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The Buzz

19 Jul

The East Bay’s new community choice program adopts a five-year local investment plan that targets local renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electric transportation. In an increasingly rare display of bipartisanship in Washington, members of both parties in the House praise the growing role of energy storage technology during a committee hearing this week. Current’s Juice […]

Shorts

16 Jul

Federal energy regulators July 18 approved a final rule requiring interstate pipeline companies to pass along to customers their savings under the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Companies will have to file a form outlining their savings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It acted this week on the matter. While FERC will have […]

Assembly Panel Backs Senate Energy Bills

26 Jun

A controversial measure to require California natural gas utilities to purchase biomethane gained ground June 25, narrowly passing out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a 6-1 vote. SB 1440 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) would require the state’s gas utilities to enter contracts for a minimum of ten years by 2020 for […]

Shorts

12 Jun

Ancillary service scarcities in the state’s real time power market are increasing, the California Independent System Operator noted June 11. Since March, the uptick has been notable, according to grid operator data. While shortages occurred in 2016 and 2017, scarcities from March through May of this year are running at more than double the rate […]

Undercurrents

22 May

A modeling tool aimed at helping optimize where to install electric vehicle chargers, the type—level one or two charges—and how many was the focus of a May 22 workshop at the California Energy Commission. The developing model’s focus is to understand the EV market to increase the efficient use of public investments in chargers. “We […]

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 […]

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 […]

PG&E Pays $97M Fine for Ex Parte Wrongs

27 Apr

Pacific Gas & Electric agreed to pay $97.5 million in penalties under a settlement that puts to rest charges of prohibited secret communications between utility officials and state regulators. The California Public Utilities Commission approved the agreement April 26. “We hope PG&E will finally get the message that they have to play by the rules,” […]

JUICE: Return to the Ike Age?

24 Apr

Federal energy regulators last week agreed to examine how to streamline the permit process for building natural gas pipeline projects. The review comes at a time when gas production has outstripped tepid national demand and turned the U.S. into a gas exporter for the first time since Dwight D. Eisenhower lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. […]

Clean Tech: Turning CO2 into Fuel

24 Apr

Carbon dioxide present in raw biogas has been successfully turned into burnable methane in a process that can be powered by renewable electricity. “This groundbreaking innovation holds the potential to simplify storing renewable electricity in the form of zero-carbon renewable natural gas that can be used for home heating, water heaters, or clean trucks to […]

Energy Facility Cyberattacks “Constant,” FERC Warns

17 Apr

Federal energy regulators ranked the security of the nation’s electric grid, dams, and oil and gas pipelines as the number one priority for the energy industry during an April 17 House Energy & Commerce Energy Subcommittee hearing. Cyberattacks on the grid and other energy facilities “are constant,” Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Kevin McIntyre told […]

Measure Requiring SDG&E to Provide San Diego 100% Renewables Sputters

12 Apr

A ballot measure that would mandate that San Diego Gas & Electric provide the City of San Diego 100 percent renewable energy, as part of a renewed franchise agreement, was sent back to the drawing board by the City Council’s Environmental Committee. The four-member committee April 12 asked the council’s Rules Committee, which initially forwarded […]

CEC Tightens Desert Plant Water Use, Efficiency Rules

11 Apr

The California Energy Commission approved “drought-proofing” a desert power plant and modifying efficiency regulations for portable electric spas and battery chargers. It also okayed a handful of multi-million-dollar grants and loans at its April 11 business meeting. The Commission approved changes to the conditions of certification for soil and water resources for the 830 MW […]

SoCal Gas Ordered to Fill Gas Storage Fields

28 Mar

SoCal Gas is under a state regulatory order to accelerate the storage of natural gas to prepare for summer demand because company pipelines remain out of service. The closed pipelines, which have been offline for months, hamper import capacity into the Los Angeles metro area. California Public Utilities Commission Executive Director Alice Stebbins called the […]

House Considers Cyber Security Bills for U.S. Energy System

14 Mar

A House panel took up legislation to guard the nation’s energy systems against cyber attacks amid growing concern about potential threats to the electric grid, pipelines, and liquefied natural gas import and export terminals. “The increasingly interconnected nature of our energy systems are changing how we prepare for and respond to emergencies that threaten the […]

Gas Leak in San Diego Closes Freeway & Requires Evacations

7 Mar

Updated March 9. A  March 7 gas leak in the Mission Valley area of San Diego closed down a major freeway and the city’s largest shopping mall. In addition, it forced the evacuation of some 3,300 people. San Diego Gas & Electric issued a statement saying that the leak was caused when a “third-party contractor” […]

Science Panel Sees New Wine in Old Gas Storage Field Bottles

18 Jan

An independent state science panel concluded this week that California will continue to be reliant on natural gas storage facilities through 2020 to meet its energy needs, particularly for winter heating and power. Looking longer term, the panel suggested that California study how the storage fields will fit into a decarbonized economy. It suggested, for […]

Undercurrents

29 Nov

The Bonneville Power Administration is keeping an eye on how flows of electricity to California and others in the grid operator’s Energy Imbalance Market might affect its ability to provide reliable power to the Pacific Northwest. Russell Mantifel, Bonneville EIM access program manager, outlined the effort in a presentation Nov. 28 at the Regional EIM […]

Winter Power Supply Looks Good, FERC Says

23 Oct

California will have an adequate supply of natural gas and electricity this winter, with gas prices down slightly from last year, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s 2017-18 winter energy assessment. “Fuel and electricity demand likely will be moderate this winter,” Alan Haymes, FERC economist, said Oct. 19. Moderate demand is expected, he said, […]

The Buzz

13 Oct

Utility regulators approved $30 million for energy storage facility subsidies in disadvantaged communities, mostly for institutional systems. The California Public Utilities Commission’s former chief administrative law judge is preparing to sue the agency in court on claims of a retaliatory firing after blowing the whistle on alleged collusion by the commission staff with Pacific Gas […]