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The Buzz

2 Feb

California energy regulators and fire safety agencies are working together to try and curb the dangers of the growing numbers of intense wildfires, with a worrisome number sparked by power lines. The California Public Utilities Commission president and other officials lament the inadequacy of resources, policies and preparation during an all day meeting. Fire safety […]

Ratepayer Tab for SONGS Closure Cut Under New Deal

31 Jan

A long-anticipated settlement would cut the amount ratepayers are saddled with for the early closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant by at least $775 million. Under the initial closure deal approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in 2014 ratepayers were on the hook for $3.3 billion of the $4.7 billion closure tab partly […]

Choice Program & Utility Reps Inch Towards Exit Fee Deal

17 Jan

Utilities and community choice aggregators this week worked to find common ground on transferring utility power portfolios to community choice programs and direct access providers to replace exit fees imposed on the non-utility organizations by the California Public Utilities Commission. The parties outlined their alternatives during a Jan. 16-17 CPUC workshop held as part of […]

CPUC Okays 15 Utility Transportation Electrification Projects

11 Jan

Regulators gave the state’s three biggest electric utilities the green light Jan. 11 to spend $42.8 million on projects aimed at bolstering electric transportation. Under the unanimously-approved decision by the California Public Utilities Commission, a majority of the money will go toward projects that promote electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, according to Commissioner Carla […]

Shorts

10 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 11 approved spending $555 million for the Electric Program Investment Charge program from 2018-2020. This ongoing program run by the California Energy Commission continues funding of alternative and emerging energy resource research and development, technology pilots and market facilitation.  The EPIC funds, collected from investor-owned utility ratepayers, are to […]

Bill Seeks to Halt Cost Recovery in Utility-Sparked Fires

3 Jan

In one of the first pieces of utility-related legislation of the year, a group of state senators and Assembly  members Jan 3 introduced a bill to prohibit utilities from recovering from ratepayers uninsured costs related to wildfires sparked by electric lines. “The practice is an outrage and it’s time to stop allowing utilities to push […]

CPUC Disallows Ratepayer Recovery of SDG&E’s $400M in Wildfire Claims

30 Nov

After several postponements, state energy regulators voted unanimously Nov. 30 to deny San Diego Gas & Electric’s request to recover $379 million from its ratepayers for costs and legal fees incurred for igniting extensive wildfires in San Diego in 2007. “San Diego Gas & Electric did not meet its burden to act as a prudent […]

Shorts

14 Nov

Calpine has set a shareholders’ vote on its merger with Energy Capital Partners for Dec. 15. Under the proposed merger, a subsidiary of Energy Capital Partners known as Volt would purchase Calpine at a price of $15.25 a share. If approved, Calpine stock no longer would be traded, but instead controlled by the Energy Capital […]

Undercurrents

13 Nov

Renewable energy and the prospects for electric vehicles could be upended in part by Congressional action on tax legislation. At issue is the House tax package, which would cut the production tax credit for wind energy by more than a third, eliminate the federal $7,500 tax credit for purchasing electric vehicles, and ax a 10 […]

CPUC Delays SDG&E Fire Cost Recovery Decision

9 Nov

California energy regulators again deferred voting on a decision rejecting San Diego Gas & Electric’s request to recover $379 million in costs and legal fees incurred from three extensive wildfires in San Diego in 2007. The pending ruling denies the money because SDG&E “did not reasonably manage and operate its facilities prior to the 2007 […]

Utility Earnings Up, But SDG&E Takes Hit on Wildfire Costs

1 Nov

Updated Nov. 2 Earnings were up at Edison International and its utility Southern California Edison, as well as at Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy’s SoCal Gas utility in the third quarter of 2017. However, San Diego Gas & Electric was hampered by a continuing dispute over whether it will be able to recover […]

Regulators Reject Edison’s Ellwood Plant Deal

28 Sep

After almost three years, the California Public Utilities Commission voted to turn down a planned 10-year contract by Southern California Edison to purchase 54 MW of power from NRG’s natural gas-fired Ellwood power plant in Goleta. Instead, the commission Sept. 28 ordered Edison to “to determine whether any identified need can be met in a […]

JUICE: Post Mortem

19 Sep

The most significant state energy bills of the year stopped breathing the final week of this legislative session. Legislation to set a 100 percent carbon free-power mandate for California by 2045, with the last 40 percent from large hydro, failed to come up for a vote before the wee hours of Sept. 16, the session’s […]

Private Utilities Report 3,100 MW of Qualifying Facilities

13 Sep

The 40-year old federal law mandating that private utilities buy power from independent producers, which was once center stage, is back stage in California today. That’s largely because of the state’s renewables mandate and improved interconnection. Today, investor-owned utilities continue to purchase power from independent small renewable and cogeneration projects under state regulatory programs established […]

Heat Brings New Historic Peaks for Edison & LADWP

6 Sep

Triple digit temperatures caused Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to set new peak load records last week. The blistering heat drove up electricity demand in and outside Southern California even though the high loads were tamped down somewhat by demand response programs. Edison’s new peak load reached 23,508 […]

Shorts

6 Sep

A Berkeley-based startup won a $1 million grant from the Department of Energy to help commercialize its innovative battery technology made from graphite that is synthesized from carbon dioxide. “Our process produces graphite more sustainably and affordably than traditional graphite, which is usually sourced from poorly-regulated mines in China or synthesized from petroleum,” Drew Reid, […]

The Buzz

25 Aug

State utility regulators okayed a shift in the peak pricing period to later in the day for San Diego Gas & Electric customers. Industry advocates warn it erodes the economic advantages of rooftop solar. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry gets an education about how the grid operates. A Department of Energy staff report he requested […]

Earnings Grow at PG&E & Sempra & Remain Flat at Edison

4 Aug

Utility holding company second quarter earnings reports show gains at two companies and stability at a third. Here’s a rundown of the latest results. Edison International: The parent company of Southern California Edison had earnings of $278 million in the second quarter of 2017, or 85 cents a share. That’s down from earnings of $280 […]

JUICE: Scaling CA’s Zero Carbon Summit

19 Jul

Politicians are to rope up next month and set the path for climbing to a 100 percent renewable/zero emissions energy peak under legislation proposed by the leader of California’s Senate. Investor-owned utilities and several public utilities warn about reliability and cost crevasses that may open beneath them on the trek under SB 100 by Senate […]

CPUC Takes Time Weighing Utility EV Charging Plans

11 Jul

State energy agency officials on July 11 peppered utility representatives with questions about their plans to spend some $1 billion to develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure up and down the state over the next five years. How the plans will advance public acceptance of electric vehicles and help meet the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals […]