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Proposal To Replace Calpine RMR Deals with Storage & Alt Energy

13 Dec

A California Public Utilities Commission resolution released Dec. 8 would direct Pacific Gas & Electric to contract next year for sufficient local energy storage and preferred resources to ensure that the reliability-must-run contracts the grid operator entered with three Calpine plants are not renewed after 2018. The California Independent System Operator last month approved one-year […]

Opinionated: The Diablo Energy Efficiency Opportunity

12 Dec

Editor’s Note: The California Public Utilities Commission was set to vote Dec. 14 on the decision to reduce funding for Pacific Gas & Electric to close its Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant from $1.76 billion to $172 million. However,  the commission announced at the start of the Thursday business meeting that a vote on the proposed […]

Shorts

11 Dec

Updated Dec. 14. Southern California Edison said Dec. 12 that fire investigators in Southern California are eyeing its facilities as a possible cause of the wildfires in the area. The utility said it will continue to cooperate with investigators. Meanwhile, it said that at least 500 of its power poles have burned and that spot […]

PG&E Pitches Replacing Oakland Plant with Clean Power

6 Dec

Pacific Gas & Electric is proposing to swap out the 40-year old natural gas-fired power plant owned by Dynegy in Oakland with up to 40 MW of local alternative power supplies and a utility substation upgrade. PG&E wants the California Independent System Operator to approve its plan to develop local clean energy resources, including energy […]

Shorts

6 Dec

Updated Dec. 7 Kevin McIntyre was sworn in Dec. 7 as Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair after weeks of delay and speculation as to why. McIntyre’s nomination to FERC, along with that of Rich Glick, Democratic General Counsel for the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, were approved by the Senate on Nov. 2. […]

Undercurrents

5 Dec

Pacific Gas & Electric upped its game on energy storage Dec. 4 by seeking approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to enter into six new contracts with a total storage capacity of 165 MW. “These contracts and the storage capacity they represent will help us better integrate our growing renewable generation sources, and bring […]

JUICE: Back to Basics

5 Dec

The private utilities beginning of the week presented the annual results of their glide paths toward residential default time-of-use rates, including for their opt-in TOU pilots with peak pricing. Before reading further, imagine what people outside the specialized utility rate business would make of “glide path,” “default time-of-use rates,” and “peak pricing.” The lingo would […]

Devil’s in the Diablo Closure Details

29 Nov

Who should pay, and just how much, for closing California’s last operating nuclear plant was hotly contested during final arguments before the California Public Utilities Commission Nov. 28 on the terms for shutting down Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo plant. Should ratepayers pay $1.3 billion for an estimated 2,000 GWh a year of energy efficiency […]

Juice: Blowin in the Dry Wind

28 Nov

Four years ago, San Diego Gas & Electric power lines sparked wildfires that burned some 200,000 acres in San Diego County. The fires, which began in the eastern area of the county, were quickly blown westward by severe Santa Ana winds. They wound up destroying 2,500 homes and structures as they burned through the dry […]

PG&E Seeks Nearly 50% Hike in Transmission Gas Rates

21 Nov

Pacific Gas & Electric is seeking approval from state energy regulators to raise its revenue requirement by 46 percent for gas transmission and storage covering the years 2019-2021. The utility’s rate case request would hike the revenue requirement for the backbone of its gas system from $1.3 billion to $1.9 billion over that three-year period. […]

Private Utility Portfolios Bulge 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 […]

CAISO May Cancel PG&E 230 kV Project, Add Intertie Data Devices

16 Nov

Grid operator staff noted a shift in planning focus from whether a proposed high voltage project is needed for traditional reliability to whether it will advance renewables integration during a Nov. 16 meeting on the preliminary 2018-19 transmission plan. As part of addressing the impact of intermittent renewables, California Independent System Operator staff said it’s […]

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, […]

Undercurrents

13 Nov

Renewable energy and the prospects for electric vehicles could be upended in part by Congressional action on tax legislation. At issue is the House tax package, which would cut the production tax credit for wind energy by more than a third, eliminate the federal $7,500 tax credit for purchasing electric vehicles, and ax a 10 […]

CPUC Waives Utility Deposits & Okays Other Protections for Wildfire Victims

9 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission Nov. 9 unanimously approved a series of Pacific Gas & Electric utility bill protections for Northern California residential customers impacted by the devastating wildfires in October. “The Commission believes that persons affected by the wildfires should be assisted, and that California’s utilities should provide opportunities for help, in this time […]

CPUC Proposal Slashes Cost of PG&E’s Diablo Closure Plan

8 Nov

A fraction of the requested closure costs Pacific Gas & Electric seeks from its ratepayers to close the utility’s 2,240 MW Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by 2025 is authorized under a proposed decision by the California Public Utilities Commission. Under Administrative Law Judge Peter Allen’s proposal released Nov. 8, PG&E ratepayers would pay $190.4 million to close […]

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 […]

Utility Earnings Up, But SDG&E Takes Hit on Wildfire Costs

1 Nov

Updated Nov. 2 Earnings were up at Edison International and its utility Southern California Edison, as well as at Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy’s SoCal Gas utility in the third quarter of 2017. However, San Diego Gas & Electric was hampered by a continuing dispute over whether it will be able to recover […]

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

20 Oct

Greening the grid is the talk of the town. At the CAISO’s annual confab held this week, most bets are that a westward grid expansion will happen. Why? Because proponents insist it will promote renewables, which will decarbonize both the grid and economy, near and far. Achieving that goal, however, requires paying new alternative resources […]