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17 Jul

The state’s investor-owned utilities will release their second quarter earnings statements later this month, and the results likely will be mixed. Pacific Gas & Electric announced that it expects to post a big loss. There is no indication, however, that the other two utility holding companies, Edison International and Sempra Energy, will do so. PG&E […]

The Buzz

13 Jul

Editor’s Note: California Current will be taking a two-week summer break. The last stories before the break will be posted on July 20. Story posting will resume the week of Aug. 6. State energy regulators belatedly agree to approve Southern California Edison’s 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements to be developed […]


10 Jul

The harm to the marine environment from using ocean water to cool power plants is more widespread than thought, according to a new research report by the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team. The Council, a state agency, released the report July 9. It showed that ocean currents connect separate marine protection zones, essentially spreading […]

The Buzz

6 Jul

It was not just happy 4th of July, but also happy 3rd of July for many. There were mini fireworks after the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sent the 100 percent clean energy bill to the Assembly Floor. SB 100 sets a 60 renewable mandate for 2030, with another 40 percent to come from big […]

Wildfire Liability Bill Goes to Conference Committee

3 Jul

Details of Sen. Bill Dodd’s SB 901 are to be hammered out in a legislative conference committee. That includes terms of standards governing when utilities could be held liable for wildfire damages. The Napa Democrat’s measure would set standards requiring utilities to improve their efforts to prevent wildfires, including more effort to clear vegetation around […]

PG&E Lines Up Big & Small Battery Storage

2 Jul

Pacific Gas & Electric seeks to recover from ratepayers the cost four lithium-ion energy storage projects along the Central Coast in the Moss Landing area. One would be utility owned. Together the four projects would total 567 MW. The largest project the utility is requesting California Public Utilities Commission approval for is 300 MW and […]

The Buzz

21 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric notifies investors and lenders that it is taking a $2.5 billion loss in the second quarter as a result of mounting wildfire liability, with the worst potentially yet ahead. Meanwhile, a legislative committee in Sacramento advances a bill that may ease utility liability for wildfires. The California Public Utilities Commission sets […]

PG&E Takes $2.5 B Loss for Early Wildfire Claims

21 Jun

Pacific Gas &Electric Corp. is taking a $2.5 billion hit in its upcoming quarterly earnings to cover the “low end range” of liability claims arising from 14 of l6 Northern California wildfires that burned last October and were investigated by CalFire, the utility announced during a June 21 conference call. The “high range” of liability […]


19 Jun

Updated June 20. Colorado is signing on to California’s auto emissions standards, making it the fifteenth state or jurisdiction (including the District of Columbia) to do so. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an executive order June 19 signaling the state’s intention to enforce the standards. Hickenlooper made the move just ahead of an expected proposal […]

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 […]

Clean Tech: The Next Energy Efficiency Frontier: Labs

6 Jun

With the largest population and economy in the nation, California has more laboratories than any other state, boasting some 116 million square feet of energy-gobbling scientific space. Labs represent “the next major frontier in energy efficiency,” Allison Paradise of My Green Lab and Alison Farmer of kW Engineering told the California Energy Commission during a […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]