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CEC Aims for Carbon Emissions Free Buildings

14 Jun

Moving to zero carbon emission buildings in California depends on a few key strategies, a panel of experts told the California Energy Commission June 14. “Decarbonization is really the essence of our energy policy,” said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister. Yet when it comes to decarbonizing buildings, he said the jury is still out in devising […]

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 […]

Shorts

29 May

Updated May 31. Utility regulators voted to shorten the timelines for correcting utility line and pole safety violations under California Public Utilities Commission General Order 95 Rule 18. Under the May 31 CPUC decision, the allowable time for correcting violations will be cut from 59 to 36 months. In addition, one class of minor violations […]

Undercurrents

22 May

A modeling tool aimed at helping optimize where to install electric vehicle chargers, the type—level one or two charges—and how many was the focus of a May 22 workshop at the California Energy Commission. The developing model’s focus is to understand the EV market to increase the efficient use of public investments in chargers. “We […]

LADWP Budget Serves as Lightening Rod

22 May

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s board May 22 adopted a $5.4 billion budget for the muni’s power system for fiscal year 2018-19. Approval, however, came amid controversy over the department’s future reliance on natural gas power, its comparatively meager emphasis on energy efficiency in rental housing, and its ongoing inability to systematically […]

JUICE: Timing

15 May

Timing is everything. Thus, it is noteworthy that it’s optimal timing to increase the amount of hydropower imports from the Bonneville Power Administration into California. This option has been talked about for a few years, but now the needles on California’s legal, policy and resources compasses point northwest. If the capacity of the lines carrying […]

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 […]

The Buzz

4 May

Trump and friends‘ effort to dismantle climate protection and alternative energy laws are keeping California lawyers busy, although legislative overkill has weakened some challenges. But harm from the federal administration’s rejiggering of formulas that will turn the pluses of lower carbon emissions and energy efficient appliances into minuses is closer at hand. Back in San […]

Proposed $640M San Diego Gas Transmission Line Shot Down

2 May

A  proposed California Public Utilities Commission decision rejects a bid by San Diego Gas & Electric and SoCal Gas for a permit to build a 47-mile long gas transmission line at a cost of $639 million. The tentative ruling issued May 2 finds no need for the project, which would increase gas capacity in the […]

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 […]

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 […]

PG&E Pays $97M Fine for Ex Parte Wrongs

27 Apr

Pacific Gas & Electric agreed to pay $97.5 million in penalties under a settlement that puts to rest charges of prohibited secret communications between utility officials and state regulators. The California Public Utilities Commission approved the agreement April 26. “We hope PG&E will finally get the message that they have to play by the rules,” […]

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 […]

JUICE: Return to the Ike Age?

24 Apr

Federal energy regulators last week agreed to examine how to streamline the permit process for building natural gas pipeline projects. The review comes at a time when gas production has outstripped tepid national demand and turned the U.S. into a gas exporter for the first time since Dwight D. Eisenhower lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. […]

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 […]

Clean Tech: Turning CO2 into Fuel

24 Apr

Carbon dioxide present in raw biogas has been successfully turned into burnable methane in a process that can be powered by renewable electricity. “This groundbreaking innovation holds the potential to simplify storing renewable electricity in the form of zero-carbon renewable natural gas that can be used for home heating, water heaters, or clean trucks to […]

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 […]

Bills Pass on Diablo Closure Funds, EV Chargers & Biomethane

18 Apr

After debating sticky measures to change fire liability parameters for utilities, the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee approved less controversial measures. That includes ones to restore community and employee mitigation funds linked to the Diablo nuclear plant closure and to increase accessibility of public electric vehicle chargers. SB 1090 by Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) […]

Clean Tech: My Dream All-Electric Granny Flat

9 Apr

I am exploring how to make a granny flat my wife and I plan to build all-electric. We want to eliminate emissions from burning natural gas and take advantage of our solar rooftop. Part of the plan may include upsizing our solar system to cover the additional square footage we’ll add. So with a few […]

Bills to Electrify Homes, Increase Utility Safety Violations Advance

3 Apr

Gaining ground this week were bills to electrify home water and space heating, mandate that private utilities report potential safety violations, and allow select munis to continue operating young gas-fired power plants they’re paying off. Over objections April 3, the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee approved SB 1477 by Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park). […]