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Opinionated: The Diablo Energy Efficiency Opportunity

12 Dec

Editor’s Note: The California Public Utilities Commission was set to vote Dec. 14 on the decision to reduce funding for Pacific Gas & Electric to close its Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant from $1.76 billion to $172 million. However,  the commission announced at the start of the Thursday business meeting that a vote on the proposed […]

Shorts

11 Dec

Updated Dec. 14. Southern California Edison said Dec. 12 that fire investigators in Southern California are eyeing its facilities as a possible cause of the wildfires in the area. The utility said it will continue to cooperate with investigators. Meanwhile, it said that at least 500 of its power poles have burned and that spot […]

Devil’s in the Diablo Closure Details

29 Nov

Who should pay, and just how much, for closing California’s last operating nuclear plant was hotly contested during final arguments before the California Public Utilities Commission Nov. 28 on the terms for shutting down Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo plant. Should ratepayers pay $1.3 billion for an estimated 2,000 GWh a year of energy efficiency […]

Chatterjee Cites FERC Independence on Perry’s Proposal

16 Nov

Neil Chatterjee chaired his last meeting at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nov. 16 after saying in a recent series of interviews that FERC is required by law to act on Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up coal and nuclear power plants with additional payments in wholesale electricity markets. Chatterjee, who will continue […]

CPUC Proposal Slashes Cost of PG&E’s Diablo Closure Plan

8 Nov

A fraction of the requested closure costs Pacific Gas & Electric seeks from its ratepayers to close the utility’s 2,240 MW Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by 2025 is authorized under a proposed decision by the California Public Utilities Commission. Under Administrative Law Judge Peter Allen’s proposal released Nov. 8, PG&E ratepayers would pay $190.4 million to close […]

Shorts

7 Nov

Coal power production is expected to increase next year largely at the expense of natural gas-fired generation, according to the Energy Information Agency’s short-term energy outlook for the nation released Nov. 7. Gas power production will be about even with coal power next year, with each representing about 31 percent of total power production, EIA […]

Former Fed Regulators Say Perry Plan is Off Base

31 Oct

Four former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members criticized Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to reward coal and nuclear plants in power markets for offering fuel security during a forum an Oct. 31 sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. The commissioners, whose service spanned administrations dating back to President Ronald Reagan, said Perry’s proposal—which […]

Quantum Tech Seen as Gold Standard for Grid Security

26 Oct

Ultimately the U.S. must develop quantum communications to prevent its energy infrastructure from remaining vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to cybersecurity specialists. “The ability of hackers to infiltrate grid networks and corrupt these communications is real and growing,” Duncan Earl, president of Quibitekk, told lawmakers during an Oct. 26 U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee […]

CA Coalition Protests Proposed Coal & Nuke Subsidies

25 Oct

Usually non-aligned California private and public utility, wind energy and merchant generator representatives are aligned in their opposition to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposed rule to subsidize coal and nuclear power. The group of California power industry stakeholders urge federal regulators to reject Perry’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on grounds that it’s a proposed solution […]

SHORTS

23 Oct

Energy regulators should require Southern California Edison to meet local power needs through a feed-in tariff for renewables, demand response, and energy efficiency and storage, according to the Clean Coalition. It began pushing for a tariff instead of a request for offers for preferred resources after the California Energy Commission signaled it would reject a […]

Undercurrents

16 Oct

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry expanded upon his call for new payments to coal and nuclear power plant operators for their fuel secure characteristic during a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing on Oct. 12. “Thousands of megawatts of fuel-secure generation capacity, including environmentally compliant coal and emission-free nuclear resources, have been prematurely […]

House Panel Debates Whether PURPA is Out of Fashion

7 Sep

A House panel this week began considering whether to change a 40-year old federal law enacted to promote small wind and solar energy projects and industrial cogeneration to make the electricity market more competitive and energy supplies more diverse. The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy Sept. 6 held a hearing aimed at assessing […]

The Buzz

31 Aug

A week that began with record heat and a near record demand for power ends even hotter with a forecast of a new all-time record peak demand for electricity in California. The grid operator calls for conservation. PG&E calls for flashlights. Decentralized solar energy coupled with storage and smart controls can lower the cost of […]

Perry Backs Away from Claiming Changing Power Mix Threatens Grid

24 Aug

To counter the rise in electricity powered by natural gas and intermittent renewable energy and fall of coal and nuclear fired power plants, the Department of Energy recommends reforming electricity pricing in centralized markets, including mitigating negative prices. It also calls for reducing the cost of licensing and relicensing nuclear power plants, large hydro and […]

Senate Panel Okays CPUC Appointees

23 Aug

The Senate Rules Committee voted narrowly to confirm Gov. Jerry Brown’s two recent appointees to the California Public Utilities Commission. In separate votes, lawmakers on the five-member panel voted 3-0 Aug. 23 to recommend the Senate approve the appointments of Martha Guzman Aceves and Cliff Rechtschaffen to the commission. Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), […]

Juice: While We Were Gone

21 Aug

No big breaking energy news occurred during our brief summer hiatus, but there were notable energy-related developments, including the release of cost estimates of using alternative clean energy resources in place of the Puente gas power project, a restart of the controversial Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump license proceeding, and a push by Southern […]

The Buzz

28 Jul

The California Independent System Operator seeks to widen the route to the state’s wholesale electricity market for demand response. Microgrids promise benefits, but first the California Energy Commission says numerous speed bumps must be removed to make them more commonplace. The grid operator seeks to head off the potential for sudden loss of large amounts […]

U.S. Senate Hearing Focuses on Nukes & Carbon Capture

26 Jul

Advancing new nuclear energy plants and carbon capture and sequestration for coal-fired generation were highlighted during a July 25 Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety hearing on clean energy technology. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass), however, urged an expansion of the panel’s focus, noting the large increase in solar and […]

Shorts

11 Jul

The Energy Information Administration has added forecasts for small-scale solar system power capacity to its periodic Short-Term Energy Outlook reports. In its first such forecast, EIA projected that small-scale solar nationwide will grow from 14.3 GW to 21.9 GW by the end of 2018. Annual small-scale solar generation is expected to grow from 19,467 GWh […]

“Baseload Power” Concept Called Antiquated

26 Jun

In advance of a Department of Energy report expected to highlight an ongoing need for baseload power from nuclear and coal plants, an environmental group June 26 released a study claiming the very notion of baseload power has become “outdated. “The reality is that baseload power is not a technical term and is not needed […]