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Shorts

11 Feb

Updated Feb. 12. Sempra Energy is selling its remaining wind power plants to American Electric Power for $551 million in cash, the San Diego-based company said Feb. 12. Under the agreement, it will sell wind projects in Hawaii and east of the Rockies with 724 MW of combined capacity. The deal is subject to regulatory […]

Undercurrents: CEC Chair Says Adieu

6 Feb

Updated Feb. 6. Bob Weisenmiller, California Energy Commission chair, will leave his post Feb. 21. “This position has allowed me to preside over transformative policies aimed at addressing some of California’s key energy challenges, including the threat of climate change,” he stated Feb 6. Weisenmiller, who was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, has served as […]

PG&E’S 2018 Lobbying Budget Soared

6 Feb

In the midst of the intense legislative maneuverings last summer, Pacific Gas & Electric spent more than $6 million on lobbying lawmakers and another $168,000 pushing its agenda at the California Public Utilities Commission. The utility spent the money during the third quarter of 2018, according to the utility’s Secretary of State filings. For all […]

CPUC Takes Heat for Poor Utility Ratings & Safety

31 Jan

State lawmakers Jan. 30 grilled the head state energy utility regulator over what his agency was doing to bolster utility ratings and reduce wildfire risks during an Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee hearing. Committee Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) warned California Public Utilities Commission President Mike Picker that the investor-owned utilities may become “un-investible” because of […]

SF Supervisors Eye Municipalizing PG&E System

30 Jan

Invoking the Green New Deal, San Francisco Supervisor Hilary Ronen Jan. 29 introduced legislation that could municipalize the power grid and natural gas system in the city. The action comes as Pacific Gas & Electric, which owns and operates those systems in the city, filed for bankruptcy. “”Their safety record is abysmal,” said Ronen, citing […]

JUICE: Regulators & Others Move to Keep Skin in PG&E Bankruptcy Game

29 Jan

State and federal energy regulators took expedited actions to protect their authority over Pacific Gas & Electric before it entered into the unknowns of federal bankruptcy court. Renewable energy companies and other generators asked both agencies to protect their ongoing power agreements with PG&E. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late on Jan. 25 stepped into […]

Sea Level Rise Poses Increasing Risk for SDG&E’s System

23 Jan

Updated Jan. 24. San Diego Gas & Electric faces the risk of significant damage to its power and natural gas distribution systems by mid-century, with more potential damage at the end of the century as the climate warms, says a pair of reports prepared for the California Energy Commission. The damages could cost the utility’s […]

PG&E Seeks Up to $5.5 B in Loans

22 Jan

Pacific Gas & Electric has lined up $5.5 billion in financing through the end of 2020 to allow it to finance its operations while in federal bankruptcy court. It expects to sign loan agreements with JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, Barclays Bank and Citigroup Global Markets around Jan. 29, according to PG&E’s Jan. 23 […]

State Regulators Scrutinize Surging So Cal Energy Prices

16 Jan

Southern Californians are paying more for natural gas and electricity due to the aging and failing natural gas supply system run by SoCal Gas. Due to limited capacity to deliver gas to homes, businesses, and power generators, the price of gas in Southern California was 134 percent higher during the months of July through September […]

Shorts

15 Jan

The Department of Interior directed furloughed staff to work on oil and gas leases on federal lands without pay on the 26th day of the federal government’s shutdown. “National parks, museums, and federal offices are closed throughout the nation due to the President’s ongoing shutdown,” Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) noted Jan. 16. “But if you […]

JUICE: PG&E’s Past Bankruptcy as Prologue

14 Jan

Pacific Gas & Electric is heading to bankruptcy court again to deal with overwhelming financial and legal liability. The liability it’s facing from the massive wildfires in 2017 and 2018 dwarfs the debt it struggled with during 2000-01 energy crisis when it faced huge spikes in merchant generator and wholesale power prices. And, unlike during […]

Clean Power Alliance to Enter Major Power Deals

8 Jan

The Clean Power Alliance in Southern California, which soon will become the state’s largest community choice aggregation program, is in the process of developing power purchase agreements for up to 2 million MWh a year of power to serve its growing customer base. After rolling out service to more than 31,000 customers last year, next […]

Shorts

8 Jan

Updated Jan. 10   Southern California Gas announced Jan. 10 that the utility was awarded $1.7 million from the South Coast Air Quality Management District for two projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in residential and commercial buildings. Of those fund, $1.2 million is to support a commercial water heating incentive program that provides rebates […]

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, […]