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CPUC May Tie Community Energy to Its Resource Adequacy Rules

13 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission plans to vote next month on whether to require new and expanding community choice aggregators to meet the agency’s resource adequacy rules before serving customers. “This is a major threat to community control of energy,” warned the Local Clean Energy Alliance after the CPUC released its proposed resolution last Friday. […]

Private Utility Portfolios Bulge with Renewable Credits

20 Nov

The three investor-owned utilities have an estimated 55,000 GWh worth of surplus renewable energy credits. These excess green credits, which are separate from the actual GWh of power produced, are being saved for use over the next 12 years to meet the utilities’ 50 percent renewable portfolio mandate in 2030. The hefty amount of renewable […]

Aggregators Contest CPUC Control Over Resource Planning

20 Nov

As the California Public Utilities Commission moves toward adopting a decision that sets parameters for its new integrated resource planning process for power utilities and other load serving entities, community choice aggregators want to get out from under CPUC authority. The California Community Choice Association maintains that community aggregators, like Marin Clean Energy and others, […]

Riverside County Moves Ahead on Community Choice

16 Nov

After more than a year of work, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors Nov. 14 approved taking the next critical step towards becoming a community aggregator. The supervisors voted 3-2 to send the proposed community energy implementation plan for the unincorporated areas of the county, which have about 375,000 residential and business customers, to the […]

Choice Program Clean Energy Projects Gain Critical Mass

15 Nov

Updated Nov. 16, 2017. As community choice aggregation programs have matured, the number of renewable power plants being built in California to serve their customers has swelled. The newest project is expected to begin operating early next year. Together, three major choice programs in the state—Marin Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean Power, and Peninsula Clean Energy—have […]

Utilities & Community Choice Beat Renewables Target

14 Nov

California’s investor-owned utilities exceeded the 25 percent alternative energy mandate set for 2016 and are expected to have half their energy portfolios supplied by eligible renewable resources by 2020. That is according to a California Public Utilities Commission report submitted to the Legislature Nov. 13. The state’s community choice aggregators together exceeded last year’s mandate, […]

Shorts

14 Nov

Calpine has set a shareholders’ vote on its merger with Energy Capital Partners for Dec. 15. Under the proposed merger, a subsidiary of Energy Capital Partners known as Volt would purchase Calpine at a price of $15.25 a share. If approved, Calpine stock no longer would be traded, but instead controlled by the Energy Capital […]

No Clear Path to More Consumer Choice

1 Nov

California utility regulators ongoing struggle with how to create more customer choice in electricity was not alleviated during a workshop held in the state capital building this week. At the end of the day, few concrete proposals emerged from various industry stakeholders’ differing, but largely piecemeal perspectives. The Oct.31 meeting was the second that the […]

Juice: Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face

31 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission’s effort to revise the way exit fees are calculated for community choice aggregators is imploding at the outset, as utilities appear to be overplaying their hand rather than owning up to their waning political power. The crux of the proceeding on the fee methodology—known as the power charge indifference adjustment—is […]

Confidentiality May Block Choice Exit Fee Revise

25 Oct

After years of building controversy, the California Public Utilities Commission has launched in earnest a proceeding to revise how exit fees for community choice aggregators are calculated. But, the effort is off to a rocky start. We may be “doomed to failure,” said CPUC Administrative Law Judge Stephen Roscow at one of the first meetings […]

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 […]

Shorts

25 Sep

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposal to facilitate aggregated energy storage and distributed energy resources to participate in wholesale power markets has drawn wide support in comments filed on the federal agency’s proposal, according to an analysis released Sept. 27 by the Solar Electric Power Alliance and the Edison Electric Institute. However, the two organizations’ […]

Undercurrents: CA Sues Feds for Halting Penalty Increase for Fuel Efficiency Violations

12 Sep

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit against the Trump Administration Sept. 11 for delaying a rule increasing the fine on car manufacturers that fail to meet federal fuel efficiency standards. “More fuel-efficient cars on our roads means cleaner air, better overall health for our children, and savings at the pump for consumers,” Becerra said. “We will […]

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 […]

Decentralized Solar Posed to Cut Grid Costs, Report Finds

31 Aug

Decentralized solar coupled with onsite battery storage can reduce strain and costs in maintaining the electrical grid, according to a report commissioned by Sonoma Clean Power that was released Aug. 31. Dubbed “Solar+,” the report said that sufficiently-sized solar systems coupled with storage on a decentralized basis also can serve new power demand as people […]

JUICE: Voluntary 100% Renewable Programs Lack Traction

30 Aug

Community choice and utility programs offering customers all solar energy or 100 percent mixed renewable power are about as popular as wall flowers. The uptake rate of consumers voluntarily paying community aggregators and private utilities for all solar or a mix of clean power is in the low single digits. It is as low as […]

Undercurrents: SONGS Onsite Waste Suit Settled

30 Aug

A settlement of the lawsuit over expanding onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel at the San Onofre Nuclear Station was reached Aug. 28. “A cooperative effort between the public, independent experts and Southern California Edison has begun and will continue until the nuclear waste is removed from San Diego,” said attorney Michael Aguirre, representing plaintiff […]

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 […]

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 […]

Bill to Keep Utility Safety Funds on Track Advances

22 Jun

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee June 21 passed four small bills with little or no discussion, including one that aims to keep private utilities from diverting approved financial resources away from authorized safety work, including for pipelines. SB 595 by Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) to prevent safety money diversions was approved on a 14-1 […]