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The Buzz

14 May

The massive hole in the upcoming state budget caused by the pandemic does not keep Gov. Gavin Newsom from adding funds to protect against wildfires and its fallout.  It is another story for climate protection, however. Covid-19 also is responsible for destroying huge numbers of jobs in energy efficiency, renewables and other alternative energy sectors […]

Big Grants for Lithium Recovery & Clean Microgrid in Disadvantaged Community

14 May

The California Energy Commission May 13 approved $33 million in grants, two for more than $9 million, in support of innovative clean energy projects. The five commissioners approved $9.5 million to help California become a leader in the recovery of lithium from brine and make geothermal baseload projects more affordable and efficient. California is home […]

Community Choice Roundup

16 Apr

Community energy representatives protested the pending California Public Utilities Commission decision putting the private utilities in charge of a centralized capacity market to buy supply cushions for a variety of energy providers. If adopted, the decision would conflict with “a key objective of the Commission’s reliability oversight,” which is to safeguard community energy’s “self-procurement autonomy,” […]

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 […]

Will the Salton Sea Become Lithium Valley?

13 Feb

The California Energy Commission took a deep dive into the potential for extracting lithium from geothermal plants along the Salton Sea during a Feb. 12 symposium at Stanford University. Removing lithium from the mineral rich and very hot brine in this region in Southern California is full of promise because it’s potentially a world-class source […]

Undercurrents: Key Court Hearing Cancelled in Response to PG&E Deal

28 Jan

Bankruptcy judge Dennis Montali cancelled the Jan. 29 status conference after Pacific Gas & Electric announced it reached a tentative agreement with bondholders. In mid-January, Montali ordered the status conference so that competing reorganization plans would be ready in time for him to select the winner before a key June 30 deadline. The utility must […]

The Buzz

24 Jan

FERC member Bernard McNamee bids adieu to the agency. Whether to allow coastal power plants that use huge quantities of water to cool down is still at issue. Center stage are proposed extensions of the legal deadlines, set in 2010, for four plants along the Southern California coast. Under an agreement between Pacific Gas & […]

CEC Okays Diesel Engine at Geothermal Plant & PV Exemption

23 Jan

The California Energy Commission Jan. 22 approved adding a diesel engine to a geothermal power plant, exempting new residential buildings from its photovoltaic requirements, and signing off on $2.7 million in clean energy grants. The CEC also launched a small energy project proceeding for a new data center, which could allow diesel backup generators. A […]

Innovation & Clean Energy Bills Aired by U.S. Senate Panel

6 Nov

Nearly a dozen energy bills, from promoting renewable energy innovation to increasing grid cybersecurity, were presented to a U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee subcommittee Nov. 6. A key focus of the package is beefing up energy technology innovation to “lower emissions and maintain a modern economy,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). “Advancing non-polluting […]

Inside the Beltway: Lawmakers Clash on Auto Standards

20 Jun

Legislators and policy makers displayed wide differences regarding the future of automotive standards aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions June 20 during a joint hearing of the House Energy & Commerce Consumer Protection & Commerce and Environment & Climate Change Subcommittees. The panels delved into the Trump Administration’s plan to freeze Obama era standards modeled […]

CEC Debates if Lithium Will Be the New Oil

19 Nov

The potential for recovering lithium from geothermal brine in the Salton Sea to meet the surging growth in use of batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage is high, but faces big hurdles. Tapping into the lithium potential, according to California Energy Commissioner David Hochschild, “could be an important part of California’s energy future.” He […]

CA Set to Meet 2020 Renewable Standard

1 Nov

California is on target to meet that state’s 33 percent renewable portfolio standard, according to a California Public Utilities Commission report to the Legislature on Nov. 1. However, community choice aggregators and direct access providers will have to pick up their pace in procuring renewable energy. “California continues on its path to a 100 percent […]

Shorts

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 26 City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Oct. 25 he wants the city to offer energy supplies to its residents.  Faulconer is asking the city council to approve forming a community choice aggregation program that will reach the 100  percent renewable energy mark by 2035. Competitor San Diego Gas &Electric responded […]

Shorts

15 Oct

The 48 MW McGuinness Hills 3 geothermal power plant is slated to begin providing power to the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power by the end of the year, the muni’s staff told its board Oct. 16. The project is the second of a 177 MW three-stage geothermal procurement by the muni in Northern […]

Bills Bolster Private Utilities’ Bottom Line & Building Emission Cuts

4 Sep

In a last-minute rewrite with minimal transparency, lawmakers passed a bill shielding Pacific Gas & Electric shareholders from massive wildfire liability but lacked similar gusto to pass legislation allowing for a regionalization of California’s electric grid. The grid regionalization bill, the two-year AB 813, remained stuck in the Rules Committee throughout the final two weeks […]

Juice: Big Energy Bills on Vacation Hold

10 Jul

Before lawmakers went on their month-long summer break at the end of last week, they advanced a pile of energy legislation that is a mix of the old and new. Awaiting legislators’ return to the state capitol are significant measures to create full blown expansions of the state’s wholesale energy market, clean energy mandate and […]

The Buzz

28 Jun

The big squeeze from a duo of powerful hedge funds leads Sempra Energy to sell off all of its green portfolio and some of its gas assets. More significantly, this is just the first round of spin offs. A proposed CPUC settlement would reduce ratepayers’ share of the closure costs of San Onofre Nuclear Generating […]

Geothermal Procurement Bill Clears Senate Panel

28 Jun

Legislation to require utilities, community choice aggregators, and energy service providers to purchase more geothermal energy, particularly from new facilities being developed at the Salton Sea, cleared a crucial state Senate committee June 27. The Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee voted 7-2 to advance AB 893 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), who represents Imperial […]

The Buzz

27 Apr

Legislation to raise payments to needed gas power plants in California, to increase the use of home electric air and space heating, and to make school reps eligible for intervenor compensation make the cut. Midweek, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sends these measures on to the next committee. Measures to bolster energy storage and […]

Undercurrents

25 Apr

A bill to carve out a utility procurement mandate for biomass, biogas, and geothermal power made it through an Assembly Committee April 23, but only after specific numeric requirements were axed and replaced with vague placeholder language. AB 2208 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), who represents the Geysers geothermal resource area, said her bill “will […]