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The Buzz

16 Jan

State energy regulators give Southern California Edison the green light to collect $4.7 billion for projected 2020 energy costs during their first meeting of the year. The California Public Utilities Commission also votes unanimously to dedicate most of the Self Generation Incentive Program rebates to energy storage in fire-stressed communities. In addition, the commission approves […]

JUICE: 2020 Energy Trends, Part 2

13 Jan

This coming year will be full of action in half a dozen energy areas. There will be bigger wrestling matches between California and the Trump Administration over climate protection, between natural gas advocates and opponents, and between community choice aggregation and the private utilities. The three other key issues of 2020: energy storage, electrification of […]

Shorts

13 Jan

Updated Jan. 16 The Department of Energy Jan. 16 approved adding steps to a rule setting new energy efficiency standards for refrigerators, dishwashers, home furnaces, commercial air conditioners, industrial motors and other equipment. DOE “designed its new process rule to make it slower and harder to establish energy-saving efficiency standards,” Andrew deLaski, executive director of […]

The Buzz

9 Jan

The start of the New Year brings bold federal and state clean energy and equity measures. It also brings closer a looming deadline for Pacific Gas & Electric. There is a huge push to get PG&E out of bankruptcy by the end of June. Meeting that deadline will allow it to access the multi-billion dollar […]

PG&E Heads for Bankruptcy Door

9 Jan

An end of June deadline looms for Pacific Gas & Electric as it strives to exit bankruptcy court in time to tap into a legislatively created $21 billion wildfire fund. Bets are that PG&E will make the deadline. AB 1054, which created a wildfire liability reserve account funded by private utility shareholders and ratepayers, mandates […]

JUICE: 2020 Energy Trends

7 Jan

Top ticket energy issues in the Golden State this coming year include energy storage, transportation electrification and microgrids. Other key matters are the growing roles of community energy and natural gas bans. The rise in renewable energy and decarbonization efforts in California are the key drivers behind these market transformations. Simultaneously, these efforts to green […]

LADWP Faces Federal Complaint Over 2017 Wildfire

9 Dec

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power last week denied that its equipment started the destructive Creek Fire, which ignited in the Angeles National Forest on Dec. 5, 2017. The muni issued the denial after the federal government filed a court complaint against the muni seeking to recover $40 million in firefighting costs. The […]

PG&E Says It’s Settled All Fire Claims

9 Dec

Pacific Gas & Electric late last week resolved the last of the major wildfire claims against it, potentially clearing the way for it to finalize a bankruptcy reorganization plan. PG&E on Dec. 6 agreed to a $13.5 billion settlement with wildfire victims. Under the deal with the Official Committee of Tort Claimants and firms representing […]

The Buzz

5 Dec

A carbon tax is the talk of the town this week. Republican members of a House panel insist it would be a cost without a benefit because global action is critical. In response, their Democratic brethren chastise them for not partaking in the ongoing UN climate talks. Solar-powered microgrids paired with battery storage can keep […]

PG&E Update: CPUC Division Finds Utility Equipment Inspections Shoddy

3 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission’s Safety & Enforcement Division found that a faulty hook on a Pacific Gas & Electric transmission tower, which initially sparked the 2018 Camp Fire, was a known hazard. The fire burned down the City of Paradise. The safety division also found the worn tower that started the Camp Fire was […]

Shorts

2 Dec

Updated Dec. 5 The California Air Resources Board Dec. 5 adopted rules that seek to reduce carbon and toxic air emissions at California’s major ports. The regulations were driven by the serious health impacts on overburdened, low-income communities surrounding the areas. The new standards focus on emission reductions from berthed ships and other vessels. One […]

Senators Object to Utility Safety Outages

19 Nov

Shortly after Pacific Gas & Electric warned it may cut off power to about 800,000 people later this week in the face of a red flag wind advisory, lawmakers focused on ways to curb the number, duration and impact of utility power shutoffs. PG&E warned the morning of Nov. 18 that customers in some 22 […]

The Buzz

7 Nov

The liability boulder around Pacific Gas & Electric’s neck may thwart its rescue by the federal bankruptcy court, its latest earnings report warnd. Meanwhile, the push for a public takeover of PG&E intensifies. State energy regulators unanimously approve requiring utilities, community choice and other providers to line up an additional 3,300 MW of energy reserves. […]

PG&E’s in Critical Condition, Earnings Report Warns

7 Nov

Pacific Gas & Electric Nov. 7 reported a whopping and unprecedented loss of $1.62 billion. Its third quarter earnings report, released without the standard accompaniment of a call with financial analysts, also stated that the company’s financial situation is in dire straits and that it faces a very uncertain future. PG&E Corp. and the utility […]

CA Sues Feds for Weakening Lighting Savings Rules

6 Nov

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Nov. 4 joined with 17 other state attorneys general to sue the U.S. Department of Energy for watering down efficiency standards for certain light bulbs. The petition, Becerra said, seeks “to block the Department of Energy from pushing a foolish agenda that prioritizes outdated, polluting technology over the needs of […]

Democrats Object to FERC Appointee Hearing

5 Nov

In spite of no action by the White House on the unfilled Democratic seat at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee Nov. 5 vetted Republican FERC nominee James Danly. Committee Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said it was acceptable to hold the hearing because President Donald Trump had […]

Trump Goes after CA-Quebec Cap & Trade Deal

23 Oct

The U.S. Department of Justice Oct. 23 sued to dismantle California’s carbon cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec on grounds it is unconstitutional. “California’s unlawful cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec undermines the President’s ability to negotiate competitive agreements with other nations, as the President sees fit,” asserts the DOJ’s complaint. The civil lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District […]

JUICE: Piecing Together the Outage News Puzzles

22 Oct

I live in Alameda County in Northern California, while my co-editor Bill Kelly lives in Los Angeles County. This allows us to compare and contrast news coverage and public responses to energy happenings in our regions. Of late, we’ve focused on the fires and outages caused by the incumbent investor-owned utilities in our parts of […]

Shorts

14 Oct

Updated Oct. 17. The California Independent System Operator upgraded its power grid operating technology last week, saying it now has the most advanced system in the industry. CAISO launched the Siemens Spectrum PowerTM 7 energy management system after five years of study, competitive bidding, design, and implementation. “CAISO now has the most sophisticated energy management […]

PG&E Launches Major Outages, Lines up $35B in Financing

8 Oct

Updated Oct. 10 Pacific Gas & Electric instituted power shutoffs across large swaths of California because of high fire danger midweek. Earlier, it unsuccessfully urged the federal bankruptcy court to hose an unwelcome reorganization proposal. Starting around midnight on Wednesday, PG&E began shutting off power to 800,000 customers. The shutoffs began in the counties in […]