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News Roundup: CPUC Aims to Lower Utility Bills, Snowpack is Half of Average

2 Apr

The California Public Utilities Commission is working to lower home utility bills that have surged since the issuance of shelter at home directives. The agency announced April 2 it would fast track the second annual climate credit, which comes from the state’s carbon cap-and-trade auction revenue. Residential electric use has increased 15-20% in recent weeks […]

Examples of Force Majeure Contract Clauses

31 Mar

The first sample is a Force Majeure provision in PG&E’s 2017 Photovoltaic Request for Offer standard contract: It states that Force Majeure “means any event or circumstance which wholly or partly prevents or delays the performance of any material obligation arising under this Agreement, but only if and to the extent (i) such event is […]

JUICE: Major Forces

31 Mar

The COVID-19 contagion is putting center stage provisions in power purchase agreements that often sit in the wings: those governing the responsibilities and liabilities of the contracting parties, and the timing of their obligations, when an unforeseen disaster or Act of God hits. These “force majeure” clauses, which may include pandemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, and war, […]

CPUC Sets 46 MMT Carbon Target for Power Sector

26 Mar

In a first-ever telephonic business meeting plagued with technical glitches, the California Public Utilities Commission approved adding another 25,000 MW of renewable resources and allowing some gas generation to continue over the next decade. The path is intended to ensure electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions fall to 46 million metric tons by 2030. The 5-0 […]

Renewable-Battery Projects Beat out Stand Alone Facilities

19 Mar

Combining utility scale solar and wind projects with batteries provides greater value at lower costs than either stand-alone intermittent renewable or battery projects, a new study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds. That is particularly true for California with the surge in renewable resources connected to its grid. Large renewable generation paired with storage […]

State and Federal Meeting Updates during Covid-19 Pandemic

16 Mar

Updated Friday. Changes in italics. The following are the latest changes to previously scheduled meetings, in accordance with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order limiting the number of people at gatherings, and local agency dictates. The California Public Utilities Commission cancelled all its public hearings on increasing electric rates pursuant to Phase One of Southern California […]

The Buzz

12 Mar

The rising threat of the new coronavirus gets state and federal agencies in gear.  A few days earlier, regulators and other energy entities don’t agree on how to respond. The state grid operator is the first to take major precautions, discontinuing its in-person meetings to thwart the possible spread of COVID-19 pathogens. With no fanfare, […]

Monterey to Accept Diablo Nuke Power, Some CCAs Remain Undecided

10 Mar

Updated March 11 When state regulators unanimously adopted a 50% hike in the exit fee imposed on a group of community choice aggregators in Pacific Gas & Electric territory last month, it revealed how much they are paying for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. It is one-third of this year’s Power Charge Indifference Adjustment, […]

The Buzz

6 Mar

State lawmakers ask the private utilities hard questions about the new wildfire mitigation plans’ impacts on ratepayer pocketbooks and safety. Legislators also introduce new bills to keep PG&E et al from writing off penalties for safety violations. Other measures seek to increase the flow of renewable resources into utility grids and vehicles. To help close […]

Shorts

5 Mar

Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 4 reappointed two California Independent System Operator board members. Ashutosh Bhagwat and Angelina Galiteva were given additional three-year terms by the governor. Both members are serving third terms. Steve Berberich, ISO president and CEO, who retires in June, said the re-appointees and the executive leadership will continue to work together […]

Energy Commission Proposes 3-Year Clean Transportation Funding Cycle

3 Mar

With electric vehicle sales an order of magnitude below where they need to be to match California’s carbon reduction goals, state agency staff proposed tripling support for electric vehicle infrastructure and extending the funding period from one to three years. The bulk of the $384.2 million in Clean Transportation Program funds discussed at a California […]

The Buzz

28 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric is hit with a historic fine of $2.14 billion for igniting deadly wildfires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018. It comes a few days after PG&E reports significant losses in its 2019 earnings report. The private utilities in the southern half of the state fare far better. Southern California Edison, […]

New PG&E Exit Fee More than Doubles CCAs Tab

27 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 27 unanimously approved big hikes in the exit fees community choice aggregators must pay to Pacific Gas & Electric. The Commission’s 5-0 vote was cast with no discussion. Community choice organizations whose customers left PG&E to join CCA programs in 2017 and 2018 will see roughly 60% increase in […]

The Buzz

20 Feb

The West Coast’s first LNG export project looks like its headed for federal approval. This week, however, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission votes 2-1 to tentatively disapprove the Coos Bay project because of Oregon’s recent permit rejection. A majority of the federal energy regulators also reject the New York grid operator’s capacity market revisions, undermining […]

Shorts

20 Feb

The California Energy Commission approved a Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s community solar program. The Feb. 20 approval was based on the Energy Commission’s 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which allow community solar in place of PV roof tops on new single family homes. “We expected that the marketplace and stakeholders would find solutions appropriate for […]

JUICE: PCIA for Dummies

18 Feb

Community choice aggregators in Pacific Gas & Electric territory struggle with whether to accept nuclear energy from the utility’s Diablo power plant. This year is the first time PG&E has offered community choice entities a share of the nuke’s output, although they’ve paid for it every year since they were formed.   Local clean energy […]

CCAs Diablo Dilemma

18 Feb

The loaded issue of whether to accept a portion of Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo nuclear power plant output has led some community choice entities to reject the offer this year, even though they’re paying for it. That includes Marin Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power. Local clean energy advocates find it unacceptable to take […]

The Buzz

14 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric offers its nuclear energy to community choice. But it is a hot potato, particularly for East Bay Clean Energy. Local green energy advocates give it a lot of heat for considering the matter. Bets are that extracting lithium from the steamy brine of geothermal plants in the mineral-rich Salton Sea will […]

The Diablo is in the Detail

14 Feb

East Bay Clean Energy and other community choice aggregators have touted themselves as being cleaner, greener and more customer-friendly than competitor Pacific Gas & Electric. But they’re facing a dilemma that could change that.  At issue is whether to take a predetermined amount of generation from PG&E’s greenhouse gas-free Diablo nuclear power plant this year, […]

Private Utilities Pitch Array of Microgrid Projects, Many Fossil-Fueled

27 Jan

New microgrid proposals by Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric aim to get a variety of short- and long-term projects online within the next few months to keep power flowing during utility shutoffs when wildfire threats escalate. If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, hundreds of millions […]