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Climate Roundup: E-Highway Test for Trucks in Los Angeles

20 Nov

As the state targets heavy-duty trucks for electrification, news about Tesla’s plan to build battery-powered big rigs overshadowed the start of a demonstration project based on a different approach—using overhead catenary electricity supply lines to power trucks in urban areas. Converting the state’s huge truck fleet to zero or near zero emissions technology is a […]

Shorts

14 Nov

Calpine has set a shareholders’ vote on its merger with Energy Capital Partners for Dec. 15. Under the proposed merger, a subsidiary of Energy Capital Partners known as Volt would purchase Calpine at a price of $15.25 a share. If approved, Calpine stock no longer would be traded, but instead controlled by the Energy Capital […]

CPUC Rolls Out CA Power System Resource Plan

2 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission laid out its goals for the upcoming integrated resource planning process to guide future procurement of power resources towards a lower carbon future. Under the integrated resource planning process, said CPUC staff member Forest Kaser, the reference plan aims to identify the least-cost approach to meeting the state’s 2030 greenhouse […]

The Buzz

20 Oct

Greening the grid is the talk of the town. At the CAISO’s annual confab held this week, most bets are that a westward grid expansion will happen. Why? Because proponents insist it will promote renewables, which will decarbonize both the grid and economy, near and far. Achieving that goal, however, requires paying new alternative resources […]

LADWP Sees Big Load Growth from Electric Vehicles

17 Oct

The Los Angeles Department of Water expects its power load to grow 50 percent if all the vehicles operating in Los Angeles run on electricity, according to Dave Wright, the muni’s general manager. On an interim basis, meeting that power demand might require an increase in the muni’s carbon emissions rights allocation from the California […]

The Buzz

13 Oct

Utility regulators approved $30 million for energy storage facility subsidies in disadvantaged communities, mostly for institutional systems. The California Public Utilities Commission’s former chief administrative law judge is preparing to sue the agency in court on claims of a retaliatory firing after blowing the whistle on alleged collusion by the commission staff with Pacific Gas […]

JUICE: A Gas Free Diet

11 Oct

California’s leadership finally seems to have developed an energy policy menu that will achieve its ambitious goal to slim greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent. Recent decisions and actions pouring out of the kitchens in Sacramento and San Francisco significantly cut back on the amount of natural gas entrees to achieve bona fide low-carbon cooking. […]

EV Friendly Legislation Becomes Law

11 Oct

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a number of bills that seek to electrify transportation, the largest source of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants in California. Legislation approved by Brown Oct. 10 includes measures to significantly increase the percentage of zero emission cars and heavy-duty trucks in the state fleet. Among the bills is SB […]

Undercurrents: Dividing VW Penalty Pie

9 Oct

Another big crowd filled a California Air Resources Board meeting Oct. 9 to develop a plan for how to spend $423 million in penalty money Volkswagen is paying for its major Smog Check cheating scandal. Under a straw man proposal developed by the Air Board, most of the focus is on reducing emissions from trucks, […]

The Buzz

5 Oct

A top legislative staffer gives an insider’s look at the fallout from the governor’s ill-fated effort to push through a bill to create an integrated western grid in the waning days of the legislative session. Electric transportation advocates flock to a meeting this week on the California Air Resources Board’s plan to give away $1.5 […]

Undercurrents: $1.5 B Electric Vehicle Spending Plan Advances

4 Oct

The California Air Resources Board’s meeting laying a plan to allocate almost $1.5 billion in the coming year to advance electrification of transportation and a variety of mobile equipment used in the freight shipping industry drew a big crowd on Oct. 4. The blueprint includes $663 million of carbon emissions rights auction money raised by […]

JUICE: Energy Hangover

4 Oct

California’s continuing drive to clean up the electricity sector has big pluses, but also minuses. The latter includes unintended consequences. Last week, the drawbacks were on display at the Independent Energy Producers Association’s annual conference next to the stunning Fallen Leaf Lake above Lake Tahoe. The meeting marked yet another in a more than three-decades-long […]

Shorts

2 Oct

Sempra Energy is ready to file for approval to take over Oncor Electric Delivery Co. in Texas with the state’s Public Utility Commission. Sempra plans to purchase 80 percent of the Texas transmission company. “Our goal is to keep Oncor strong, independent and well-capitalized for the benefit of Texas customers,” said Sempra Chief Executive Officer […]

The Buzz

29 Sep

A future as predictable as a Ouiji board was a central theme at the Independent Energy Producer’s annual meeting this week amid mounting uncertainty from the changing role of utilities and the scarcity of contracts for generators. Speaking of contracts, and lack of them, utility regulators this week nixed a deal between Southern California Edison […]

JUICE: Electric Lifts for All

25 Sep

While I creep along a 16-lane section of Interstate 5 heading back to Los Angeles from San Diego, state leaders are putting the pedal to the metal to convert California’s transportation sector to electric technology that will be fueled by renewable energy. With their confidence bolstered by the remarkable strides in converting the state’s power […]

Legislation Awaits Brown’s Pen

20 Sep

A dozen-and-a-half energy bills were among the pile of measures lawmakers sent to the governor at the end of their session. They include a Senate bill to help fill in possible supply gaps from a slimmed down Aliso Canyon gas storage field to Assembly measures to increase installations of electric vehicle chargers. SB 801 by […]

CEC Backs Innovative Energy Projects

14 Sep

A biomass project to reduce wildfire threats by turning dead and dying trees in Shasta County into electricity won a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission Sept. 13. CEC awarded the ratepayer-funded Electric Program Investment Charge program money to the Fall River Resource Conservation District for a 2.8 MW biomass facility in the […]

Cap-&-Trade Spending Plan Headed for Passage

13 Sep

The fate of a bill to require 100 percent renewable power in California remained uncertain mid-week as the Legislature raced toward a Friday deadline to finish up its business in Sacramento. However, lawmakers and the governor broke a deadlock Sept. 12 that appears to clear the way for a massive spending measure funded by carbon […]

Shorts

6 Sep

A Berkeley-based startup won a $1 million grant from the Department of Energy to help commercialize its innovative battery technology made from graphite that is synthesized from carbon dioxide. “Our process produces graphite more sustainably and affordably than traditional graphite, which is usually sourced from poorly-regulated mines in China or synthesized from petroleum,” Drew Reid, […]

JUICE: Edison’s Electric Truck Charging Plan May Result in Stranded Assets

5 Sep

Southern California Edison’s strategy to spend $554 million of ratepayer money primarily on charging infrastructure to replace polluting diesel trucks and equipment in greater Los Angeles sounds like just what the doctor ordered for improving respiratory health in the smoggy area. The region—which is home to the largest port complex in the nation—has been known […]