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Wildfire Catastrophe Fund Bill Clears Key Panel

25 Apr

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee backed a measure to establish a state-organized wildfire insurance fund that utilities could pay into in the absence of adequate fire liability policies in the insurance market. Meeting April 25, the panel approved AB 235, The California Wildfire Catastrophe Fund Act by Assemblymember Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley), on a […]

Juice: Arnold’s Lasting Legacy

24 Apr

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Cal-EPA Secretary strolled down memory lane on Earth Day 2019 to assess the former governor’s chief achievements on clean energy and the environment. In a keynote address at the California Institute of Technology’s Earth Day program, Terry Tamminen breezed over what most Californians might think was Schwarzenegger’s key legacy, namely carbon […]

FERC Continues to Exclude GHG Impacts in Project Decisions

18 Apr

Two major liquefied natural gas facilities export projects in Texas and Louisiana were approved 3-1 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, although the decisions omit evaluations of their direct and cumulative greenhouse gas impacts. Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, who cast the decisive yes vote at the April 18 meeting, welcomed the projects and the decisions including […]

Seeking to Avoid a Huge PV Panel & Battery Mess

4 Apr

Solar panels installed with state subsidies are starting to reach the end of their lives, but California lacks a plan to dispose, reuse or recycle them. The numbers of aging panels are increasing given the continued growth in photovoltaic installations. Making matters worse is that huge amounts of batteries used in energy storage and vehicles […]

Opinionated: Remaking the Grid

2 Apr

Q & A with Lorenzo Kristov The California Independent System Operator’s former principal of market design and infrastructure policy PART 1 Editor’s Note: In a recent editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, Lorenzo Kristov and Mark Ferron, former CAISO board member, advocated for an “open access” distribution system and indicated that local planning increasingly is “where […]

The Buzz

21 Mar

Two federal energy regulators warn of litigation risks the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been creating with its deficient greenhouse gas impact assessments of commission-approved projects. California’s top lawyer throws his weight behind the Bay Area Cities climate change suit against the oil majors. Also, it is mixed messages from FERC. The right wing chief […]

Opinionated: Charging With the Sun

19 Mar

By Severin Borenstein You aren’t getting “green electrons”, but charging at the right times still lowers GHG emissions. I spent a fascinating few days at the California Independent System Operator last month, following my appointment in January to the CAISO’s Board of Governors. The most exciting part was getting to visit the CAISO grid control […]

PG&E’s Proposal to Break Green Deals Raises Costs

19 Mar

If Pacific Gas & Electric is allowed to abrogate its long-term renewable contracts as part of a bankruptcy reorganization, bankers will increase the risk premiums on clean energy project loans. That will drive up the price of renewable resources in California, attorneys warned at a legal seminar held March 18 by the Environmental Law Institute […]

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 […]

San Bernardino County Restricts Renewable Projects

5 Mar

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Feb. 28 acted to curb construction of new utility-scale renewable energy projects on about 1 million acres of desert land within county areas with community plans or zoned as rural living districts. Community-scale projects intended to serve local communities still would be allowed under the policy. The board […]

Solar Rights Bill Gets Bipartisan Support

26 Feb

Last week, Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Red Bluff) introduced SB 288, which outlines the rights of California homeowners, schools, businesses, and farmers to make and store their own solar power without interference from utilities. The bill seeks to update outdated tariffs that make it financially unattractive to install solar systems […]

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 Approves Edison Deal for Imperial Valley Solar

21 Feb

Action by the California Public Utilities Energy Commission this week included approval of a 20-year purchase agreement proposed by Southern California Edison for 107 MW from a solar project in Imperial Valley operated by Consolidated Edison. The commission voted 4-1 to approve the deal for the output of the operating Wistaria Solar facility over the […]

EPIC Program Focuses on V2G Technologies

20 Feb

Vehicle fleets mark a significant market opportunity in the emerging vehicle-to-grid arena. Installing software with a simple control system into a large number of electric cars to allow two-way communication with the grid can shift charging times and reduce costs and impacts on the power distribution and transmission systems, according to speakers at Tuesday’s Energy […]

Climate Roundup: National Carbon Emissions Dip

13 Feb

Transportation nudged out electricity production as the nation’s leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest tally of carbon emissions. Transportation sources emitted 1,794 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2017, or about 28 percent of the total. Meanwhile, there were 1,734 million tons from the electric power industry, […]

Sempra Sells Off Solar Plants to Con Edison

17 Dec

Sempra Energy has sold its U.S. operating solar assets, solar and battery storage development projects, and one wind facility to New York-based Consolidated Edison for about $1.6 billion in cash. The deal, completed Dec. 13, covers facilities with a total capacity of 980 MW. California plants included in the sale are the Alpaugh, Corcoran, Great […]

Undercurrents: Solar Gets Thumbs Up, Gas & Coal a Thumbs Down

6 Nov

EDF Renewable’s proposed 500 MW photovoltaic project slated for public land in the desert of Riverside County was approved by the Bureau of Land Management. “The Palen Solar Project will provide benefits to the local community and the region both now and in the future, demonstrating the critical role multiple-use public lands play for the […]

CA Set to Meet 2020 Renewable Standard

1 Nov

California is on target to meet that state’s 33 percent renewable portfolio standard, according to a California Public Utilities Commission report to the Legislature on Nov. 1. However, community choice aggregators and direct access providers will have to pick up their pace in procuring renewable energy. “California continues on its path to a 100 percent […]

Shorts

30 Oct

San Diego Gas & Electric’s new synchrophasor sensors can turn off power on lines that break before they hit the ground, thereby averting sparks that could start a fire. SDG&E highlighted the new system late last month, which works by detecting voltage changes. Sensors along circuits report conditions up to 60 times a second through […]

Shorts

9 Oct

A 40 year-old law that requires utilities to buy power from renewable generators and co-generators should be waived in states with competitive solicitation requirements and other measures that ensure all technologies access to the power market. That’s the recommendation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a new white paper from the National Association of […]