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The Buzz

19 Apr

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission agrees to rules increasing transparency on above market payments grid operators make to uneconomic resources, and getting interconnection agreements in gear. They also open the door to input on their problematic natural gas pipeline permitting process. In addition to shining a light on “uplift” payments for resources that can’t recover […]

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 […]

Undercurrents

18 Apr

Updated April 19. A group of Los Angeles County homeowners filed a class-action lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Renovate America and Renew Financial, which contract with Los Angeles County to operate the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, failed to offer basic consumer protections. The suit claims that PACE loans provided by the […]

FERC Kills CAISO’s Protection of Designated Gas Plants

18 Apr

The California Independent System Operator’s proposal to increase payments to gas power plants deemed needed for reliability, but lacking supply cushion contracts, was rejected by federal energy regulators. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the California grid operator’s proposed capacity procurement mechanism tariff was “unjust and unreasonable.” FERC found that because the grid operator’s […]

Utility Wildfire Cost Recovery Bill Blasted for Overreach

18 Apr

Private utility wildfire liability is a huge concern at the state capitol. During an April 17 hearing, legislators grappled with how to protect utilities from overwhelming liability in the face of impacts to ratepayers, third-party distributed energy and the growing number of people living near the risky wildland-urban interface. “We here in the Senate know […]

Bills Pass on Diablo Closure Funds, EV Chargers & Biomethane

18 Apr

After debating sticky measures to change fire liability parameters for utilities, the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee approved less controversial measures. That includes ones to restore community and employee mitigation funds linked to the Diablo nuclear plant closure and to increase accessibility of public electric vehicle chargers. SB 1090 by Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) […]

FERC to Scrutinize CA Power Transmission Costs

17 Apr

Federal energy regulators are considering complaints that Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison evaded federal transmission planning standards to pump up their charges. The dispute comes at the same time that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told Congress this week that grid operators like the California Independent System Operator need to do a […]

Energy Facility Cyberattacks “Constant,” FERC Warns

17 Apr

Federal energy regulators ranked the security of the nation’s electric grid, dams, and oil and gas pipelines as the number one priority for the energy industry during an April 17 House Energy & Commerce Energy Subcommittee hearing. Cyberattacks on the grid and other energy facilities “are constant,” Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Kevin McIntyre told […]

NRG $100M EV Settlement Nearly Fully Executed

10 Apr

As part of an energy crisis settlement finalized in 2012, NRG agreed to fund $100 million worth of EV chargers and charging stations through California. NRG subsidiary eVgo has been installing the charging stations. Los Angeles-based eVgo has installed the required 200 fast charging stations in major metropolitan areas, according to a status report filed […]

The Buzz

5 Apr

Clashing recipes to determine how much community choice organizations must pay the private utilities for their stranded power purchase contracts land in the California Public Utilities Commission’s kitchen. The launch of California’s expected biggest community choice program is not fully baked. The Clean Power Alliance of Southern California’s June debut is limited to two cities […]

Climate Roundup: Enviro Justice Groups Seek to Protect Low Income Weatherization

3 Apr

Updated April 5 The governor’s spending proposal to eliminate the Low Income Weatherization Program’s budget is opposed by a coalition of environmental justice advocates. The program, administered by the Department of Community Services & Development, has provided energy efficiency and solar installations, and utility bill savings in struggling communities. It is funded by the California […]

JUICE: CA May Have to Hold & Fold in Auto Standards Game

3 Apr

In a MAGA moment, The Trump Administration moved to weaken federal greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and pickup trucks. It also signaled April 2 that it’s reconsidering the Clean Air Act waiver that allowed California to set greenhouse gas standards, which the Obama Administration adopted at the federal level. At issue globally is […]

CPUC Proposes Cutting Utility Spending on Electric Truck Charging

2 Apr

The California Public Utilities Commission March 30 proposed authorizing the state’s investor-owned electric utilities to spend more than $600 million of ratepayer money over the next five years to help build out the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Some two-thirds of the money would be focused on developing charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, […]

PG&E Proposes Small Rate Cut, But Bigger Costs Elsewhere

2 Apr

Pacific Gas & Electric March 30 asked the California Public Utilities Commission to shave millions of dollars from its revenues this year under three separate rate cases, including two that were previously approved, to account for the financial benefit it’s reaping from the 2017 federal tax act. Overall, the utility expects a tax benefit under […]

The Buzz

29 Mar

Facing massive liability lawsuits for its potential role in igniting wildfires that scorched Santa Rosa and other Wine Country communities last fall, Pacific Gas & Electric argues it’s not subject to claims based on the legal doctrine of inverse condemnation. With hot weather just around the corner, state regulators order SoCal Gas to quickly fill […]

SoCal Gas Ordered to Fill Gas Storage Fields

28 Mar

SoCal Gas is under a state regulatory order to accelerate the storage of natural gas to prepare for summer demand because company pipelines remain out of service. The closed pipelines, which have been offline for months, hamper import capacity into the Los Angeles metro area. California Public Utilities Commission Executive Director Alice Stebbins called the […]

Green Light for Oakland Plant Clean Power Replacement

27 Mar

The grid operator approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s proposal to replace the polluting 40-year old Oakland power plant with 20-45 MW of clean energy resources in 2022. The California Independent System Operator okayed the resource swap the same day it approved Southern California Edison’s additional transmission line to serve Moorpark. Although Oakland is served by […]

The Buzz

23 Mar

The grid operator’s board adopted big time reforms to increase gas power plant generator revenues and curb speculation in the transmission congestion market. Pacific Gas & Electric was chastised for balking at complying with the CPUC’s order to sign contracts for biomass projects to help reduce the huge number of dead trees. Biomass got  a […]

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 […]

Resource Adequacy Unknowns May Delay LA Choice

22 Mar

The Southern California Clean Power Alliance may scale back its launch to business and institutional customers this June, and residential customers toward the end of this year. It should be able to serve unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and cities that signed early, however. Behind the potentially limited start is an apparent inability to […]