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The Buzz

14 Jun

A House Energy panel zeros in on federal legislation and tactics to resolve the troubling issue of long-term storage of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. Lawmakers also grapple with how to consolidate onsite spent fuel in 121 communities, including in Southern California and Sacramento. The day before, another House Energy & Commerce subcommittee tells […]

Shorts

13 Jun

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee backed extending the time renewable gas projects can tap into state incentives covering 50 percent of their interconnection costs this week. On a 14-0 vote, the panel approved SB 547 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego). The bill extends by five years to Dec, 31, 2026, the date by […]

House Energy Puts GHGs & Storage Center Stage

12 Jun

The growing importance of assessing the greenhouse gas impacts of natural gas project permitting and better integrating distributed energy and energy storage into the wholesale market was stressed this week by a House Energy & Commerce Committee subpanel. The June 12 hearing of the Energy Subcommittee focused on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s policies and […]

Undercurrents

11 Jun

With temperatures set to soar last weekend, Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to 21,000 customers in Butte and Yuba counties for safety reasons at about 9:00 p.m. on June 8. In addition to safety shutoffs in the Sierra Foothills, PG&E turned off power to about 1,700 customers in Napa, Solano and Yolo Counties […]

JUICE: Sailing to Grid Regionalization

11 Jun

The announcement by California’s transmission operator that it will become the regional coordinator, not only in its territory, but across big parts of the western grid beginning July 1 generated few headlines. However, the California Independent System Operator becoming the new high wires reliability cop on the beat from Northern Mexico to Canada is a […]

Undercurrents: CAISO Is New Western Reliability Coordinator

5 Jun

The North American Electric Reliability Corp. early this week approved the California Independent System Operator as the West’s new reliability coordinator. With NERC certification in hand, CAISO will begin offering reliability coordinator services to electricity balancing authorities across the western states and in part of Mexico on July 1. “The NERC certification is an important […]

Juice: Uncle Joe Offers Climate Change Hope

4 Jun

News flash: Joe Biden just released a $1.7 trillion climate change plan as part of his Presidential campaign platform. While on the late side compared to others, including candidates who spent last weekend at the California Democratic Convention in San Francisco, Biden’s plan may well be just as sweeping in its ambition. First and foremost, […]

The Buzz

30 May

This week is all about measures to reduce the impacts of utility-sparked wildfires in California. In the midst of all the smoke, CPUC president Mike Picker says he’ll soon retire. Earlier, he and other state energy regulators approve the investor-owned utilities’ 2019 plans to stem wildfire risks from their equipment. But, the CPUC notes, this is […]

Opinionated: Solar+Storage Challenges Gas Peakers

28 May

By Fereidoon Sioshansi Gas peakers have been around well before the recent rise of renewables made them even more indispensible. How else could grid operators fill in the void created by the vanishing solar generation when the sun sets at the end of the day or when wind stops spinning the wind turbines’ blades? And […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Ratepayer Advocates Fail to Get Official Status

28 May

Updated May 29 The federal bankruptcy court judge handling Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy case rejected creating a formal ratepayer committee. If  approved, it would have required the utility to pay the committee’s legal tab. “Wall Street bankers will be calling the shots, demanding a ratepayer bailout to keep PG&E profitable,” Mark Toney, The Utility […]

Climate Roundup: House Democrat Eyes Clean Energy Funding

22 May

The House Energy & Commerce Committee this week began work on advancing the “LIFT America Act,” which calls for spending $33 billion on clean energy programs to cut greenhouse gas emissions and modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure. “All of these investments will help us take an important step in combating the climate crisis, while also […]

Shorts

21 May

Updated May 23. Pacific Gas & Electric is planning to rebuild power distribution lines underground in Paradise, the utility announced May 23. It has not yet developed a cost estimate for the work. Putting the electric wires underground is expected to take five years. In the interim, overhead lines will be built to provide temporary […]

Juice: Trump’s Job Killing Machine

20 May

California energy utilities, community choice aggregators, and power generators must actively support state officials who are fighting a move by the Trump Administration to freeze automotive emissions control standards aimed at cutting greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants. At stake are years of planning efforts and billions of dollars of investments to ready the grid for […]

CPUC Changes Biomethane & DER Cost Effectiveness Rules

16 May

During state energy regulators’ business meeting, held in Oxnard this week, they adopted changes to safety standards for biomethane put into utility pipelines. The changes are in accordance with recommendations made by the California Council on Science & Technology. The changes, approved May 16 by the California Public Utilities Commission include: Lowering the heating value […]

Gov.’s Budget Revise Eyes More for CPUC & Low Carbon Programs

9 May

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “May revise” of his fiscal 2019-20 budget will boost money for the California Public Utilities Commission and also expenditures of cap-and-trade funds for affordable housing, sustainability and resiliency priorities. The proposed increases come amid rising state revenue. “The California Dream must be built on a strong fiscal foundation,” said Newsom May 9. […]

Juice: Organic Waste & Renewable Natural Gas

7 May

California’s energy sector could be significantly impacted by a pending regulatory proposal by the state’s solid waste agency. At issue is CalRecycle’s proposal calling for reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants under a law enacted in 2016. CalRecycle’s regulations are aimed at cutting fugitive methane emissions from landfills in California caused when yard and food […]

Climate Roundup: Garcetti Outlines LA New Green Deal

6 May

Updated May 8. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s green new deal program sets the bar for environmental improvement and green economic development for the state’s largest city far higher than existing state targets. By 2050, Garcetti wants a zero carbon economy, with no emissions from the grid, transportation, or buildings. The plan, introduced last week, […]

Undercurrents

1 May

Updated May 2 The California Public Utilities Commission staff proposal outlining the criteria and methodology for utilities to recovery wildfire expenses under SB 901 is being challenged by a group of stakeholders. Specifically being contested is staff’s restricted definition of “customer harm.” It fails to include “harm involved in the form of funds paid out […]

Shorts

29 Apr

Updated May 2 On a 36-0 vote, the State Senate confirmed Commissioner David Hochschild to the California Energy Commission May 2. He was appointed the chair of the agency by Gov. Gavin Newsom in February, replacing outgoing Chair Bob Weisenmiller. “Taking the helm of the Commission is both a great honor and responsibility during this […]

CPUC Calls for 12,000 MW of Renewables

25 Apr

State utility regulators April 25 acted on the first integrated resource plans from 48 power providers in California under their jurisdiction. The California Public Utilities Commission approved plans from 20 load serving entities. It also exempted nine from the planning requirement, and determined that another 19 submitted inadequate plans. Overall, according to Commissioner Liane Randolph, […]