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Utility General Rate Cases & Memorandum Accounts for Dummies

7 Apr

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a new Current series explaining the fundamentals of impenetrable energy terms. With it, we hope to pull back the curtain on terms of art used in California utility regulation that often come with considerable price tags for consumers. Investor–owned utilities use their general rate cases to cover big […]

The Buzz

26 Mar

Incessant telephonic disruptions don’t stop state regulators from approving 25,000 MW of new clean energy projects to cut the sector’s emission to 46 megatons of carbon emissions by 2030.  Also during their challenging public telephone business meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously okays $200 million in building decarbonization pilots. It also extends a multi-million […]

CPUC Okays $213M in Building Decarb Projects & Outreach

26 Mar

State energy regulators approved March 26 allocating $200 million over four years to support two building decarbonization programs. The decision is “sensible, bold and pragmatic,” California Public Utilities Commission member Cliff Rechtschaffen said. He noted it addresses California’s over-reliance on gas-powered heaters and appliances. Of the state’s total natural gas consumption, 12% is used by […]

Shorts

24 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission and Independent System Operator are holding meetings this week. CAISO’s is holding the public portion of its board meeting remotely March 25, from 2:00 PM-5:00 PM. The agenda includes decisions on reliability must run contracts and its 2019-20 transmission plan. The CPUC business meeting is being held remotely March 26. […]

Possible Sale of PG&E under Deal with Newsom

20 Mar

Under an agreement reached with Gov. Gavin Newsom announced late Friday, Pacific Gas & Electric agrees the state or another entity could buy the company if it fails to exit bankruptcy by June 30. Under the deal filed March 20 in federal Bankruptcy Court, PG&E commits to selling the utility “in the unlikely circumstance” its […]

Court Signs Off on Part of PG&E Reorganization Plan

17 Mar

The U.S Bankruptcy Court approved nearly $20 billion in equity and debt financing as part of Pacific Gas & Electric’s plan to exit Chapter 11 proceedings by June 30. The approval came during a March 16 telephonic hearing. The power company will be allowed to enter into $10.83 billion in debt financing, and issue $9 […]

The Buzz

12 Mar

The rising threat of the new coronavirus gets state and federal agencies in gear.  A few days earlier, regulators and other energy entities don’t agree on how to respond. The state grid operator is the first to take major precautions, discontinuing its in-person meetings to thwart the possible spread of COVID-19 pathogens. With no fanfare, […]

CEC Awards $25M in Energy Reduction Grants & Loans

11 Mar

The California Energy Commission approved $19.4 million in grants to help food producers in the state cut their energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Also at this week’s March 11 meeting, newly confirmed commissioner Patty Monahan applauded the agency for pressing forward on transportation electrification with its upcoming Integrated Energy Policy Report. It will […]

Shorts

10 Mar

California does not yet have any offshore wind plants nor do most other states on the West and East coasts. There is only one commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S., which is in Rhode Island. This market, however, is expected to grow quickly with tools to improve offshore wind turbine performance, making them more […]

The Buzz

6 Mar

State lawmakers ask the private utilities hard questions about the new wildfire mitigation plans’ impacts on ratepayer pocketbooks and safety. Legislators also introduce new bills to keep PG&E et al from writing off penalties for safety violations. Other measures seek to increase the flow of renewable resources into utility grids and vehicles. To help close […]

Bills Keep Utilities from Benefiting from Wildfire Penalties, Promote Clean Power

5 Mar

Even before Pacific Gas & Electric was hit last Thursday with a $2.14 billion penalty for sparking devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018, a bill was introduced to prohibit the utility from deducting it or other safety penalties from its tax liability. It would be “obscene” to allow PG&E to take a tax deduction on […]

Shorts

5 Mar

Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 4 reappointed two California Independent System Operator board members. Ashutosh Bhagwat and Angelina Galiteva were given additional three-year terms by the governor. Both members are serving third terms. Steve Berberich, ISO president and CEO, who retires in June, said the re-appointees and the executive leadership will continue to work together […]

Energy Commission Proposes 3-Year Clean Transportation Funding Cycle

3 Mar

With electric vehicle sales an order of magnitude below where they need to be to match California’s carbon reduction goals, state agency staff proposed tripling support for electric vehicle infrastructure and extending the funding period from one to three years. The bulk of the $384.2 million in Clean Transportation Program funds discussed at a California […]

Smaller Nukes will Cut Carbon Pollution, House Panel Finds

3 Mar

Smaller, more advanced nuclear power plants were touted as part of the nation’s clean energy solution during a March 3 House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing. These not-yet commercial smaller modules are projected to produce less radioactive waste, be more flexible and include enhanced safety features. They compare favorably to today’s large nuclear power plants, […]

Clean Economy Hopes & Hurdles Highlighted in IEPR Report

25 Feb

California has successfully decoupled economic growth from energy consumption, a fact highlighted in the new Integrated Energy Policy Report by the California Energy Commission. That’s an indicator that California can attain carbon neutrality before midcentury. But the report says much more work is needed to get there. Between 2000 and 2018, California’s gross state product […]

SDG&E’s Fire Prevention to Cost up to $1.5B over 3 Years

19 Feb

San Diego Gas & Electric’s new wildfire mitigation plan filed with state energy regulators comes with a price tag that’s about one third the cost of those of Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric.  The San Diego utility estimates that it will spend $1 billion to $1.5 billion from 2020 through 2022 to […]

CPUC Pitches PG&E Reorganization Framework

19 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 18 opened an investigation into the impacts of Pacific Gas & Electric’s exit from federal bankruptcy court. It issued a broad appeal for public input on the utility plan to emerge from Chapter 11 protections. “It is essential we hear from all parties, including ratepayers, consumer advocates, local governments, […]

Edison Asks for More Money for Wildfire Mitigation

18 Feb

A new plan to address wildfires submitted by Southern California Edison asks state authorities for an additional $322 million to prevent utility line sparked fires over what it requested just three months ago in its general rate case. The total is $3.823 billion to mitigate blazes over three years. Edison submitted its 2020-2022 wildfire management […]

44 MW Solar-Storage Project Gets Closer to Finish Line

17 Feb

Aurora Solar is inching closer to building a 44 MW solar array with storage in the Antelope Valley between Twin Lakes and Rosamond. The project is slated for 383 acres of land in Kern County made up of former grazing and agriculture lands, Joshua Tree and Juniper woodland habitat. Of the 383 acres, 233 are […]

The Buzz

14 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric offers its nuclear energy to community choice. But it is a hot potato, particularly for East Bay Clean Energy. Local green energy advocates give it a lot of heat for considering the matter. Bets are that extracting lithium from the steamy brine of geothermal plants in the mineral-rich Salton Sea will […]