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JUICE: Cruising the Hydrogen Highway

11 Jun

Fuel cell vehicles, powered by hydrogen made from water and renewable power, have long been the Holy Grail when it comes to creating a clean energy economy. After decades of effort to push the technology toward commercial reality, fuel cell vehicles are beginning to gain traction with car-makers, energy companies, state officials, and most importantly […]

PG&E Stock Hit by Mounting Potential Fire Liability

11 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric shares took a beating June 11 after CalFire revealed last Friday that the utility’s power lines were involved in starting 12 more wildfires north of San Francisco last fall. Increasing liability for PG&E is that CalFire alleged the utility violated state fire protection standards in eight of those blazes. Earlier this […]

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 Seeks Rate Case Filing Delay Because of Liability Unknowns

6 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric took the unprecedented step of asking energy regulators to give it an additional four months to file its upcoming general rate case because of fears of massive liability for last October’s wildfires, some of which were sparked by trees hitting utility equipment. “The 2017 Northern California wildfires have created tremendous uncertainty […]

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 […]

Juice: Picker’s Picks

5 Jun

Editor’s note: Like Grateful Dead archivist Dick Latvala “picked” the band’s most energetic concerts for release as albums in his “Dick’s Picks” recordings, California Public Utilities Commission President Mike Picker picks the best resources to release energy to the Los Angeles basin’s grid to keep the area rockin’. A proposed decision to deny Southern California […]

The Buzz

31 May

More than $1 billion in electric truck and car charging funding gets the green light. The California Public Utilities Commission approves the investor-owned power utilities spending $738 million of ratepayer money on EV charging infrastructure, particularly for electric truck and bus chargers. That authorization follows California air quality regulators directing $423 million to subsidize the […]

CPUC Backs Major Utility Spending on EV Charging

31 May

The California Public Utilities Commission May 31 authorized the state’s investor-owned power utilities to spend $738 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with a heavy emphasis on electric truck and bus charging. “The only way to get to a largely carbon-free California is by substantially electrifying the state’s vast transportation system,” said […]

CPUC Approves $8B in Energy Efficiency Plans

31 May

The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved an $8 billion cap on rolling energy efficiency business programs covering eight years. The decision approving the efficiency business plans covers those of the four investor-owned utilities, Marin Clean Energy, the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, the Southern California Regional Energy Network and the Tri-County Regional Energy Network. […]

Undercurrents

30 May

The state Senate passed two energy bills May 29. One seeks to use excess renewable energy to create hydrogen and the other to provide funds to fill the local financial gap that will accompany closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in San Luis Obispo. Lawmakers approved SB 1369 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), which […]

CAISO Launches Backstop Procurement Review

30 May

The grid operator kicked off what it called a new and “holistic” backstop procurement proceeding May 30 aimed at filling power generation capacity gaps not addressed in the resource adequacy procurement process. The California Independent System Operator opened the proceeding after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission declined to approve an earlier proposal. It was a […]

JUICE: Dousing the Flames

29 May

Like pleading the 5th, controversial news announcements made late on Fridays are automatically suspect. End of the week releases are notorious for attempting to bury the news, be it an unpopular vote, poor earnings, and/or action that violates legal and/or regulatory requirements. Just before the start of this last three-day Memorial Day Weekend, CalFire quietly […]

CPUC Says Its Continuing Wildfire Probe

29 May

The California Public Utilities Commission May 25 pledged to incorporate CalFire’s findings released that day into its ongoing investigations into the cause of last year’s wildfires. CalFire investigated the Honey, La Porte, Lobo, and McCourtney fires. It found on May 25 that Pacific Gas & Electric power lines allegedly were involved in igniting those four […]

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 […]

The Buzz

24 May

The California Independent System Operator weighs increasing payments, primarily to battery-based storage. Multiple revenue streams are being considered for energy storage that provides transmission and other services in its markets. Critics warn that lack of an honest dialogue with the Air Resources Board over excess carbon allowances will cause the state to miss its target […]

Juice: Start Small on Electric Truck Charging

22 May

As the Springsteen song goes: “From small things, mama, one day big things come.” The California Public Utilities Commission should take note and resist pressure to significantly increase utility investments in heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Despite calls to do so by clean air advocates and utility executives, it’s wise to take small steps towards […]

The Buzz

17 May

Utility regulators get big push back on a proposal authorizing the investor-owned electric utilities to spend almost $600 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Southern California Edison complains it has zippo financial appeal. Federal energy regulators order Pacific Gas & Electric to settle complaints over $500 million in alleged overcharges in last […]

Utilities Seek Max Return on EV Charging Program

17 May

Utility regulators came under heavy pressure this week to throw out a proposed decision authorizing California’s investor-owned electric utilities to spend some $600 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. During an all-parties meeting May 17, following the California Public Utilities Commission’s vote postponement on the proposal earlier this month, utilities complained it […]

FERC Orders PG&E Transmission Settlement

17 May

Federal energy regulators May 17 ordered Pacific Gas & Electric to reach a settlement with eight organizations that complained last year about the utility’s rates for transmitting power. At issue is more than $500 million of potential utility overcharges. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the order without comment as part of its consent calendar […]

Climate Roundup: Environmentalists Sue EPA on Car Mileage Standards

15 May

The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations joined the legal fray this week over the Trump Administration’s plans to weaken federal mileage standards for autos designed to cut greenhouse gases and encourage production of electric vehicles. The Sierra Club filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against the federal Environmental […]