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JUICE: Return to the Ike Age?

24 Apr

Federal energy regulators last week agreed to examine how to streamline the permit process for building natural gas pipeline projects. The review comes at a time when gas production has outstripped tepid national demand and turned the U.S. into a gas exporter for the first time since Dwight D. Eisenhower lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. […]

The Buzz

13 Apr

Consideration of a ballot measure to mandate that San Diego Gas & Electric serve only green energy to the City of San Diego if it wants a renewed franchise agreement was sent back to go. Leading gubernatorial Republican candidates challenge the recently enacted gas tax hike and the bullet train. Democratic governor hopefuls want to […]

CEC Tightens Desert Plant Water Use, Efficiency Rules

11 Apr

The California Energy Commission approved “drought-proofing” a desert power plant and modifying efficiency regulations for portable electric spas and battery chargers. It also okayed a handful of multi-million-dollar grants and loans at its April 11 business meeting. The Commission approved changes to the conditions of certification for soil and water resources for the 830 MW […]

The Buzz

23 Mar

The grid operator’s board adopted big time reforms to increase gas power plant generator revenues and curb speculation in the transmission congestion market. Pacific Gas & Electric was chastised for balking at complying with the CPUC’s order to sign contracts for biomass projects to help reduce the huge number of dead trees. Biomass got  a […]

CEC Funds Biomass Project in Mariposa County

21 Mar

Mariposa County will become the site of a small biomass-fed power plant that will add 2.4 MW of local generation capacity to the area and help facilitate removal of dead pine trees. The huge numbers of dead trees in the area create a fire hazard and threaten to fall into homes. The Commission also provided […]

Undercurrents

20 Mar

As the state faces up to the loss of power that closing Pacific Gas & Electric’s 2,200 MW Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant will create come the middle of the next decade, the California Energy Commission is eyeing areas offshore of the plant as potential candidates for placing wind power facilities. During a March 12 […]

The Buzz

9 Mar

A sizable midweek natural gas leak in San Diego shuts down a freeway, a huge mall and requires evacuations. As bad is the accompanying lack of a quick and easy shut off. Hours before, information leaked out that natural gas withdrawals from Aliso Canyon by SoCal Gas were quietly okayed over the weekend, riling a […]

Budget Panel Picks Apart Energy Budgets

9 Mar

A Senate budget subcommittee questioned some of the governor’s proposed budget items for the energy agencies, including different funding sources for electric vehicle charging. Included in the new potential funding pots for EV infrastructure is money from the California Energy Commission’s solar homes and air quality programs. “This raises key policy questions,” Legislative Analyst Brian […]

Undercurrents

5 Mar

Amid many moving pieces, Southern California Edison is soliciting preferred resources to meet local power capacity needs in the Moorpark subarea of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties beginning in summer of 2021. Included in the mix are a potential transmission alternative and a transition from utility provided power to community choice. Preferred resources typically include […]

Shorts

27 Feb

The California Energy Commission staff held a Feb. 27  workshop on its emerging grant program for renewable energy projects for the agricultural industry. Eligibility for the $6 million in competitive grants, funded by the state’s carbon cap-and-trade auctions, includes renewable projects on farm land, including areas used for growing cannabis. This CEC grant program “is being […]

CEC Energy Forecast Points to Rising Electricity Demand

22 Feb

The latest versions of the Integrated Energy Policy Report and state energy demand forecast were approved by the California Energy Commission during its Feb. 21 meeting and they show faster growth in electricity use than previously forecast. Annual demand growth from 2016-2027 in the forecast averages 1.64 percent in the high case, 1.32 percent in […]

Undercurrents: Grid Regionalization Legislation Rises

21 Feb

Grid regionalization legislation appears to be back on the table, with draft language being circulated in Sacramento by Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena). Holden amended a bill late in last year’s legislative session to include provisions to allow the California Independent System Operator to move forward with a regionalized western grid […]

Legislature Sets Busy Agenda with More Energy Bills

20 Feb

Legislators in Sacramento continued introducing energy-related measures through the end of last week, including perennial bills that to make large hydropower a qualified source of renewable energy and to promote electric vehicles. While some are largely statements of intent at this juncture—with the substance to be developed later—two of the more developed measures introduced in […]

New Energy Bills Pile Up Before Deadline

14 Feb

As lawmakers work furiously to meet a Feb. 15 deadline for introducing new legislation in Sacramento, numerous energy-related measures were introduced as of Feb. 13. In the Senate, new measures would backfill the loss of local government revenue in San Luis Obispo County projected to result from the upcoming closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear […]

Efficiency Shines at EPIC Meeting

8 Feb

During a Feb. 8 symposium on innovative clean projects and prospects funded by the Electric Program Investment Charge, energy efficiency got top billing. “Negawatts are our priority,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner (D- Berkeley) at the all-day workshop. Energy efficiency, added Sean Armstrong with Redwood Energy, “is where the market is at.” At the same time, […]

JUICE: A Legislative Energy Agenda

6 Feb

As the Legislature gathers steam in Sacramento, numerous key energy-related issues are ripe for action, from how to deal with over-capacity in the state’s power market to the extent to which electric utilities should be liable for wildfires sparked by their equipment. Energy agencies are attempting to deal with some of the conflicts—for instance, exit […]

The Buzz

2 Feb

California energy regulators and fire safety agencies are working together to try and curb the dangers of the growing numbers of intense wildfires, with a worrisome number sparked by power lines. The California Public Utilities Commission president and other officials lament the inadequacy of resources, policies and preparation during an all day meeting. Fire safety […]

Shorts

30 Jan

Updated Feb. 1 The California Energy Commission unveiled its latest proposal to require disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions in conjunction with annual reports disclosing the power sources of load serving entities. The proposal, which would implement AB 1110, would disqualify unbundled renewable energy credits from being claimed as greenhouse gas reductions, among other changes. CEC […]

JUICE: Building Code Update Calls for Solar on New Homes

29 Jan

California will become the first state in the nation to require solar systems on new homes under a massive update to state building energy efficiency standards to be adopted by the California Energy Commission this spring. The standards will add about 200 MW of rooftop solar to the grid each year as home builders construct […]

Innovative Heating Methods Save Gas & Money

25 Jan

Emerging technology projects aimed at reducing natural gas use in buildings while also lowering costs show promise. The California Energy Commission learned at a Jan. 24 workshop about a new rooftop air conditioning unit that uses waste heat from the air conditioned space to pre-heat hot water. The technology cuts natural gas use between 25-35 […]