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The Buzz

7 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric propose strengthening their wildfire risk reduction programs.  SDG&E’s plan is not as dense as the other two mitigation blueprints because it put in place many safety measures after devastating wildfires more than a decade ago. Bankrupt PG&E’s plan stands out. That includes […]

Juice: Can CCAs Build a Resilient Energy System?

5 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy is forcing California energy policymakers to grapple with the future of the energy utility business model. PG&E’s massive $30 billion liability for wildfires has led the California Public Utilities Commission to investigate how the utility might be broken up into smaller units that could avoid electric lines sparking fires and […]

Shorts

31 Jan

The West’s energy imbalance market saved electric utility customers $62.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 by finding purchasers for 23,425 MWh of surplus renewable energy that otherwise would have been curtailed, according to the California Independent System Operator on Jan. 31. Since the market— which facilitates short-term trades of excess power—began operating in […]

FERC Remembers McIntyre, Investigates Gas Supply Overcharges

17 Jan

The first Federal Energy Regulatory Commission meeting of 2019 was dedicated to the memory of its former chair, the recently deceased Kevin McIntyre, who died from brain cancer. “He was an earnest public servant who wanted to do the right thing,” Acting Chair Neil Chatterjee said during the Jan. 17 meeting. Chatterjee fondly recalled how […]

State Regulators Scrutinize Surging So Cal Energy Prices

16 Jan

Southern Californians are paying more for natural gas and electricity due to the aging and failing natural gas supply system run by SoCal Gas. Due to limited capacity to deliver gas to homes, businesses, and power generators, the price of gas in Southern California was 134 percent higher during the months of July through September […]

CAISO Soon to Become West’s Electricity Reliability Coordinator

15 Jan

California’s grid operator has entered agreements with 32 of 39 electricity balancing authorities in the West to begin providing reliability coordinator services this summer in place of Peak Reliability, the current provider. “After a year of intensive planning and coordination, the ISO will now focus on developing technology and integrating systems to meet our July […]

Shorts

15 Jan

The Department of Interior directed furloughed staff to work on oil and gas leases on federal lands without pay on the 26th day of the federal government’s shutdown. “National parks, museums, and federal offices are closed throughout the nation due to the President’s ongoing shutdown,” Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) noted Jan. 16. “But if you […]

Clean Power Alliance to Enter Major Power Deals

8 Jan

The Clean Power Alliance in Southern California, which soon will become the state’s largest community choice aggregation program, is in the process of developing power purchase agreements for up to 2 million MWh a year of power to serve its growing customer base. After rolling out service to more than 31,000 customers last year, next […]

Juice: Cost of Living & Technology Challenges Public Purpose Programs

7 Jan

The collapse of a California Public Utilities Commission plan to put a surcharge on text messages to subsidize telecommunications for low-income residents points to a growing problem. Without new approaches, technological changes and California’s high cost of living may soon make it difficult to fund public purpose programs, for energy and climate change as well […]

Sempra Sells Off Solar Plants to Con Edison

17 Dec

Sempra Energy has sold its U.S. operating solar assets, solar and battery storage development projects, and one wind facility to New York-based Consolidated Edison for about $1.6 billion in cash. The deal, completed Dec. 13, covers facilities with a total capacity of 980 MW. California plants included in the sale are the Alpaugh, Corcoran, Great […]

Opinionated: Back to the Resource Adequacy Drawing Board

17 Dec

By Todd Edmister Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision in its resource adequacy proceeding that would strip community choice aggregators and energy service providers collectively of their authority to procure local capacity resources. It would give this resource adequacy procurement authority exclusively to investor-owned utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric […]

Cap & Trade Revisions Focus on Cost Control

13 Dec

California air regulators Dec. 13 adopted amendments to the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program designed to curb the cost of cutting emissions in the coming decade. They also fine tuned how emissions trading will work in the coming decade. The amendments will help “contain the costs” of cutting carbon emissions while “increasing the environmental benefits to […]

JUICE: Flying a Jet Plane?

12 Dec

California may create a central power purchasing agency to fill gaps in the state’s electricity supply to ensure the grid remains reliable, and possibly to act as the provider of last resort. The state essentially did the same some 17 years ago with less than stellar results, though the circumstances were different. Out of the […]

CPUC Officials Warn of Growing Market Power

5 Dec

Golden State electric ratepayers could soon become victims of price manipulation, according to California Public Utilities Commission officials. “California is currently entering an era of tighter generation supplies than we have experienced in recent years,” wrote Commissioner Liane Randolph and CPUC Administrative Law Judge Julie Fitch in a ruling last month. The ruling came in […]

State Energy Buyer Bill Introduced; One to Thwart Utility Bankruptcies is a No Show

4 Dec

A key state lawmaker Dec. 3 held off on introducing legislation to keep California’s investor-owned utilities from being driven into bankruptcy by billions of dollars in potential wildfire liability claims. Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) said he had planned to introduce the measure on Monday when new lawmakers were sworn in. Holden, who chairs the Assembly […]

SDG&E Wants Out of Power Supply Business

29 Nov

San Diego Gas & Electric, which has some of the highest power rates in the nation, wants to jettison its role of providing power to customers and become strictly an electricity transmission and distribution company. The utility says it’s primarily motivated by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s plan to form a community aggregation program in […]

Juice: CA Climate Policy Refugees?

19 Nov

California’s master plan for cutting greenhouse gases could be jeopardized by a lawsuit by a civil rights group. The suit filed by a group calling themselves “The Two-Hundred” may soon be heard in a state court in Fresno. The legal challenge filed earlier this year contends the state’s climate policies are heightening inequity. The claim […]

CARB Closes in on Carbon Cap & Trade Rule Overhaul

15 Nov

California air regulators Nov. 15 held the first of two hearings on amendments to the state’s carbon cap-and-trade program aimed at setting rules for the program through 2030, a time during which the greenhouse gas emissions reduction rate is supposed to double under state law. The amendments, which largely are to take effect in 2020, […]

FERC Works to Ensure Energy Customers Benefit from Tax Savings

15 Nov

Federal energy regulators took action this week to require the electricity and natural gas industries to pass along tax savings resulting from the 2017 federal tax reform bill. “The goal of the whole thing is to get tax savings back into the hands of consumers as soon as possible,” Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur […]

CAISO Aims for 15-Minute Day-Ahead Market

14 Nov

The grid operator adopted additional enhancements to its interconnection process Nov. 14, including requiring wind and solar generators to install inverters in new projects or upgraded inverters in existing facilities so they continue to operate during transmission line voltage faults. The California Independent System Operator’s action this week also incorporated two other improvements into its […]