Archive | Financial news RSS feed for this section

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 […]

Plan to Curb Utility Wildfire Liability Faces Pushback

10 Aug

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to legislatively amend the decades–long court created legal doctrine that holds utilities strictly liable for wildfire damage faced strong head winds at an Aug. 9 legislative conference committee hearing. At issue is who’s responsible for the massive liability tab from the destruction arising from utility-sparked wildfires: ratepayers, local governments, insurance companies […]

Juice: Key Energy Developments

7 Aug

While we were away at the beach and hiking in mountains, the state’s energy agencies took significant action on ratepayer protection, grid reliability and greenhouse gas reduction. The California Public Utilities Commission approved a settlement, which was percolating the last few years, on the allocation of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s hefty closure costs. […]

PG&E & Sempra Report Big Losses

6 Aug

Earnings of two of the three parent companies of California’s major investor-owned utilities took a turn for the worse in the second quarter of 2018. Pacific Gas & Electric reported the largest earnings hit because of wildfire liability followed by big losses at Sempra Energy. Meanwhile, Edison International’s earnings were largely level and could be […]

The Buzz

19 Jul

The East Bay’s new community choice program adopts a five-year local investment plan that targets local renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electric transportation. In an increasingly rare display of bipartisanship in Washington, members of both parties in the House praise the growing role of energy storage technology during a committee hearing this week. Current’s Juice […]

Undercurrents

17 Jul

The state’s investor-owned utilities will release their second quarter earnings statements later this month, and the results likely will be mixed. Pacific Gas & Electric announced that it expects to post a big loss. There is no indication, however, that the other two utility holding companies, Edison International and Sempra Energy, will do so. PG&E […]

Wildfire Liability Bill Goes to Conference Committee

3 Jul

Details of Sen. Bill Dodd’s SB 901 are to be hammered out in a legislative conference committee. That includes terms of standards governing when utilities could be held liable for wildfire damages. The Napa Democrat’s measure would set standards requiring utilities to improve their efforts to prevent wildfires, including more effort to clear vegetation around […]

Sempra To Sell Renewable Power and Gas Assets

28 Jun

In response to pressure from two powerful hedge fund stockholders, Sempra Energy announced June 28 it was selling off a significant portion of its assets to generate cash for its shareholders. Elliot Management and Bluescape Resources together own nearly 5 percent of Sempra stock valued at $1.3 billion. The two claim Sempra’s stock is largely […]

CPUC Adopts 2019 Resource Adequacy Determinations

21 Jun

In a move that breaks years of impasse over how to assure local resource adequacy, the California Public Utilities Commission June 21 signaled its intent to require multi-year resource adequacy procurement. It also noted it would seriously entertain creating a central purchasing agent for resource adequacy. The commission won’t make those revisions in its resource […]