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20 Mar

California’s grid experienced an ancillary services shortage from March 9-11. The California Independent System Operator reported that on March 20, noting it triggered scarcity pricing in several intervals of the 15 minute market. The maximum shortage amounted to 5.36 MW around 2 p.m. on March 11. Several other smaller shortages also occurred over the three-day […]


15 Mar

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said this week California cannot be the tail that wags the dog when it comes to the future of federal greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for autos. His remarks came as the EPA is reviewing Obama-era federal emissions standards that mirror California’s for the period of 2022 […]

Picker Grilled on Aliso Canyon & Community Choice

7 Mar

During a March 6 hearing by the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee, the California Public Utilities president was questioned about a closed-door decision to allow SoCal Gas to withdraw natural gas from Aliso Canyon. Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) was highly critical of a decision made the previous Saturday by CPUC Energy Division Director […]


5 Mar

Amid many moving pieces, Southern California Edison is soliciting preferred resources to meet local power capacity needs in the Moorpark subarea of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties beginning in summer of 2021. Included in the mix are a potential transmission alternative and a transition from utility provided power to community choice. Preferred resources typically include […]

Lawmakers Fear Utility Bankruptcies

27 Feb

State legislators voiced angst about the potential for utility bankruptcies Feb. 26 during an Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee hearing on the impact of recent wildfires on the power industry. Recent credit rating actions by Standard & Poor’s for Pacific Gas & Electric—and even on a major solar project that feeds power to the utility […]

Legislature Sets Busy Agenda with More Energy Bills

20 Feb

Legislators in Sacramento continued introducing energy-related measures through the end of last week, including perennial bills that to make large hydropower a qualified source of renewable energy and to promote electric vehicles. While some are largely statements of intent at this juncture—with the substance to be developed later—two of the more developed measures introduced in […]

FERC Order Promises to Be a Boon for Energy Storage

15 Feb

Federal energy regulators Feb. 15 adopted an order to expand participation of energy storage providers in wholesale power markets and another to enhance the frequency response capabilities of new generation facilities. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s order on storage, said Kevin McIntyre, commission chair, requires independent system operators and regional transmission organizations to remove “unnecessary […]

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 […]


12 Feb

President Trump’s proposed $30.6 billion 2019 budget for the Department of Energy would cut annual funding for energy-related programs at the agency by $1.9 billion to $2.5 billion. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said the proposal “decimates our nation’s investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, which will increase energy costs for consumers, undermine clean […]

California Loses 14% of Its Solar Industry Jobs

7 Feb

Jobs in California’s solar industry declined by 14 percent in 2017, leading a national trend that reduced solar jobs nationwide by almost 4 percent, according to the Solar Foundation’s eighth annual National Solar Jobs Census, a report on solar employment nationwide and by state. California lost 13,636 solar jobs, according to the census, with employment […]

The Buzz

2 Feb

California energy regulators and fire safety agencies are working together to try and curb the dangers of the growing numbers of intense wildfires, with a worrisome number sparked by power lines. The California Public Utilities Commission president and other officials lament the inadequacy of resources, policies and preparation during an all day meeting. Fire safety […]

JUICE: Building Code Update Calls for Solar on New Homes

29 Jan

California will become the first state in the nation to require solar systems on new homes under a massive update to state building energy efficiency standards to be adopted by the California Energy Commission this spring. The standards will add about 200 MW of rooftop solar to the grid each year as home builders construct […]

Solar Tariff Means U.S. Job Loss, Industry Warns

22 Jan

President Donald Trump on Jan. 22 imposed a 30 percent tariff on imported solar cells and modules aimed primarily at China, which is the world’s number one producer. “The International Trade Commission found that U.S. producers had been seriously injured by imports and made several recommendations to the President,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. […]

House Bill Eases PURPA’s Must-Buy Requirement

22 Jan

State energy regulators would gain more authority to waive the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act’s must-buy requirement for utilities under legislation debated Jan. 19 in the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy. The measure, H.R. 4476, would allow state utility commissions to relieve utilities of the duty to purchase power from facilities with capacities […]


16 Jan

The world’s energy supply increasingly is being dominated by solar and wind technologies, the International Energy Agency told U.S. lawmakers. Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, told the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Jan. 16 that by 2040 renewable technologies will produce 40 percent of the world’s electricity. Solar will dominate the march of […]

Undercurrents: DOE Wants Nation to be Energy Top Dog

9 Jan

Energy dominance is a key Department of Energy goal under President Trump, a leading department official told a House panel this week. Reliable delivery of energy to consumers is another major goal. “We are closing in on our nation’s long-elusive goal of full energy independence,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette before the House […]

CPUC Incentivizes Solar on Apartments, Expands Education on Rate Change

14 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission Dec. 14 okayed up to $100 million a year in subsidies for solar systems on multi-unit housing complexes. It also approved $32 million to help customers understand the upcoming switch to default time-of-use rates. The solar incentives, according to the decision, are designed to “ensure that the benefits of such […]

Climate Roundup: Low Carbon Energy Project Slated for Huntington Beach

13 Dec

SoCal Gas joined with the University of California-Irvine’s Advanced Power & Energy Program Dec. 12 to design an “advanced energy community” in an underserved neighborhood in Huntington Beach. The community will be planned as a replicable model that employs solar, wind, and renewable natural gas technology, including storage of renewable energy with power-to-gas technology. “Creating […]

Zero Net Energy Construction Goal Faces Critical Review

30 Nov

The state’s much vaunted strategy to require that all new homes built beginning in 2020 are zero net energy is being re-examined as the California Energy Commission begins to set building codes to enforce the goal. A key development that may weigh on the future of zero net energy is a new study that claims […]


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 […]