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Juice: Key Energy Developments

7 Aug

While we were away at the beach and hiking in mountains, the state’s energy agencies took significant action on ratepayer protection, grid reliability and greenhouse gas reduction. The California Public Utilities Commission approved a settlement, which was percolating the last few years, on the allocation of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s hefty closure costs. […]

East Bay Choice Adopts $4.5M/Year Plan

19 Jul

Northern California’s newest community energy program unanimously adopted a $22.5 million, five-year business plan to develop local energy resources, electrify transportation, increase energy efficiency and create local jobs. “This will help us not only provide local clean energy that is more affordable, but also investments in local jobs and development,” City of Berkeley Mayor Jesse […]

Energy Commission Okay Grants & Local Efficiency Rules

11 Jul

The California Energy Commission continued its pattern of funding microgrids. During its July 11 business meeting, the commission approved on a 4-0 vote a $5 million grant for a microgrid to support the reopening of a month-balled anaerobic digester at the City of Rialto’s wastewater facility. According to CEC staff, the microgrid in San Bernardino […]

Juice: Big Energy Bills on Vacation Hold

10 Jul

Before lawmakers went on their month-long summer break at the end of last week, they advanced a pile of energy legislation that is a mix of the old and new. Awaiting legislators’ return to the state capitol are significant measures to create full blown expansions of the state’s wholesale energy market, clean energy mandate and […]

100% Clean Energy Bill Heads to Assembly Floor Again

3 Jul

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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 […]

Undercurrents

5 Jun

East Bay Community Energy is one of the first community choice aggregation programs in California to develop a community economic development plan aimed at leveraging local control over power procurement to create local jobs and business development opportunities. The draft plan issued June 4 “is intended to develop a comprehensive framework for accelerating the development […]

Bills to Aid Gas Plants, School Energy Bills & Reduce Building Emissions Advance

26 Apr

Measures to increase payments to needed, but struggling gas power plants in California, to assess how to increase the use of electric air and space heating in homes, and to extend intervenor compensation to schools were sent to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee passed these and other energy bills April […]

Shorts

27 Feb

The California Energy Commission staff held a Feb. 27  workshop on its emerging grant program for renewable energy projects for the agricultural industry. Eligibility for the $6 million in competitive grants, funded by the state’s carbon cap-and-trade auctions, includes renewable projects on farm land, including areas used for growing cannabis. This CEC grant program “is being […]

LA County Choice Program Goes Live

13 Feb

Los Angeles Community Choice Energy became operational this month, serving some 2,000 county facilities. Operating under the new name of the Clean Power Alliance of Southern California, it will have more than 2.4 million residential customers and a quarter of a million business customers in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties and 26 […]

CEC Chair Touts So Cal Gas Storage & Dispenses Funds

17 Jan

During the California Energy Commission’s Jan. 17 meeting, its chair noted that the initial urgency driving him and the California Public Utilities Commission president to halt new natural gas hookups fed by the Aliso Canyon storage field has diminished. December, according to CEC Chair Bob Weisenmiller, was “incredibly warm,” reducing normal heating demand by about […]

No Holiday Rest for Energy Policy Actions

2 Jan

Key energy policy developments continued to unfold over the holiday period in California and the nation, with state utility regulators proposing a gas hookup moratorium in Los Angeles County for new homes and buildings and Marin County local government agencies going 100 percent renewable. In addition, Pacific Gas & Electric announced it was not paying […]

House Panel Debates North American Energy Trading

14 Dec

A House Energy & Commerce subcommittee Dec. 13 heard various views on whether and how to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, and specifically about ramifications to trade in natural gas, electricity and crude oil between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. “Energy trade and regulatory alignment have allowed the three countries to reduce their […]

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 […]

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 […]

Climate Roundup: Electric Big Rigs Face Big Costs

30 Nov

Electric big rig trucks, which the state is pushing hard to cut emissions of greenhouse gases and unhealthful pollutants from transportation, have high “upfront costs” that “are prohibitive,” Navigant Research concluded in a report released Nov. 29. The report comes as the California Public Utilities Commission is weighing a plan by Southern California Edison to […]

Negawatt Providers Seek a Mandate

21 Nov

California regulators and policymakers say they want to see increases in demand response to reduce peak load and help balance out intermittent renewable resources. Despite the lip service, the amount of negawatt capacity reaped from the residential and commercial/industrial sectors has fallen since 2011, particularly from third-party aggregators working with the investor-owned utilities. “There is […]

Shorts

21 Nov

The grid operator won a national award for demonstrating that solar plants equipped with smart inverters can provide a variety of grid reliability services. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners last week gave the California Independent System Operator, First Solar, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory the “Utility Industry Innovative Pilots or Demonstration Projects […]

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 […]

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 […]