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Grid Regionalization Bill May Upend CA Renewables

14 Jun

New amendments to legislation that would allow the California Independent System Operator to become a multi-state grid operator set off a behind-the-scenes uproar in the state capitol. AB 813 by Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) was revised June 12, generating considerable confusion and drawing immediate opposition from some. The revised measure, […]

Shorts

12 Jun

Ancillary service scarcities in the state’s real time power market are increasing, the California Independent System Operator noted June 11. Since March, the uptick has been notable, according to grid operator data. While shortages occurred in 2016 and 2017, scarcities from March through May of this year are running at more than double the rate […]

The Buzz

8 Jun

The feisty Air Resources Board knocks hard on federal regulators’ door. The aim is to have a serious discussion with the Trump Administration about plans to knock out California’s tighter greenhouse gas controls for autos. Other potential bad news for the Golden State is the mega bucks it will cost if Trump et al succeed […]

Nuclear & Coal Bailout to Hike Home Utility Bills

7 Jun

Californians could be paying hundreds of dollars more a year for power if the Trump Administration advances a plan to bail out coal and nuclear power plant owners and operators. It would cost the nation’s electricity ratepayers more than $30 billion annually on their power bills, skeptics say about the subsidies under discussion in Washington. […]

CAISO Launches Backstop Procurement Review

30 May

The grid operator kicked off what it called a new and “holistic” backstop procurement proceeding May 30 aimed at filling power generation capacity gaps not addressed in the resource adequacy procurement process. The California Independent System Operator opened the proceeding after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission declined to approve an earlier proposal. It was a […]

Climate Roundup: Focus on Consumption-Based GHG Accounting

23 May

A bill set for a Friday hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee would require California to take a broader approach to measuring greenhouse gas reductions. It would include the carbon content of the products Californians consume instead of just the emissions produced in the state. AB 2726 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-North Bay) passed the […]

Juice: Start Small on Electric Truck Charging

22 May

As the Springsteen song goes: “From small things, mama, one day big things come.” The California Public Utilities Commission should take note and resist pressure to significantly increase utility investments in heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Despite calls to do so by clean air advocates and utility executives, it’s wise to take small steps towards […]

CAISO Limits Manual Forecast Adjustments

17 May

New record levels of solar energy are being set on a regular basis with the most recent one hitting 10,625 MW on May 7 at 12:22 p.m. Steve Berberich, California Independent System Operator chief executive officer, also told his board May 16 that peak wind power records continue to be set, but far less frequently. […]

Automakers Aim to Ease Tensions in Emissions War

14 May

Automakers may have eased tensions a bit last week between the Trump Administration and California over greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for new cars for model years 2022-2025. In a statement following a meeting between automakers and President Donald Trump at the White House May 11, the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers stated that […]

CEC Backs Solar for All New Homes

9 May

Virtually all new homes built in California beginning in 2020 will have to be outfitted with solar panels and be super efficient under energy efficiency standards for new residential construction approved unanimously by the California Energy Commission May 9. “The marketplace is ready,” said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who oversaw development of the new building standards. […]

Agencies Zero In on SoCal Reliability

9 May

Expected energy supply strains this summer in Southern California was the focus of a joint agency hearing held May 8. The key concern is gas supply crimps, primarily because of the shutdown of four damaged pipelines that import gas into the region. The capacity of the gas pipeline system is projected to be about 500 […]

Earnings Down for Two of Three IOUs

8 May

Utility earnings varied during the first quarter of 2018, with Sempra Energy up and Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric down compared to the first three months of 2017. Edison International: The parent company of Southern California Edison had lower earnings in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, with […]

JUICE: CPUC Sees Crisis, But Offers No Solutions

7 May

Last week’s California Public Utilities Commission white paper on customer choice signals a potential crisis developing in the state’s electric power industry. “We are seeing some of the same trends that preceded the last energy crisis in California,” according to the CPUC. They include what the commission calls: Fragmented decision-making; Poorly coordinated resource procurement to […]

JUICE: Building Industry’s Decoy

1 May

Updated May 2 A curious report released a couple of weeks ago found that converting space and water heating systems and cooking ranges in homes from natural gas to electricity would raise utility bills and home prices, while doing little to lower greenhouse gas levels in the state. This report by Navigant for the California […]

Bills to Aid Gas Plants, School Energy Bills & Reduce Building Emissions Advance

26 Apr

Measures to increase payments to needed, but struggling gas power plants in California, to assess how to increase the use of electric air and space heating in homes, and to extend intervenor compensation to schools were sent to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee passed these and other energy bills April […]

FERC Spotlights Uplift Payments & Pipeline Project Review

19 Apr

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission April 19 unanimously approved rules to increase transparency on above market payments grid operators make to resources needed for reliability and to speed up interconnection agreements for generating resources 20 MW and larger. The regulators also launched a review of the agency’s 1999 intrastate gas pipeline project certification process. “Uplift […]

Undercurrents

18 Apr

Updated April 19. A group of Los Angeles County homeowners filed a class-action lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Renovate America and Renew Financial, which contract with Los Angeles County to operate the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, failed to offer basic consumer protections. The suit claims that PACE loans provided by the […]

FERC Kills CAISO’s Protection of Designated Gas Plants

18 Apr

The California Independent System Operator’s proposal to increase payments to gas power plants deemed needed for reliability, but lacking supply cushion contracts, was rejected by federal energy regulators. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the California grid operator’s proposed capacity procurement mechanism tariff was “unjust and unreasonable.” FERC found that because the grid operator’s […]

Undercurrents

12 Apr

The Natural Resources Agency was urged to alter its climate adaptation work to focus less on fighting climate-driven disasters, such as wildfires, and more on helping prevent climate change impacts, during an April 11 Senate Environmental Quality Committee hearing. “We know we have dead trees and poor soil management in forests,” said Committee Chair Bob […]

CAISO Pitches Reliability Coordination Terms

9 Apr

The California grid operator outlined its proposal to become a western reliability coordinator, replacing Peak Reliability, starting the fall of 2019. The California Independent System Operator initially announced its plan Jan. 3 in response to the expected departure of Mountain West Transmission Group from Peak Reliability and the resulting rise in Peak’s services costs. Becoming […]