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Undercurrents

18 Apr

Updated April 19. A group of Los Angeles County homeowners filed a class-action lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Renovate America and Renew Financial, which contract with Los Angeles County to operate the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, failed to offer basic consumer protections. The suit claims that PACE loans provided by the […]

Clean Tech: My Dream All-Electric Granny Flat

9 Apr

I am exploring how to make a granny flat my wife and I plan to build all-electric. We want to eliminate emissions from burning natural gas and take advantage of our solar rooftop. Part of the plan may include upsizing our solar system to cover the additional square footage we’ll add. So with a few […]

Undercurrents: PCIA Struggle Heats Up

4 Apr

Clashing proposals on revising or replacing the California Public Utilities Commission’s controversial power charge indifference adjustment were submitted to regulators April 2. This cost adjustment method determines how much community choice organizations must pay the private utilities for their stranded power purchase contracts. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas […]

Resource Adequacy Unknowns May Delay LA Choice

22 Mar

The Southern California Clean Power Alliance may scale back its launch to business and institutional customers this June, and residential customers toward the end of this year. It should be able to serve unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and cities that signed early, however. Behind the potentially limited start is an apparent inability to […]

Opinionated: The Long & Winding Road to End Nuclear Power in California

19 Mar

By The Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility The end of commercial nuclear power in California approaches, a little more than half a century after it began. Of all the promises and boasts made by the early proponents of nuclear energy, their claim of “too cheap to meter” would eventually prove to be its undoing—at least here […]

FERC Rejects Social Cost of Carbon as Analytical Tool

15 Mar

As California lawmakers hear warnings that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could pre-empt the state’s climate change policies if the California Independent System Operator creates a unified power market, federal regulators this week gave short shrift to the full climate change impacts of new natural gas pipelines. Meeting in Washington March 15, FERC approved a […]

Major Power Plant Retirements in So Cal

14 Mar

Merchant generators struggling in California are closing and selling off gas-fired generating facilities to stem the flow of red ink. After contracts for the output of three aging natural gas power plants in Southern California owned by NRG subsidiary, GenOn, were not renewed, the company threw in the towel. Slated for retirement over six months […]

JUICE: LA Choice Program’s Hurdles

13 Mar

The Clean Power Alliance of Southern California—formed by Los Angeles and Ventura Counties and 29 cities—promises to immediately save people money on monthly power bills and deliver higher levels of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy than currently supplied by Southern California Edison. The Alliance further pledges to create new local jobs and […]

Generator Earnings Remain Largely in the Doldrums

7 Mar

Updated March 8. Independent generating companies with plants in California predominantly suffered lower earnings and losses last year. The exception was NextEra, which reported both higher annual earnings and final quarter income for 2017. Below is a summary of the earnings reports for major generators. The companies, however, present their results in different ways. AES: […]

Update on NRG’s CA Assets

7 Mar

NRG sold or contracted to sell off $3 billion in generation assets as of the end of last year, getting close to the $3.2 billion sell-off target in its Transformation Plan announced in 2017. Included in the sale was 527 MW coastal Carlsbad natural gas-powered plant for $375 million. It is retiring two gas-fired plants, […]

PG&E, Edison & SDG&E Earnings Slump

27 Feb

The state’s investor-owned utilities and their parent companies saw lower earnings in the final quarter of last year, including because of the wildfires, regulatory decisions and the 2017 tax law. Executives warned that liability for the wildfires is expected to worsen the companies’ financial health. Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy all reported […]

PG&E Corp. Awards Hefty Stock Options to Top Brass

27 Feb

The same day California legislators publicly warned about the financial threat of wildfires to the utilities’ bottom lines, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. announced it was paying out more than $17 million in stock incentives to its corporate and utility officers this year. Payouts to six top officers in the company, which are part of […]

Lawmakers Fear Utility Bankruptcies

27 Feb

State legislators voiced angst about the potential for utility bankruptcies Feb. 26 during an Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee hearing on the impact of recent wildfires on the power industry. Recent credit rating actions by Standard & Poor’s for Pacific Gas & Electric—and even on a major solar project that feeds power to the utility […]

LA County Choice Program Goes Live

13 Feb

Los Angeles Community Choice Energy became operational this month, serving some 2,000 county facilities. Operating under the new name of the Clean Power Alliance of Southern California, it will have more than 2.4 million residential customers and a quarter of a million business customers in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties and 26 […]

Utility Financial Stability Concerns Come to Fore

8 Feb

In an unusual move, four members of the California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 8 answered written questions submitted by the so called “public” concerning the financial stability of the state’s investor-owned utilities in the face of regulatory policy and the growing impacts of climate change, particularly wildfires. The one-hour webinar—called an experiment in communications by […]

Shorts

6 Feb

Updated Feb. 8. NRG sold $2.8 billion of its assets a few months after announcing it was putting many of its renewable energy projects up for sale. NRG generating facilities in the Golden State or supplying electricity to California not included in the massive sale are its 195 MW interest in the Ivanpah solar thermal […]

Solar Tariff Means U.S. Job Loss, Industry Warns

22 Jan

President Donald Trump on Jan. 22 imposed a 30 percent tariff on imported solar cells and modules aimed primarily at China, which is the world’s number one producer. “The International Trade Commission found that U.S. producers had been seriously injured by imports and made several recommendations to the President,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. […]

Calpine Sale Faces Court Challenge

6 Dec

The merger plan of the financially struggling Calpine has hit a legal snag. The generating company announced Aug. 17 it reached a buyout deal with private equity firm Energy Capital Partners, but then later was hit with class action suits. Four lawsuits were filed in late October and mid-November in the U.S. District Court for […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Set to Adopt Updated Scoping Plan

5 Dec

The California Air Resources Board released the final draft of its updated scoping plan for meeting the state’s 40 percent greenhouse gas reduction goal by 2030 on Nov. 30. “The plan is a package of economically viable and technologically feasible actions to not just keep California on track to achieve its 2030 target, but stay […]

Climate Roundup: Electric Big Rigs Face Big Costs

30 Nov

Electric big rig trucks, which the state is pushing hard to cut emissions of greenhouse gases and unhealthful pollutants from transportation, have high “upfront costs” that “are prohibitive,” Navigant Research concluded in a report released Nov. 29. The report comes as the California Public Utilities Commission is weighing a plan by Southern California Edison to […]