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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 […]

East Bay Choice Adopts $4.5M/Year Plan

19 Jul

Northern California’s newest community energy program unanimously adopted a $22.5 million, five-year business plan to develop local energy resources, electrify transportation, increase energy efficiency and create local jobs. “This will help us not only provide local clean energy that is more affordable, but also investments in local jobs and development,” City of Berkeley Mayor Jesse […]

JUICE: Gridding Our Teeth

17 Jul

As the deadline for voting on legislation to allow California’s grid to become a regional entity gets closer, debate rages on as to whether it would be a boom or bust. A report released July 17, favoring removing barriers to establishing a Western Independent System Operator, warns of the inherent complexities of the legislation, AB […]

The Buzz

13 Jul

Editor’s Note: California Current will be taking a two-week summer break. The last stories before the break will be posted on July 20. Story posting will resume the week of Aug. 6. State energy regulators belatedly agree to approve Southern California Edison’s 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements to be developed […]

Edison’s Controversial Local Clean Energy Deals Win Approval

12 Jul

The California Public Utilities Commission voted 4-1 to allow Southern California Edison to recover more than $300 million from ratepayers for 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements slated for the constrained western Los Angeles sub-basin. “This will drive market transformation,” said Mike Picker, CPUC president, during the agency’s July 12 business […]

Energy Commission Okay Grants & Local Efficiency Rules

11 Jul

The California Energy Commission continued its pattern of funding microgrids. During its July 11 business meeting, the commission approved on a 4-0 vote a $5 million grant for a microgrid to support the reopening of a month-balled anaerobic digester at the City of Rialto’s wastewater facility. According to CEC staff, the microgrid in San Bernardino […]

The Buzz

28 Jun

The big squeeze from a duo of powerful hedge funds leads Sempra Energy to sell off all of its green portfolio and some of its gas assets. More significantly, this is just the first round of spin offs. A proposed CPUC settlement would reduce ratepayers’ share of the closure costs of San Onofre Nuclear Generating […]

Bill Allowing Unlimited Direct Access Advances

28 Jun

Legislation lifting the cap on the ability of large businesses and industries to be served by non-utility energy service providers passed out of the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee June 27 despite significant opposition, including from the panel chair. SB 237 by Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), which would remove limits on direct access, was approved […]

Assembly Panel Backs Senate Energy Bills

26 Jun

A controversial measure to require California natural gas utilities to purchase biomethane gained ground June 25, narrowly passing out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a 6-1 vote. SB 1440 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) would require the state’s gas utilities to enter contracts for a minimum of ten years by 2020 for […]

JUICE: Creating the ISDN Grid

26 Jun

When I was a young reporter in Washington in the early 1980s covering the telecommunications industry, the policy vision was to unleash competition to advance technologies and eventually create what was called the Integrated Services Digital Network, or ISDN. ISDN was to become a single operating network through which all communications could flow—including phone calls, […]

Senate Energy Panel Okays Minor Energy Bills

19 Jun

A handful of meaures passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee this week, from one requiring transparency on decisions to place a moratorium on natural gas supply connections to another reducing public school utility bills. AB 1879 by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) would require the California Public Utilities Commission to provide […]

Juice: Parsing AB 813

19 Jun

Suddenly, all eyes are turned toward the likely prospect California lawmakers will soon enable a regionalized western power grid and wholesale market. Regionalization was on the table a few years ago, but progress largely faltered on concerns it would enable more coal power to flow into California, confounding the state’s march to decarbonize its economy. […]

CEC Aims for Carbon Emissions Free Buildings

14 Jun

Moving to zero carbon emission buildings in California depends on a few key strategies, a panel of experts told the California Energy Commission June 14. “Decarbonization is really the essence of our energy policy,” said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister. Yet when it comes to decarbonizing buildings, he said the jury is still out in devising […]

Energy Commission Awards Funding for Clean Energy Projects

13 Jun

The California Energy Commission June 13 voted in favor of more than $28 million in grants to advance microgrids to provide local energy and backup power, increase energy efficiency and increase the sources of clean hydrogen fuel. Approved on a 4-0 vote was a $4 million grant to support building a 5,000 kilogram/per day renewable […]

The Buzz

8 Jun

The feisty Air Resources Board knocks hard on federal regulators’ door. The aim is to have a serious discussion with the Trump Administration about plans to knock out California’s tighter greenhouse gas controls for autos. Other potential bad news for the Golden State is the mega bucks it will cost if Trump et al succeed […]

Clean Tech: The Next Energy Efficiency Frontier: Labs

6 Jun

With the largest population and economy in the nation, California has more laboratories than any other state, boasting some 116 million square feet of energy-gobbling scientific space. Labs represent “the next major frontier in energy efficiency,” Allison Paradise of My Green Lab and Alison Farmer of kW Engineering told the California Energy Commission during a […]

Undercurrents

5 Jun

East Bay Community Energy is one of the first community choice aggregation programs in California to develop a community economic development plan aimed at leveraging local control over power procurement to create local jobs and business development opportunities. The draft plan issued June 4 “is intended to develop a comprehensive framework for accelerating the development […]

The Buzz

31 May

More than $1 billion in electric truck and car charging funding gets the green light. The California Public Utilities Commission approves the investor-owned power utilities spending $738 million of ratepayer money on EV charging infrastructure, particularly for electric truck and bus chargers. That authorization follows California air quality regulators directing $423 million to subsidize the […]

CPUC Approves $8B in Energy Efficiency Plans

31 May

The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved an $8 billion cap on rolling energy efficiency business programs covering eight years. The decision approving the efficiency business plans covers those of the four investor-owned utilities, Marin Clean Energy, the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, the Southern California Regional Energy Network and the Tri-County Regional Energy Network. […]

CEC Framework to Promote Clean Energy in Low-Income Homes

31 May

A May 30 workshop at the California Energy Commission zeroed in on a developing a plan for increasing access to energy efficiency and solar upgrades for low-income housing residents, including those in multifamily units. CEC discussed its plan the day before the California Public Utilities Commission was slated to  vote on a decision to bolster […]