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Grappling with the Grid’s Horizon

28 Sep

Continuing to lower greenhouse gas emissions and raise California’s renewable standard in a changing electricity sector where utilities are shrinking worries the industry. “Where is the future going?” Ron Nichols, Southern California Edison president asked during the Independent Energy Producers annual conference held earlier this week. He took issue with the state separately pursing climate […]


13 Sep

Congress may gut the federal law requiring utilities to buy power from qualifying solar, wind and other alternative energy projects. Is that a big deal for California? Not really—if looking through a California-only lens. When viewing the issue from a Western perspective, however, significantly weakening or eliminating the must buy provisions of the federal Public […]

Private Utilities Report 3,100 MW of Qualifying Facilities

13 Sep

The 40-year old federal law mandating that private utilities buy power from independent producers, which was once center stage, is back stage in California today. That’s largely because of the state’s renewables mandate and improved interconnection. Today, investor-owned utilities continue to purchase power from independent small renewable and cogeneration projects under state regulatory programs established […]

“Baseload Power” Concept Called Antiquated

26 Jun

In advance of a Department of Energy report expected to highlight an ongoing need for baseload power from nuclear and coal plants, an environmental group June 26 released a study claiming the very notion of baseload power has become “outdated. “The reality is that baseload power is not a technical term and is not needed […]

CAISO Eyes Need for Controversial Puente Project

2 May

The grid operator is poised to study whether local resource adequacy in Ventura County could be met with demand response, renewable resources, energy storage, and other preferred resources in place of building the proposed natural gas-fired Puente power plant on the beach. “We know full well that there could be other options to this, including […]

Summer Eclipse May Triple Ramp Rate

2 May

A solar eclipse in August will test the state’s grid as it shades California’s growing number of utility-scale and rooftop solar systems. The eclipse is forcing the California Independent System Operator to plan needed contingency measures that could involve calling a flex alert to make up for a resource shortage. “We expect several thousands of […]


4 Apr

U.C. Irvine could dramatically increase use of renewable energy with power to gas technology using excess solar energy to make hydrogen from water in an electrolyzer. “With power-to-gas technology, you don’t need to stop renewable power generation when demand is low,” said Jack Brouwer, associate professor of mechanical & aerospace engineering and civil & environmental […]

Undercurrents: Upwardly Creeping Gas Prices Prompt LADWP to Boost Power Charge

7 Mar

Higher gas prices are requiring the nation’s largest municipal utility to increase what its customers pay for electricity each month. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is moving to raise what it charges the average customer for power by 0.220 cents per kWh, a total increase of about a $1.10 a month. “This […]

JUICE: Catching the Sea Breeze

6 Mar

While some gaze east to the vast desert when contemplating a state power grid run completely on renewable energy, others are peering west to the Pacific Ocean for its vast potential to produce wind power off the coast of California’s shores. Our state, according Walt Musial, National Renewable Energy Laboratory offshore wind manager, has the […]

JUICE: What Tea Leafs Tell for 2017

11 Jan

As a fine mist descends from the sky and steam rises from a tea pot, my thoughts turn to what’s likely to happen to energy policy in California this year. For most of my life, California has been at the forefront of efforts to develop clean and renewable sources of energy to eliminate the heavy […]

Amendments to Munis’ RPS Enforcement Rules Pitched

18 Aug

Proposed regulations to ensure publicly-owned utilities reach a 50 percent renewable mandate may allow some wiggle room when it comes to coal power contracts, California Energy Commission staff suggested at an Aug. 18 workshop. (more…)

Desert Renewable Conservation Strategy Outlined

19 Dec


PG&E Rates Drop for Firms with Large Solar Units

19 Dec

New tariff.


11 Dec

Retail gas.

CEC Issues $10M in Grants for Innovative Energy Projects

11 Dec

Renewable technologies.

Regulators’ Rules Tie Loose Renewables Ends

4 Dec

Noncompliance penalties.

Imperial Irrigation Lands 30MW of Solar

30 Nov

221 acres.


21 Nov

Ivanpah solar.

Study Focuses on Making San Francisco Choice Local

6 Nov


Interconnection Dearth Dooms Mojave Wind Farm

6 Nov