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The Buzz

14 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric offers its nuclear energy to community choice. But it is a hot potato, particularly for East Bay Clean Energy. Local green energy advocates give it a lot of heat for considering the matter. Bets are that extracting lithium from the steamy brine of geothermal plants in the mineral-rich Salton Sea will […]

The Diablo is in the Detail

14 Feb

East Bay Clean Energy and other community choice aggregators have touted themselves as being cleaner, greener and more customer-friendly than competitor Pacific Gas & Electric. But they’re facing a dilemma that could change that.  At issue is whether to take a predetermined amount of generation from PG&E’s greenhouse gas-free Diablo nuclear power plant this year, […]

New Bill Seeks to Limit Private Utility Lobbying

12 Feb

State legislation was introduced that would significantly reduce the size of investor-owned utilities political contributions to campaign coffers. AB 2079 by Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Placer) would restrict contributions from Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to $3,000 per political campaign under proposed revisions to the state’s Political Reform […]

PG&E’s New Wildfire Plan Continues Big Investments

11 Feb

In its 2020 fire protection plan, Pacific Gas & Electric proposes continuing to fund utility infrastructure wildfire resistance measures, vegetation clearance, inspections of thousands of miles of lines, and automation installations. The nearly 500-page plan submitted to state energy regulators Feb. 7 aims to reduce both the risk of utility-sparked fires and the impact of […]

House Panel Hearing on Wildfires & Power Accompanied by Carbon Neutrality Bill

28 Jan

House Democrats formally introduced legislation to make the United States climate neutral by 2050 the same day a committee heard about strategies for reducing wildfire threats, including those sparked by utility equipment. Rep. Frank Pallone, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair, warned of climate disruption exacerbated wildfires, and highlighted the Jan. 28 launch of The […]

CPUC Sets Priorities for Utility Microgrids

27 Jan

In the wake of devastating wildfires, followed by deliberate grid shutdowns to prevent even more utility-sparked fires, major electric companies released plans for keeping communities powered during shutoffs. The plans submitted by Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric are part of microgrid proceeding before the California Public Utilities […]

Private Utilities Pitch Array of Microgrid Projects, Many Fossil-Fueled

27 Jan

New microgrid proposals by Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric aim to get a variety of short- and long-term projects online within the next few months to keep power flowing during utility shutoffs when wildfire threats escalate. If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, hundreds of millions […]

CPUC Warns of Rising Electric Rates

22 Jan

San Diego Gas & Electric’s rates increased 50 percent over the last decade. The utility bills of ratepayers of the other two investor-owned utilities will soon follow suit. That is what California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer told the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee during its Jan. 22 annual CPUC review. Batjer said continuing […]

$110M Settlement w/ PG&E for Bogus Pipeline Markings

21 Jan

Pacific Gas & Electric could pay an extra $44 million for violating safety rules following an investigation by the California Public Utilities Commission that revealed fabricated, missing, and shoddy markings on PG&E underground gas lines. The company violated rules intended to prevent injuries and damage during pipeline excavations, according to the CPUC. A Jan. 17 […]

Storage Rebates Shift to Communities in High Fire Areas

16 Jan

In the latest after-effect of the preemptive blackouts that Northern Californians suffered through last Fall, the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously Jan. 16 to accelerate rebates for energy storage systems in fire-stressed communities. The rebates will prioritize places like grocery stores, corner stores, independent living centers, food banks and other places where people spontaneously […]

Senate Energy Panel Okays Outage Penalties, Rejects Big Hydro as Renewable

15 Jan

Legislation that would impose fines on utilities for unreasonable power outages and require them to compensate businesses and other customers harmed by blackouts passed the Senate Energy Utilities & Communication Committee Jan. 15. Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) authored SB 378 because private utility “financial incentives err on the side of blackouts.” Weiner accused utilities […]

The Buzz

9 Jan

The start of the New Year brings bold federal and state clean energy and equity measures. It also brings closer a looming deadline for Pacific Gas & Electric. There is a huge push to get PG&E out of bankruptcy by the end of June. Meeting that deadline will allow it to access the multi-billion dollar […]

JUICE: 2020 Energy Trends

7 Jan

Top ticket energy issues in the Golden State this coming year include energy storage, transportation electrification and microgrids. Other key matters are the growing roles of community energy and natural gas bans. The rise in renewable energy and decarbonization efforts in California are the key drivers behind these market transformations. Simultaneously, these efforts to green […]

CPUC Okays Utilities 2020 Ratemaking

19 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission Dec. 19 unanimously authorized the four investor-owned utilities’ long-term debt and preferred and common equity percentages as part of the test year 2020 ratemaking capital structures. Regulators approved only some of the requested rate of return increases. “The financial stability of the utilities is vital,” said CPUC Chair Marybel Batjer. […]

Most Californians Want PG&E Restructured

10 Dec

There is substantial support among California voters for changing Pacific Gas & Electric’s ownership structure, according to poll results released Dec. 10. “A large majority of California registered voters favor changing the way the state’s largest public utility, the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, operates,” said Mark DiCamillo, University of California at Berkeley Institute for […]

PG&E Says It’s Settled All Fire Claims

9 Dec

Pacific Gas & Electric late last week resolved the last of the major wildfire claims against it, potentially clearing the way for it to finalize a bankruptcy reorganization plan. PG&E on Dec. 6 agreed to a $13.5 billion settlement with wildfire victims. Under the deal with the Official Committee of Tort Claimants and firms representing […]

JUICE: Microgrids Provide Power During Wildfires & Other Emergencies

5 Dec

The head of Pacific Gas & Electric, Bill Johnson, warned that public safety power outages may continue for a decade in areas facing high wildfire risk. It’s been estimated that the power shutoffs in Northern and Central California could cost the state economy about $2 billion. Those impacted are frustrated and so too are policymakers […]

PG&E Update: CPUC Division Finds Utility Equipment Inspections Shoddy

3 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission’s Safety & Enforcement Division found that a faulty hook on a Pacific Gas & Electric transmission tower, which initially sparked the 2018 Camp Fire, was a known hazard. The fire burned down the City of Paradise. The safety division also found the worn tower that started the Camp Fire was […]

Pot Farms Burn the Midnight Oil, CEC Finds

2 Dec

Cannabis cultivation is and will continue to drive up electricity consumption in California. It is expected to add 1,600 GWh of new load over the next decade, according to the California Energy Commission. Demand from pot growth, largely energy-intensive indoor cultivation, is estimated to increase energy use in Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California […]

The Buzz

21 Nov

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the California ISO’s energy storage compliance filing. It also again rejects on a 2-1 vote climate analyses of liquefied natural gas export projects. A U.S. Senate panel calls for the full Senate to approve the Republican FERC nominee. The silence remains deafening on the fate of the Democrats pick, […]