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JUICE: Beyond a Bud Light Future in EV Charging

24 May

The beer flowed May 19 in Sacramento after an all-day meeting on the future of “retail competition” in the California electric power industry. But when the waiters picked up the glasses and mopped up the suds little really had been settled. While other states abound with consumer choice in retail power plans—sporting such features as […]

Undercurrents: Laying Ground Rules to Lessen Grid Insecurities

3 May

Energy regulators face myriad challenges in ensuring that state utilities adequately protect their substations, power lines and other energy infrastructure, from utility resistance to sharing sensitive information to impacts on ratepayer wallets. “Making sure the utilities are not overspending, and spending the right amount and in the right areas,” are key concerns, California Public Utilities […]

CAISO Eyes Need for Controversial Puente Project

2 May

The grid operator is poised to study whether local resource adequacy in Ventura County could be met with demand response, renewable resources, energy storage, and other preferred resources in place of building the proposed natural gas-fired Puente power plant on the beach. “We know full well that there could be other options to this, including […]

Making Way for Microgrids

26 Apr

Three energy agencies are working to smooth the way for microgrids in the state. “Microgrids are one of the solutions to help California meet its aggressive [climate protection] goals,” Mike Gravely, California Energy Commission deputy director, said during an April 25 joint agency workshop. The Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent […]

The Buzz

13 Apr

Eggs gathered in Current’s Easter news basket include approval of two controversial and large natural gas project redos along the SoCal coast. The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the Huntington & Alamitos replacement projects, which are to be cooled with air, not seawater-cooled. On the agenda at this week’s Energy Commission post business meeting closed […]

Undercurrents: Upwardly Creeping Gas Prices Prompt LADWP to Boost Power Charge

7 Mar

Higher gas prices are requiring the nation’s largest municipal utility to increase what its customers pay for electricity each month. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is moving to raise what it charges the average customer for power by 0.220 cents per kWh, a total increase of about a $1.10 a month. “This […]

Regulated Utility Earnings Rise in 2016

28 Feb

  California’s regulated utilities and their holding companies’ 2016 earnings increased under California Public Utilities Commission approved rates and spending programs, utility executives told financial analysts recently. (more…)

Regulators Grapple with How to Go Forward on Distributed Resources

26 Jan

The word “complexity” was repeated numerous times during a workshop on how far to go in modernizing the grid to accommodate rising levels of rooftop solar and other distributed energy resources that are altering the power system and industry. The Jan. 24 workshop at the California Public Utilities Commission is part of the agency’s ongoing […]

Regulators Tell Utilities to Buy Distributed Resources

15 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission began testing the resources waters,moving Dec. 15 to have distributed energy replace traditional centralized power plants and transmission lines. Commissioner Mike Florio, the lead commissioner on the approved decision, called the action “the next big step forward” regarding distributed energy, though he admitted that it’s “not the end of the […]

CA Fiddling with Distributed Resources to Reduce Risks, Says Regulator

3 Nov

  California has no grand vision for increasing the amount of distributed energy resources used to meet its energy needs, according to a key state utility regulator. Instead, it is “taking baby steps” by trying a number of approaches on a small scale to see what works. (more…)

CPUC Seeks to Coordinate Decisions on Distributed Resources in Action Plan

20 Oct

California Public Utilities Commission officials outlined a distributed resources action plan this week that a commission said should guide regulators’ actions related to distributed energy resources but stop short of determining the outcome of related proceedings. (more…)

Distributed Resources Can Add Resiliency to Grid, Say Operators

2 Jun

A first step towards using distributed renewable resources, storage, and demand response to maintain grid reliability is making those alternative resources both visible to the grid operator and controllable, power industry officials told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission June 1. (more…)

Self-Generation Subsidies Get Massive Make Over

19 May

The 15-year old incentive program to promote distributed renewable and low carbon generation resources faces a major overhaul, under a proposed decision by California Public Utilities Commission President Mike Picker. (more…)

JUICE: Electric Rodeo

19 May

If it was early 1900, I would be one of the 20 million people in the U.S. who owned a horse and not among the 4,000 owners of the new-fangled horseless carriage. I wouldn’t be among the 25,000 gasoline-operated car owners five years later either, largely because of the steep cost and the dearth of […]

Assembly Panel Passes Bills Tweaking Energy Laws & Rules

21 Apr

The Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee this week passed bills to help schools control their energy bills, promote distributed energy and guarantee customer credits during blackouts. (more…)

GUEST JUICE: State Regulators Must Level the Playing Field

3 Mar

By V. John White The California Public Utilities Commission in 2013 and 2014 authorized Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to buy power to meet local capacity requirements to fill the gap from the retirement of once-through-cooled power plants and the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California. (more…)

CPUC Backs SoCal Gas CHP Plan

23 Oct

SoCal Gas can get into the small-scale combined heat and power business under a decision approved by the California Public Utilities Commission Oct. 22 as long as plants it builds and operates on utility customer premises are shareholder funded and no bigger than 20 MW. (more…)

SB 350 Intertwines Clean Energy Criteria & Targets

24 Sep

Sen. Kevin de León, author of ground-breaking legislation to increase California’s renewable energy standard for electric utilities to 50 percent and double building energy efficiency by 2030, did not succumb to pressure to allow the utilities to count their customers’ solar rooftops towards their higher renewable obligations. (more…)

CA Regulators Move to Marry Distributed Resources

17 Sep

The California Public Utilities Commission Sept. 17 took a step towards establishing a framework to integrate, increase and compensate demand side and distributed energy resources. (more…)

Aligning PV Benefits & Burdens for Haves & Have-Nots

17 Sep

How to measure the costs and benefits of net metered solar rooftops to eliminate cost shifting to those without photovoltaic systems is at the heart of the regulatory proceeding to revise the private utilities’ rate structure, as required by law. (more…)