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Grid Takes Solar Eclipse In Stride

22 Aug

During the Aug. 21 solar eclipse between 3,000 MW and 3,500 MW of large-scale solar dropped off line, according to the grid operator. The California Independent System Operator predicted the moon’s temporary shadowing of the sun would cause a loss of 6,000 MW of solar power, with 4,200 MW of that fall occurring at utility-scale […]

Juice: While We Were Gone

21 Aug

No big breaking energy news occurred during our brief summer hiatus, but there were notable energy-related developments, including the release of cost estimates of using alternative clean energy resources in place of the Puente gas power project, a restart of the controversial Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump license proceeding, and a push by Southern […]

Shorts

31 Jul

The western Energy Imbalance Market produced $39.52 million in benefits in the second quarter of 2017 for the market participants, the grid operator reported July 31. Total benefits since the California Independent System Operator launched the EIM with PacifiCorp in 2014 were $213.24 million, with carbon emissions reductions of 28,700 metric tons from using 67,055 […]

The Buzz

28 Jul

The California Independent System Operator seeks to widen the route to the state’s wholesale electricity market for demand response. Microgrids promise benefits, but first the California Energy Commission says numerous speed bumps must be removed to make them more commonplace. The grid operator seeks to head off the potential for sudden loss of large amounts […]

CAISO Eases Market Rules for Demand Response

27 Jul

The California Independent System Operator’s board July 26 approved measures to enhance the ability of demand response resources to participate in the grid operator’s market. The board voted in support of rules that specifically include expanding the baseline that evaluates the performance of distributed resources and energy storage in CAISO’s market.  Currently, CAISO uses one […]

CEC Seeks to Overcome Microgrid Hurdles

26 Jul

The California Energy Commission wants to unleash the power of microgrids to make the state’s electric system more resilient an adaptable as energy needs and technologies change. But first, it must figure out how to overcome significant obstacles. Microgrids, which generally consist of local distribution networks supplied by distributed generation resources and are often equipped […]

Shorts

25 Jul

Marin Clean Energy voted to nearly double the number of its customers. The board of California’s first community energy organization approved admitting Contra Costa County, Concord, San Ramon, Pittsburg and five smaller municipalities into its service area. “So we’ve now got 33 communities in total,” Dawn Weisz, MCE executive officer, said July 21. Marin’s customer […]

Grid Operator Seeks to Avoid Solar Energy Crash

24 Jul

The California Independent System Operator is working to get utility-scale solar generators to reset the controls on their inverters to avoid massive losses of generation when transmission lines experience momentary faults. The effort comes after major solar systems have suddenly quit feeding power to the grid—in one case causing a sudden loss of almost 1,200 […]

CEC Faces More Pressure to Reject Puente Power Project

20 Jul

Opposition to NRG’s proposed Puente power plant at the site of an existing power facility on the beach in Oxnard is continuing to build. Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks declared her “strong opposition,” and along with others, urged relying on preferred resources. “As renewable energy has become cost-effective and abundant, there is an important question […]

JUICE: Scaling CA’s Zero Carbon Summit

19 Jul

Politicians are to rope up next month and set the path for climbing to a 100 percent renewable/zero emissions energy peak under legislation proposed by the leader of California’s Senate. Investor-owned utilities and several public utilities warn about reliability and cost crevasses that may open beneath them on the trek under SB 100 by Senate […]

The Buzz

7 Jul

Taking the “dis” out of disadvantaged communities was center stage for lawmakers and regulators this week.  Reversing the trend of rising climate emissions and co-pollutants in poor local neighborhoods was the focus of a joint legislative Climate Change Policy panel.  Meanwhile, the CPUC zeroed in on making environmental justice  energy programs just. The Utilities & […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Sued for Refinery Blackout

3 Jul

Valero Refinery is suing Pacific Gas & Electric for $75 million in damages for a May 5 power outage at its Benicia refinery. The June 30 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of California charges PG&E with breach of contract and negligence for failing to provide uninterrupted power— primary and […]

Agencies Seek to Get a Grip on Self Generation

3 Jul

State energy agencies and the grid operator are grappling with how to forecast and better measure growing levels of distributed renewable energy flowing into the distribution and transmission systems. Unlike the high voltage system, power flows to and from lower voltage power lines are less transparent. No “adequate methods exist” for forecasting how distributed energy […]

Shorts

2 Jul

The grid operator kicked off its annual budget process July 25, saying that its annual revenue requirement and the rates it charges for managing the grid will remain largely flat in 2018. The California Independent System Operator plans to present a draft budget to its board in October and after public comment and discussion ask […]

Shorts

26 Jun

The California Air Resources Board amended its rules for reporting greenhouse gas emissions June 29. The board decided not to include the California Independent System Operator’s energy imbalance market in the rules. Instead, it said it will collect annual information on greenhouse gas emissions related to that market under a formal subpoena process. It made […]

Calls for Conservation Protect the Grid

22 Jun

A flex alert issued for June 21 and 22 helped the state grid get though the worst of the persistent heat wave that gripped California this week without any major outages. Power demand peaked on June 20 at 44,184 MW, compared to an all-time high of 50,270 MW during the summer heat storm of 2006, […]

Ventura Clean Power Alternatives Study Begins

22 Jun

The grid operator late last week agreed to study whether preferred resources—including renewable power and energy storage and efficiency—could be substituted for a proposed fossil fuel power plant in Oxnard to meet Ventura County’s power needs. Replacement power is necessary because two old power plants there are slated to shut down at the end of […]

Bills to Clean Up Unspecified Power & Disadvantaged Communities Advance

20 Jun

The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee June 20 passed several energy bills, including ones to improve estimates of greenhouse gas emissions of unidentified power resources and utility baselines, and to direct more clean energy funds and projects to struggling communities. AB 79 by Marc Levine (D-Marin County) passed 9-1. It directs the California Air […]

Undercurrents: Trade Complaint Casts Shadow Over Solar Industry

19 Jun

A trade complaint filed by bankrupt photovoltaic cell manufacturer Suniva is being officially investigated by the International Trade Commission. It could recommend that President Trump levy tariffs as early as this fall. Suniva, which is based in Georgia but largely is owned by Chinese interests, is advocating that a duty of 40 cents per watt […]

JUICE: Beyond Natural Gas Power

13 Jun

A confluence of developments casts significant doubt about the future of natural gas-fired power in California. While the rest of the nation—if you believe the new administration in Washington—is beating a path toward a vaunted fossil fuel renaissance, the Golden State is about ready to reach for 100 percent renewable power and could forgo building […]