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Newsom Acts on Last Round of Energy Bills

14 Oct

California may soon have smart appliances that can be automatically turned off and on by energy companies to match their electricity use with power availability and price under a bill signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. “SB 49 will help bring California’s electrical grid into the 21st century and allow us to use our […]

Shorts

14 Oct

Updated Oct. 17. The California Independent System Operator upgraded its power grid operating technology last week, saying it now has the most advanced system in the industry. CAISO launched the Siemens Spectrum PowerTM 7 energy management system after five years of study, competitive bidding, design, and implementation. “CAISO now has the most sophisticated energy management […]

The Buzz

10 Oct

Pacific Gas & Electric’s handling of its unprecedented power shutoffs to more than 700,000 has customers and regulators up in arms. PG&E also doesn’t get a warm reception in bankruptcy court. The judge rejects its effort to again have him ignore a competing plan to reorganize PG&E’s massive debts. Over at the California Public Utilities […]

CPUC Faces Opposition to Protecting Gas Plants

10 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission was met a by a string of protesters Oct. 10 who objected to the commission’s proposed Integrated Resource Plan to extend the life of aging gas plants. Considering adding three years to the life of seawater-cooled gas power plants, predominantly along the Southern California coast, pays “little regard to the […]

Home Electrification Benefits Low-Income Residents

2 Oct

As California cities and the state pursue all-electric homes and buildings, two organizations Oct. 2 recommended steps to ensure that low-income communities share in the environmental and economic benefits of this strategy. “Getting off of gas will have important benefits for these communities if policies are rolled out with a mission to improve the health […]

Shorts

30 Sep

Updated Oct. 3. A ratepayer advocate group is taking Pacific Gas & Electric to task for its legal bills as the giant utility moves through its bankruptcy proceeding. The Utility Reform Network Oct. 3 blasted PG&E for spending $140 million on legal fees in the first few months of the  proceeding, paying attorneys $1,500 an […]

CPUC OKs 27% & 17% Revenue Rise for Sempra Utilities

26 Sep

The California Public Utilities Commission Sept. 26 unanimously adopted a 13.78 percent increase in SoCal Gas’ 2019 test year revenue requirement over last year’s rates to reach nearly $2.8 billion. The hike was made as part of the Sempra utility’s 2019-21 general rate case. The five commissioners also signed off on a higher revenue requirement […]

Increasing Electrification Shakes Up Demand Forecasting

26 Sep

Utility industry changes are putting to the test the California Energy Commission’s 40-year old demand forecasting. Forecasters need to figure out how to reshape demand given the state’s high electrification future, including its effect on distribution planning, demand and supply interactions, customer choice and long term investment scenarios, Commissioner Andrew McAllister said at the Sept. […]

ARB Seeks Emissions Cuts Elsewhere, w/ CA Waiver Revoked

19 Sep

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration yanked California’s ability to set vehicle emission standards tighter than federal ones, as promised. The Sept. 18 revocation of the state’s waiver authority under the federal Clean Air Act also undermines California’s zero emissions vehicle program, further undermining its climate protection work. Mary […]

FERC Pitches Controversial PURPA Reforms

19 Sep

Two of the three federal energy regulators Sept. 19 voted out a proposed rulemaking to change the federal law protecting small renewable projects and cogeneration facilities. The dissenting commissioner warned the move would gut the 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reform the law is […]

The Buzz

13 Sep

The California Public Utilities Commission votes to increase PG&E’s gas transmission and storage revenue this year to $1.3 billion, with even bigger raises the next couple of years. State energy regulators direct $100 million in unspent clean energy incentives to low-income ratepayers and critical services providers for energy storage installations in areas with high wildfire […]

CPUC Okays PG&E Gas Transmission Revenue Hike

12 Sep

At her first meeting, new California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer and her fellow commissioners approved raising Pacific Gas & Electric’s revenue for gas transmission and storage to $1.3 billion this year. The commissioners Sept. 12 also unanimously backed targeting $100 million in new incentives for off grid clean power systems in high risk […]

CEC Okays $95M for Clean Transportation

11 Sep

The California Energy Commission Sept. 12 unanimously approved spending $95.2 million on alternative-fueled vehicles and fueling stations the next year to help the state get closer to becoming a carbon neutral economy by 2045. “We can’t get to our health-based air quality standards, our greenhouse gas reduction goals and carbon light future without this investment […]

Shorts

4 Sep

Updated Sept. 5. The Balancing Authority of Northern California and Western Area Power Administration Sierra Nevada Region signed agreements Sept. 5 to join the California Independent System Operator’s Western Energy Imbalance Market. The two expect to begin participating in the market in April of 2021. This market focuses on short-term transfers of power to optimize the […]

Juice: The Summer Crisis That Wasn’t?

3 Sep

Earlier this year, state and federal energy officials were ringing their hands that the summer would bring natural gas and electricity shortages and price spikes in Southern California. The assumed culprit was continued limits on SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field operations and several pipeline outages in the utility’s system. So far the […]

Central Coast City Moves to Decarbonize New Buildings

3 Sep

Updated Sept. 4. The city of San Luis Obispo the evening of Sept. 3 became the second city in California to move toward decarbonizing buildings. The San Luis Obispo City Council approved an ordinance that will make it more difficult to build new homes and buildings that use natural gas. San Luis Obispo elected officials […]

Trump Moves to Roll Back Methane Controls

29 Aug

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others blasted President Donald Trump for weakening rules to control leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. California’s senator called the proposed rollback, “incredibly irresponsible and wrong.”  Feinstein said she plans to challenge the move in the courts or with a Congressional resolution. As expected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced […]

Hydrogen Can Make its Mark in CA’s Energy Market

29 Aug

Renewable hydrogen is expected to play an important role in the Golden State’s decarbonization efforts. It’s potentially a “multi-billion dollar industry in California,” Jeff Reed, U.C. Irvine’s Energy & Power Program chief scientist, told the California Energy Commission. There will be “a sustainable renewable hydrogen market place” by the mid- to late-2020s, said Reed during […]

Ensuring Equity is Part of Decarbonization Work

28 Aug

As energy agencies and stakeholders debate how best to slash and eventually eliminate carbon emissions from buildings a key concern is equity. Specifically at issue is protecting and ensuring that low-income, polluted communities reap gains from funded programs. “As we move away from combustion to reach important public environmental health goals, we have to make […]

Setting a Single Metric for Energy Savings & Decarbonization

28 Aug

Pressure is mounting for energy policy makers to meld building decarbonization and energy efficiency programs and funding to ensure California reaches a zero carbon energy sector by 2045. Part and parcel of that considerable challenge for the California Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission is whether to substitute a single emissions reduction metric in place […]