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Turning the Duck into Bucks

19 Oct

Excess intermittent renewable power pouring into transmission and distribution lines, once viewed as a big liability, is now seen as an opportunity by the grid operator. “What a great problem to have, lots of low-cost renewable energy,” Mark Rothleder, California Independent System Operator vice president of renewable integration, said during CAISO’s annual symposium held Oct. […]

Shorts

18 Oct

The grid operator’s Energy Imbalance Market produced benefits of $40.55 million for its five participating members during the third quarter this year. Benefits since the western imbalance market began in 2014 now total $254.98 million, according to the California Independent System Operator on Oct. 18. The grid operator also said that carbon emissions from the […]

OPINIONATED: Binary Geothermal Gives PV a Run for Its Money

17 Oct

By Paul Thomsen In 2017, for the first time, the combined energy and capacity values of geothermal energy significantly exceeded the value of solar photovoltaic resources in California. In the first quarter of 2017, geothermal’s wholesale energy value in Southern California was $13.50/MWh greater than solar PV. At the same time, utility estimates of marginal […]

Puente Project Gets Shot Down

6 Oct

NRG’s construction license application for its 261 MW Puente natural gas-fired project on the beach in Ventura County was blown out of the water Oct. 6. “On the record currently before us, we are unwilling to override the significant impacts or [laws, ordinances, regulations or standards] inconsistencies” posed by the project, states the proposed decision […]

The Buzz

5 Oct

A top legislative staffer gives an insider’s look at the fallout from the governor’s ill-fated effort to push through a bill to create an integrated western grid in the waning days of the legislative session. Electric transportation advocates flock to a meeting this week on the California Air Resources Board’s plan to give away $1.5 […]

Fallout from the ISO Regionalization Effort

5 Oct

Gov. Jerry Brown created considerable “collateral damage” by attempting to ram through legislation at the end of the last lawmaking session to allow California’s grid operator to expand to western states, said Kip Lipper, the Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León’s chief consultant. “It was a drive by shooting,” said Lipper, noting he was […]

Undercurrents: $1.5 B Electric Vehicle Spending Plan Advances

4 Oct

The California Air Resources Board’s meeting laying a plan to allocate almost $1.5 billion in the coming year to advance electrification of transportation and a variety of mobile equipment used in the freight shipping industry drew a big crowd on Oct. 4. The blueprint includes $663 million of carbon emissions rights auction money raised by […]

Puente Project May Land Back at CPUC

3 Oct

The California Energy Commission Oct. 3 resumed closed-door sessions in the construction licensing proceeding for NRG’s proposed 271 MW natural-gas fired Puente power project in Oxnard. The commission’s staff and California Independent System Operator, however, concluded that only the California Public Utilities Commission can resolve the issue of whether Southern California Edison should buy “preferred […]

Mainstreaming Microgrids

2 Oct

California’s energy agencies and the grid operator continue to flesh out parameters for commercializing microgrids in the state. The systems are considered an important part of ensuring a greener grid is reliable because they can help balance uneven flows of solar and wind power. The plan for promoting these systems, which can operate independently from […]

Shorts

2 Oct

Sempra Energy is ready to file for approval to take over Oncor Electric Delivery Co. in Texas with the state’s Public Utility Commission. Sempra plans to purchase 80 percent of the Texas transmission company. “Our goal is to keep Oncor strong, independent and well-capitalized for the benefit of Texas customers,” said Sempra Chief Executive Officer […]

CAISO Okays Tool to React to Sudden Power Plant Outages

20 Sep

The California Independent System Operator board Sept. 19 gave management the green light to implement a new market design feature to protect against the unexpected loss of a generation, which can lead to transmission overload. The model includes corrective actions to improve grid reliability, including by decreasing out-of-market actions. Current grid models only consider potential […]

Grid Regionalization Revival Delayed

13 Sep

(Updated on Sept. 13.) Legislation was amended to formally expand the California Independent System Operator into a western-wide grid manager at the end of last week. However, AB 726 and AB 813 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), were turned into two year bills mid-week. “After several months of questions and reviews of the ISO studies, including […]

Shorts

11 Sep

Updated Sept. 14 After an almost nine month hiatus, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is fully functional again. FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee earlier this week announced that the commission will again hold monthly meetings beginning next week on Sept. 20.  The commission has not met since early this year after losing a quorum following the […]

Fires Singe Grid Facilities, But Cause No Major Effects

6 Sep

The major fires burning across the state as of early this week so far have had no major impact on the grid, but there was some damage. The La Tuna fire in Los Angeles impacted a Southern California Edison transmission line but two other 230 kV lines were “minimally threatened” as of late Monday, according […]

Sands Run Out on Grid Regionalization

6 Sep

As the Legislature moves toward winding up its session discussions were said to be underway in the Governor’s office about western grid regionalization,but they were not expected to bear fruit. “How often does a legislature get to take action that will reduce voters’ utility bills and improve their air quality with no upfront costs,” Natural […]

Heat Brings New Historic Peaks for Edison & LADWP

6 Sep

Triple digit temperatures caused Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to set new peak load records last week. The blistering heat drove up electricity demand in and outside Southern California even though the high loads were tamped down somewhat by demand response programs. Edison’s new peak load reached 23,508 […]

The Buzz

31 Aug

A week that began with record heat and a near record demand for power ends even hotter with a forecast of a new all-time record peak demand for electricity in California. The grid operator calls for conservation. PG&E calls for flashlights. Decentralized solar energy coupled with storage and smart controls can lower the cost of […]

Friday Heat May Push Demand to New High, Causing Outages

31 Aug

Updated 7 p.m. on Aug. 31. California only got hotter as the week progressed, with triple digit temperatures on Sept. 1 expected to shatter the grid operator’s all-time peak load by almost 500 MW. Friday’s peak demand was forecast at 50,750 MW on Thursday afternoon, after being revised slightly downward by the grid operator. Temperatures […]

Grid Watch: Heat Triggers Near Record Power Demand

29 Aug

As the heat wave over California was poised to intensify Aug. 29, the grid operator forecast a near record load. It restricted maintenance work on power facilities to make sure all resources are available to service utility customers. The California Independent System Operator forecast a peak load of 48,291 MW on Aug. 29, up from […]

The Buzz

25 Aug

State utility regulators okayed a shift in the peak pricing period to later in the day for San Diego Gas & Electric customers. Industry advocates warn it erodes the economic advantages of rooftop solar. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry gets an education about how the grid operates. A Department of Energy staff report he requested […]