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Undercurrents: Imbalance Market Savings Top $0.5 Billion

29 Oct

The Western Energy Imbalance Market saved electricity consumers $100.6 million during the third quarter of 2018. That raises total savings since the market opened in November of 2014 to $502.3 million, according to the California Independent System Operator on Oct. 29. “This clearly illustrates the value of markets to the customers in California and the […]

State Officials Bash Trump’s Auto Standards Rollback

26 Oct

California and 20 other states joined with major cities Oct. 26 in a letter calling on the Trump Administration to drop its proposal to freeze federal clean car standards aimed at cutting carbon emissions. “This Trump Administration attack on innovative vehicle technology jeopardizes the health of millions and will cost drivers billions at the pump,” said […]

The Buzz

25 Oct

The Air Board approves funding to advance electric vehicles under its $455 million 2018-19 investment plan and also to incorporate methane controls for oil and gas producers into the state’s master air pollution control plan The California Public Utilities Commission seeks to increase the effectiveness of a $550 million Electric Program Investment Charge research and […]

CARB Outlines $455 Million for Cleaner Transportation

25 Oct

State air regulators acted Oct. 25 to cut greenhouse gas emissions  by adopting a spending plan to advance electric vehicles and clean transportation and also by incorporating methane control standards for oil and gas producers into the state’s master air pollution control plan. The California Air Resource Board’s 2018-19 investment plan outlines $455 million of […]

CPUC Backs Improvements to EPIC R&D Program

25 Oct

State energy regulators unanimously approved measures Oct. 25 to improve a half billion dollar three-year spending plan to advance new and emerging clean energy technologies. The California Public Utilities earlier approved $550 million of ratepayer funding for 2018-20 cycle of the Electric Program Investment Charge. The charge funds research and development projects carried out by […]

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 […]

CPUC Weighs Expanding its Reach Over Non-Utilities

24 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission Oct. 23 mulls over the implications of growing customer choice in the retail electricity market in a document that hints at actions to regulate community choice aggregators and direct access providers like today’s private utilities. Likely actions and recommendations—from levying new fees on electricity customers that would go to utilities, […]

Undercurrents: Chatterjee Named New FERC Chair

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 25. Kevin McIntyre is unable to continue as chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission because of serious health issues related to brain cancer.  He announced Oct. 25 that  he was stepping down. Commissioner Neil Chatterjee will replace him as chair. “I thank Chairman McIntyre for his leadership at the agency, and pray […]

CCA’s Hit High Renewable Level

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 30 with corrections. The original article mistakenly equated the 2016 power content labels filed at the California Energy Commission with renewable energy portfolio standard compliance levels. (See the bottom of the article for further explanation.*)   All of California’s community choice energy programs far exceeded California’s 25 percent average renewable power level in […]

Juice: New Rules of the Road

23 Oct

As Gavin Newsom draws close to becoming California’s next governor, the biggest energy policy question he’ll face is what to do about oil when it comes to meeting the state’s 80 percent greenhouse gas reduction target. Meeting the 2050 goal will require the state to move away from consuming, producing and refining oil. Over the […]

Shorts

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 26 City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Oct. 25 he wants the city to offer energy supplies to its residents.  Faulconer is asking the city council to approve forming a community choice aggregation program that will reach the 100  percent renewable energy mark by 2035. Competitor San Diego Gas &Electric responded […]

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 […]

The Buzz

18 Oct

The California Independent System Operator’s vision of the grid at its annual stakeholder symposium in Sacramento is far sighted, imagining a wholly remade energy system based on renewable power. A skeletal Federal Energy Regulatory Commission okays partial cyber security rules, as the chair remains sidelined by cancer complications. State utility regulators levy penalties on the […]

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 […]

CPUC Fines Edison & PG&E for Safety Violations

17 Oct

State utility regulators levied fines on two utilities for violating safety rules, penalizing Southern California Edison $8 million and Pacific Gas & Electric some $5 million. The California Public Utility Commission’s Safety & Enforcement District issued the citations Oct. 16. In 2015, the Safety Division found that Edison did not promptly repair a crossarm on […]

PG&E Energy Storage Deals Face Headwinds

16 Oct

A California Public Utilities Commission draft resolution supports Pacific Gas & Electric’s bid for cost recovery for four storage projects with a total 567.5 MW of capacity. However, last week several protests were filed over their cost and whether they were necessary. The protestors, including consumer advocates and community choice aggregators, support energy storage as […]

JUICE: The Direct Access Elephant

16 Oct

Energy regulators’ controversial vote last week to raise the fees on customers who’ve left investor-owned utilities for community energy programs is not expected to halt or significantly impede existing and emerging community aggregators up and down the state. The estimated 15 percent increase in community energy programs’ share of utility generation costs under the newly […]

Climate Roundup: ESPs Fall Short on Renewables

16 Oct

A new law raises the cap on direct access providers by 4,000 GWh, or up to 15 percent of total retail load. However, the bulk of the energy service providers who make power deals with commercial and industrial energy users get failing grades on their renewable portfolio standard compliance. Direct access companies are required to […]

Undercurrents

15 Oct

Updated Oct. 18. To meet California’s ambitious 100 percent clean energy mandate, natural gas-fired space and water heaters need to be phased out. The ideal replacement is efficient electric heat pump technology, according to a new report, Decarbonization of Heating Energy Use in California Buildings: Technology, Markets, Impacts, and Policy Solutions. “Switching to electric heat […]