Archive | Top Stories RSS feed for this section

CASIO Warns of Potential Summer Grid Emergency

10 May

Though power demand will be about the same this summer as last, California’s grid operator warns that electricity supplies will be diminished due to lower levels of hydropower production after a dry winter and the retirement of natural gas power plants. The California Independent System Operator May 9 forecasted a 50 percent chance of a […]

CEC Okays Funding Greenhouse Gases Cuts

10 May

The California Energy Commission May 9 approved a $277.5 million investment plan for its Alternative & Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology Program in fiscal year 2018-19. It is heavily weighted toward building electric vehicle charging infrastructure and refueling stations for hydrogen powered vehicles. Under the plan, CEC plans to provide $134.5 million to help build […]

CEC Backs Solar for All New Homes

9 May

Virtually all new homes built in California beginning in 2020 will have to be outfitted with solar panels and be super efficient under energy efficiency standards for new residential construction approved unanimously by the California Energy Commission May 9. “The marketplace is ready,” said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who oversaw development of the new building standards. […]

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 […]

More Generators Earnings Higher than Lower

8 May

Generators saw improved earnings during the first quarter of 2018, with the exception of Vistra, which took over Dynegy. AES: With major power plants in California, this worldwide energy company saw $684 million in earnings in the first quarter of 2018 compared to a loss of $24 million in the first quarter of 2017. On […]

Earnings Down for Two of Three IOUs

8 May

Utility earnings varied during the first quarter of 2018, with Sempra Energy up and Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric down compared to the first three months of 2017. Edison International: The parent company of Southern California Edison had lower earnings in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, with […]

Shorts

8 May

Updated May 10 The California Public Utilities Commission approved a transition to time-of-use power rates for residential customers beginning in spring of 2019 for San Diego Gas & Electric and in fall of 2020 for Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. The commission okayed the schedule at its meeting May 10. Initially, the […]

JUICE: CPUC Sees Crisis, But Offers No Solutions

7 May

Last week’s California Public Utilities Commission white paper on customer choice signals a potential crisis developing in the state’s electric power industry. “We are seeing some of the same trends that preceded the last energy crisis in California,” according to the CPUC. They include what the commission calls: Fragmented decision-making; Poorly coordinated resource procurement to […]

The Buzz

4 May

Trump and friends‘ effort to dismantle climate protection and alternative energy laws are keeping California lawyers busy, although legislative overkill has weakened some challenges. But harm from the federal administration’s rejiggering of formulas that will turn the pluses of lower carbon emissions and energy efficient appliances into minuses is closer at hand. Back in San […]

CPUC to Develop CA Power Restructuring Plan

3 May

In the midst of related proceedings, California utility regulators called for a statewide conversation about the future structure and regulation of the power industry May 3. They continued to warn about the proliferation of customer-owned solar systems, community choice aggregation, and other developments that threaten to destabilize traditional utilities and electric grid reliability in California. […]

CA’s Defense to Trump’s Anti-Climate Protection Offense

3 May

How much harm the Trump Administration’s attacks on clean air protections, including clean energy, will inflict on California’s efforts to decarbonize its economy is not clear. To date, however, President Donald Trump’s bark has been worse than his bite, said speakers May 2 at an evening presentation at the University of California at Berkeley’s Energy […]

Proposed $640M San Diego Gas Transmission Line Shot Down

2 May

A  proposed California Public Utilities Commission decision rejects a bid by San Diego Gas & Electric and SoCal Gas for a permit to build a 47-mile long gas transmission line at a cost of $639 million. The tentative ruling issued May 2 finds no need for the project, which would increase gas capacity in the […]

Undercurrents

2 May

The California Energy Commission’s projections that electric vehicles beginning in 2025 may draw nearly 1,000 MW from the state’s grid is the focus of a planned May 23 meeting. CEC found that electric vehicles are likely to create a peak charging demand around 9 a.m. when people plug-in their cars after commuting to work, plus […]

FERC Drills Down on High Utility Transmission Costs

1 May

Federal regulators May 1 heard conflicting views about whether California’s investor-owned utilities have been unfairly skirting review requirements for major investments in their power transmission lines, which may be driving up electricity costs. “Ratepayers are paying significant amounts of money for expenditures with no review whatsoever,” Katharine Mapes, Northern California Power Agency attorney, complained to […]

Solar Gains in NV after Net Metering is Restored

1 May

Nevada’s rooftop solar business has made a comeback. Since last year’s passage of state legislation restoring net energy metering for solar project owners, applications for solar rooftop system installations soared to 3,308 in 2017 from only 287 the year before. “It’s exciting to see this important solar policy delivering for Nevada, clearing the way for […]

CA Leads Coalition Suing EPA for Clean Car Rollback

1 May

California May 1 challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to knock out the state’s tighter automotive emission standards set for the 2022-2025 model years. Joining California were 16 other states and the District of Columbia. “We’re not looking to pick a fight with the Trump Administration, but when the stakes are this high for our […]

JUICE: Building Industry’s Decoy

1 May

Updated May 2 A curious report released a couple of weeks ago found that converting space and water heating systems and cooking ranges in homes from natural gas to electricity would raise utility bills and home prices, while doing little to lower greenhouse gas levels in the state. This report by Navigant for the California […]

Shorts

1 May

The California grid operator virtually kept unchanged its local capacity requirement forecast for 2019-2023.  During a short May 1 call with stakeholders, California Independent System Operator staff said that the total 2019 local capacity requirement increased by a mere 37 MW, or by less than 1 percent. For 2023, the local capacity projected need fell […]

Climate Roundup: Mixed Signals on CA Vehicle Standards Waiver

30 Apr

The fate of California’s electric vehicle requirement hangs in the balance. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt late last week told a Congressional panel he had no plans to rescind a waiver that lets the state set its own auto emissions standards. However, that was contradicted the next day by news reports indicating EPA […]

The Buzz

27 Apr

Legislation to raise payments to needed gas power plants in California, to increase the use of home electric air and space heating, and to make school reps eligible for intervenor compensation make the cut. Midweek, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sends these measures on to the next committee. Measures to bolster energy storage and […]