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PG&E Proposes New CEO & Board

4 Apr

In response to significant pressure to overhaul its board after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Pacific Gas & Electric announced a new slate of directors April 3. It would put the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority, William Johnson, at the head.  As part of its board “refreshment process,” PG&E […]

Assembly Panel Okays Bills on Power Shutoff Rules & Unions

3 Apr

Legislation tweaking energy rules and policies, including setting deenergization protocols and prohibiting utilities from using ratepayer funds to deter workers from unionizing, passed out of the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee April 3. AB 868 by Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R-Placerville) requires that private and public utilities develop criteria specifying when and how they will stop […]

CAISO Transmission Plan Focuses on PG&E

28 Mar

Pacific Gas & Electric needs to build 11 transmission projects in its territory at an estimated cost of $607 million to maintain reliable power service, according to the California Independent System Operator. Two others are needed to hold down the costs of power for its customers, raising the tab to as high as $644 million. […]

Juice: Climate Change Is A Force for Decentralizing Energy

26 Mar

California utilities have been under pressure for years from new small-scale and decentralized power generation technologies like rooftop solar, and aging facilities that have exploded and killed people. Add in climate-driven wildfires and the utilities are being pushed to the brink. This requires changes to the role and structure of monopoly utilities, as many have […]

Shorts

25 Mar

Updated March 28. State utility regulators this week turned down a bid by Pacific Gas & Electric to sell its Narrows Hydroelectric Project to the Yuba County Water Agency. The utility sought approval of the sale for $3.8 million through an advice letter. However, the California Public Utilities Commission decided that due to the complexity […]

CPUC Weighs PG&E’s Future as Utility Reports 450 Safety Violations

13 Mar

As the California Public Utilities Commission considers how to potentially alter how Pacific Gas & Electric is structured and governed in a bid to improve public safety, energy industry players have put forth numerous suggestions, according to CPUC President Mike Picker. Testifying to the state Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee March 12, Picker said […]

JUICE: Bankruptcy Basics

12 Mar

Pacific Gas & Electric’s unsurprising bankruptcy filing has rocked the energy utility industry, legislators and the state. Tens of billions of dollars are at stake, largely from what is now about 5,600 claims from wildfire victims. The amount of money and impact will soar if Southern California Edison also enters federal bankruptcy court. It faces […]

Shorts

12 Mar

Updated March 14. A U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the federal bankruptcy court shall decide the fate of up to $42 billion in contracts Pacific Gas & Electric signed and may void. In late January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that it has concurrent authority over the fate of […]

Assembly Panel Seeks Assurances of A Clean Affordable Future

7 Mar

An Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee hearing centered on how to ensure California reliably and affordably decarbonizes it energy infrastructure at a time when the sector is going through a metamorphosis. “It is a difficult challenge and we have met the challenge to date,” Mark Rothleder, California Independent System Operator vice president of market quality […]

Some Generators See Brighter Earnings

7 Mar

The 2018 earnings results for merchant generators with facilities in California were brighter, with the exception of AltaGas. AES: This giant global power company’s net earnings for 2018 rose sharply to $1.203 billion, or $1.82 a share. That is compared to a loss in 2017 of 1.16 billion, or minus $1.74/share. AES’s fourth quarter earnings […]

Losses for Two Utilities Mount Due to Wildfire Liabilities

28 Feb

California’s investor-owned utilities and their parents, with the exception of Sempra Energy, got clobbered in 2018 by wildfire liabilities. Two of the utilities together had total losses of almost $7.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. Moreover, the financial reports showed that more losses may lie ahead. Edison International: It lost $1.4 billion, or […]

Cost of Wildfire Plans Ignites Calls for Reasonableness Reviews

27 Feb

Questions are mounting about the price tag and effectiveness of utility wildfire mitigation plans filed with the California Public Utilities Commission earlier this month. The plans filed by the state’s three major investor-owned utilities call for spending $3 billion or more a year of ratepayer money with the goal of preventing power lines from sparking […]

Bills Aim to Give Lawmakers Say in PG&E’s Bankruptcy

26 Feb

Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) introduced three bills Feb. 22, one of which would require legislative approval of any rate increases for Pacific Gas & Electric, which filed for Chapter 11 protection at the end of January. The other two measures are aimed at increasing the safety of the utility’s facilities to protect against wildfires. […]

Shorts

25 Feb

SoCal Gas Feb. 28 outlined a plan to offer its customers renewable natural gas. The utility filed the plan with the California Public Utilities Commission, which must approve it before it can go forward. Under the plan, residential customers would be able to opt to have some of their natural gas come from renewable sources. […]

The Buzz

21 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission approves Pacific Gas & Electric’s and Southern California Edison’s $7 billion in energy purchase forecasts. But the approved decision also requires that annual projected power expenses—from renewables to fossil—be compared to the actual tab. State energy regulators unanimously agree to a three-year resource adequacy requirement and to later create a […]

CPUC Okays PG&E’s & SCE’s $7B in Projected Energy Costs

21 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission voted 4-1 to approve nearly $7 billion of cost forecasts for energy purchases for the coming year for two investor-owned utilities at its Feb. 21 meeting. The decision alloted nearly $3 billion for Pacific Gas & Electric and $4 billion for Southern California Edison for their 2019 spending projections. The […]

Juice: Clear Cutting for Fire Safety?

19 Feb

Oaks and other trees in California beware. The state’s investor-owned utilities have declared open season on trees in the name of fire safety. In doing so, utilities are set to cut down 400,000 trees this year alone, largely along their distribution lines where Californians live and work. Indiscriminate tree cutting and topping has the potential […]

CCAs Ask CPUC to Restructure PG&E

14 Feb

The California Community Choice Association asked the California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 14 to turn Pacific Gas & Electric into a wires-only business. Under its plan, community choice aggregators would purchase power needed to serve customers and take over transportation electrification, demand response, and energy efficiency programs from the utility too. “The joint CCAs strongly […]

Newsom Awaits State Plan on PG&E’s Bankruptcy

12 Feb

Gov. Gavin Newsom intends to have a plan for dealing with Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy within 60 days. “We are all frustrated and angry that it’s come to this,” Newsom told lawmakers Feb. 12 in his State of the State Address. “PG&E didn’t do enough to secure dangerous equipment or plan for the future.” […]

Shorts

11 Feb

Updated Feb. 12. Sempra Energy is selling its remaining wind power plants to American Electric Power for $551 million in cash, the San Diego-based company said Feb. 12. Under the agreement, it will sell wind projects in Hawaii and east of the Rockies with 724 MW of combined capacity. The deal is subject to regulatory […]