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Fog City Explores Take Over of PG&E Wires

14 May

If San Francisco replaced bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric’s power delivery services and assets with its public utility, the city could reap considerable benefits. That is according to an explorative study by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission staff released May 13. “While any sort of acquisition of PG&E property would be a lengthy process, […]

Climate Roundup: Garcetti Outlines LA New Green Deal

6 May

Updated May 8. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s green new deal program sets the bar for environmental improvement and green economic development for the state’s largest city far higher than existing state targets. By 2050, Garcetti wants a zero carbon economy, with no emissions from the grid, transportation, or buildings. The plan, introduced last week, […]

West Coast Utilities Coordinate on Big Truck Electrification

18 Apr

A study on electrifying the 1,350 mile route from Mexico to Canada for medium- and heavy-duty trucks is being launched by a coalition of nearly three dozen West Coast private and public utilities and organizations. The study by this West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative, announced April 18, is to evaluate how, where and the […]

Shorts

9 Apr

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District last week became a fully operational member of the grid operator’s energy imbalance market. SMUD is the first municipal utility to join the short-term market, which the California Independent System Operator created in 2014 to better integrate renewable power into the grid and to lower the overall cost of power. […]

Undercurrents: Electric Car Sales Show Strong Growth

9 Apr

Californians are buying electric vehicles at an increasing rate, according to sales data tracked by Veloz, a non-profit that aims to promote electric transportation. Sales of battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles totaled 13,736 last month. So far this year dealers have racked up 30,745 in total sales of such models, an increase […]

CPUC’s Policy & Planning Division is History

2 Apr

With no fanfare, the California Public Utilities Commission April 1 eliminated its Policy & Planning Division. There had been talk of the division getting a new head, but instead its’ acting director, along with others, were moved to other sections of the CPUC as part of an internal reorganization. On Monday, according to Terrie Prosper, […]

LA Mayor Nixes LADWP Gas Plant Rebuilds

11 Feb

Updated Feb. 12. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Feb. 12 announced that the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power will forgo rebuilding three aging gas-fired coastal power plants. Instead, they will be replaced with renewable energy. “This is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles,” said Garcetti. “The climate crisis […]

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 […]

SF Supervisors Eye Municipalizing PG&E System

30 Jan

Invoking the Green New Deal, San Francisco Supervisor Hilary Ronen Jan. 29 introduced legislation that could municipalize the power grid and natural gas system in the city. The action comes as Pacific Gas & Electric, which owns and operates those systems in the city, filed for bankruptcy. “”Their safety record is abysmal,” said Ronen, citing […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: LADWP Aims for 55% Renewables

27 Nov

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s board Nov. 27 approved forwarding the muni’s 2017 integrated resource plan to the California Energy Commission to satisfy the legislatively required 50 percent renewable standard by 2030. The plan, which is required to show how LADWP plans to meet SB 350’s 50 percent renewable energy mandate by […]

CCA’s Hit High Renewable Level

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 30 with corrections. The original article mistakenly equated the 2016 power content labels filed at the California Energy Commission with renewable energy portfolio standard compliance levels. (See the bottom of the article for further explanation.*)   All of California’s community choice energy programs far exceeded California’s 25 percent average renewable power level in […]

Shorts

2 Oct

In an early look at how much SB 100 will raise electricity rates, preliminary modeling in support of Pasadena Water & Power’s upcoming integrated resource plan suggests moving to 100 percent clean energy may not cost that much. The modeling, according to an advisor to the muni, suggests the average $100 a month residential power […]

Brown Signs SB 901 & Bills Impacting Energy Sector

24 Sep

A new state law allows utilities to borrow money through bonds to cover uninsured wildfire costs subject to California Public Utilities Commission review. The new law, SB 901, also authorizes spending $200 million a year from state carbon cap-and-trade revenue for the next five years to reduce wildfire fuel by thinning forests and conducting controlled […]

Pasadena Plan Adds 150 MW of New Solar

27 Aug

Pasadena Water & Power rolled out its first integrated resources plan under SB 350 to a standing room only crowd Aug. 23. It promises to cut greenhouse gases 91 percent from their 1990 level and provide customers with power that’s at least 63 percent renewable by 2039. Under the draft plan, the muni will not […]

Plan to Curb Utility Wildfire Liability Faces Pushback

10 Aug

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to legislatively amend the decades–long court created legal doctrine that holds utilities strictly liable for wildfire damage faced strong head winds at an Aug. 9 legislative conference committee hearing. At issue is who’s responsible for the massive liability tab from the destruction arising from utility-sparked wildfires: ratepayers, local governments, insurance companies […]

Shorts

7 Aug

The California Public Utilities Commission published the final version of its paper on customer choice for electricity Aug. 7, but it makes no specific policy recommendations. The  final paper proposes scheduling the development of  a separate action plan by this fall that may outline recommendations to deal with the changes sweeping the state’s power industry. […]

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 […]