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Shorts

6 Feb

Updated Feb. 8. NRG sold $2.8 billion of its assets a few months after announcing it was putting many of its renewable energy projects up for sale. NRG generating facilities in the Golden State or supplying electricity to California not included in the massive sale are its 195 MW interest in the Ivanpah solar thermal […]

JUICE: A Legislative Energy Agenda

6 Feb

As the Legislature gathers steam in Sacramento, numerous key energy-related issues are ripe for action, from how to deal with over-capacity in the state’s power market to the extent to which electric utilities should be liable for wildfires sparked by their equipment. Energy agencies are attempting to deal with some of the conflicts—for instance, exit […]

BLM Reopens Desert Conservation Plan

2 Feb

The Bureau of Land Management may expand the acreage open to renewable energy siting and broadband facilities in California under the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. The potential expansion was announced Feb. 1. “We need to reduce burdens on all domestic energy development, including solar, wind and other renewables,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for […]

The Buzz

2 Feb

California energy regulators and fire safety agencies are working together to try and curb the dangers of the growing numbers of intense wildfires, with a worrisome number sparked by power lines. The California Public Utilities Commission president and other officials lament the inadequacy of resources, policies and preparation during an all day meeting. Fire safety […]

Regulators Grapple with Growing Fire Dangers

1 Feb

How to reduce the risk of more frequent and intense wildfires in the state, with a worrisome number sparked by utility equipment, was the subject of a Jan. 31 California Public Utilities Commission meeting attended by all five commissioners. “The ferocity of events we face outstrips our resources, policies and preparation,” warned Mike Picker, CPUC […]

Fire Risks Require Land & Building Changes, CPUC Told

1 Feb

Fire safety scientists and engineers predict California will face mounting danger from wildfires in the coming decade due to climate change regardless of what energy utilities do to reduce the chances that their equipment may ignite blazes. The chief way to prevent a mounting toll of death, injury, and property damage, they told the California […]

Undercurrents

1 Feb

Community choice advocates are planning to protest Feb. 8, just before  the California Public Utilities Commission’s voting meeting,  in hopes of derailing a fast track resolution they say would effectively freeze choice program formations for two years. Their ire is aimed at CPUC President Mike Picker, who they claim is trying to railroad through a […]

Public-Private San Joaquin Transmission Line In the Works

1 Feb

A 600 MW transmission project in the San Joaquin Valley to begin service in 2023 to power water pumping in this region from the large federal Central Valley Water Project was announced Jan. 31. This San Luis Transmission Project is being developed jointly by the Western Area Power Administration, the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water […]

Ratepayer Tab for SONGS Closure Cut Under New Deal

31 Jan

A long-anticipated settlement would cut the amount ratepayers are saddled with for the early closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant by at least $775 million. Under the initial closure deal approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in 2014 ratepayers were on the hook for $3.3 billion of the $4.7 billion closure tab partly […]

CAISO Pitches RMR Changes to Improve Playing Field

31 Jan

The grid operator is proposing to add must offer obligations to its reliability must run mechanism to ameliorate protests over the deals it signed last year. During a Jan. 30 stakeholder meeting, California Independent System Operator staff proposed revising its controversial RMR contracting mechanism to put contracts on par with utility resource adequacy agreements. Utilities […]

Shorts

30 Jan

Updated Feb. 1 The California Energy Commission unveiled its latest proposal to require disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions in conjunction with annual reports disclosing the power sources of load serving entities. The proposal, which would implement AB 1110, would disqualify unbundled renewable energy credits from being claimed as greenhouse gas reductions, among other changes. CEC […]

Climate Roundup: Climate Change Adoption Report

30 Jan

The California Natural Resources Agency updated its climate adaptation report Jan. 29 against the backdrop of rising temperatures, a season of major wildfires, and extreme weather events. “California leads the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat the effects of climate change, but impacts already are being felt and they are disproportionately affecting our […]

JUICE: Building Code Update Calls for Solar on New Homes

29 Jan

California will become the first state in the nation to require solar systems on new homes under a massive update to state building energy efficiency standards to be adopted by the California Energy Commission this spring. The standards will add about 200 MW of rooftop solar to the grid each year as home builders construct […]

New State & PG&E Initiatives Aim to Advance Electric Transportation

29 Jan

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed spending $2.5 billion over the next eight years to increase the sales of zero emissions vehicles in California. The governor on Jan. 26 also issued an executive order setting a new target of getting 5 million zero emissions vehicles on the state’s roads by 2030. “This executive order aims to curb […]

The Buzz

26 Jan

Front and center stage in Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State is his climate protection work   While he provided few specifics on how forthcoming carbon cap-and-trade auction funds would be divvied up, he insists that we can’t fight nature. Over at the California Energy Commission, projects to reduce home natural gas use and utility […]

Innovative Heating Methods Save Gas & Money

25 Jan

Emerging technology projects aimed at reducing natural gas use in buildings while also lowering costs show promise. The California Energy Commission learned at a Jan. 24 workshop about a new rooftop air conditioning unit that uses waste heat from the air conditioned space to pre-heat hot water. The technology cuts natural gas use between 25-35 […]

Brown Touts Climate Change Leadership in State of the State

25 Jan

Gov. Jerry Brown highlighted the state’s leadership on climate change in his final State of the State Address to a joint session of the Legislature Jan. 25. He promised he would soon unveil a carbon cap-and-trade program expenditure plan that helps all California communities. “The science of climate change is not in doubt,” said the […]

Bill to Bolster LNG Exports Faces Manufacturer Objections

25 Jan

Federal legislation that would tilt decisions about liquefied natural gas exports in favor of domestic producers over domestic consumers faced opposition during a Jan. 19 House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing. “HR 4605, as drafted would delete section 3(a) from the Natural Gas Act, which includes a public interest standard for judging whether […]

CA Sues Trump over Federal Fracking Rule

24 Jan

California’s top attorney filed another suit against the Trump Administration, this time for repealing regulations to mitigate the impacts of fracking oil and gas wells on federal and Native American tribal lands in and outside the state. President Trump and Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke “didn’t let the law or facts get in their way […]

Undercurrents

23 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission approved a statewide fire threat map highlighting areas with higher and extreme risks from utility associated wildfires. The state fire threat map, approved Jan. 19, ranks fire hazards to people and property. It also aims to implement new CPUC fire-safety rules, including on utility vegetation management. The new rules require […]