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Climate Roundup: E-Highway Test for Trucks in Los Angeles

20 Nov

As the state targets heavy-duty trucks for electrification, news about Tesla’s plan to build battery-powered big rigs overshadowed the start of a demonstration project based on a different approach—using overhead catenary electricity supply lines to power trucks in urban areas. Converting the state’s huge truck fleet to zero or near zero emissions technology is a […]

Chatterjee Cites FERC Independence on Perry’s Proposal

16 Nov

Neil Chatterjee chaired his last meeting at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 16 after saying in a recent series of interviews that FERC is required by law to act on Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants with additional payments in wholesale electricity markets. Chatterjee, who will continue […]

Climate Roundup

8 Nov

Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed creating a new international carbon market. In a Nov. 7 address to European Union leaders in Brussels, Brown noted that California recently extended its carbon cap-and-trade program to 2030. “We could explore linking California and the European Union,” he added. He pointed out that the state’s emissions trading program is […]


7 Nov

Coal power production is expected to increase next year largely at the expense of natural gas-fired generation, according to the Energy Information Agency’s short-term energy outlook for the nation released Nov. 7. Gas power production will be about even with coal power next year, with each representing about 31 percent of total power production, EIA […]

JUICE: Finding the Wind & CPUC Leadership

6 Nov

Ancient Roman philosopher Seneca once observed that “To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind. That is true for California’s utility regulators, who displayed a lack of vision and muddled thinking in two important meetings last week. The first meeting held by the California Public Utilities […]

CPUC Rolls Out CA Power System Resource Plan

2 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission laid out its goals for the upcoming integrated resource planning process to guide future procurement of power resources towards a lower carbon future. Under the integrated resource planning process, said CPUC staff member Forest Kaser, the reference plan aims to identify the least-cost approach to meeting the state’s 2030 greenhouse […]

CAISO Okays Resource Adequacy Alternatives With Reservations

2 Nov

The grid operator’s board approved two controversial matters aimed at filling in gaps in the resource adequacy market to keep financially struggling generation assets, which are deemed needed in the short-term, online. In spite of significant concerns, the California Independent System Operator Board voted unanimously for a 2018 reliability-must-run contract for Calpine’s 602 MW Metcalf […]


1 Nov

Another merchant generator bites the dust. Dynegy, which has suffered a series of losses,  is being bought by a larger Texas company. That company, Vistra Energy, is to pay $2.3 billion in an all stock sale of Dynegy, which owns 27,000 MW of power generation capacity.  The merger “is expected to create the lowest-cost integrated […]

Juice: Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face

31 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission’s effort to revise the way exit fees are calculated for community choice aggregators is imploding at the outset, as utilities appear to be overplaying their hand rather than owning up to their waning political power. The crux of the proceeding on the fee methodology—known as the power charge indifference adjustment—is […]

Beyond Grid Regionalization

27 Oct

The public talk about expanding the footprint of California’s grid focuses on going  west-wide, but conversations about alternatives, albeit smaller scale, are growing. There is a range of possibilities for allowing neighboring western states to trade power more fully in and out of California’s wholesale energy trading market and better sharing non-fossil-fueled energy resources to […]

CA Coalition Protests Proposed Coal & Nuke Subsidies

25 Oct

Usually non-aligned California private and public utility, wind energy and merchant generator representatives are aligned in their opposition to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposed rule to subsidize coal and nuclear power. The group of California power industry stakeholders urge federal regulators to reject Perry’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on grounds that it’s a proposed solution […]

Confidentiality May Block Choice Exit Fee Revise

25 Oct

After years of building controversy, the California Public Utilities Commission has launched in earnest a proceeding to revise how exit fees for community choice aggregators are calculated. But, the effort is off to a rocky start. We may be “doomed to failure,” said CPUC Administrative Law Judge Stephen Roscow at one of the first meetings […]

JUICE: Grid Familiarity

24 Oct

If California becomes part of a western grid, is the vehicle important? Specifically, is it better for the California Independent System Operator to formally grow or for western states to join an expanded Southwest Power Pool? While nobody expects the Southwest Power Pool to ever reach California, there’s growing concern about the pool expanding into […]

Winter Power Supply Looks Good, FERC Says

23 Oct

California will have an adequate supply of natural gas and electricity this winter, with gas prices down slightly from last year, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s 2017-18 winter energy assessment. “Fuel and electricity demand likely will be moderate this winter,” Alan Haymes, FERC economist, said Oct. 19. Moderate demand is expected, he said, […]


23 Oct

Energy regulators should require Southern California Edison to meet local power needs through a feed-in tariff for renewables, demand response, and energy efficiency and storage, according to the Clean Coalition. It began pushing for a tariff instead of a request for offers for preferred resources after the California Energy Commission signaled it would reject a […]

The Buzz

20 Oct

Greening the grid is the talk of the town. At the CAISO’s annual confab held this week, most bets are that a westward grid expansion will happen. Why? Because proponents insist it will promote renewables, which will decarbonize both the grid and economy, near and far. Achieving that goal, however, requires paying new alternative resources […]

Grid Regionalization Is on Western Horizon

20 Oct

The Southwest Power Pool’s westward expansion into Colorado is upping the ante on regionalizing the grid farther west. “Every western utility is thinking regionally, and about grid expansion,” Dave Olsen, California Independent System Operator board member, said at CAISO’s annual symposium held midweek in Sacramento. SPP, which covers 14 states in the Central U.S., recently […]

Turning the Duck into Bucks

19 Oct

Excess intermittent renewable power pouring into transmission and distribution lines, once viewed as a big liability, is now seen as an opportunity by the grid operator. “What a great problem to have, lots of low-cost renewable energy,” Mark Rothleder, California Independent System Operator vice president of renewable integration, said during CAISO’s annual symposium held Oct. […]


18 Oct

The grid operator’s Energy Imbalance Market produced benefits of $40.55 million for its five participating members during the third quarter this year. Benefits since the western imbalance market began in 2014 now total $254.98 million, according to the California Independent System Operator on Oct. 18. The grid operator also said that carbon emissions from the […]

OPINIONATED: Binary Geothermal Gives PV a Run for Its Money

17 Oct

By Paul Thomsen In 2017, for the first time, the combined energy and capacity values of geothermal energy significantly exceeded the value of solar photovoltaic resources in California. In the first quarter of 2017, geothermal’s wholesale energy value in Southern California was $13.50/MWh greater than solar PV. At the same time, utility estimates of marginal […]