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The Buzz

25 May

Pacific Gas & Electric fails to garner an extra $1.5 billion for decommissioning its Diablo Canyon nuclear reactor, as the CPUC stands by an administrative law judge’s decision. FERC moves a bit closer to a quorum as a Senate panel holds a hearing on President Trump’s nominees. In a report that’s, well, quite predictable, CARB […]

So CA Preferred Resources & Coastal Plant Replacements Lag

22 May

Southern California faces no shortage of generation or power import capacity this summer although actual deployment of “preferred resources” procured by investor-owned utilities is lagging. However, a shortage of natural gas due to the ongoing closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field could pose a risk to energy reliability this summer. That scenario […]

San Jose is Largest U.S. City to Choose Community Choice

18 May

The city of San Jose is forming a community choice aggregation program after its city council voted unanimously May 16 to approve the step. The program should become operational in April of 2018 if all goes as planned. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said that with the vote the city will become “the largest” in […]

CEC Grants Big Clean Energy Bucks

10 May

The California Energy Commission approved more than $55 million in grants May 10 to promote less polluting ports, electric vehicles, alternative vehicle fuels and building energy efficiency. Two Southern California ports and the surrounding poor communities are to reap the benefits of a $25 million in grants for zero and low emission vehicles. The impact […]

Opinionated: The Energy Efficiency Conundrum

9 May

By Todd Edmister In its well-intentioned efforts to address climate change in SB 350, the California Legislature mandated that state investor-owned utilities “double” energy savings cost-effectively by 2030. The fly in the ointment here is that SB 350’s new “doubling” requirement rests atop long-established legislation already requiring private utilities to obtain “all available energy efficiency […]

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 […]


27 Apr

The California Energy Commission approved a $390 million triennial EPIC investment plan April 27, pledging to fund research in areas considered critical to advancing the state’s clean energy aims. The plan for the Electric Program Investment Charge outlines investments the commission will make through the ratepayer funded program on projects from 2018-2020. Key objectives include […]

Energy Storage Subsidy Bill Hits End of the Road

27 Apr

An Assembly bill aimed at subsidizing utility customer-owned energy storage batteries the same way the California Solar Initiative program has subsidized rooftop solar systems for the past decade appears to have died this week.  A similar measure on the Senate side was approved earlier in the week. The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee advanced a […]

Energy Storage Fund & Data Access Bills Advance

25 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee April 24 passed legislation to create an energy storage funding program equivalent to the California Solar Initiative. That initiative helped put solar energy on solid financial footing with $2.1 billion in subsidies over a decade. SB 700 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would separate out energy storage […]

CEC Says Solar & Utility-Controlled Batteries Enhance Zero Net Homes

20 Apr

Storing excess solar power produced by residential photovoltaic rooftop systems, instead of sending it into the utility distribution system, increases the value of the produced energy. “What storage does is turn low value PV into high value PV,” said the California Energy Commission’s Mazi Shirakh during an April 20 workshop on 2019 zero net energy […]

Bills Okayed to Expand Solar Incentives, Green Baseload & Data Access

20 Apr

Legislation to extend solar thermal subsidies and create geothermal and biomass carve outs were among measures advancing this week in the state capitol. The Assembly Utilities & Communications committee passed on an 8-5 vote AB 797 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Oxnard). It would extend by five years the solar hot water incentive program. The California […]

Senate Panel OKs Efficiency & Demand Management to Meet Peak Loads

18 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee approved six separate energy bills April 18, including ones to increasingly meet peak power needs with preferred resources and another to require the California Public Utilities Commission to oversee integrated resource plans developed by community choice aggregation programs. SB 338 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) aims to minimize […]

JUICE: CA’s Stellar Energy

18 Apr

California’s head energy regulator went to Washington, D.C., last month to encourage Federal Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy scientists to come work for the Golden State to advance clean energy. His trip was in response to the Trump Administration’s move in the opposite direction. Part of Trump’s anti-clean energy plan includes slashing the […]

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 […]

CA Joins Suit Against DOE Over Efficiency Standards

13 Apr

The California Energy Commission took action after discussing pending litigation against the U.S. Department of Energy for delaying energy efficiency standards for numerous products during the closed session portion of its April 12 business meeting. The CEC chair authorized the chief counsel’s office to participate in litigation over the DOE’s stalling on  “effective dates and […]

U.S. Senate Panel Advances Nuclear Power, Efficiency & Hydro Permit Extensions

30 Mar

The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee March 30 approved dozens of bills, including ones that would promote new nuclear energy technologies, energy efficiency and hydropower projects. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), committee chair, said the U.S. would benefit from committee efforts to “advance nuclear research, energy efficiency, volcano monitoring, hydropower, federal land exchanges, and […]

Guest Juice: California Energy Efficiency Dreamin’

30 Mar

By Cynthia Mitchell In the 1990s, California led the nation in deregulating its electric utility industry. The result was a disaster. The subsequent energy crisis during 2000 and 2001 was characterized by extraordinarily high prices and blackouts. Re-regulation included proclaiming energy efficiency as the state’s highest priority[i]  “first loading order resource”[ii] based upon three decades […]


21 Mar

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is poised to contract for 150 MW of geothermal power from Ormat’s Northern Nevada Geothermal Portfolio Project, which consists of both existing and new geothermal units. Under the 15-year deal, LADWP plans to pay $75.50/MWh or $94 million a year. The Los Angeles City Council has to […]

Guest Juice: Energy Efficiency as a Distributed Resource

15 Mar

Editor’s Note: This is a second in a series of articles on how California counts on energy efficiency to help meet state greenhouse gas reduction and clean energy goals while serving as a meaningful distributed energy resource alongside of rooftop solar, energy storage, and demand response.[1] By Cynthia Mitchell As California’s “first loading order resource,” […]

Guest Juice: The Role of Energy Efficiency in State Climate Change Policy

10 Mar

By Cynthia Mitchell Introduction California is counting on energy efficiency to help meet state greenhouse gas reduction goals and as a meaningful distributed energy resource alongside rooftop solar, energy storage, and demand response. And, as California’s “first loading order resource,”[1] efficiency is to help with much needed utility rate relief. There’s a growing number of […]