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News Roundup: CPUC Aims to Lower Utility Bills, Snowpack is Half of Average

2 Apr

The California Public Utilities Commission is working to lower home utility bills that have surged since the issuance of shelter at home directives. The agency announced April 2 it would fast track the second annual climate credit, which comes from the state’s carbon cap-and-trade auction revenue. Residential electric use has increased 15-20% in recent weeks […]

Shorts

1 Apr

The East Bay Community Energy is directing $1.5 million toward community relief efforts in Alameda County, it announced April 2. EBCE’s CEO Nick Chaset told the management team to identify “opportunities in the current budget to repurpose as contributions for COVID-19 relief efforts.” The efforts will be tracked at: https://ebce.org/covid The Salt River Project and […]

CPUC Sets 46 MMT Carbon Target for Power Sector

26 Mar

In a first-ever telephonic business meeting plagued with technical glitches, the California Public Utilities Commission approved adding another 25,000 MW of renewable resources and allowing some gas generation to continue over the next decade. The path is intended to ensure electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions fall to 46 million metric tons by 2030. The 5-0 […]

CPUC Okays $213M in Building Decarb Projects & Outreach

26 Mar

State energy regulators approved March 26 allocating $200 million over four years to support two building decarbonization programs. The decision is “sensible, bold and pragmatic,” California Public Utilities Commission member Cliff Rechtschaffen said. He noted it addresses California’s over-reliance on gas-powered heaters and appliances. Of the state’s total natural gas consumption, 12% is used by […]

Shorts

24 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission and Independent System Operator are holding meetings this week. CAISO’s is holding the public portion of its board meeting remotely March 25, from 2:00 PM-5:00 PM. The agenda includes decisions on reliability must run contracts and its 2019-20 transmission plan. The CPUC business meeting is being held remotely March 26. […]

Renewable-Battery Projects Beat out Stand Alone Facilities

19 Mar

Combining utility scale solar and wind projects with batteries provides greater value at lower costs than either stand-alone intermittent renewable or battery projects, a new study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds. That is particularly true for California with the surge in renewable resources connected to its grid. Large renewable generation paired with storage […]

Shorts

5 Mar

Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 4 reappointed two California Independent System Operator board members. Ashutosh Bhagwat and Angelina Galiteva were given additional three-year terms by the governor. Both members are serving third terms. Steve Berberich, ISO president and CEO, who retires in June, said the re-appointees and the executive leadership will continue to work together […]

GOP FERC Choice Approved, Dem’s Nominee Sits in the Wings

3 Mar

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12 to 8 to recommend the nomination of James Danly for an open seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, over strong objections from Democrats. If approved by the full Senate, Danly will fill the spot left by the death of former FERC chair Kevin McIntyre. […]

Generator Earnings Largely Greener Dollar & Power Wise

2 Mar

Merchant generators in California saw mostly improved annual and quarterly earnings in the season’s reports, with the exception of AES. Both its annual and quarterly earnings fell. Some of the firms increased their renewable portfolios and touted their energy storage. Nearly all of the companies committed to reducing emissions. AES: This Virginia-based generator with operations […]

The Buzz

20 Feb

The West Coast’s first LNG export project looks like its headed for federal approval. This week, however, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission votes 2-1 to tentatively disapprove the Coos Bay project because of Oregon’s recent permit rejection. A majority of the federal energy regulators also reject the New York grid operator’s capacity market revisions, undermining […]

Oregon Opposition Stalls FERC’s LNG Project OK

20 Feb

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Feb. 20 tentatively voted 2-1 against approving what would be the first LNG project on the West Coast. Commissioner Bernard McNamee voted against the export project at Coos Bay in Oregon along with Commissioner Rich Glick. New information about the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas project was submitted by the […]

Shorts

11 Feb

SoCal Gas announced Feb. 11 that its customers saved $55.6 million in 2019 on their annual gas bills through utility energy efficiency programs. The reduced energy consumption avoided about 265,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 57,000 cars off of California roads for one year, according to SoCal Gas. […]

The Buzz

7 Feb

State energy regulators pay lip service to California’s mandate for the energy sector to be 100 percent clean and then approve the replacement of a 50-mile natural gas pipeline in San Diego. But, the Sempra utilities’ $677 million cost estimate for the project is to be examined. The House Energy & Commerce Committee takes aim […]

Spotlight on Cost of San Diego Gas Pipe Replacement

6 Feb

State energy regulators voted 4-0 to allow interested parties to litigate SoCal Gas’ and San Diego Gas’ & Electric’s proposed $677 million price tag for a 50-mile natural gas pipeline replacement project. The California Public Utilities Commission decision cast Feb 6 requires that the cost of the line’s replacement and testing be scrutinized in a […]

House Panel Debates the Impacts of FERC’s Gas Project Permits

5 Feb

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission came under fire for the number of natural gas pipeline permits approved and the basis of those decisions, during a Feb. 5 House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on modernizing the Natural Gas Act. The commission was criticized for running roughshod over landowners’ rights, ignoring the greenhouse gas impacts of […]

Shorts

30 Jan

The proverbial champagne bottle was broken Jan. 30 on a new compressed renewable natural gas fueling station by SoCal Gas and the mayor of Bakersfield. The station serves gas to trucks and cars made from methane, including that captured from dairy digestors in the Central Valley.  “As one of the most important food and dairy […]

Commissioner McNamee to Leave FERC

23 Jan

The five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has two unfilled seats, will see the departure of Commissioner Bernard McNamee at the end of June. “I am not seeking a reappointment,” McNamee announced at the Commission’s Jan. 23 meeting. He plans to leave the commission when his term ends June 30. McNamee, a Republican, was appointed […]

The Buzz

16 Jan

State energy regulators give Southern California Edison the green light to collect $4.7 billion for projected 2020 energy costs during their first meeting of the year. The California Public Utilities Commission also votes unanimously to dedicate most of the Self Generation Incentive Program rebates to energy storage in fire-stressed communities. In addition, the commission approves […]

CA Regulators Seek to Meld Gas Planning & Clean Energy Targets

16 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 Thursday to initiate a rulemaking to update its natural gas reliability and long-term planning. The overall aim is to revamp its planning process to ensure gas systems are safe and reliable as California weans itself off of fossil fuels. “The gas system is going through profound changes,” Commissioner […]

Back in the Spotlight: Power Outages and Supplies, and the Definition of Renewable

14 Jan

Before lawmakers this session is Senate legislation to make buildings more fire resistant in high risk areas, protect customers during utility power shutoffs, and rework the renewables mandate. A few of these bills will be heard Jan. 15 in the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communication Committee’s first hearing of the year. Three bills seek to […]