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Utilities & Community Choice Beat Renewables Target

14 Nov

California’s investor-owned utilities exceeded the 25 percent alternative energy mandate set for 2016 and are expected to have half their energy portfolios supplied by eligible renewable resources by 2020. That is according to a California Public Utilities Commission report submitted to the Legislature Nov. 13. The state’s community choice aggregators together exceeded last year’s mandate, […]

Generator Earnings Generally Lower

6 Nov

Independent generator earnings were generally down in the third quarter of 2017, except for bright spots at NextEra and Calpine, with the latter changing hands after ongoing losses. AES, which like most of its generating brethren, is moving to modernize a handful of once-through cooled plants along the Southern California coast, reported a fall in […]

CPUC Rolls Out CA Power System Resource Plan

2 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission laid out its goals for the upcoming integrated resource planning process to guide future procurement of power resources towards a lower carbon future. Under the integrated resource planning process, said CPUC staff member Forest Kaser, the reference plan aims to identify the least-cost approach to meeting the state’s 2030 greenhouse […]

The Buzz

20 Oct

Greening the grid is the talk of the town. At the CAISO’s annual confab held this week, most bets are that a westward grid expansion will happen. Why? Because proponents insist it will promote renewables, which will decarbonize both the grid and economy, near and far. Achieving that goal, however, requires paying new alternative resources […]

OPINIONATED: Binary Geothermal Gives PV a Run for Its Money

17 Oct

By Paul Thomsen In 2017, for the first time, the combined energy and capacity values of geothermal energy significantly exceeded the value of solar photovoltaic resources in California. In the first quarter of 2017, geothermal’s wholesale energy value in Southern California was $13.50/MWh greater than solar PV. At the same time, utility estimates of marginal […]

Bills Approved Include Ones to Grow Renewable Baseload and EV Chargers

11 Jul

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee July 10 passed legislation to encourage the use of geothermal and biomass resources, automatically inform ratepayers of utility bill spikes, and expand ratepayer-funded installations of electric vehicle charging stations. AB 920 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) seeks to increase the use of baseload renewable resources as fossil fuel […]

Bills Okayed to Expand Solar Incentives, Green Baseload & Data Access

20 Apr

Legislation to extend solar thermal subsidies and create geothermal and biomass carve outs were among measures advancing this week in the state capitol. The Assembly Utilities & Communications committee passed on an 8-5 vote AB 797 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Oxnard). It would extend by five years the solar hot water incentive program. The California […]


21 Mar

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is poised to contract for 150 MW of geothermal power from Ormat’s Northern Nevada Geothermal Portfolio Project, which consists of both existing and new geothermal units. Under the 15-year deal, LADWP plans to pay $75.50/MWh or $94 million a year. The Los Angeles City Council has to […]


26 Jan

Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur was appointed FERC’s acting chair by President Donald Trump Jan. 26.  President Barack Obama, who appointed LaFleur in 2010, named her acting chair from November 2013-April 2015. She was replaced by Norman Bay as FERC chair. “While I recognize that FERC is in a state of transition as we […]

New Developer Enters Salton Sea Geothermal Arena

19 Jan

An Australian company is planning to develop up to 744 MW of geothermal energy at the Salton Sea, starting with a 280 MW plant. (more…)

Prospects for Reaching CA’s 50% RPS, Near and Far

27 Oct

Two reports, one by western state interests and the other by California stakeholders, look through different lenses at how the Golden State can reach a 50 percent renewable power level by 2030. Both agree there’s a lot of solar, wind and geothermal potential in and outside of California, but in-state transmission constraints and a shortage of […]

GUEST JUICE: Geothermal Balances California’s Renewable Portfolio

28 Apr

By V. John White California’s rapid renewable energy expansion has led to a boom in large-scale solar and wind projects and a huge expansion of rooftop solar. As costs have fallen, solar energy has become much less expensive, and utility-scale solar is now the least cost renewable energy. Geothermal energy has historically been a large […]


10 Dec

Twenty-four members of the California House delegation asked the California Public Utilities Commission to retain net metering for rooftop solar systems. “While we understand the needs of the commission to develop fair and balanced policies for the entire energy industry, we urge you to preserve net metering and reduce our reliance on climate changing fossil […]

Imperial Sues CAISO: Line Deliverability Center Stage

31 Jul

The Imperial Irrigation District sued the state grid operator for alleged antitrust violations claiming “deliberate and systematic marginalization of the district’s geothermal resources.” (more…)

Smooth Sailing for Pro Renewable Bills

2 Jul

Legislation advancing the interest of alternative energy—from geothermal to biogas—easily passed out of the Senate Energy Utilities & Commerce Committee June 30. (more…)

Geothermal Development Said to Lower Costs & Raise Reliability

25 Jun

Geothermal energy can drive down grid operating costs under a 50 percent renewable energy standard, state lawmakers were told June 23. This resource also can help avoid rate shocks and play a key reliability role as part of a balanced mix of renewable resources and dynamic regional market for energy imports and exports. (more…)