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JUICE: Beyond a Bud Light Future in EV Charging

24 May

The beer flowed May 19 in Sacramento after an all-day meeting on the future of “retail competition” in the California electric power industry. But when the waiters picked up the glasses and mopped up the suds little really had been settled. While other states abound with consumer choice in retail power plans—sporting such features as […]

So CA Preferred Resources & Coastal Plant Replacements Lag

22 May

Southern California faces no shortage of generation or power import capacity this summer although actual deployment of “preferred resources” procured by investor-owned utilities is lagging. However, a shortage of natural gas due to the ongoing closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field could pose a risk to energy reliability this summer. That scenario […]

SCE Labor Practices Impact Rates & Safety, Union Says

17 May

Southern California Edison’s 2018-2020 rate case has become embroiled in a labor dispute in which a major union says it’s been locked out of contracting jobs with the utility, which are on the upswing as the company focuses on improving its aging distribution system. Enhancing the safety of its distribution system, in which equipment failures […]

Edison Rate Hike

17 May

Southern California Edison’s proposed general rate case will raise the average bill of residential customers who use 600 kWh a month by $3.75 in 2018, another $5.65 in 2019, and then again by an additional $7.29 in 2020, according to California Public Utilities Commission Administrative Law Judge Steve Roscow. By 2020, those who use 600 […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Faces $8 Million Penalty for Butte Fire

26 Apr

State regulators fined Pacific Gas & Electric $8.3 million for the Butte Fire sparked by a utility conductor. The Sept. 9, 2015, wildfire killed two people, injured one, and destroyed 549 homes, 4 commercial properties and 368 structures. The California Public Utilities Commission’s Safety & Enforcement Division found PG&E violated three of the commission’s general […]

LA County Opts for Community Choice Energy

19 Apr

Los Angeles County will form a community choice aggregation program, which will be the biggest in the state. The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously April 18 to form the program that is to offer higher levels of alternative power than Southern California Edison starting next year. The choice program has been under development for […]

The Buzz

13 Apr

Eggs gathered in Current’s Easter news basket include approval of two controversial and large natural gas project redos along the SoCal coast. The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the Huntington & Alamitos replacement projects, which are to be cooled with air, not seawater-cooled. On the agenda at this week’s Energy Commission post business meeting closed […]

Edison Tells Investors EV Charging is Big Business

12 Apr

One of California’s biggest electric utilities is banking on a growing number of electric vehicles on the state’s highways to provide  a business growth opportunity over the coming decade. In an April 12 briefing for investment banks, Southern California Edison executives outlined a growing need for both grid modernization to meet electric vehicle charging demand […]

CEC Aims to Help Utilities Adapt to Warming

11 Apr

Climate change is straining electric utility infrastructure, motivating the California Energy Commission and other state agencies to focus on actionable climate science research that utilities can use to adapt to global warming. “Climate adaptation is where we need to focus now,” Bob Weisenmiller, CEC chair, said during an April 11 meeting aimed at planning how […]

CPUC Revives Self Gen Program with Bigger Budget

6 Apr

Utility regulators April 6 approved a doubling of funds for the self-generation incentive program. It is intended to subsidize solar and other generation technologies, plus energy storage, at the power distribution system level. Funding is set at $83 million a year for the period 2017-2019, under the decision approved unanimously by the California Public Utilities […]

CAISO Sees Little Need for New Transmission

15 Mar

The grid operator’s board March 15 approved a 2016-17 transmission plan, which calls for no new major facilities. It does approve two minor projects valued at $24 million to improve reliability for Southern California Edison. “Continuing the recent trend of prior transmission plans, the number and capital costs of recommended transmission projects in this 2016-2017 […]

Undercurrents: Edison Nets Just $72 M from San Onofre Arbitration

14 Mar

A disappointing ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce in an arbitration proceeding over failed steam generators at Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station will provide ratepayers little relief. In its decision in the case of Edison against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the arbitration panel ordered the Japanese maker of the steam generators to […]

Regulated Utility Earnings Rise in 2016

28 Feb

  California’s regulated utilities and their holding companies’ 2016 earnings increased under California Public Utilities Commission approved rates and spending programs, utility executives told financial analysts recently. (more…)

Coastal Agencies, Lawmakers Raise Red Flags on Beachfront Puente Power Project

7 Feb

A split in Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration over a controversial power plant project proposed in Oxnard widened this week when the California Coastal Conservancy recommended that NRG build the facility at an alternate location. The next day, a group of state lawmakers raised questions about the need for the plant and its impacts on the […]

San Onofre Closure Deal in Rough Waters

5 Jan

The planned reopening of the controversial San Onofre Nuclear Station’s $4.4 billion closure settlement was rocked by a regulatory filing seeking a postponement until a decision was made on Southern California Edison’s damage claim against the maker of the faulty steam generators. Just before press time, the early January filing by Edison and minority owner […]

State Hit 22% Renewables Mark in 2015

5 Jan

Reliance on renewable power is increasing in California, but retail power providers are all over the map when it comes to their respective levels of carbon-free energy, 2015 data show. (more…)

Upcoming CARB Scoping Plan Considered Critical

5 Jan

 As the California Air Resources Board develops a plan this year to meet the state’s 40 percent greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030—and to point the way to an 80 percent cut by 2050—electric utilities will be key to providing energy for transportation, heating, and industrial processes that now rely on fossil fuel. (more…)

Undercurrents

15 Dec

The company pushing to develop a marine export terminal that would ship coal and petroleum coke across the ocean from Oakland sued that city’s council for adopting a resolution last summer banning these exports from the project. The Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal claims that the Oakland City Council’s prohibition impacted the value of its […]

Undercurrents

8 Dec

The state’s electricity consumption is likely to grow at a tepid rate through 2026, according to a demand forecast discussed Dec. 8 at a California Energy Commission meeting. The draft forecast, which is part of the commission’s Integrated Energy Policy Report update process, shows an annual average growth 1.05 percent in its mid-case scenario, bounded […]

JUICE: CA Green Ain’t the New Black

17 Nov

Last week’s national election was demoralizing for clean energy advocates and many others but it also had the inverse effect of galvanizing state and local leadership. A few days after the election, Gov. Jerry Brown pledged to “protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time, devastating […]