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FERC Spotlights Uplift Payments & Pipeline Project Review

19 Apr

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission April 19 unanimously approved rules to increase transparency on above market payments grid operators make to resources needed for reliability and to speed up interconnection agreements for generating resources 20 MW and larger. The regulators also launched a review of the agency’s 1999 intrastate gas pipeline project certification process. “Uplift […]

Undercurrents

18 Apr

Updated April 19. A group of Los Angeles County homeowners filed a class-action lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Renovate America and Renew Financial, which contract with Los Angeles County to operate the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, failed to offer basic consumer protections. The suit claims that PACE loans provided by the […]

FERC Kills CAISO’s Protection of Designated Gas Plants

18 Apr

The California Independent System Operator’s proposal to increase payments to gas power plants deemed needed for reliability, but lacking supply cushion contracts, was rejected by federal energy regulators. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the California grid operator’s proposed capacity procurement mechanism tariff was “unjust and unreasonable.” FERC found that because the grid operator’s […]

Bills to Electrify Homes, Increase Utility Safety Violations Advance

3 Apr

Gaining ground this week were bills to electrify home water and space heating, mandate that private utilities report potential safety violations, and allow select munis to continue operating young gas-fired power plants they’re paying off. Over objections April 3, the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee approved SB 1477 by Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park). […]

The Buzz

29 Mar

Facing massive liability lawsuits for its potential role in igniting wildfires that scorched Santa Rosa and other Wine Country communities last fall, Pacific Gas & Electric argues it’s not subject to claims based on the legal doctrine of inverse condemnation. With hot weather just around the corner, state regulators order SoCal Gas to quickly fill […]

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 […]

Green Light for Oakland Plant Clean Power Replacement

27 Mar

The grid operator approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s proposal to replace the polluting 40-year old Oakland power plant with 20-45 MW of clean energy resources in 2022. The California Independent System Operator okayed the resource swap the same day it approved Southern California Edison’s additional transmission line to serve Moorpark. Although Oakland is served by […]

FERC Pact Slashes Tab for Calpine Reliability Deals

26 Mar

The cost of the controversial reliability must run contracts the grid operator signed with Calpine last year was substantially cut under a settlement approved by federal energy regulators. Calpine’s annual revenue cost for its 605 MW Metcalf plant in San Jose was reduced from a proposed $72.46 million to $43 million under an agreement between […]

CAISO Okays Generator Revenue & Transmission Congestion Improvements

22 Mar

The grid operator’s board adopted significant reforms to its wholesale power market March 22 to bolster revenues for natural gas power plant generators and curtail speculative profits stemming from transmission congestion. In a decision that will change the way gas generators offer their power in the California Independent System Operator’s market, the operator’s board adopted […]

Bill Backfills Diablo Nuke Employee Incentives & San Luis Obispo Revenue

19 Mar

Legislation would restore $215 million for employee retention and community mitigation cut by state regulators from a proposed agreement on the closure of Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Sen. Bill Monning (R-Carmel) March 16 followed through on his pledge to fully reinstate ratepayer funding for those proposed terms for shutting down the […]

Major Power Plant Retirements in So Cal

14 Mar

Merchant generators struggling in California are closing and selling off gas-fired generating facilities to stem the flow of red ink. After contracts for the output of three aging natural gas power plants in Southern California owned by NRG subsidiary, GenOn, were not renewed, the company threw in the towel. Slated for retirement over six months […]

Generator Earnings Remain Largely in the Doldrums

7 Mar

Updated March 8. Independent generating companies with plants in California predominantly suffered lower earnings and losses last year. The exception was NextEra, which reported both higher annual earnings and final quarter income for 2017. Below is a summary of the earnings reports for major generators. The companies, however, present their results in different ways. AES: […]

Update on NRG’s CA Assets

7 Mar

NRG sold or contracted to sell off $3 billion in generation assets as of the end of last year, getting close to the $3.2 billion sell-off target in its Transformation Plan announced in 2017. Included in the sale was 527 MW coastal Carlsbad natural gas-powered plant for $375 million. It is retiring two gas-fired plants, […]

The Buzz

2 Mar

Tin ears are prevalent this week. During the U.S. EPA’s public “listening session” in San Francisco mid-week on the agency’s plan to revoke the Clean Power Plan, Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board head, questions agency officials’ hearing ability. The decibels in the room increase with the long line of speakers blasting the proposed repeal […]

CPUC Proposes Multi-Year Resource Adequacy Requirement

22 Feb

Facing growing concerns about the cost of assuring resource adequacy for the state’s electric grid, the California Public Utilities Commission rolled out a plan to establish a multi-year capacity procurement obligation, which it debuted at a meeting Feb. 22. The proposal comes against the backdrop of the grid operator recently resorting to reliability must-run contracts […]

Legislature Sets Busy Agenda with More Energy Bills

20 Feb

Legislators in Sacramento continued introducing energy-related measures through the end of last week, including perennial bills that to make large hydropower a qualified source of renewable energy and to promote electric vehicles. While some are largely statements of intent at this juncture—with the substance to be developed later—two of the more developed measures introduced in […]

New Energy Bills Pile Up Before Deadline

14 Feb

As lawmakers work furiously to meet a Feb. 15 deadline for introducing new legislation in Sacramento, numerous energy-related measures were introduced as of Feb. 13. In the Senate, new measures would backfill the loss of local government revenue in San Luis Obispo County projected to result from the upcoming closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear […]

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 […]

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 […]