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West Coast Utilities Coordinate on Big Truck Electrification

18 Apr

A study on electrifying the 1,350 mile route from Mexico to Canada for medium- and heavy-duty trucks is being launched by a coalition of nearly three dozen West Coast private and public utilities and organizations. The study by this West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative, announced April 18, is to evaluate how, where and the […]

Undercurrents: Newsom Eyes New CPUC President

12 Mar

Updated March 14. Gov. Gavin Newsom is planning to shake up the California Public Utilities Commission, including appointing a new president of the commission, the Wall St. Journal reported March 11. A plan could be issued by the governor’s office in a matter of weeks, Newsom reportedly told legislators and analysts from S&P Global Ratings. […]

LA Mayor Nixes LADWP Gas Plant Rebuilds

11 Feb

Updated Feb. 12. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Feb. 12 announced that the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power will forgo rebuilding three aging gas-fired coastal power plants. Instead, they will be replaced with renewable energy. “This is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles,” said Garcetti. “The climate crisis […]

Undercurrents: Drawing the Unaffordable vs. Affordable Rate Line

22 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission took its first step towards getting its arms around the cumulative impacts of its decisions on financially struggling ratepayers. “There is a lot of stake in this proceeding,” said Cliff Rechtschaffen, presiding commissioner, during the Jan. 22 CPUC workshop. He said at issue are the safety, reliability and affordability of […]

Undercurrents: PG&E is up Against a Liability & Ratings Wall

8 Jan

With Pacific Gas & Electric facing ever growing liability for the last two years of devastating fires, all bets are off as to what it will do to stay afloat. Among the options on the table is a possible sale of its natural gas division. According to an NPR news report Jan. 7, this proposal […]

Shorts

13 Nov

California community choice energy programs have signed long-term power purchase agreements for 2,000 MW of renewable electricity from new or recently opened facilities located in 16 counties in California, according to the California Community Choice Association. “This is a significant achievement for the community choice aggregation movement in California,” said Beth Vaughan, association executive director. […]

CCA’s Hit High Renewable Level

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 30 with corrections. The original article mistakenly equated the 2016 power content labels filed at the California Energy Commission with renewable energy portfolio standard compliance levels. (See the bottom of the article for further explanation.*)   All of California’s community choice energy programs far exceeded California’s 25 percent average renewable power level in […]

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 […]

Shorts

2 Oct

In an early look at how much SB 100 will raise electricity rates, preliminary modeling in support of Pasadena Water & Power’s upcoming integrated resource plan suggests moving to 100 percent clean energy may not cost that much. The modeling, according to an advisor to the muni, suggests the average $100 a month residential power […]

Undercurrents: Community Solar, EV Charging Advance

27 Sep

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is rolling out a shared solar program. Under it, apartment and other multi-unit home dwellers who cannot install solar systems on their own roofs can opt for solar power produced by dedicated solar facilities. Community organizations will help enroll muni customers, who will pay 17.4 cents per […]

JUICE: Eyes Wide Shut on Wildfire Liability Bill

11 Sep

Lawmakers promised a transparent process for the bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown dealing with liability for utility-sparked wildfires fueled by multi-year drought, legions of dead and dying trees and higher temperatures. Yet, the final provisions and costs of SB 901 by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) were anything but transparent. Transparent is defined as “free […]

Climate Roundup: Removing Carbon & LA’s Cooling Strategies

10 Sep

As temperatures climb, geo-engineering solutions to global warming are under heightened discussion, including efforts to sequester carbon from the atmosphere by the forestry and farm management sectors. In addition, high-tech efforts to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and oceans are on the table. The various strategies are outlined in a series of papers by […]

LADWP Reviews Tough Power Line Fire Safety Rules

5 Sep

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s board  heard that the muni’s  wildfire construction safety standards for power lines exceed state requirements, satisfying a state law enacted in 2016. LADWP changed its standards ten years ago after the catastrophic 2007 wildfires in San Diego that were partly sparked by San Diego Gas & Electric […]

Undercurrents: Dems Slam FERC Chair for Pushing Price Supports

21 Aug

Updated Aug. 22 The head federal energy regulator was blasted for allowing his top staffer to state during a nuclear energy conference that his agency was working with the Trump Administration to ensure nuclear and coal power is subsidized under the controversial “fuel resiliency” theory. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Natural Resources Committee ranking member, and […]

Undercurrents

10 Jul

The harm to the marine environment from using ocean water to cool power plants is more widespread than thought, according to a new research report by the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team. The Council, a state agency, released the report July 9. It showed that ocean currents connect separate marine protection zones, essentially spreading […]

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 […]

Climate Change Roundup: Court Tosses Bay Area Suits Against Oil Firms

26 Jun

Lawsuits brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland seeking damages from the oil majors for climate pollution were dismissed June 25 by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The ruling held that greenhouse gas emissions control is a political matter and not one to be decided by a court […]

The Buzz

21 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric notifies investors and lenders that it is taking a $2.5 billion loss in the second quarter as a result of mounting wildfire liability, with the worst potentially yet ahead. Meanwhile, a legislative committee in Sacramento advances a bill that may ease utility liability for wildfires. The California Public Utilities Commission sets […]

No Speed Up of LADWP Study of 100% Renewables

19 Jun

A Los Angeles City Council committee delayed acting on a motion to require the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to advance its schedule for determining if it can achieve 100 percent renewable energy. Including the study as part of the current integrated resource plan, argued Alexandra Nagy, Food & Water Watch campaigner, would […]

The Buzz

24 May

The California Independent System Operator weighs increasing payments, primarily to battery-based storage. Multiple revenue streams are being considered for energy storage that provides transmission and other services in its markets. Critics warn that lack of an honest dialogue with the Air Resources Board over excess carbon allowances will cause the state to miss its target […]