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Bills Bolster Private Utilities’ Bottom Line & Building Emission Cuts

4 Sep

In a last-minute rewrite with minimal transparency, lawmakers passed a bill shielding Pacific Gas & Electric shareholders from massive wildfire liability but lacked similar gusto to pass legislation allowing for a regionalization of California’s electric grid. The grid regionalization bill, the two-year AB 813, remained stuck in the Rules Committee throughout the final two weeks […]

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 […]

Juice: Picker’s Picks

5 Jun

Editor’s note: Like Grateful Dead archivist Dick Latvala “picked” the band’s most energetic concerts for release as albums in his “Dick’s Picks” recordings, California Public Utilities Commission President Mike Picker picks the best resources to release energy to the Los Angeles basin’s grid to keep the area rockin’. A proposed decision to deny Southern California […]

Shorts

4 Jun

Updated June 7. Utility regulators held a two-day meeting this week on how to potentially redesign electricity rates to accommodate an increasing number of electric vehicles in the coming years. The meeting on June 7 and 8 also focused on how to address rate design to encourage production of hydrogen to power fuel cell vehicles. […]

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. […]

Undercurrents

18 Apr

Updated April 19. A group of Los Angeles County homeowners filed a class-action lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Renovate America and Renew Financial, which contract with Los Angeles County to operate the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, failed to offer basic consumer protections. The suit claims that PACE loans provided by the […]

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 […]

Picker Grilled on Aliso Canyon & Community Choice

7 Mar

During a March 6 hearing by the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee, the California Public Utilities president was questioned about a closed-door decision to allow SoCal Gas to withdraw natural gas from Aliso Canyon. Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) was highly critical of a decision made the previous Saturday by CPUC Energy Division Director […]

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 […]

OPINIONATED: The Sorry State Of Demand Response, Smart Meters/Dumb Tariffs

22 Jan

 By Fereidoon Sioshansi The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to conduct an annual survey of demand response and advanced metering in the U.S. The 12th edition of the report was released in Dec. 2017 and anyone looking for major revelations is likely to be disappointed. Not much happens from […]

CPUC Okays 15 Utility Transportation Electrification Projects

11 Jan

Regulators gave the state’s three biggest electric utilities the green light Jan. 11 to spend $42.8 million on projects aimed at bolstering electric transportation. Under the unanimously-approved decision by the California Public Utilities Commission, a majority of the money will go toward projects that promote electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, according to Commissioner Carla […]

Negawatt Providers Seek a Mandate

21 Nov

California regulators and policymakers say they want to see increases in demand response to reduce peak load and help balance out intermittent renewable resources. Despite the lip service, the amount of negawatt capacity reaped from the residential and commercial/industrial sectors has fallen since 2011, particularly from third-party aggregators working with the investor-owned utilities. “There is […]

CPUC Continues Annual $13.5 M Negawatt Pilots

26 Oct

California energy regulators voted unanimously to continue funding short-term private utility demand response pilots to boost anemic third-party demand response programs. The pilots “will help shape how we move forward” on third-party programs, said California Public Utilities Commission member Martha Guzman Aceves, who authored the alternate decision approved Oct. 26. She said the goal is […]

CA Lags on Demand Response, Report Finds

26 Oct

California is working to make better use of demand response strategies for meeting peak loads, but the Golden State is hardly a leader in the effort, according to a report released Oct. 25 by the Smart Electric Power Alliance. While the report credited the state’s demand response auction mechanism adopted by the California Public Utilities […]

Undercurrents: Long-term Nuclear Waste Disposal Remains Stalled

26 Sep

State and local representatives pressed for federal solutions to the problem of mounting radioactive waste at nuclear power plants, including the closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, during a House Oversight & Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, & Environment Sept. 26. David Victor, chair of the SONGS Community Engagement Panel, told the […]

FERC’s New Chair Walks Fine Line

14 Sep

Neil Chatterjee, the new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair, signaled a subtle shift in the commission’s focus to maintaining grid reliability as more renewable energy comes online, during a Sept. 14 House Energy & Commerce Energy Subcommittee hearing. The commission under former President Barack Obama highlighted the role of matching power demand with available energy […]

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 […]

Heat Brings New Historic Peaks for Edison & LADWP

6 Sep

Triple digit temperatures caused Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to set new peak load records last week. The blistering heat drove up electricity demand in and outside Southern California even though the high loads were tamped down somewhat by demand response programs. Edison’s new peak load reached 23,508 […]

CAISO Eases Market Rules for Demand Response

27 Jul

The California Independent System Operator’s board July 26 approved measures to enhance the ability of demand response resources to participate in the grid operator’s market. The board voted in support of rules that specifically include expanding the baseline that evaluates the performance of distributed resources and energy storage in CAISO’s market.  Currently, CAISO uses one […]

CEC Faces More Pressure to Reject Puente Power Project

20 Jul

Opposition to NRG’s proposed Puente power plant at the site of an existing power facility on the beach in Oxnard is continuing to build. Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks declared her “strong opposition,” and along with others, urged relying on preferred resources. “As renewable energy has become cost-effective and abundant, there is an important question […]