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Sempra Sells Off Solar Plants to Con Edison

17 Dec

Sempra Energy has sold its U.S. operating solar assets, solar and battery storage development projects, and one wind facility to New York-based Consolidated Edison for about $1.6 billion in cash. The deal, completed Dec. 13, covers facilities with a total capacity of 980 MW. California plants included in the sale are the Alpaugh, Corcoran, Great […]

Cap & Trade Revisions Focus on Cost Control

13 Dec

California air regulators Dec. 13 adopted amendments to the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program designed to curb the cost of cutting emissions in the coming decade. They also fine tuned how emissions trading will work in the coming decade. The amendments will help “contain the costs” of cutting carbon emissions while “increasing the environmental benefits to […]

CAISO Sets Level Budget & Looks to New Appointees in 2019

13 Dec

The grid operator’s newly approved budget for the coming year sets a revenue requirement of $193.5 million. It is 2 percent lower than the adopted requirement for 2018. At its final meeting of the year held Dec. 13, the California Independent System Operator’s board of governors also outlined goals for the coming year, particularly to […]

JUICE: The Long Shadow of the Energy Crisis

27 Nov

Massive utility liability from the recent devastating wildfires potentially sparked by electric lines puts the companies, politicians, regulators and ratepayers between a rock and a hard place. California regulators and lawmakers are working to keep Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison from being financially overwhelmed by claims resulting from the tragic toll on […]

Fires Threaten Utility Finances & Lead to CPUC Rulemakings

13 Nov

Updated Nov. 15. Given utility infrastructure may have ignited two massive wildfires that started last week, the importance of a yet-formed committee tasked with assessing wildfire risks and making recommendations on costs and liability under a 2018 bill is growing exponentially. Pacific Gas & Electric stock fell as low as $17.26 per share on Nov. […]

Generator Earnings Are a Mixed Bag

6 Nov

Updated Nov. 8. Three of the handful of independent generators’ operating in California saw a rise in their latest earnings, while the others saw them fall. AES: This giant global power company had net earnings during the third quarter of 2018 of $101 million, or 15 cents a share, compared to $152 million, or 23 […]

CPUC Weighs Expanding its Reach Over Non-Utilities

24 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission Oct. 23 mulls over the implications of growing customer choice in the retail electricity market in a document that hints at actions to regulate community choice aggregators and direct access providers like today’s private utilities. Likely actions and recommendations—from levying new fees on electricity customers that would go to utilities, […]

Undercurrents: Chatterjee Named New FERC Chair

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 25. Kevin McIntyre is unable to continue as chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission because of serious health issues related to brain cancer.  He announced Oct. 25 that  he was stepping down. Commissioner Neil Chatterjee will replace him as chair. “I thank Chairman McIntyre for his leadership at the agency, and pray […]

SB 901 Saves Utilities from Even Lower Credit Ratings

4 Oct

California’s three major investor-owned energy utilities suffered credit downgrades last month by Moody’s, which would have been worse without the enactment of SB 901. The legislation signed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown loosens regulators’ criteria for evaluating rate recovery for liability and allows ratepayer-backed bonds to cover costs arising from wildfires started by electric […]

Brown Signs More Energy Bills

1 Oct

Gov. Jerry Brown wrapped up action on energy bills passed this year, signing into law measures to enhance consumer protection, meet resource adequacy on the grid with non-generating resources, and extend subsidies for self-generation equipment. Brown signed SB 1087 by Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) late in the day on Sept. 27. The new law, according […]

Senators Press Treasury on Energy Storage ITC

26 Sep

Two U.S. Senators, one Republican and the other Democratic, joined late last week in pressing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to clarify that energy storage systems qualify for the 30 percent federal investment tax credit. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) wrote in a letter to Mnuchin that energy storage companies and thousands of […]

Green Bonds Surge

18 Sep

The green bond market is growing exponentially. Predictions are that the world’s green bond market will reach $1 trillion by 2020, at least according to financial representatives at last week’s Global Climate Action Summit. These public and private bonds are used to finance low-carbon infrastructure, including renewable energy projects, green buildings, energy and water efficiency […]

Shorts

18 Sep

Sempra Energy is selling its non-utility solar energy assets to Consolidated Edison, the San Diego-based company revealed Sept. 20. Sempra also is selling battery energy storage development projects and one wind facility. The total sale will bring it $1.54 billion in cash. The assets included are: Mesquite Solar 2 and 3 in Arizona; Copper Mountain […]

JUICE: Greenvestment

17 Sep

The most hopeful development to emerge from the clatter of announcements made at last week’s Global Climate Action Summit was green financing, both on the divestment and investment fronts. “There has been a 12,000 percent increase in divestments,” said Emily Chew, Managing Director at Manulife Asset Management. To date, 985 institutional investors managing $6.24 trillion […]

JUICE: Eyes Wide Shut on Wildfire Liability Bill

11 Sep

Lawmakers promised a transparent process for the bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown dealing with liability for utility-sparked wildfires fueled by multi-year drought, legions of dead and dying trees and higher temperatures. Yet, the final provisions and costs of SB 901 by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) were anything but transparent. Transparent is defined as “free […]

Undercurrents: Exit Fee Proposal Bashed by Mayors

4 Sep

Updated Sept. 6. The mayors of major Bay Area cities Sept. 3 protested a proposal by the California Public Utilities Commission released last month that would raise exits fees for community choice aggregators. San Francisco Mayor London Breed, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said the tentative decision by Commissioner Carla […]

Two Dozen Senate Energy Bills Sent to Governor

4 Sep

Gov. Jerry Brown has to decide if a number of bills should become law, including Senate measures to increase direct access for businesses, overhaul utility energy efficiency programs, increase mandated energy storage levels, and create new incentives for near zero emissions space and water heating in buildings. Brown also has to decide whether to sign […]

The Buzz

17 Aug

Few are holding their breath on votes on the big pending energy bills. The fate of legislation creating grid regionalization and a 100 percent green energy bill, as well as addressing wildfire liability, is anyone’s guess. Adequate and continuous funding for wildfire mitigation and management in California is the elephant in the room that legislators […]

CPUC Delves Into Reducing Utility Disconnections

15 Aug

Regulators at the California Public Utilities Commission kicked off a proceeding Aug. 15 that’s aimed at reducing the rising rate of energy service disconnections stemming from non-payment of monthly electricity and gas bills. Data show that more than 70,000 customers have their power or gas shut off each month due to non-payment. The CPUC opened […]

Juice: Sun Breaks through Market Clouds for Generators

13 Aug

Much attention has focused on the state’s biggest investor-owned utility’s struggles with potentially overwhelming liability from wildfire damage, with the other two utilities impacted. Meanwhile, merchant generators operating in California have struggled for years, generating far fewer headlines. All of the merchant companies, which are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission, have been […]