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Elephants & Donkeys Like Solar & Wind

16 May

A recent Pew Research Center poll of American attitudes on energy and the environment finds little difference in support for solar and wind energy among Republicans and Democrats compared to the gulf in their respective views on fossil fuel and nuclear power. Yet, there is a substantial difference of opinion on how to encourage renewable […]

Undercurrents

15 May

Updated May 11 Community choice agencies take issue with the California Public Utilities Commission’s paper released two weeks ago that claims community energy, along with the proliferation of solar rooftops, could drive the state into another energy crisis. “It is an unfair characteristization,” Beth Vaughn. California Community Choice Association executive director, said during a May […]

Shorts

15 May

SoCal Gas showcased a new solar-powered hydrogen generation system May 17. It uses sunlight to convert natural gas and water into hydrogen and capture the carbon dioxide to prevent carbon emissions. The project is a partnership between SoCal Gas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the STARS Corp. The solar advanced reactor system “produces hydrogen through […]

The Buzz

4 May

Trump and friends‘ effort to dismantle climate protection and alternative energy laws are keeping California lawyers busy, although legislative overkill has weakened some challenges. But harm from the federal administration’s rejiggering of formulas that will turn the pluses of lower carbon emissions and energy efficient appliances into minuses is closer at hand. Back in San […]

CPUC to Develop CA Power Restructuring Plan

3 May

In the midst of related proceedings, California utility regulators called for a statewide conversation about the future structure and regulation of the power industry May 3. They continued to warn about the proliferation of customer-owned solar systems, community choice aggregation, and other developments that threaten to destabilize traditional utilities and electric grid reliability in California. […]

CA’s Defense to Trump’s Anti-Climate Protection Offense

3 May

How much harm the Trump Administration’s attacks on clean air protections, including clean energy, will inflict on California’s efforts to decarbonize its economy is not clear. To date, however, President Donald Trump’s bark has been worse than his bite, said speakers May 2 at an evening presentation at the University of California at Berkeley’s Energy […]

Undercurrents

2 May

The California Energy Commission’s projections that electric vehicles beginning in 2025 may draw nearly 1,000 MW from the state’s grid is the focus of a planned May 23 meeting. CEC found that electric vehicles are likely to create a peak charging demand around 9 a.m. when people plug-in their cars after commuting to work, plus […]

Solar Gains in NV after Net Metering is Restored

1 May

Nevada’s rooftop solar business has made a comeback. Since last year’s passage of state legislation restoring net energy metering for solar project owners, applications for solar rooftop system installations soared to 3,308 in 2017 from only 287 the year before. “It’s exciting to see this important solar policy delivering for Nevada, clearing the way for […]

The Buzz

27 Apr

Legislation to raise payments to needed gas power plants in California, to increase the use of home electric air and space heating, and to make school reps eligible for intervenor compensation make the cut. Midweek, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sends these measures on to the next committee. Measures to bolster energy storage and […]

Shorts

25 Apr

Votes on competing decisions to provide subsidies for installing solar rooftops in disadvantaged communities were postponed by the California Public Utilities Commission April 25. Both decisions would provide $10 million/year to the Disadvantaged Communities Solar Homes program, funded by revenue from the Air Resources Board’s carbon allowance market auction. Also included in both decisions is […]

Undercurrents

25 Apr

A bill to carve out a utility procurement mandate for biomass, biogas, and geothermal power made it through an Assembly Committee April 23, but only after specific numeric requirements were axed and replaced with vague placeholder language. AB 2208 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), who represents the Geysers geothermal resource area, said her bill “will […]

LADWP Advances Community Solar & Storage

24 Apr

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is preparing to kick off a community solar program early next year that could involve installing up to 5 MW of photovoltaic panels within its distribution system to serve up to 6,600 customers. In other developments, the muni’s board heard that installing 100 MW of battery storage […]

Undercurrents

18 Apr

Updated April 19. A group of Los Angeles County homeowners filed a class-action lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Renovate America and Renew Financial, which contract with Los Angeles County to operate the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, failed to offer basic consumer protections. The suit claims that PACE loans provided by the […]

JUICE: 100% Renewable Bill Withers

17 Apr

Solar panels and solar water heaters gleam on every fourth or fifth house as I drive along the road to Kahului from Lahaina on Maui after passing a bank of wind turbines spinning in the ever constant Trade Winds. In O’ahu the view is much the same, with massive banks of solar panels visible everywhere, […]

Shorts

17 Apr

Energy Secretary Rick Perry this week announced almost $150 million in Department of Energy funding for renewable energy technologies. “American ingenuity is the engine of our energy economy,” said Perry. “Investing in all of our abundant energy sources, including solar technologies, will help to drive down costs and ensure that the nation leads the world […]

Undercurrents: PCIA Struggle Heats Up

4 Apr

Clashing proposals on revising or replacing the California Public Utilities Commission’s controversial power charge indifference adjustment were submitted to regulators April 2. This cost adjustment method determines how much community choice organizations must pay the private utilities for their stranded power purchase contracts. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas […]

Shorts

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 […]

Shorts

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 […]

Undercurrents

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 […]