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JUICE: Gridding Our Teeth

17 Jul

As the deadline for voting on legislation to allow California’s grid to become a regional entity gets closer, debate rages on as to whether it would be a boom or bust. A report released July 17, favoring removing barriers to establishing a Western Independent System Operator, warns of the inherent complexities of the legislation, AB […]

FERC v. CA Litigation over CAISO’s Board Selection

17 Jul

The conflict between federal energy regulators and California over the makeup of the California Independent System Operator’s board following the 2000-01 energy crisis was largely decided at the appellate court level. On June 22, 2004, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in California’s favor that its new board was indeed […]

The Buzz

13 Jul

Editor’s Note: California Current will be taking a two-week summer break. The last stories before the break will be posted on July 20. Story posting will resume the week of Aug. 6. State energy regulators belatedly agree to approve Southern California Edison’s 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements to be developed […]

LA Choice Program Blasts CPUC Dissing CCAs

11 Jul

The state’s largest community choice aggregator late last month complained to the state Legislature about the California Public Utilities Commission’s customer choice project, which is outlined in what the commission calls “The Green Book.” The Clean Power Alliance, which is the new community choice program for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, wrote that “the Green […]

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

6 Jul

It was not just happy 4th of July, but also happy 3rd of July for many. There were mini fireworks after the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sent the 100 percent clean energy bill to the Assembly Floor. SB 100 sets a 60 renewable mandate for 2030, with another 40 percent to come from big […]

100% Clean Energy Bill Heads to Assembly Floor Again

3 Jul

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Senate Analysis Sees Legal Risks in Regional Grid

3 Jul

Grid regionalization legislation is advancing through the Legislature despite a bill analysis warning it could pose serious threats to the state’s control over its clean energy laws because of potential federal preemption and conflict. “Given the current administration and its ever-increasing appetite to usurp state control, it would arguably be dangerous policy to enter California […]

Wildfire Liability Bill Goes to Conference Committee

3 Jul

Details of Sen. Bill Dodd’s SB 901 are to be hammered out in a legislative conference committee. That includes terms of standards governing when utilities could be held liable for wildfire damages. The Napa Democrat’s measure would set standards requiring utilities to improve their efforts to prevent wildfires, including more effort to clear vegetation around […]

Clashing Views on Power Industry Emissions

3 Jul

A legislative hearing on tracking carbon from electrons delivered to Californians quickly turned into a debate about grid regionalization and the impact of community choice aggregators and direct access providers in the state Capitol on July 2. Liane Randolph, California Public Utilities Commission member, said her agency has targeted a reduction of 42 million tons […]

Juice: Centralizing to Decentralize

2 Jul

As community choice aggregation, distributed generation, and interest by companies in making or purchasing their own power rise, California energy officials appear ready to change the state’s electricity market under the banner of “customer choice.” It’s uncertain what the California Public Utilities Commission will recommend in its final analysis outlining how customer choice is changing […]

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 […]

Bill Allowing Unlimited Direct Access Advances

28 Jun

Legislation lifting the cap on the ability of large businesses and industries to be served by non-utility energy service providers passed out of the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee June 27 despite significant opposition, including from the panel chair. SB 237 by Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), which would remove limits on direct access, was approved […]

JUICE: Creating the ISDN Grid

26 Jun

When I was a young reporter in Washington in the early 1980s covering the telecommunications industry, the policy vision was to unleash competition to advance technologies and eventually create what was called the Integrated Services Digital Network, or ISDN. ISDN was to become a single operating network through which all communications could flow—including phone calls, […]

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 […]

Assembly Panel Passes Wildfire Liability Bills

21 Jun

Over major opposition, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee passed legislation to create a separate safety proceeding for investor-owned utilities at the California Public Utilities Commission. If utilities are deemed in compliance with safety regulations to be developed with input from the Office of Emergency Services, then ratepayers would be on the hook for the […]

Bill Extends Energy Storage Incentive

21 Jun

After approving legislation setting parameters on utility wildfire risks, the Assembly energy panel passed a bill that would add another five years to the program offering incentives to behind-the-meter small energy storage systems. SB 700 by Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) would extend the small energy storage subsidy under the Self Generation Incentive Program. This […]

Grid Regionalization Bill Passes Panel

19 Jun

The most significant energy legislation of the session, which would give the California grid operator the green light to become a regional power market and transmission operator, barely passed out of the Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee. AB 813 by Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), chair of the Assembly Energy & Utilities Committee, needed at least […]

Senate Energy Panel Okays Minor Energy Bills

19 Jun

A handful of meaures passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee this week, from one requiring transparency on decisions to place a moratorium on natural gas supply connections to another reducing public school utility bills. AB 1879 by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) would require the California Public Utilities Commission to provide […]

Juice: Parsing AB 813

19 Jun

Suddenly, all eyes are turned toward the likely prospect California lawmakers will soon enable a regionalized western power grid and wholesale market. Regionalization was on the table a few years ago, but progress largely faltered on concerns it would enable more coal power to flow into California, confounding the state’s march to decarbonize its economy. […]