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The Energy Industry in the Time of COVID-19

24 Mar

The energy industry has instituted operational changes to slow the spread of the new coronavirus while staying focused on continuing “essential” services. In addition, energy agencies are pulling back on enforcement in response to the Covid-19 contagion. Onsite agency investigations and audits have come to a stop. State and federal energy agencies also are granting […]

Shorts

17 Mar

Updated March 18 Southern California Edison canceled plans for six pilot microgrids it hoped to have online this September. Only a few bids were received, and all costly. They ranged from $15 million to over $30 million, 13-100 times the costs of the alternatives, the utility told energy regulators, Microgrid Knowledge reported March 17. That […]

State and Federal Meeting Updates during Covid-19 Pandemic

16 Mar

Updated Friday. Changes in italics. The following are the latest changes to previously scheduled meetings, in accordance with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order limiting the number of people at gatherings, and local agency dictates. The California Public Utilities Commission cancelled all its public hearings on increasing electric rates pursuant to Phase One of Southern California […]

Open Energy Meetings & COVID-19

10 Mar

State and federal agencies and organizations do not see eye to eye on the threat posed by the new coronavirus. Most cautious so far is the grid operator. Last week, the California Independent System Operator announced it was switching all of its in-person gatherings, including Board of Governors, Western Energy Imbalance Market and Market Surveillance […]

Shorts

10 Mar

California does not yet have any offshore wind plants nor do most other states on the West and East coasts. There is only one commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S., which is in Rhode Island. This market, however, is expected to grow quickly with tools to improve offshore wind turbine performance, making them more […]

The Buzz

6 Mar

State lawmakers ask the private utilities hard questions about the new wildfire mitigation plans’ impacts on ratepayer pocketbooks and safety. Legislators also introduce new bills to keep PG&E et al from writing off penalties for safety violations. Other measures seek to increase the flow of renewable resources into utility grids and vehicles. To help close […]

GOP FERC Choice Approved, Dem’s Nominee Sits in the Wings

3 Mar

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12 to 8 to recommend the nomination of James Danly for an open seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, over strong objections from Democrats. If approved by the full Senate, Danly will fill the spot left by the death of former FERC chair Kevin McIntyre. […]

The Buzz

20 Feb

The West Coast’s first LNG export project looks like its headed for federal approval. This week, however, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission votes 2-1 to tentatively disapprove the Coos Bay project because of Oregon’s recent permit rejection. A majority of the federal energy regulators also reject the New York grid operator’s capacity market revisions, undermining […]

Shorts

20 Feb

The California Energy Commission approved a Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s community solar program. The Feb. 20 approval was based on the Energy Commission’s 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which allow community solar in place of PV roof tops on new single family homes. “We expected that the marketplace and stakeholders would find solutions appropriate for […]

Oregon Opposition Stalls FERC’s LNG Project OK

20 Feb

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Feb. 20 tentatively voted 2-1 against approving what would be the first LNG project on the West Coast. Commissioner Bernard McNamee voted against the export project at Coos Bay in Oregon along with Commissioner Rich Glick. New information about the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas project was submitted by the […]

The Buzz

7 Feb

State energy regulators pay lip service to California’s mandate for the energy sector to be 100 percent clean and then approve the replacement of a 50-mile natural gas pipeline in San Diego. But, the Sempra utilities’ $677 million cost estimate for the project is to be examined. The House Energy & Commerce Committee takes aim […]

House Panel Debates the Impacts of FERC’s Gas Project Permits

5 Feb

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission came under fire for the number of natural gas pipeline permits approved and the basis of those decisions, during a Feb. 5 House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on modernizing the Natural Gas Act. The commission was criticized for running roughshod over landowners’ rights, ignoring the greenhouse gas impacts of […]

House Bill Sets Clean Energy High Bar for All 50 States

30 Jan

One day after pitching legislation setting a national carbon neutrality mandate by 2050, House democrats followed it with a $760 billion package backing it. The huge investment proposal would go to modernize aging infrastructure, making it safer and more resilient to climate change. It also would partially fund the carbon neutrality bill. “This bold framework […]

The Buzz

24 Jan

FERC member Bernard McNamee bids adieu to the agency. Whether to allow coastal power plants that use huge quantities of water to cool down is still at issue. Center stage are proposed extensions of the legal deadlines, set in 2010, for four plants along the Southern California coast. Under an agreement between Pacific Gas & […]

Commissioner McNamee to Leave FERC

23 Jan

The five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has two unfilled seats, will see the departure of Commissioner Bernard McNamee at the end of June. “I am not seeking a reappointment,” McNamee announced at the Commission’s Jan. 23 meeting. He plans to leave the commission when his term ends June 30. McNamee, a Republican, was appointed […]

The Buzz

9 Jan

The start of the New Year brings bold federal and state clean energy and equity measures. It also brings closer a looming deadline for Pacific Gas & Electric. There is a huge push to get PG&E out of bankruptcy by the end of June. Meeting that deadline will allow it to access the multi-billion dollar […]

Grid Operator’s So CA Natural Gas Curbs Win Approval

6 Jan

Federal energy regulators made permanent natural gas constraints the California Independent System Operator imposed temporarily on Southern California power plants. This is a “just and reasonable approach” to “ensure CAISO continues to have the tools necessary to address risks associated with the potential impacts of the continued limited operability of Aliso Canyon on the reliability […]

FERC Backs CAISO Storage Filing, But Rejects GHG Analysis for LNG Projects

21 Nov

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week approved the California grid operator’s energy storage compliance filing, as well as those of two others. The commission also approved four more liquefied natural gas projects and a draft order reworking how it determines returns on equity. FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee said the three energy storage rulings “ensure […]

The Buzz

7 Nov

The liability boulder around Pacific Gas & Electric’s neck may thwart its rescue by the federal bankruptcy court, its latest earnings report warnd. Meanwhile, the push for a public takeover of PG&E intensifies. State energy regulators unanimously approve requiring utilities, community choice and other providers to line up an additional 3,300 MW of energy reserves. […]

Democrats Object to FERC Appointee Hearing

5 Nov

In spite of no action by the White House on the unfilled Democratic seat at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee Nov. 5 vetted Republican FERC nominee James Danly. Committee Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said it was acceptable to hold the hearing because President Donald Trump had […]