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CPUC Delves Into Reducing Utility Disconnections

15 Aug

Regulators at the California Public Utilities Commission kicked off a proceeding Aug. 15 that’s aimed at reducing the rising rate of energy service disconnections stemming from non-payment of monthly electricity and gas bills. Data show that more than 70,000 customers have their power or gas shut off each month due to non-payment. The CPUC opened […]

The Buzz

10 Aug

A legislative conference committee working to address wildfire safety and liability standards for utilities faces major opposition. The big kahuna is who gets slammed with the multi-billion tab for harm from utility equipment-sparked blazes. Major energy legislation to create a regionalized grid, move to 100 percent carbon-free power, and open up direct access to all […]

$120M Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Deal Inked

8 Aug

State and local agencies and SoCal Gas Aug. 8 agreed to a $119.5 million settlement to resolve the public claims arising from the massive methane leak that occurred at the utility’s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in Los Angeles in 2015. Attorney General Javier Becerra emphasized, however, that the company still faces hundreds of […]

Juice: Key Energy Developments

7 Aug

While we were away at the beach and hiking in mountains, the state’s energy agencies took significant action on ratepayer protection, grid reliability and greenhouse gas reduction. The California Public Utilities Commission approved a settlement, which was percolating the last few years, on the allocation of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s hefty closure costs. […]

PG&E & Sempra Report Big Losses

6 Aug

Earnings of two of the three parent companies of California’s major investor-owned utilities took a turn for the worse in the second quarter of 2018. Pacific Gas & Electric reported the largest earnings hit because of wildfire liability followed by big losses at Sempra Energy. Meanwhile, Edison International’s earnings were largely level and could be […]

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 […]

Power Providers Integrated Resource Plans Due Soon

17 Jul

California’s utilities, community choice aggregators, and energy service providers are to file their first integrated resources plans Aug. 1 with the California Public Utilities Commission. The plans, required by SB 350, are to outline how the power providers will meet the future demand for electricity through 2030, as well as state requirements for increased levels […]

The Buzz

13 Jul

Editor’s Note: California Current will be taking a two-week summer break. The last stories before the break will be posted on July 20. Story posting will resume the week of Aug. 6. State energy regulators belatedly agree to approve Southern California Edison’s 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements to be developed […]

CPUC Focuses on Power Shutoffs

12 Jul

State energy regulators July 12 unanimously approved opening a rulemaking to assess the cause of the growing rate of residential utility disconnections because of non-payment. The goal is to reduce shutoffs. The California Public Utilities Commission also voted  to enhance utilities’ ability to de-energize power lines during risky weather events, such as hot high winds. […]

Undercurrents

10 Jul

The harm to the marine environment from using ocean water to cool power plants is more widespread than thought, according to a new research report by the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team. The Council, a state agency, released the report July 9. It showed that ocean currents connect separate marine protection zones, essentially spreading […]

The Buzz

6 Jul

It was not just happy 4th of July, but also happy 3rd of July for many. There were mini fireworks after the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sent the 100 percent clean energy bill to the Assembly Floor. SB 100 sets a 60 renewable mandate for 2030, with another 40 percent to come from big […]

Clashing Views on Power Industry Emissions

3 Jul

A legislative hearing on tracking carbon from electrons delivered to Californians quickly turned into a debate about grid regionalization and the impact of community choice aggregators and direct access providers in the state Capitol on July 2. Liane Randolph, California Public Utilities Commission member, said her agency has targeted a reduction of 42 million tons […]

PG&E Lines Up Big & Small Battery Storage

2 Jul

Pacific Gas & Electric seeks to recover from ratepayers the cost four lithium-ion energy storage projects along the Central Coast in the Moss Landing area. One would be utility owned. Together the four projects would total 567 MW. The largest project the utility is requesting California Public Utilities Commission approval for is 300 MW and […]

JUICE: Creating the ISDN Grid

26 Jun

When I was a young reporter in Washington in the early 1980s covering the telecommunications industry, the policy vision was to unleash competition to advance technologies and eventually create what was called the Integrated Services Digital Network, or ISDN. ISDN was to become a single operating network through which all communications could flow—including phone calls, […]

The Buzz

21 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric notifies investors and lenders that it is taking a $2.5 billion loss in the second quarter as a result of mounting wildfire liability, with the worst potentially yet ahead. Meanwhile, a legislative committee in Sacramento advances a bill that may ease utility liability for wildfires. The California Public Utilities Commission sets […]

PG&E Takes $2.5 B Loss for Early Wildfire Claims

21 Jun

Pacific Gas &Electric Corp. is taking a $2.5 billion hit in its upcoming quarterly earnings to cover the “low end range” of liability claims arising from 14 of l6 Northern California wildfires that burned last October and were investigated by CalFire, the utility announced during a June 21 conference call. The “high range” of liability […]

Shorts

4 Jun

Updated June 7. Utility regulators held a two-day meeting this week on how to potentially redesign electricity rates to accommodate an increasing number of electric vehicles in the coming years. The meeting on June 7 and 8 also focused on how to address rate design to encourage production of hydrogen to power fuel cell vehicles. […]

The Buzz

31 May

More than $1 billion in electric truck and car charging funding gets the green light. The California Public Utilities Commission approves the investor-owned power utilities spending $738 million of ratepayer money on EV charging infrastructure, particularly for electric truck and bus chargers. That authorization follows California air quality regulators directing $423 million to subsidize the […]

Shorts

29 May

Updated May 31. Utility regulators voted to shorten the timelines for correcting utility line and pole safety violations under California Public Utilities Commission General Order 95 Rule 18. Under the May 31 CPUC decision, the allowable time for correcting violations will be cut from 59 to 36 months. In addition, one class of minor violations […]

The Buzz

24 May

The California Independent System Operator weighs increasing payments, primarily to battery-based storage. Multiple revenue streams are being considered for energy storage that provides transmission and other services in its markets. Critics warn that lack of an honest dialogue with the Air Resources Board over excess carbon allowances will cause the state to miss its target […]