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So CA Preferred Resources & Coastal Plant Replacements Lag

22 May

Southern California faces no shortage of generation or power import capacity this summer although actual deployment of “preferred resources” procured by investor-owned utilities is lagging. However, a shortage of natural gas due to the ongoing closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field could pose a risk to energy reliability this summer. That scenario […]

Undercurrents: Agencies Aim to End Low-Income Barriers to Clean Energy

17 May

State energy agencies shared their hopes and ideas about how to extend the economic and environmental benefits of alternative energy technologies—from rooftop solar systems to electric cars—to low-income residents at a joint agency meeting May 16. “We don’t have a smooth road to travel,” said Alice Reynolds, an advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown. “We know […]


17 May

A bill to extend incentives for solar water heating systems passed the Assembly May 16. AB 797 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) cleared the chamber 48-22. It will allow home and building owners to get a state rebate along with an ongoing 30 percent federal tax incentive to install solar hot water and pool […]

CPUC to Revise Undergrounding Wire Rules & Provide More Gas Access in Central Valley

11 May

The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved moving to revise its rules on the undergrounding of utility electric wires, including how undergrounding projects are chosen and who pays. The rulemaking approved May 11 is aimed at helping determine which underground projects are in the public interest, including how much to focus in urban, suburban, rural […]

Climate Roundup: Renewable Gas = Economic Growth?

9 May

Collecting methane from animal feed lots, landfills, sewage treatment plants and other facilities and using it for transportation fuel—particularly to replace diesel fuel in heavy-duty vehicles—could create 130,000 new jobs in California and add $14 billion a year to the state’s economy by 2030, claim renewable gas advocates. The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition and […]

CAISO Eyes Need for Controversial Puente Project

2 May

The grid operator is poised to study whether local resource adequacy in Ventura County could be met with demand response, renewable resources, energy storage, and other preferred resources in place of building the proposed natural gas-fired Puente power plant on the beach. “We know full well that there could be other options to this, including […]

Summer Eclipse May Triple Ramp Rate

2 May

A solar eclipse in August will test the state’s grid as it shades California’s growing number of utility-scale and rooftop solar systems. The eclipse is forcing the California Independent System Operator to plan needed contingency measures that could involve calling a flex alert to make up for a resource shortage. “We expect several thousands of […]

CPUC Told to Include Health Effects in Aliso Canyon Study

18 Apr

San Fernando Valley residents urged California energy regulators to permanently shut the SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility due to health and safety concerns the evening of April 17. Residents recited their complaints at a packed meeting in Northridge that marked the opening of a California Public Utilities Commission study proceeding on whether […]

CPUC Order May Compromise Storage Field Safety, Says SoCal Gas

17 Apr

Safety may clash with adequate energy supply in Southern California shows an exchange between SoCal Gas and the California Public Utilities Commission last month. At issue is a mid-March CPUC order to the utility to maintain a daily natural gas withdrawal capacity of 2,065 billion cubic feet from its storage facilities this summer and to […]

Climate Roundup: Low Carbon Fuel Rule Proposal Aims to Boost Biomethane

17 Apr

In a bid to cut methane emissions, the California Air Resources Board is seeking to stoke up use of biomethane produced at dairies and livestock yards from manure by giving more low carbon fuel standards credits to those who capture the gas and inject it into pipelines for use as a transportation fuel. Meeting April […]

The Buzz

13 Apr

Eggs gathered in Current’s Easter news basket include approval of two controversial and large natural gas project redos along the SoCal coast. The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the Huntington & Alamitos replacement projects, which are to be cooled with air, not seawater-cooled. On the agenda at this week’s Energy Commission post business meeting closed […]

Bills to Block Aliso Canyon & Power Disconnections & Expand Intervenor Compensation Advance

5 Apr

Legislation to keep SoCal Gas from refilling its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field until regulators complete a study on the key cause of the leak there passed the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee April 4. The panel backed the bill after the author agreed to amend it by giving the governor the authority […]

Arguments Over Aliso Canyon Flare As CPUC Sets Key Meetings

4 Apr

As the California Public Utilities begins studying whether the SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field is needed for energy reliability in Southern California, the region could get along without the facility, according to a preliminary study done for Los Angeles County. In a filing with the CPUC, Los Angeles County attorney Jason Ackerman […]


4 Apr

U.C. Irvine could dramatically increase use of renewable energy with power to gas technology using excess solar energy to make hydrogen from water in an electrolyzer. “With power-to-gas technology, you don’t need to stop renewable power generation when demand is low,” said Jack Brouwer, associate professor of mechanical & aerospace engineering and civil & environmental […]

Biogas Plant in So Cal Displaces Diesel Fuel

30 Mar

The first biogas production plant that will feed into the SoCal Gas pipeline system began operating March 29 in the Riverside County city of Perris. CR&R, a major waste management company in Southern California, opened the anerobic digester plant this week, which turns organic waste the company collects into methane. CR&R is using the biogas […]


28 Mar

The March 30 state snow survey shows the snowpack is at 164 percent of the historical average, at 45.8 inches, meaning high river flows and full reservoirs. “California enters the snowmelt season with a large snowpack that will result in high water in many rivers through the spring,” said Michael Anderson, state climatologist. Electronic measurements […]

Air Board Okays Final Methane Control Rules

24 Mar

The California Air Resources Board March 23 adopted regulations to cut methane emissions at oil and gas production sites and natural gas storage fields.  Its aim is twofold: reducing emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas and smog-forming pollution. The rules require oil and gas producers and storage operators to use leak detection equipment and conduct […]

Committee Pulls Aliso Moratorium Bill, Quickly Passes Others

21 Mar

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee at the last minute Tuesday pulled a bill from its agenda putting a moratorium on the re-opening of the massive natural gas storage field at Aliso Canyon owned by SoCal Gas. Committee Chair Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) acknowledged the impact on people from Southern California who traveled […]

Proposed Deal on PG&E Derivative Suits for Gas Safety Breaches

15 Mar

Pacific Gas & Electric shareholders reached a $165 million settlement with the corporate and utility officers and directors over charges they violated their fiduciary duties by ignoring safety violations that led to the 2010 San Bruno gas pipe accident. It killed eight people and destroyed three dozen homes. The proposed settlement, filed in the San […]

Undercurrents: Edison Nets Just $72 M from San Onofre Arbitration

14 Mar

A disappointing ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce in an arbitration proceeding over failed steam generators at Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station will provide ratepayers little relief. In its decision in the case of Edison against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the arbitration panel ordered the Japanese maker of the steam generators to […]