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Shorts

14 Oct

Updated Oct. 17. The California Independent System Operator upgraded its power grid operating technology last week, saying it now has the most advanced system in the industry. CAISO launched the Siemens Spectrum PowerTM 7 energy management system after five years of study, competitive bidding, design, and implementation. “CAISO now has the most sophisticated energy management […]

CPUC Faces Opposition to Protecting Gas Plants

10 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission was met a by a string of protesters Oct. 10 who objected to the commission’s proposed Integrated Resource Plan to extend the life of aging gas plants. Considering adding three years to the life of seawater-cooled gas power plants, predominantly along the Southern California coast, pays “little regard to the […]

PG&E Launches Major Outages, Lines up $35B in Financing

8 Oct

Updated Oct. 10 Pacific Gas & Electric instituted power shutoffs across large swaths of California because of high fire danger midweek. Earlier, it unsuccessfully urged the federal bankruptcy court to hose an unwelcome reorganization proposal. Starting around midnight on Wednesday, PG&E began shutting off power to 800,000 customers. The shutoffs began in the counties in […]

Proposed $65M Fine for PG&E’s Bogus Records Gets Slammed

7 Oct

Pacific Gas & Electric agreed to pay a $65 million fine for falsifying records on the locations of its underground gas and electric pipelines, impacting the safety of excavators in and outside the company. The penalty also is for risks the utility caused by hiding its late responses to excavators’ requests. The Utility Reform Network […]

The Buzz

26 Sep

So. Cal Gas and SDG&E get whopping increases in their 2019-21 general rate cases. State energy regulators say the hefty revenue hikes are needed to fully fund the gas and electric companies’ safety programs. It is a long shot but bondholders try again to inject their plan for paying off PG&E’s massive debts at the […]

CPUC OKs 27% & 17% Revenue Rise for Sempra Utilities

26 Sep

The California Public Utilities Commission Sept. 26 unanimously adopted a 13.78 percent increase in SoCal Gas’ 2019 test year revenue requirement over last year’s rates to reach nearly $2.8 billion. The hike was made as part of the Sempra utility’s 2019-21 general rate case. The five commissioners also signed off on a higher revenue requirement […]

Bond Holders Take 2nd Shot at PG&E Reorg Plan

26 Sep

Hedge funds, other unsecured note holders, and tort claimants, together on Sept. 25 pitched a revised reorganization plan to get Pacific Gas & Electric out of bankruptcy on the group’s terms. The filing by these major stakeholders, made late Wednesday, also asks the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Northern California a second time to terminate PG&E’s […]

PG&E Folds New Deal into its Reorganization Plan

23 Sep

Pacific Gas & Electric Sept. 23 finalized a $14 billion settlement that includes the $11 billion agreement reached last week with insurance firms for damage claims from the PG&E equipment-sparked 2017 Northern California wildfires and 2018 Camp Fire. The final $14 billion agreement also includes a $1 billion deal reached with 18 local public entities […]

JUICE: Chasing SCE’s Rates Is Not a Way to Do Business

23 Sep

The Clean Power Alliance this year became the state’s largest Community Choice Aggregator. It provides about 11,000 GWh to a growing complement of over 1 million ex-Southern California Edison customers with competitively-priced renewable energy. It plans to ramp up its renewable resource portfolio and roll out a heady menu of expanded customer programs. To gain […]

Gov. Directs Money & Climate Protection Alignment

23 Sep

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Sept. 20 directing the leveraging of the state’s $700 billion pension investment funds to promote increased climate protection in California. That is to include tapping into the California Public Employees Retirement System, California State Teachers Retirement System and the University of California Retirement funds. Newsom also inked two […]

FERC Pitches Controversial PURPA Reforms

19 Sep

Two of the three federal energy regulators Sept. 19 voted out a proposed rulemaking to change the federal law protecting small renewable projects and cogeneration facilities. The dissenting commissioner warned the move would gut the 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reform the law is […]

The US is Behind Rare Mineral Curve Big Time

17 Sep

The surge in renewable energy and electric vehicles highlights the risks of importing limited essential minerals from opaque markets, many in unstable regions. The matter is further exacerbated by the United States’ failure to compete in this area. “Batteries don’t work without lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel; solar panels require silver, gallium, indium, tellurium; and […]

PG&E & Insurance Firms Make $11B Deal

16 Sep

Pacific Gas & Electric reached a tentative $11 billion settlement with dozens of insurance companies Sept. 13. The agreement filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Northern California is with the Ad Hoc Subrogation Group, which represents insurance firms and their claims for damage caused by wildfires sparked by PG&E equipment. It covers nearly half […]

Vanishing Renewable Premium

16 Sep

The green premium has disappeared in Texas and the same will happen in California and elsewhere By Fereidoon Sioshansi Environmentally conscious consumers traditionally had to pay a premium to get clean kilowatt/hours. They’ve been typically offered as a “premium” product by the suppliers: the higher the renewable content, the greener the electrons and higher the […]

Unspent SGIP Funds Redirected to Fire-Prone Areas

12 Sep

State energy regulators approved using $104 million in unspent clean energy incentives to aid struggling ratepayers and critical services providers in areas with high wildfire risks. Of that amount, $100 million is to provide incentives for energy storage system installations that can be used when power from the grid is disrupted. The money from the […]

PG&E Pitches $18B Reorganization Scheme

11 Sep

In order to exit bankruptcy court, Pacific Gas & Electric Sept. 9 proposed a $17.9 billion reorganization plan, which would limit wildfire claim payouts. The reorganization plan includes up to $8.4 billion for wildfire victims. Another $8.5 billion is included for insurance company claims. There’s also $1 billion for claims from cities and other public […]

SF Offers PG&E $2.5B for City Utility Assets

10 Sep

Prior to Pacific Gas & Electric filing its $18 billion reorganization proposal to exit bankruptcy, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission offered the utility $2.5 billion to take over its electric power system in the city. The offer includes folding in local PG&E utility employees who decide to work for any expanded San Francisco power […]

MCE Credit Rating Considered Investment Grade

3 Sep

Marin Clean Energy received its second credit rating to date on Aug. 29—a BBB from Fitch Ratings. Earlier the state’s first community choice aggregator received a Baa2 rating from Moody’s in 2018. Marin Clean Energy Chief Executive Officer Dawn Weisz called the Fitch credit rating “further validation of MCE’s financial structure and California’s community choice […]

Bill to Boost PG&E’$ Prospects a Lead Balloon?

29 Aug

A recently amended bill that would increase the financial burden on Pacific Gas & Electric ratepayers appears to have fizzled. AB 235 by Assemblymember Chad Mayes (R-Riverside), amended on Aug. 20, was said to allow PG&E to issue up to $20 billion in bonds to cover 2017-18 wildfire claims against the utility. The bonds would […]

Digital Analysis Compares Power Costs

27 Aug

The Natural Resources Defense Council introduced a tool that compares the costs of different sources of electricity in different states across the U.S., ranging from solar power in California to coal-fired generation in Wyoming. “At a time when cities, states, universities, and utilities are considering aggressive climate goals, this knowledge is essential to establishing informed […]