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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 […]

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 […]

Utility Electric Car Projects Hit Speed Bumps

18 May

Two private utilities’ proposed pilot projects to expand electric car charging to accelerate use of electric vehicles met resistance this week. The projects are part of plans by the state’s three investor-owned utilities to spend $1 billion on chargers to reduce emissions from transportation, the largest source of greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. […]

Undercurrents: Agencies Aim to End Low-Income Barriers to Clean Energy

17 May

State energy agencies shared their hopes and ideas about how to extend the economic and environmental benefits of alternative energy technologies—from rooftop solar systems to electric cars—to low-income residents at a joint agency meeting May 16. “We don’t have a smooth road to travel,” said Alice Reynolds, an advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown. “We know […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Edison Tells Investors EV Charging is Big Business

12 Apr

One of California’s biggest electric utilities is banking on a growing number of electric vehicles on the state’s highways to provide  a business growth opportunity over the coming decade. In an April 12 briefing for investment banks, Southern California Edison executives outlined a growing need for both grid modernization to meet electric vehicle charging demand […]

Undercurrents: U.S. 101 Going EV-Friendly

4 Apr

Several months after the California Energy Commission approved nearly $22.74 million in grants to install electric vehicle chargers along major highways up and down California, the first installations are expected along the North Coast. ChargePoint plans 11 EV charging installations along Highway 101 from Santa Rosa to the Oregon border. “The route is a priority […]

CARB’s EV Pedal-to-Metal Makes Blue Skies for Utilities

29 Mar

As the Trump Administration backtracks on federal 2022-25 automotive fuel efficiency standards aimed at cutting greenhouse gases, the California Air Resources Board remains gung ho. Air regulators March 24 reaffirmed the state’s parallel standards and laid plans for going further. A key beneficiary likely will be the state’s utilities. “Today ARB affirmed the technical reviews […]

Climate Roundup: Auto GHG Emissions Standards Debate Heats Up

6 Mar

As automakers say the market won’t support increasing automotive mileage standards aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions, Consumers Union found in a report March 6 that so far fuel economy standards haven’t driven up the price of cars. On top of that, the study found that standards in place since 2005 are saving motorists about […]

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…)

CEC Approves Millions to Support Staff & Alternative Energy

15 Feb

The California Energy Commission Feb. 15 unanimously approved about $15 million in grants and contracts for a range of programs and services, from 15 fast electric vehicle charging stations to proposals for novel micro grid clean energy projects. The largest contract, $4 million, went to Aspen Environmental, a frequent recipient of large awards, for training […]

Undercurrents: San Diego Community Choice Prospects Dim

15 Feb

San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors Feb. 15 balked at ordering a community choice aggregation feasibility study. They rejected a recommendation to spend $200,000 on the evaluation after hearing objections from Sempra Energy Services. (more…)

Undercurrents: CPUC Rebuked by Environmental Justice Advocates

8 Feb

California environmental justice advocates have singled out the California Public Utilities Commission, as well as the state Department of Toxic Substances Control, for their poor performance in a recent assessment of state agency practices. The stinging critique is outlined in a report by the California Environmental Justice Alliance. (more…)

Three Private Utilities Seek $1.1 B for EV Infrastructure

26 Jan

California’s investor-owned utilities filed new plans with state energy regulators seeking a total $1.06 billion dollars in ratepayer recovery to expand electric charging infrastructure for cars, buses, trucks and off-road equipment in their territories. Together, Southern California Edison’s and Pacific Gas & Electric’s proposals filed at the California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 20 total $800 […]

Upcoming CARB Scoping Plan Considered Critical

5 Jan

 As the California Air Resources Board develops a plan this year to meet the state’s 40 percent greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030—and to point the way to an 80 percent cut by 2050—electric utilities will be key to providing energy for transportation, heating, and industrial processes that now rely on fossil fuel. (more…)

SHORTS

5 Jan

Tesla and Panasonic Jan. 4 began mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at the automaker’s “Gigafactory” in Nevada. They will be used in Tesla’s energy storage products and Model 3 car. Production is underway for cells that will be used in Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products. Model 3 car cell production will […]

CPUC Unanimously OKs Largest Private Utility EV Charging Program

15 Dec

In their final meeting of the year and the last one for outgoing commissioners Mike Florio and Catherine Sandoval, state energy regulators approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s hefty but scaled back pilot electric vehicle charging program. At a cost to ratepayers of $130 million, it is the most expensive and largest of the three private […]

JUICE: V2G vs. Human Nature

15 Dec

Integrating electric vehicles into the grid is a chief priority for state energy policy makers. It’s driven by the growth of electric vehicle sales in California combined with the state’s goals for electric transportation to largely solve environmental problems. Integration—often referred to as V2G (vehicle to grid) in shorthand—essentially involves automating control of electric vehicle […]