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SDG&E Loses Bid to Build New Pipeline

21 Jun

Utility regulators meeting June 21 turned down San Diego Gas & Electric’s request to build a new $639 million, 47-mile-long gas transmission line in San Diego County. The utility asked the California Public Utilities Commission for permission to build the line along a route that’s parallel to an existing, but smaller transmission line. SDG&E then […]

Senate Energy Panel Okays Minor Energy Bills

19 Jun

A handful of meaures passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee this week, from one requiring transparency on decisions to place a moratorium on natural gas supply connections to another reducing public school utility bills. AB 1879 by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) would require the California Public Utilities Commission to provide […]

JUICE: Cruising the Hydrogen Highway

11 Jun

Fuel cell vehicles, powered by hydrogen made from water and renewable power, have long been the Holy Grail when it comes to creating a clean energy economy. After decades of effort to push the technology toward commercial reality, fuel cell vehicles are beginning to gain traction with car-makers, energy companies, state officials, and most importantly […]

Nuclear & Coal Bailout to Hike Home Utility Bills

7 Jun

Californians could be paying hundreds of dollars more a year for power if the Trump Administration advances a plan to bail out coal and nuclear power plant owners and operators. It would cost the nation’s electricity ratepayers more than $30 billion annually on their power bills, skeptics say about the subsidies under discussion in Washington. […]

PG&E Seeks Rate Case Filing Delay Because of Liability Unknowns

6 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric took the unprecedented step of asking energy regulators to give it an additional four months to file its upcoming general rate case because of fears of massive liability for last October’s wildfires, some of which were sparked by trees hitting utility equipment. “The 2017 Northern California wildfires have created tremendous uncertainty […]

Clean Tech: The Next Energy Efficiency Frontier: Labs

6 Jun

With the largest population and economy in the nation, California has more laboratories than any other state, boasting some 116 million square feet of energy-gobbling scientific space. Labs represent “the next major frontier in energy efficiency,” Allison Paradise of My Green Lab and Alison Farmer of kW Engineering told the California Energy Commission during a […]

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. […]

CAISO Launches Backstop Procurement Review

30 May

The grid operator kicked off what it called a new and “holistic” backstop procurement proceeding May 30 aimed at filling power generation capacity gaps not addressed in the resource adequacy procurement process. The California Independent System Operator opened the proceeding after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission declined to approve an earlier proposal. It was a […]

The Buzz

17 May

Utility regulators get big push back on a proposal authorizing the investor-owned electric utilities to spend almost $600 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Southern California Edison complains it has zippo financial appeal. Federal energy regulators order Pacific Gas & Electric to settle complaints over $500 million in alleged overcharges in last […]

Utilities Seek Max Return on EV Charging Program

17 May

Utility regulators came under heavy pressure this week to throw out a proposed decision authorizing California’s investor-owned electric utilities to spend some $600 million of ratepayer money on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. During an all-parties meeting May 17, following the California Public Utilities Commission’s vote postponement on the proposal earlier this month, utilities complained it […]

Undercurrents

15 May

Updated May 11 Community choice agencies take issue with the California Public Utilities Commission’s paper released two weeks ago that claims community energy, along with the proliferation of solar rooftops, could drive the state into another energy crisis. “It is an unfair characteristization,” Beth Vaughn. California Community Choice Association executive director, said during a May […]

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. […]

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 […]

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,” […]

Bills to Aid Gas Plants, School Energy Bills & Reduce Building Emissions Advance

26 Apr

Measures to increase payments to needed, but struggling gas power plants in California, to assess how to increase the use of electric air and space heating in homes, and to extend intervenor compensation to schools were sent to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee passed these and other energy bills April […]

Bills Advance to Promote Storage, Green Buses & Hydrogen

26 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee approved nine energy bills April 25, including measures to require utilities to procure more energy storage and to set rates that encourage electric bus deployment. SB 1347 by Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) passed on a 9-1 vote. It would require the California Public Utilities Commission by 2020 […]

Undercurrents

25 Apr

A bill to carve out a utility procurement mandate for biomass, biogas, and geothermal power made it through an Assembly Committee April 23, but only after specific numeric requirements were axed and replaced with vague placeholder language. AB 2208 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), who represents the Geysers geothermal resource area, said her bill “will […]

LADWP Advances Community Solar & Storage

24 Apr

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is preparing to kick off a community solar program early next year that could involve installing up to 5 MW of photovoltaic panels within its distribution system to serve up to 6,600 customers. In other developments, the muni’s board heard that installing 100 MW of battery storage […]

Bills Aim to Bolster Biomass, Geothermal, Reduce Munis Power Costs

18 Apr

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee voted to move two controversial measures forward April 18 setting procurement mandates for geothermal and biomass energy and to preserve a tariff that offers some municipal governments and others favorable rate treatment when they have solar systems. Lawmakers okayed the bills despite warnings they would raise the cost of […]

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 […]