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CPUC Rejects $1.5 B Increase for Diablo Decommissioning

25 May

The California Public Utilities Commission approved with no discussion giving Pacific Gas & Electric $2.42 billion to decommission the Diablo Canyon Power Plant and $1.06 billion for the continued decommissioning of the Humboldt Bay Power Plant. PG&E earlier this month sought a 65 percent increase of its 2012 estimate to decommission Diablo, from $2.286 billion, […]

Regulators Struggle With Expanding Retail Choice

18 May

State energy regulators are wringing their hands over the flood of ratepayers moving to community choice programs and trying to create some order amid the chaos caused by the upending of the traditional role of private utilities and central planning. California is moving to a competitive retail market, notes a California Public Utilities Commission white […]

Undercurrents: Agencies Aim to End Low-Income Barriers to Clean Energy

17 May

State energy agencies shared their hopes and ideas about how to extend the economic and environmental benefits of alternative energy technologies—from rooftop solar systems to electric cars—to low-income residents at a joint agency meeting May 16. “We don’t have a smooth road to travel,” said Alice Reynolds, an advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown. “We know […]

CPUC to Revise Undergrounding Wire Rules & Provide More Gas Access in Central Valley

11 May

The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved moving to revise its rules on the undergrounding of utility electric wires, including how undergrounding projects are chosen and who pays. The rulemaking approved May 11 is aimed at helping determine which underground projects are in the public interest, including how much to focus in urban, suburban, rural […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Resorts to Ex Parte Tactics on Diablo Decommissioning Decision

10 May

Pacific Gas & Electric will meet next Monday, May 15, in commissioners’ offices at the California Public Utilities Commission to lobby against an administrative law judge’s proposed decision to grant it $2.3 billion of ratepayer money for decommissioning its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The decision cut the utility’s original request by $1.5 billion. Matt […]

Undercurrents: PG&E Faces $8 Million Penalty for Butte Fire

26 Apr

State regulators fined Pacific Gas & Electric $8.3 million for the Butte Fire sparked by a utility conductor. The Sept. 9, 2015, wildfire killed two people, injured one, and destroyed 549 homes, 4 commercial properties and 368 structures. The California Public Utilities Commission’s Safety & Enforcement Division found PG&E violated three of the commission’s general […]

CPUC Order May Compromise Storage Field Safety, Says SoCal Gas

17 Apr

Safety may clash with adequate energy supply in Southern California shows an exchange between SoCal Gas and the California Public Utilities Commission last month. At issue is a mid-March CPUC order to the utility to maintain a daily natural gas withdrawal capacity of 2,065 billion cubic feet from its storage facilities this summer and to […]

Edison Tells Investors EV Charging is Big Business

12 Apr

One of California’s biggest electric utilities is banking on a growing number of electric vehicles on the state’s highways to provide  a business growth opportunity over the coming decade. In an April 12 briefing for investment banks, Southern California Edison executives outlined a growing need for both grid modernization to meet electric vehicle charging demand […]

Bills Focus on Higher Renewables, Lower Carbon & Rising Utility Bills

29 Mar

Pending legislation would require meeting peak energy demand with rising levels of alternative electricity resources and mandate that the California Air Resources Board factor in the social costs of climate change gases in its policies. Under AB 378 by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Downey), the Air Board must factor in the social cost of greenhouse gases […]

Committee Pulls Aliso Moratorium Bill, Quickly Passes Others

21 Mar

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee at the last minute Tuesday pulled a bill from its agenda putting a moratorium on the re-opening of the massive natural gas storage field at Aliso Canyon owned by SoCal Gas. Committee Chair Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) acknowledged the impact on people from Southern California who traveled […]

Guest Juice: Energy Efficiency as a Distributed Resource

15 Mar

Editor’s Note: This is a second in a series of articles on how California counts on energy efficiency to help meet state greenhouse gas reduction and clean energy goals while serving as a meaningful distributed energy resource alongside of rooftop solar, energy storage, and demand response.[1] By Cynthia Mitchell As California’s “first loading order resource,” […]

SHORTS

14 Mar

Production and refining of California’s heavy oil could be boosting greenhouse gases, according to two reports highlighted March 15 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Production at the state’s Midway Sunset field outside Bakersfield, Carnegie said, “may be one of the world’s dirtiest and highest greenhouse gas emitters.” That’s because it requires producing high […]

Regulated Utility Earnings Rise in 2016

28 Feb

  California’s regulated utilities and their holding companies’ 2016 earnings increased under California Public Utilities Commission approved rates and spending programs, utility executives told financial analysts recently. (more…)

JUICE: Über Energy

22 Feb

Sempra Energy blew off rules aimed at protecting burgeoning community choice efforts, effectively derailing San Diego County’s move to offer electricity supplies in place of San Diego Gas & Electric’s last week. The rewards likely outweigh the risks given the high stakes for Sempra and its biggest business, San Diego Gas & Electric. If the […]

CPUC Approves Major Edison Substation Upgrade

9 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 9 gave the green light to Southern California Edison to build a major new substation in Monterey Park and upgrade associated transmission lines at total cost of $561 million. The project will replace the existing 220 kV Mesa substation with a new 500 kV substation and bolster connecting transmission […]

Coastal Agencies, Lawmakers Raise Red Flags on Beachfront Puente Power Project

7 Feb

A split in Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration over a controversial power plant project proposed in Oxnard widened this week when the California Coastal Conservancy recommended that NRG build the facility at an alternate location. The next day, a group of state lawmakers raised questions about the need for the plant and its impacts on the […]

JUICE: The Rise of Local Power

6 Feb

Last week’s meeting on reopening the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field near the Los Angeles community of Porter Ranch was the latest public relations disaster and policy blunder for the California Public Utilities Commission and Department of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources. Porter Ranch residents took over the meeting, preventing the leaders of the […]

Meeting to Reopen Aliso Canyon Descends Into Chaos

2 Feb

Angry Porter Ranch residents in Los Angeles commandeered a state meeting on whether to allow SoCal Gas to reopen its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facilities. They took over the stage Feb. 1 in the San Fernando Valley to announce that the evening public hearing would follow their agenda, not the one developed by state […]

Undercurrents

1 Feb

Growing third-party electricity supplier options, filling 350 vacant positions and being kept in the dark on utility security threats are big challenges for the California Public Utilities Commission, lawmakers were told Jan. 31. By end of the year, 40 percent of the electricity for investor-owned utility customers is expected to come from non-utility supplies, Mike […]

Southern CA Electricity Storage Systems Unveiled

31 Jan

Just ahead of hearings this week on whether or not to allow SoCal Gas to reopen its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field near Los Angeles, the California Public Utilities Commission and utility officials highlighted the rapid installation of battery storage banks linked to the grid. The storage systems, including those built by AES and […]