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Undercurrents

2 May

The California Energy Commission’s projections that electric vehicles beginning in 2025 may draw nearly 1,000 MW from the state’s grid is the focus of a planned May 23 meeting. CEC found that electric vehicles are likely to create a peak charging demand around 9 a.m. when people plug-in their cars after commuting to work, plus […]

The Buzz

27 Apr

Legislation to raise payments to needed gas power plants in California, to increase the use of home electric air and space heating, and to make school reps eligible for intervenor compensation make the cut. Midweek, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sends these measures on to the next committee. Measures to bolster energy storage and […]

LADWP Advances Community Solar & Storage

24 Apr

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is preparing to kick off a community solar program early next year that could involve installing up to 5 MW of photovoltaic panels within its distribution system to serve up to 6,600 customers. In other developments, the muni’s board heard that installing 100 MW of battery storage […]

CA Energy Utilities Short Customers on Digital Experience

21 Mar

Energy utilities in general are lagging behind other business sectors in offering their customers effective digital interfaces on the internet, according to a ranking by J.D. Power released March 21. California utilities are near the bottom of the industry. “Consumers have grown accustomed to receiving up-to-the-minute alerts on the status of at-home deliveries and being […]

Climate Roundup: First Joint Carbon Auction with Ontario Marked by Brisk Sales

28 Feb

California and Quebec’s first joint carbon emissions rights auction with Ontario resulted in the sale of more than 106 million allowances, which went for $14.61 apiece, according to a summary of the results released Feb. 28. In the Feb. 21 auction, 98,215,920 allowances for compliance in the current period were purchased—which amounted to all of […]

Utilities & Community Choice Beat Renewables Target

14 Nov

California’s investor-owned utilities exceeded the 25 percent alternative energy mandate set for 2016 and are expected to have half their energy portfolios supplied by eligible renewable resources by 2020. That is according to a California Public Utilities Commission report submitted to the Legislature Nov. 13. The state’s community choice aggregators together exceeded last year’s mandate, […]

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 […]

Real Time Gas Market Pitched

9 Oct

Creating a natural gas imbalance market in the state is to be explored at the California Energy Commission. Implementing a real time gas market would “transform” the current California market by allowing the price of gas to vary on a “sub-day basis,” Greg Lander, Skipping Stone president, told the commission Oct. 9. He said doing […]

Undercurrents: Storage Too Costly for Many Munis

21 Sep

As publicly owned utilities are set to establish their 2020 goals for complying with a state law meant to encourage electricity storage in California, many likely are to again defer storage system purchases. Lawmakers passed AB 2415 in 2010 to get the state’s electric utilities to install systems to store excess renewable energy and use […]

Heat Brings New Historic Peaks for Edison & LADWP

6 Sep

Triple digit temperatures caused Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to set new peak load records last week. The blistering heat drove up electricity demand in and outside Southern California even though the high loads were tamped down somewhat by demand response programs. Edison’s new peak load reached 23,508 […]

The Buzz

31 Aug

A week that began with record heat and a near record demand for power ends even hotter with a forecast of a new all-time record peak demand for electricity in California. The grid operator calls for conservation. PG&E calls for flashlights. Decentralized solar energy coupled with storage and smart controls can lower the cost of […]

Decentralized Solar Posed to Cut Grid Costs, Report Finds

31 Aug

Decentralized solar coupled with onsite battery storage can reduce strain and costs in maintaining the electrical grid, according to a report commissioned by Sonoma Clean Power that was released Aug. 31. Dubbed “Solar+,” the report said that sufficiently-sized solar systems coupled with storage on a decentralized basis also can serve new power demand as people […]

Undercurrents: Blackout Highlights Old Electrical Infrastructure

11 Jul

Aging infrastructure was on display July 8 when a high-voltage transformer used at a transmission line receiving station exploded and burst into flames in Los Angeles in the early evening. It triggered a power outage for 140,000 households and businesses. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power station, built during the 1950s, is used […]

LADWP Commits to Beating Paris Climate Goal

20 Jun

The nation’s largest municipal utility gave a thumb’s up to the 2015 Paris climate accord, joining the ranks of other cities, states, and organizations around the country pushing back against the Trump Administration. “We have such a lack of leadership nationally,” Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Commissioner Aura Vasquez said June 20. That’s […]

Can Clean Power Avoid Gas Plant Rebuilds, LADWP Asks

6 Jun

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power has halted efforts to repower its existing natural gas-fired power plants in the Los Angeles Basin until it can conduct a system-wide assessment of whether the plants will be needed in the future. At a June 6 meeting of the muni’s board, staff outlined its plan to […]

Utah Coal Plant to Close in 2025

30 May

The Intermountain Power Agency is closing down its 1,800 MW coal-fired power plant in Utah, which has supplied Southern California municipal utilities, including the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, with baseload power since 1986. The plant, known as the Intermountain Power Project, will close in 2025 and be replaced by a 1,200 MW […]

LA Jump Starts Feed-In Tariff Program

17 May

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is restarting its solar feed-in tariff program at a higher price beginning mid-June under a streamlined procedure. The muni’s board approved the move May 16. Under the revised program, the utility will seek 65 MW of solar production in blocks of 5 MW at a fixed price […]

Energy Storage Fund & Data Access Bills Advance

25 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee April 24 passed legislation to create an energy storage funding program equivalent to the California Solar Initiative. That initiative helped put solar energy on solid financial footing with $2.1 billion in subsidies over a decade. SB 700 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would separate out energy storage […]

Climate Roundup: U.S. Energy-Related Emissions Fall as Coal Declines

11 Apr

Last year, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from energy use were 1.7 percent below 2015 levels.  Carbon dioxide emissions in 2016 were pegged at 5.17 million metric tons, the Energy Information Administration reported April 10. The decline was even greater in the electric power sector, which saw greenhouse gas emissions fall 4.9 percent. Last year’s decrease […]

NCPA Signs Long-Term Lancaster Solar Project Deal

28 Mar

The Northern California Power Association at the end of last week signed a 20-year agreement for 50,500 MW hours a year from a proposed expansion of a solar farm in the City of Lancaster. The 17 MW Antelope Expansion photovoltaic project by Salt Lake City-based Sustainable Power Group is projected to come online between the […]