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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 […]

Shorts

11 Sep

The California Department of Water Resources will cut its greenhouse gas emissions from the power it uses to pump water by 60 below their 1990 levels, its Director Karla Nemeth announced at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco Sept. 13. DWR already has cut its emissions by 50 percent, according to an agency […]

Two Dozen Senate Energy Bills Sent to Governor

4 Sep

Gov. Jerry Brown has to decide if a number of bills should become law, including Senate measures to increase direct access for businesses, overhaul utility energy efficiency programs, increase mandated energy storage levels, and create new incentives for near zero emissions space and water heating in buildings. Brown also has to decide whether to sign […]

Bills Bolster Private Utilities’ Bottom Line & Building Emission Cuts

4 Sep

In a last-minute rewrite with minimal transparency, lawmakers passed a bill shielding Pacific Gas & Electric shareholders from massive wildfire liability but lacked similar gusto to pass legislation allowing for a regionalization of California’s electric grid. The grid regionalization bill, the two-year AB 813, remained stuck in the Rules Committee throughout the final two weeks […]

Proposal Okays Rate Recovery for Aliso Canyon During Long Leak

29 Aug

SoCal Gas ratepayers would be on the hook for the costs of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field during the months it was virtually inoperable because of a massive methane leak under a proposed California Public Utilities Commission decision. Utility customers’ current rates do not cover the costs the utility incurred during the months-long […]

Scientists See Continued Need for Natural Gas Storage

28 Aug

A scientific panel told utility regulators Aug. 28 that California will need natural gas storage facilities into the foreseeable future to meet its energy needs. The panel, which studied the need for gas storage, as well as its impacts and potential replacement alternatives, was organized by the California Council on Science & Technology. The council […]

OPINIONATED: Go Back to Aliso Canyon Deal Drawing Board

28 Aug

By V. John White Three years ago, Aliso Canyon was home to the largest methane leak in U.S. history, resulting in dozens of hospitalizations, the release of more than 100,000 tons of potent GHG emissions, and the evacuation of more than 10,000 families. Earlier this month, the state attorney general and California Air Resources Board […]

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 […]