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JUICE: Major Forces

31 Mar

The COVID-19 contagion is putting center stage provisions in power purchase agreements that often sit in the wings: those governing the responsibilities and liabilities of the contracting parties, and the timing of their obligations, when an unforeseen disaster or Act of God hits. These “force majeure” clauses, which may include pandemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, and war, […]

The Buzz

19 Mar

The pandemic has slowed down solar projects but there is an unprecedented increase in new installed capacity in 2019. This year and future ones may be a different story but solar proponents expect solar capacity to keep rising in and outside California over the long haul. Large intermittent renewable generation paired with storage provides more […]

Renewable-Battery Projects Beat out Stand Alone Facilities

19 Mar

Combining utility scale solar and wind projects with batteries provides greater value at lower costs than either stand-alone intermittent renewable or battery projects, a new study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds. That is particularly true for California with the surge in renewable resources connected to its grid. Large renewable generation paired with storage […]

OPINIONATED: Setting the Record Straight on SMUD’s Community Solar

17 Mar

Editor’s Note: SMUD responds to criticism of its Solar Shares program raised in a March 2 editorial by local solar advocate Dave Rosenfeld. SMUD’s community solar program was approved by the California Energy Commission last month.  California’s 2019 Building Standards took effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and included a requirement for the use of solar […]

The Buzz

6 Mar

State lawmakers ask the private utilities hard questions about the new wildfire mitigation plans’ impacts on ratepayer pocketbooks and safety. Legislators also introduce new bills to keep PG&E et al from writing off penalties for safety violations. Other measures seek to increase the flow of renewable resources into utility grids and vehicles. To help close […]

44 MW Solar-Storage Project Gets Closer to Finish Line

17 Feb

Aurora Solar is inching closer to building a 44 MW solar array with storage in the Antelope Valley between Twin Lakes and Rosamond. The project is slated for 383 acres of land in Kern County made up of former grazing and agriculture lands, Joshua Tree and Juniper woodland habitat. Of the 383 acres, 233 are […]

Shorts

4 Feb

Unprecedented levels of solar, wind and geothermal power fueled California’s grid last year. That includes renewable resources meeting 80 percent of the peak electricity demand at one point in the afternoon of May 15, the California Independent System Operator reported Feb 3. Renewables also provided nearly 42 percent of peak demand on Aug. 8, providing […]

CEC Okays Diesel Engine at Geothermal Plant & PV Exemption

23 Jan

The California Energy Commission Jan. 22 approved adding a diesel engine to a geothermal power plant, exempting new residential buildings from its photovoltaic requirements, and signing off on $2.7 million in clean energy grants. The CEC also launched a small energy project proceeding for a new data center, which could allow diesel backup generators. A […]

Shorts

22 Jan

How wildfire impacts the environment and energy infrastructure is the subject of a Jan. 28 hearing planned by House Energy and Commerce Committee. The chair, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), highlighted how California, in particularly, has been hammered by several big wildfires. He called for “a robust response” from the federal government, including help to ensure […]

Guest Juice: Energy Storage Prospects Rise with Fall in Renewable Costs

20 Jan

By Wayne Hicks An oft-repeated refrain—the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow—is sometimes seen as an impediment to renewable energy. But it’s also an impetus toward discovering the best ways to store that energy until it’s needed. Declining costs in available technologies have propelled interest in energy storage forward like never […]

JUICE: 2020 Energy Trends

7 Jan

Top ticket energy issues in the Golden State this coming year include energy storage, transportation electrification and microgrids. Other key matters are the growing roles of community energy and natural gas bans. The rise in renewable energy and decarbonization efforts in California are the key drivers behind these market transformations. Simultaneously, these efforts to green […]

Shorts

11 Dec

San Bernardino’s County Board of Supervisors Dec. 10 turned down a bid to derail a 650 MW solar power project in Daggett. The 650 MW solar plant, which is being developed by Clearway Energy, will cover 3,500 acres of high desert land and is to include 450 MW of battery storage.  The Newberry Community Services […]

The Buzz

5 Dec

A carbon tax is the talk of the town this week. Republican members of a House panel insist it would be a cost without a benefit because global action is critical. In response, their Democratic brethren chastise them for not partaking in the ongoing UN climate talks. Solar-powered microgrids paired with battery storage can keep […]

JUICE: Microgrids Provide Power During Wildfires & Other Emergencies

5 Dec

The head of Pacific Gas & Electric, Bill Johnson, warned that public safety power outages may continue for a decade in areas facing high wildfire risk. It’s been estimated that the power shutoffs in Northern and Central California could cost the state economy about $2 billion. Those impacted are frustrated and so too are policymakers […]

New Project Ties California & Nevada Closer

26 Nov

Renewable energy can flow more freely and in bigger quantities from Nevada to California with the commissioning earlier this month of GridLiance’s 230-kV Sloan Canyon Switching Station. The facility is approximately 40-miles outside of Las Vegas in Boulder City, Nevada. GridLiance’s Sloan Canyon Switching Station is part of a larger $50 million transmission improvement project […]

Shorts

26 Nov

The Sunrise Movement is mounting a pressure campaign toward Bright Power—a New York solar company with operations in Oakland—that laid off workers for trying to form a union. The union would have been one of the first ever to form at a solar company, according to Evan Weber, Sunrise Movement political director. The company has […]

CEC Steps in After Trump Guts Lighting Standard

13 Nov

The California Energy Commission acted this week to prevent incandescent and other inefficient general light bulbs from being sold in the Golden State after the Trump Administration overturned national standards in order to allow the sale of the inefficient bulbs. California has the authority to set tighter lighting standards under the U.S. Code, Title 22. […]

Shorts

13 Nov

Updated Nov. 14. Marin Clean Energy’s latest climate action update shows that 22 of the 34 cities in its territory have opted for 100 percent renewable energy for their public facilities. The report also shows that Marin County now has more electric vehicle charging stations than gas stations. Local Bay Area energy agencies are soliciting […]

Undercurrents: Public Takeover of PG&E May Solve Little, Says CAISO Board Member

12 Nov

Updated Nov. 14. California Independent System Operator Board Member Severin Borenstein is warning that turning Pacific Gas & Electric into a cooperative or a publicly owned utility won’t necessarily be “the silver bullet that creates a more efficient, reliable, and safety-oriented electricity provider for Northern California.” Instead, he opined earlier this week, “it would at […]

CPUC Beefs up Capacity Mandate, Seeks Extended Life for Coastal Plants

7 Nov

After acknowledging the death and destruction wrought by the Camp Fire on the eve its first anniversary, state energy regulators unanimously approved requiring utilities, community energy and direct access providers to line up 3,300 MW of additional energy reserves. The California Public Utilities Commission also agreed during its Nov. 7 meeting to urge the State […]