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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 […]

Undercurrents: Imbalance Market Savings Top $0.5 Billion

29 Oct

The Western Energy Imbalance Market saved electricity consumers $100.6 million during the third quarter of 2018. That raises total savings since the market opened in November of 2014 to $502.3 million, according to the California Independent System Operator on Oct. 29. “This clearly illustrates the value of markets to the customers in California and the […]

ISO Symposium Focuses on the Future

18 Oct

California’s grid operator during its annual stakeholder symposium in Sacramento envisioned a future filled with super-efficient autonomous electric vehicles, commonplace energy storage systems, an integrated western grid, and the chance that energy technologies yet unimagined will emerge. Speakers at the two-day California Independent System Operator meeting Oct. 17 and 18 also discussed how a rapidly […]

West Saw Record summer Power Prices, Says EIA

25 Sep

Power prices this past summer were the highest in the western U.S. since 2008, according to an Energy Information Administration report released Sept. 25. A separate EIA analysis showed that almost one-third of U.S. households regularly struggle to pay their energy bills. Power prices surged in the West this summer, particularly in California, due largely […]

CAISO Eyes Aliso Canyon & Gas Plant Closures

20 Sep

The grid operator this week advanced its 2018-19 transmission planning process during a meeting slated for Sept. 20 and 21 that focused heavily on reliability analyses for the various regions of the state’s electrical system. The assessments, said Jeff Billinton, California Independent System Operator manager of regional transmission – north, are based on the California […]

CPUC’s High Ticket Attractions Next Week

19 Sep

Utility regulators are slated to vote next week on three proposals that could cost ratepayers more than a $1 billion. They include costs in proposed decisions that could advance transportation and integrate more renewable energy into the state’s grid. At its Sept. 27 meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to consider directing Pacific […]

EV Grid Integration Effort Focuses on Trucks & Low-Income Areas

6 Sep

Prioritizing strategies to optimize energy flows between the grid and electric vehicles—large and small—took a small step forward this week during a public hearing on how to reduce barriers to emerging technologies. California’s goal is to have 5 million electric cars, trucks and buses on state roads by 2030 to curb carbon emissions from the […]

CAISO Chief Laments Grid Regionalization Bill Failure

6 Sep

The grid operator’s chief executive officer went off script in his report to board this week to lambaste those who opposed AB 813. The bill would have authorized the California Independent System Operator to create a multi-state grid and wholesale power market in the West. “Those who opposed this are on the wrong side of […]

CAISO Encourages Storage & Demand Response

5 Sep

The grid operator’s board Sept. 5 approved rule changes aimed at promoting greater participation in its wholesale power market by providers of energy storage and distributed energy resources, including demand response, to cut load when power demand peaks on the grid. In a separate action, the California Independent System Operator’s board also voted to extend […]

Shorts

20 Aug

Idaho Power and PacifiCorp will rely on the grid operator for reliability coordinator services, the California Independent Operator stated Aug. 23. CAISO is withdrawing from Peak Reliability Coordinator by September 1, 2019, to form its own reliability coordinator program. The Balancing Authority of Northern California also is planning to switch to CAISO for the services. […]

The Buzz

17 Aug

Few are holding their breath on votes on the big pending energy bills. The fate of legislation creating grid regionalization and a 100 percent green energy bill, as well as addressing wildfire liability, is anyone’s guess. Adequate and continuous funding for wildfire mitigation and management in California is the elephant in the room that legislators […]

Final Votes on Big Energy Bills Are Uncertain

16 Aug

In the final days of this legislative session, passage of the most significant state energy measures is in doubt. AB 813, by Assemblmember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), that would allow the California Independent System Operator to become a western-wide balancing authority, was pulled off the Assembly Floor Aug. 16. It was redirected to the Rules Committee. […]

Renewable Energy Curtailments Rising

14 Aug

The amount of wind and solar energy production in California that is being curtailed has gone up dramatically since 2014, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Based on California Independent System Operator records, NRDC found there was a 600 percent increase in curtailment in May of this year compared to May of 2014. This […]

Juice: Key Energy Developments

7 Aug

While we were away at the beach and hiking in mountains, the state’s energy agencies took significant action on ratepayer protection, grid reliability and greenhouse gas reduction. The California Public Utilities Commission approved a settlement, which was percolating the last few years, on the allocation of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s hefty closure costs. […]

The Buzz

19 Jul

The East Bay’s new community choice program adopts a five-year local investment plan that targets local renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electric transportation. In an increasingly rare display of bipartisanship in Washington, members of both parties in the House praise the growing role of energy storage technology during a committee hearing this week. Current’s Juice […]

Both Sides of the House Cheer Storage

18 Jul

Battery energy storage technology drew bipartisan praise July 18 during a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on the growing role of the technology in the nation’s power grid. Energy storage, said Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), is increasingly “important” to maintaining the nation’s energy supply and helping  “build resilience” in the power grid. Rep. Bobby […]

JUICE: Gridding Our Teeth

17 Jul

As the deadline for voting on legislation to allow California’s grid to become a regional entity gets closer, debate rages on as to whether it would be a boom or bust. A report released July 17, favoring removing barriers to establishing a Western Independent System Operator, warns of the inherent complexities of the legislation, AB […]

FERC v. CA Litigation over CAISO’s Board Selection

17 Jul

The conflict between federal energy regulators and California over the makeup of the California Independent System Operator’s board following the 2000-01 energy crisis was largely decided at the appellate court level. On June 22, 2004, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in California’s favor that its new board was indeed […]

Juice: Big Energy Bills on Vacation Hold

10 Jul

Before lawmakers went on their month-long summer break at the end of last week, they advanced a pile of energy legislation that is a mix of the old and new. Awaiting legislators’ return to the state capitol are significant measures to create full blown expansions of the state’s wholesale energy market, clean energy mandate and […]

Senate Analysis Sees Legal Risks in Regional Grid

3 Jul

Grid regionalization legislation is advancing through the Legislature despite a bill analysis warning it could pose serious threats to the state’s control over its clean energy laws because of potential federal preemption and conflict. “Given the current administration and its ever-increasing appetite to usurp state control, it would arguably be dangerous policy to enter California […]