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FERC: No Showstoppers for Winter Energy Supplies

17 Oct

With a warmer than normal winter expected, electricity and natural gas supplies this winter are expected to be both adequate and affordable, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s latest energy market assessment. Natural gas storage levels are at the five-year average level and gas prices are down from last winter. FERC projects a price […]

CPUC Faces Opposition to Protecting Gas Plants

10 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission was met a by a string of protesters Oct. 10 who objected to the commission’s proposed Integrated Resource Plan to extend the life of aging gas plants. Considering adding three years to the life of seawater-cooled gas power plants, predominantly along the Southern California coast, pays “little regard to the […]

CA’s Carbon Goal Requires Steeper Emissions Cuts, Report Finds

8 Oct

In spite of significant greenhouse gas cuts from California’s electricity sector, the state is expected to fall well short of its 2030 climate protection target. Rising emissions from the transportation and commercial sectors are largely to blame, according to Next 10’s eleventh annual California Green Innovation Index. This updated Index “serves as a wake-up call,” […]

Proposed $65M Fine for PG&E’s Bogus Records Gets Slammed

7 Oct

Pacific Gas & Electric agreed to pay a $65 million fine for falsifying records on the locations of its underground gas and electric pipelines, impacting the safety of excavators in and outside the company. The penalty also is for risks the utility caused by hiding its late responses to excavators’ requests. The Utility Reform Network […]

Newsom Inks Various Utility-Related Bills

2 Oct

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several energy-related bills into law Oct. 2 that he said aim to mitigate climate change through clean energy policies. The governor approved SB 520 by Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys). Hertzberg’s measure establishes requirements for an energy provider of last resort given the increasing number of customers receiving power from entities […]

FERC Okays CAISO Backstop Procurement Changes

2 Oct

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Sept. 27 approved California Independent System Operator tariff revisions to give the grid operator more leeway in awarding reliability-must-run power contracts to aging gas power plants. FERC approved the CAISO backstop power supply tariff revisions on a 2-1 vote over the dissent of Commissioner Richard Glick, the sole Democrat on the […]

The Buzz

26 Sep

So. Cal Gas and SDG&E get whopping increases in their 2019-21 general rate cases. State energy regulators say the hefty revenue hikes are needed to fully fund the gas and electric companies’ safety programs. It is a long shot but bondholders try again to inject their plan for paying off PG&E’s massive debts at the […]

Bond Holders Take 2nd Shot at PG&E Reorg Plan

26 Sep

Hedge funds, other unsecured note holders, and tort claimants, together on Sept. 25 pitched a revised reorganization plan to get Pacific Gas & Electric out of bankruptcy on the group’s terms. The filing by these major stakeholders, made late Wednesday, also asks the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Northern California a second time to terminate PG&E’s […]

Price and Variable Rates Help Protect a Clean Grid

25 Sep

Power pricing is a key driver impacting energy demand that can go a long way towards ensuring the reliability of a low carbon grid. “Prices are a powerful signal,” according to a presentation by Debra Lew, a Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body consultant, made at a Sept. 24 California Energy Commission workshop on Net Zero […]

PG&E Folds New Deal into its Reorganization Plan

23 Sep

Pacific Gas & Electric Sept. 23 finalized a $14 billion settlement that includes the $11 billion agreement reached last week with insurance firms for damage claims from the PG&E equipment-sparked 2017 Northern California wildfires and 2018 Camp Fire. The final $14 billion agreement also includes a $1 billion deal reached with 18 local public entities […]

JUICE: Chasing SCE’s Rates Is Not a Way to Do Business

23 Sep

The Clean Power Alliance this year became the state’s largest Community Choice Aggregator. It provides about 11,000 GWh to a growing complement of over 1 million ex-Southern California Edison customers with competitively-priced renewable energy. It plans to ramp up its renewable resource portfolio and roll out a heady menu of expanded customer programs. To gain […]

Gov. Directs Money & Climate Protection Alignment

23 Sep

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Sept. 20 directing the leveraging of the state’s $700 billion pension investment funds to promote increased climate protection in California. That is to include tapping into the California Public Employees Retirement System, California State Teachers Retirement System and the University of California Retirement funds. Newsom also inked two […]

The Buzz

19 Sep

Trump’s claim that California’s Clean Air Act waiver is preempted by federal law drives state air regulators to look at other ways to slash climate pollution from the transportation sector. Two Republican federal energy regulators approve a proposal to alter the 40-year old law protecting small renewable projects and co-generation. The dissenting Democratic commissioner says […]

ARB Seeks Emissions Cuts Elsewhere, w/ CA Waiver Revoked

19 Sep

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration yanked California’s ability to set vehicle emission standards tighter than federal ones, as promised. The Sept. 18 revocation of the state’s waiver authority under the federal Clean Air Act also undermines California’s zero emissions vehicle program, further undermining its climate protection work. Mary […]

Grappling with Industrial Decarbonization

19 Sep

How to drive down industrial greenhouse gas emissions to reach a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050 was the daunting task debated at a Sept. 18 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. “Transforming our economy to one that is 100 percent clean will be tough and will take significant resources and ingenuity, but it […]

The US is Behind Rare Mineral Curve Big Time

17 Sep

The surge in renewable energy and electric vehicles highlights the risks of importing limited essential minerals from opaque markets, many in unstable regions. The matter is further exacerbated by the United States’ failure to compete in this area. “Batteries don’t work without lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel; solar panels require silver, gallium, indium, tellurium; and […]

PG&E & Insurance Firms Make $11B Deal

16 Sep

Pacific Gas & Electric reached a tentative $11 billion settlement with dozens of insurance companies Sept. 13. The agreement filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Northern California is with the Ad Hoc Subrogation Group, which represents insurance firms and their claims for damage caused by wildfires sparked by PG&E equipment. It covers nearly half […]

Vanishing Renewable Premium

16 Sep

The green premium has disappeared in Texas and the same will happen in California and elsewhere By Fereidoon Sioshansi Environmentally conscious consumers traditionally had to pay a premium to get clean kilowatt/hours. They’ve been typically offered as a “premium” product by the suppliers: the higher the renewable content, the greener the electrons and higher the […]

CPUC Okays PG&E Gas Transmission Revenue Hike

12 Sep

At her first meeting, new California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer and her fellow commissioners approved raising Pacific Gas & Electric’s revenue for gas transmission and storage to $1.3 billion this year. The commissioners Sept. 12 also unanimously backed targeting $100 million in new incentives for off grid clean power systems in high risk […]

Shorts

4 Sep

Updated Sept. 5. The Balancing Authority of Northern California and Western Area Power Administration Sierra Nevada Region signed agreements Sept. 5 to join the California Independent System Operator’s Western Energy Imbalance Market. The two expect to begin participating in the market in April of 2021. This market focuses on short-term transfers of power to optimize the […]