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West Coast Utilities Coordinate on Big Truck Electrification

18 Apr

A study on electrifying the 1,350 mile route from Mexico to Canada for medium- and heavy-duty trucks is being launched by a coalition of nearly three dozen West Coast private and public utilities and organizations. The study by this West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative, announced April 18, is to evaluate how, where and the […]


10 Dec

A dozen-and-a-half Democratic U.S. Senators called on the newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to abstain from voting on energy matters on which he previously took strong stances, including on fossil fuel subsidies. Bernard McNamee played an active role in seeking price supports for nuclear and coal resources from FERC when working at […]

CCA’s Hit High Renewable Level

23 Oct

Updated Oct. 30 with corrections. The original article mistakenly equated the 2016 power content labels filed at the California Energy Commission with renewable energy portfolio standard compliance levels. (See the bottom of the article for further explanation.*)   All of California’s community choice energy programs far exceeded California’s 25 percent average renewable power level in […]

Climate Roundup: SMUD Back$ All Electric Homes

10 Oct

A major municipal utility and homebuilder announced Oct. 10 that all electric homes are now for sale in a new housing tract in the Sacramento area. The 104 homes will help cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which incentivized the D.R. Horton-built homes in North Natomas. SMUD provided $466,000 of […]

SMUD Approves WaterFix Environmental Document

20 Feb

The California WaterFix project, a potential $16 billion dollar public works plan to divert water from the state’s largest delta in order to improve water supplies, has moved a little closer to reality after a Feb. 15 vote by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s board. On a 7-0 vote, the SMUD board approved findings within […]

SMUD Clears Way for 5G Transceivers on Power Poles

20 Nov

In response to efforts by telecommunications companies to expand their 4G networks and build new 5G networks, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Nov. 16 set fees for mounting small cell communications equipment on power poles. The move could be a precursor of bigger things to come for power utilities across the board. The fee will […]

The Buzz

20 Oct

Greening the grid is the talk of the town. At the CAISO’s annual confab held this week, most bets are that a westward grid expansion will happen. Why? Because proponents insist it will promote renewables, which will decarbonize both the grid and economy, near and far. Achieving that goal, however, requires paying new alternative resources […]

SMUD To More Than Double Its Cloud Seeding

19 Oct

In the hopes it will lead to higher levels of hydropower generation, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s board Oct. 19 approved expanding the muni’s cloud seeding program over the Upper American River Basin. The action will expand SMUD’s historical cloud seeding program from an area of 190 square miles to 444 square miles beginning this […]

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 […]

SMUD Okays 1% Rate Hike

19 Jun

Sacramento Municipal Utility District ratepayers will be paying more for power beginning in 2018. Meeting June 15, the board approved consecutive 1 percent hikes for commercial and agricultural customers in 2018 and 2019, and a one-time hike of 1.5 percent for residential ratepayers in 2018. More “significant,” said Board Member Gregg Fishman, is that the […]


8 Dec

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (R-AK) warned that House members were blocking passage of a comprehensive energy bill that is the product of bipartisan effort. “For two years, we have provided a textbook example of how the regular order process is supposed to work for congressional legislation,” she said. Murkowski noted the months of hearings, markups, […]

JUICE: Nuclear Waste Dump Revival

3 Nov

  Last Saturday, a Native American chief drove a stake into the ground as a symbol of protest against continuing to store radioactive nuclear waste onsite at the closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego County. (more…)

JUICE: Energy Diversity

20 Oct

When California Current, previously called CA Energy Circuit, launched in 2003 a big concern of our small operation was workplace diversity. Being owned by two women negated the traditional male dominance issue, but being an all-white duo was a concern. (more…)


20 Oct

Oct. 24: A workshop will be held to receive public comments on the California Energy Commission’s Draft 2016 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Update. More information. Draft 2016 IEPR Update (320-page PDF). (more…)


6 Oct

  Oct. 10: California Energy Commission public meeting to present proposed regulations and seek comments from interested parties regarding proposed efficiency standards for computers, computer monitors and signage displays. More information. (more…)

SMUD Works on Nuclear Waste Storage License Renewal

29 Sep

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District will do its due diligence before submitting an application to renew its operational license for the spent nuclear fuel repository facility it operates, muni representatives told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during a Sept. 27 meeting at NRC offices in Maryland. (more…)

SMUD Solar Plant Powers Up

22 Sep

Power production has begun at the Rancho Seco Solar Plant, a 10.88 MW solar array sitting on about 62 acres of Sacramento Municipal Utility District property, muni General Manager Arlen Orchard said Sept. 15. (more…)


25 Aug

More than $32 million worth of natural gas leaked into the air in California from gas utility pipelines and customer meters last year, according to the Environmental Defense Fund Aug. 24. Based on utility reports filed with the California Public Utilities Commission earlier this year and culled through by EDF, 10 billion cubic feet of […]

SMUD Approves $1.6 Billion Budget

10 Dec

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District approved a $1.59 billion budget for 2016 during its most recent meeting. However, a board member who was absent during the Dec. 3 vote managed to convey to the public and his fellow members that he took issue with part of the financial plan. (more…)

SMUD Okays Wind Deal

2 Oct

A 25-year agreement for the purchase of 200 MW of wind power estimated to cost $52/MWh was unanimously approved by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District this week, as was a powerhouse construction project. (more…)