente Project May Land Back at CPUC

3 Oct

The California Energy Commission Oct. 3 resumed closed-door sessions in the construction licensing proceeding for NRG’s proposed 271 MW natural-gas fired Puente power project in Oxnard. The commission’s staff and California Independent System Operator, however, concluded that only the California Public Utilities Commission can resolve the issue of whether Southern California Edison should buy “preferred […]

Energy Bills Signed

3 Oct

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a half dozen energy-related measures into law, including ones to promote energy storage, enhance utility safety, temper utility service disconnections for non-payment, and further reform the California Public Utilities Commission. Brown vetoed one bill that would have dedicated a utility penalty for sparking a wildfire to fire prevention and fighting efforts. […]