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Shorts

23 May

The Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee passed legislation mandating that fines imposed on Pacific Gas & Electric for the 2015 Butte fire directly benefit the two impacted counties. During a May 23 hearing, lasting about two minutes, AB 524 by Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R-Madera) was approved.  It focuses on the $8.25 million in penalties slapped […]

LA Jump Starts Feed-In Tariff Program

17 May

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is restarting its solar feed-in tariff program at a higher price beginning mid-June under a streamlined procedure. The muni’s board approved the move May 16. Under the revised program, the utility will seek 65 MW of solar production in blocks of 5 MW at a fixed price […]

Beneficial Uses of Excess Power Supply Eyed

14 May

California will need increasing flexibility to maintain reliable power supplies on the grid as levels of renewable energy increase in the years ahead. However, while that’s currently viewed as a problem due to its close relationship to oversupplies of power on bright sunny afternoons it may represent a golden opportunity. That’s the picture that emerged […]

All Renewable Electricity Mandate Bill Sails Ahead

9 May

A key Senate committee approved legislation to set a 100 percent fossil fuel free, or zero carbon, electricity resource mandate for California by the end of 2045. “This is a very timely measure with regards to planning ahead for tomorrow’s future,” Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León told the Senate Energy Utilities & Communications […]

Generator Earnings Mixed in First Quarter

9 May

Generators latest earnings report were not as grim as reported in previous quarters but also nothing to write home about. AES: This Virginia-based company continues to suffer losses. The first quarter of 2017 it reported a loss of $24 million, or minus 4 cents per share. That compares with net earnings of $126 million reported […]

May Bills Set 100% Green Mandate & Higher Carbon Prices

2 May

On a bright windy morning at the University of California, Davis, legislation to require a 100 percent renewable energy standard for California was announced, as promised by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León. Standing near a 16 MW photovoltaic system May 2, the Los Angeles Democrat said his SB 100 “is about jobs and […]

Shorts

1 May

The Scoping Summary Report for the proposed 500 kV Colusa-Sutter transmission line in Northern California was released by the Western Area Power Administration and SMUD May 4. The line seeks to increase reliability and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s ability to transport fossil-free resources in and out of the region, including to and from the […]

Guest Juice: DOE Grid “Study”: Politics Trump Facts

1 May

By John Moore Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has directed his agency to conduct a hurried review of how environmental protection standards and clean energy incentives are apparently threatening to bring our power grid to its knees. That action shows either a lack of understanding as to how grid operators (including the one back in […]

Clean Energy Groups Call for Open DOE Study

1 May

In response to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s call for a study of how renewable energy is affecting grid reliability and power markets, three clean energy groups called on him to make sure the review is conducted through “a public process.” In a letter to Perry on May 1, Advanced Energy Economy, the American Wind Energy […]

Shorts

27 Apr

The California Energy Commission approved a $390 million triennial EPIC investment plan April 27, pledging to fund research in areas considered critical to advancing the state’s clean energy aims. The plan for the Electric Program Investment Charge outlines investments the commission will make through the ratepayer funded program on projects from 2018-2020. Key objectives include […]

Energy Storage Subsidy Bill Hits End of the Road

27 Apr

An Assembly bill aimed at subsidizing utility customer-owned energy storage batteries the same way the California Solar Initiative program has subsidized rooftop solar systems for the past decade appears to have died this week.  A similar measure on the Senate side was approved earlier in the week. The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee advanced a […]

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 […]

Making Way for Microgrids

26 Apr

Three energy agencies are working to smooth the way for microgrids in the state. “Microgrids are one of the solutions to help California meet its aggressive [climate protection] goals,” Mike Gravely, California Energy Commission deputy director, said during an April 25 joint agency workshop. The Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent […]

Bills Okayed to Expand Solar Incentives, Green Baseload & Data Access

20 Apr

Legislation to extend solar thermal subsidies and create geothermal and biomass carve outs were among measures advancing this week in the state capitol. The Assembly Utilities & Communications committee passed on an 8-5 vote AB 797 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Oxnard). It would extend by five years the solar hot water incentive program. The California […]

LA County Opts for Community Choice Energy

19 Apr

Los Angeles County will form a community choice aggregation program, which will be the biggest in the state. The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously April 18 to form the program that is to offer higher levels of alternative power than Southern California Edison starting next year. The choice program has been under development for […]

Senate Panel OKs Efficiency & Demand Management to Meet Peak Loads

18 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee approved six separate energy bills April 18, including ones to increasingly meet peak power needs with preferred resources and another to require the California Public Utilities Commission to oversee integrated resource plans developed by community choice aggregation programs. SB 338 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) aims to minimize […]

JUICE: The Green Tide

12 Apr

For many moons, the state grid operator and others insisted that the unruly and growing ebb and flow of wind and solar power is forcing an increase in natural gas-fired generation to ensure grid reliability. The California Independent System Operator’s version of reliability, if persistent, would partly defeat the purpose of the state’s climate protection […]

CPUC Revives Self Gen Program with Bigger Budget

6 Apr

Utility regulators April 6 approved a doubling of funds for the self-generation incentive program. It is intended to subsidize solar and other generation technologies, plus energy storage, at the power distribution system level. Funding is set at $83 million a year for the period 2017-2019, under the decision approved unanimously by the California Public Utilities […]

Biogas Plant in So Cal Displaces Diesel Fuel

30 Mar

The first biogas production plant that will feed into the SoCal Gas pipeline system began operating March 29 in the Riverside County city of Perris. CR&R, a major waste management company in Southern California, opened the anerobic digester plant this week, which turns organic waste the company collects into methane. CR&R is using the biogas […]

Assembly Panel Okays Two Energy Bills

30 Mar

The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee March 29 advanced a bill that calls for some of the money in a research and development fund to be spent on projects in low-income areas suffering from air pollution. The panel also passed a second measure, which would exempt a rural electric cooperative from the state’s integrated resource […]