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Regulators Charge PG&E with Bogus Gas Pipeline Markings

17 Dec

Pacific Gas & Electric is in hot water again. The California Public Utilities Commission found it both failed to properly mark its gas lines to prevent dangerous excavations and falsified its records. The markings, allegedly made between 2012 and 2017, began two years after the gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed nine people […]

CPUC Restricts Power Shutoffs & Approves Affordable Clean Energy Pilots

13 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission Dec. 13 unanimously approved a temporary framework that seeks to reduce the number of utility power and gas disconnections for unpaid energy bills. A vote on the order authored by Commissioner Martha Aceves Guzman had been put off last month because of disagreements over some of its provisions, including capping […]

Undercurrents: CPUC Okays $812 M for DWR Crisis Bond Charges

4 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission approved passing through to ratepayers the cost of Department of Water Resources’ bonds arising from the multi-billion dollar power contracts the state signed in the midst of the 2000-01 energy crisis. With no discussion late last week, the CPUC signed off on allocating DWR’s $812 million in 2019 bond service […]

Shorts

26 Nov

The Bonneville Power Administration expects to decide by next fall whether or not to join the Energy Imbalance Market. In a presentation to the market’s governing board on Nov. 29, the administration said it expects to make a decision by late summer of 2019 and finalize a participation agreement in September. If it does decide […]

Undercurrents: Solar Gets Thumbs Up, Gas & Coal a Thumbs Down

6 Nov

EDF Renewable’s proposed 500 MW photovoltaic project slated for public land in the desert of Riverside County was approved by the Bureau of Land Management. “The Palen Solar Project will provide benefits to the local community and the region both now and in the future, demonstrating the critical role multiple-use public lands play for the […]

NRDC Holds Out Climate Hope

24 Oct

In spite of the dire predictions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of climate disaster if the world fails to curb global emissions within 12 years, progress made to date is cause for optimism, according to a NRDC report released  Oct. 24. The growth on the clean energy front offers “a serious ray of […]

NRC Raises Doubts About SONGS Fuel Canister

22 Oct

Federal nuclear power safety regulators criticized Southern California Edison in an Oct. 19 inspection report for almost dropping a canister loaded with nuclear fuel on Aug. 6 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Regulators called the incident a “near miss.” The canister loaded with radioactive fuel got hung up on a gusset when it […]

ISO Symposium Focuses on the Future

18 Oct

California’s grid operator during its annual stakeholder symposium in Sacramento envisioned a future filled with super-efficient autonomous electric vehicles, commonplace energy storage systems, an integrated western grid, and the chance that energy technologies yet unimagined will emerge. Speakers at the two-day California Independent System Operator meeting Oct. 17 and 18 also discussed how a rapidly […]

Three FERC Members Approve Cyber Protections

18 Oct

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Oct. 18 heard that natural gas inventories in Southern California going into winter are low. The three commissioners present at FERC’s meeting also acted to approve cyber security protection measures for the nation’s bulk power system. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Kevin McIntyre was again absent from the monthly business […]

Shorts

15 Oct

The 48 MW McGuinness Hills 3 geothermal power plant is slated to begin providing power to the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power by the end of the year, the muni’s staff told its board Oct. 16. The project is the second of a 177 MW three-stage geothermal procurement by the muni in Northern […]

CPUC Okays Storage Projects & Funds to Control Gas Leaks

11 Oct

Utility regulators Oct. 11 delayed approving utility research and development plans funded through the Electric Program Investment Charge program, but okayed energy storage contracts for two utilities, and the collecting of rates to control methane leaks from utility pipelines. Without comment, the California Public Utilities Commission approved six energy storage contracts for Pacific Gas & […]

U.S. Senate Panel Probes Restarting Grid Post Blackout

11 Oct

Amid hurricanes, floods, fires, cyber threats, and a changing power generation resource mix, concerns are rising in Washington about the ability of the nation’s power industry to restore the grid after widespread blackouts. “The question we have to be able to answer,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chair of the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural […]

Climate Roundup: SMUD Back$ All Electric Homes

10 Oct

A major municipal utility and homebuilder announced Oct. 10 that all electric homes are now for sale in a new housing tract in the Sacramento area. The 104 homes will help cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which incentivized the D.R. Horton-built homes in North Natomas. SMUD provided $466,000 of […]

SoCal House Races May Change National Energy Debate

9 Oct

Long-time Republican members of California’s Congressional delegation face uphill battles in retaining their seats next month. Meanwhile, new faces are guaranteed in districts where Republicans are retiring from the House. The potential changes come November—particularly if Democrats take over the House—could bring high profile showdowns on climate change, energy and environmental policy issues in Washington […]

Climate Roundup: CARB Defends Against Trump’s Auto Standard Rollback

1 Oct

The California Air Resources Board amended its clean car standards Sept. 28 to protect the state against the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of federal auto standards. It did so by affirming what is known as the “deemed to comply” provision of California’s greenhouse gas vehicle regulation. “Today’s vote by the board ensures that California and […]

CPUC Delays PCIA Decision

27 Sep

The California Public Utilities Commission Sept. 27 postponed deciding how to levy exit charges for electricity customers who depart utilities and move to community choice aggregators or direct access providers. The commission now is slated to vote on the so-called power charge indifference adjustment Oct. 11. Utility regulators, did, however, adopt on a 4-1 vote […]

Climate Roundup: State Decries Auto Rule Rollback

24 Sep

California officials blasted the Trump Administration’s plan to freeze automotive greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards set under President Barack Obama during a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency public hearing on the proposal in Fresno Sept. 24. “For most of us, this is an issue about leaning forward, not backsliding,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. […]

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 […]

Undercurrents: Renewable Gas Flows, Hydrogen Supply Doesn’t

17 Sep

Renewable natural gas will begin flowing soon at 25 natural gas vehicle fueling stations owned by SoCal Gas, as well as at six fueling stations in the San Diego area. Renewable gas consists of methane generated in landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food processing, and dairies. Capturing it and using it as fuel for vehicles, power […]

New Low Emissions Building Incentive Program Is Among Bills Brown Signs

14 Sep

Updated Sept. 19, 2018. Putting his pen where his mouth is, outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown signed numerous bills during the Global Climate Action Summit Sept. 13 that seek to slash greenhouse gases in the state from transportation, buildings and natural gas use. Many, however, are little more than symbolic measures, including codifying existing practices. The […]