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Major Energy Bills Stall in Sacramento

9 Aug

Legislation that would make major changes to the state’s electricity industry failed to advance this week as lawmakers began to count down the remaining days in this year’s legislative session. One bill stalled on the Assembly floor and two were delayed in legislative appropriations committees where they face an Aug. 17 deadline for approval or […]

Both Sides of the House Cheer Storage

18 Jul

Battery energy storage technology drew bipartisan praise July 18 during a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on the growing role of the technology in the nation’s power grid. Energy storage, said Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), is increasingly “important” to maintaining the nation’s energy supply and helping  “build resilience” in the power grid. Rep. Bobby […]

Shorts

16 Jul

Federal energy regulators July 18 approved a final rule requiring interstate pipeline companies to pass along to customers their savings under the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Companies will have to file a form outlining their savings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It acted this week on the matter. While FERC will have […]

The Buzz

28 Jun

The big squeeze from a duo of powerful hedge funds leads Sempra Energy to sell off all of its green portfolio and some of its gas assets. More significantly, this is just the first round of spin offs. A proposed CPUC settlement would reduce ratepayers’ share of the closure costs of San Onofre Nuclear Generating […]

Bill Allowing Unlimited Direct Access Advances

28 Jun

Legislation lifting the cap on the ability of large businesses and industries to be served by non-utility energy service providers passed out of the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee June 27 despite significant opposition, including from the panel chair. SB 237 by Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), which would remove limits on direct access, was approved […]

Assembly Panel Backs Senate Energy Bills

26 Jun

A controversial measure to require California natural gas utilities to purchase biomethane gained ground June 25, narrowly passing out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a 6-1 vote. SB 1440 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) would require the state’s gas utilities to enter contracts for a minimum of ten years by 2020 for […]

Climate Change Roundup: Court Tosses Bay Area Suits Against Oil Firms

26 Jun

Lawsuits brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland seeking damages from the oil majors for climate pollution were dismissed June 25 by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The ruling held that greenhouse gas emissions control is a political matter and not one to be decided by a court […]

SDG&E Loses Bid to Build New Pipeline

21 Jun

Utility regulators meeting June 21 turned down San Diego Gas & Electric’s request to build a new $639 million, 47-mile-long gas transmission line in San Diego County. The utility asked the California Public Utilities Commission for permission to build the line along a route that’s parallel to an existing, but smaller transmission line. SDG&E then […]

Assembly Panel Passes Wildfire Liability Bills

21 Jun

Over major opposition, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee passed legislation to create a separate safety proceeding for investor-owned utilities at the California Public Utilities Commission. If utilities are deemed in compliance with safety regulations to be developed with input from the Office of Emergency Services, then ratepayers would be on the hook for the […]

Bill Extends Energy Storage Incentive

21 Jun

After approving legislation setting parameters on utility wildfire risks, the Assembly energy panel passed a bill that would add another five years to the program offering incentives to behind-the-meter small energy storage systems. SB 700 by Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) would extend the small energy storage subsidy under the Self Generation Incentive Program. This […]

Senate Energy Panel Okays Minor Energy Bills

19 Jun

A handful of meaures passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee this week, from one requiring transparency on decisions to place a moratorium on natural gas supply connections to another reducing public school utility bills. AB 1879 by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) would require the California Public Utilities Commission to provide […]

No Speed Up of LADWP Study of 100% Renewables

19 Jun

A Los Angeles City Council committee delayed acting on a motion to require the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to advance its schedule for determining if it can achieve 100 percent renewable energy. Including the study as part of the current integrated resource plan, argued Alexandra Nagy, Food & Water Watch campaigner, would […]

Juice: Parsing AB 813

19 Jun

Suddenly, all eyes are turned toward the likely prospect California lawmakers will soon enable a regionalized western power grid and wholesale market. Regionalization was on the table a few years ago, but progress largely faltered on concerns it would enable more coal power to flow into California, confounding the state’s march to decarbonize its economy. […]

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 […]