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Pot Farms Burn the Midnight Oil, CEC Finds

2 Dec

Cannabis cultivation is and will continue to drive up electricity consumption in California. It is expected to add 1,600 GWh of new load over the next decade, according to the California Energy Commission. Demand from pot growth, largely energy-intensive indoor cultivation, is estimated to increase energy use in Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California […]

Opposition Grows to Converting Utah Plant Serving So Cal to Gas

21 Nov

Clear air advocates Nov. 19 urged the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to put the brakes on a coal to natural gas conversion at the Intermountain Power Project in Utah. Their call occurred the same day that the California Energy Commission revealed that much of state’s gas power plant fleet will remain online […]

Undercurrents

19 Nov

During a Nov. 19 workshop on reducing the energy use of the water and wastewater industries, providing conveyors and wastewater treatment operators real time energy use data was called critical. The water and wastewater industries use about 20 percent of the electricity in the state and about 30 percent of the natural gas use for […]

Axing CA Electricity Sector Emissions Said to be Decarbonization Key

18 Nov

To reach California’s decarbonization mandate within a quarter of a century, the electric sector must make the biggest greenhouse gas emission cuts, energy regulators and policy makers were told Nov. 18. This sector annually produces about 64 million metric tons of greenhouse gases today and that level must be reduced to between 6 MMT to […]

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. […]

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 […]

Shorts

7 Nov

A small number of sources of methane emissions are responsible for one-third or more of this super climate pollutant released in California, according a study by NASA.“The most startling finding” of the NASA study commissioned by the California Energy Commission and Air Resources Board, “was that less than 0.2 percent of infrastructure in the state […]

CA Sues Feds for Weakening Lighting Savings Rules

6 Nov

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Nov. 4 joined with 17 other state attorneys general to sue the U.S. Department of Energy for watering down efficiency standards for certain light bulbs. The petition, Becerra said, seeks “to block the Department of Energy from pushing a foolish agenda that prioritizes outdated, polluting technology over the needs of […]

Undercurrents: State’s Natural Gas Use to Wane

30 Oct

Within about a decade California can expect natural gas prices to be below those at Henry Hub, a California Energy Commission analysis shows. The hub is the national benchmark for gas prices. The gas price forecast presented Oct. 30 at a commission workshop, attributes the favorable price outlook to increasing supplies, particularly from the Permian […]

Clean Energy Grants Benefit CA’s Food Processors

16 Oct

The California Energy Commission early this week approved more than $6 million in grants for projects aimed at helping food producers in the state save energy and cut greenhouse gases. “The Food Production Inventive Program is an important program that is helping California meet its 100 percent clean energy and its greenhouse gas reduction goals,” […]

Newsom Acts on Last Round of Energy Bills

14 Oct

California may soon have smart appliances that can be automatically turned off and on by energy companies to match their electricity use with power availability and price under a bill signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. “SB 49 will help bring California’s electrical grid into the 21st century and allow us to use our […]

CEC Okays San Francisco & Modesto Resource Plans

14 Oct

The California Energy Commission Oct. 14 signed off on the integrated resources plans for the San Francisco Public Utility Commission’s Hetch Hetchy power system, as well as for the Modesto Irrigation District. “Each is consistent with the requirements of SB 350,” Paul Deaver, CEC program manager, told commissioners at this week’s business meeting. The San […]

Shorts

14 Oct

Updated Oct. 17. The California Independent System Operator upgraded its power grid operating technology last week, saying it now has the most advanced system in the industry. CAISO launched the Siemens Spectrum PowerTM 7 energy management system after five years of study, competitive bidding, design, and implementation. “CAISO now has the most sophisticated energy management […]

Juice: Revitalizing The Lost Coast With Offshore Wind

7 Oct

California’s reach for 100 percent carbon-free power and electrification of its transportation system gives policy makers the chance to revitalize the economy of the state’s North Coast. Humboldt County’s coast—commonly called the Lost Coast—was once the bustling center of the state’s forestry industry. But, forest decline and environmental protections placed on the region’s logging turned […]

Offshore Wind Promises Carbon Goal Savings

3 Oct

As California aims to decarbonize its power grid and electrify transportation, interest in developing offshore wind power farms is growing. To date, 14 companies have signaled they hope to develop offshore wind projects along the state’s North and Central Coasts, according to Necy Sumait, renewable energy section chief for the Pacific office of the federal […]

Governor Signs Wildfire Bills Affecting Utilities

1 Oct

Updated Oct. 2. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed energy bills Oct. 2 related to utility power shutoffs to prevent wildfires, as well as two other wildfire-related measures setting new requirements for utilities. Meanwhile, several other energy measures await action by Newsom  before the Oct. 13 deadline. He must either sign the bills into law, veto them, […]

Shorts

30 Sep

Updated Oct. 3. A ratepayer advocate group is taking Pacific Gas & Electric to task for its legal bills as the giant utility moves through its bankruptcy proceeding. The Utility Reform Network Oct. 3 blasted PG&E for spending $140 million on legal fees in the first few months of the  proceeding, paying attorneys $1,500 an […]

Affordability is Key to 100% Clean Energy in Fresno

30 Sep

State energy officials began airing their proposal to reach 100 percent emissions-free electricity by 2045 this week, starting with a workshop on the upcoming blueprint in the Central Valley. Turlock Irrigation District Assistant General Manager Brad Koehn told state officials his public power agency is concerned about the affordability of meeting California’s ambitious energy goals, […]

The Buzz

26 Sep

So. Cal Gas and SDG&E get whopping increases in their 2019-21 general rate cases. State energy regulators say the hefty revenue hikes are needed to fully fund the gas and electric companies’ safety programs. It is a long shot but bondholders try again to inject their plan for paying off PG&E’s massive debts at the […]

Increasing Electrification Shakes Up Demand Forecasting

26 Sep

Utility industry changes are putting to the test the California Energy Commission’s 40-year old demand forecasting. Forecasters need to figure out how to reshape demand given the state’s high electrification future, including its effect on distribution planning, demand and supply interactions, customer choice and long term investment scenarios, Commissioner Andrew McAllister said at the Sept. […]