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Shorts

20 May

Edison President Pedro Pizarro pledged to ramp up wildfire prevention steps last week. That includes cutting off power on transmission lines through fire prone areas when red flag warnings are in effect. Edison, he stated, is partnering with local agencies to evaluate various technologies to help with fire safety throughout Southern California. They include using […]

JUICE: Timing

15 May

Timing is everything. Thus, it is noteworthy that it’s optimal timing to increase the amount of hydropower imports from the Bonneville Power Administration into California. This option has been talked about for a few years, but now the needles on California’s legal, policy and resources compasses point northwest. If the capacity of the lines carrying […]

Shorts

15 May

SoCal Gas showcased a new solar-powered hydrogen generation system May 17. It uses sunlight to convert natural gas and water into hydrogen and capture the carbon dioxide to prevent carbon emissions. The project is a partnership between SoCal Gas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the STARS Corp. The solar advanced reactor system “produces hydrogen through […]

CPUC Delays Whether to Reject Edison’s Clean Resources Deals

25 Apr

Utility regulators this week postponed voting on a proposed decision to deny Southern California Edison rate recovery for 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage in the Los Angeles Basin The proposed decision by a California Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge was pulled from the CPUC’s April 26 meeting consent calendar. The […]

Undercurrents: PCIA Struggle Heats Up

4 Apr

Clashing proposals on revising or replacing the California Public Utilities Commission’s controversial power charge indifference adjustment were submitted to regulators April 2. This cost adjustment method determines how much community choice organizations must pay the private utilities for their stranded power purchase contracts. Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas […]

Moorpark-Pardee Transmission Project Okayed Despite Doubts

27 Mar

A transmission line upgrade to serve the constrained Moorpark area came under fire just before it was approved by the grid operator as part of its 2017-18 transmission plan. Critics expressed doubts over whether the new line actually would improve reliability in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. NRG Market Affairs Director Brian Theaker said the […]

The Buzz

23 Mar

The grid operator’s board adopted big time reforms to increase gas power plant generator revenues and curb speculation in the transmission congestion market. Pacific Gas & Electric was chastised for balking at complying with the CPUC’s order to sign contracts for biomass projects to help reduce the huge number of dead trees. Biomass got  a […]

JUICE: The Scales of Politics

7 Mar

Last week, numerous cities and regions with formed and forming community energy programs protested the investor-owned utilities’ plea to the California Public Utilities Commission to let them use ratepayer funds to lobby against public power supply organizations. The Feb. 1 petition by Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and Pacific Gas & Electric […]

New LA County Choice Program Challenged for Non-Competitive Deal

1 Mar

With little discussion and just a couple hours before the submission deadline, the Clean Power Alliance of Southern California filed an addendum to its community choice implementation plan with the California Public Utilities Commission reflecting a major expansion of its service territory. At the Alliance’s March 1 meeting, Chair Diana Mahmud moved the addendum to […]

PG&E, Edison & SDG&E Earnings Slump

27 Feb

The state’s investor-owned utilities and their parent companies saw lower earnings in the final quarter of last year, including because of the wildfires, regulatory decisions and the 2017 tax law. Executives warned that liability for the wildfires is expected to worsen the companies’ financial health. Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy all reported […]

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 […]

JUICE: Cazalet Pitches Plan to Grow Energy Storage

17 Jan

Energy storage technologies are considered by lawmakers, regulators, and many others as a key way to balance the ebb and flow of higher levels of intermittent solar and wind power feeding California’s grid. However, the growth of various storage technologies, which can store excess renewable flows and release the juice at times of high demand, […]

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 […]

Shorts

11 Dec

Updated Dec. 14. Southern California Edison said Dec. 12 that fire investigators in Southern California are eyeing its facilities as a possible cause of the wildfires in the area. The utility said it will continue to cooperate with investigators. Meanwhile, it said that at least 500 of its power poles have burned and that spot […]

JUICE: Back to Basics

5 Dec

The private utilities beginning of the week presented the annual results of their glide paths toward residential default time-of-use rates, including for their opt-in TOU pilots with peak pricing. Before reading further, imagine what people outside the specialized utility rate business would make of “glide path,” “default time-of-use rates,” and “peak pricing.” The lingo would […]

Riverside County Moves Ahead on Community Choice

16 Nov

After more than a year of work, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors Nov. 14 approved taking the next critical step towards becoming a community aggregator. The supervisors voted 3-2 to send the proposed community energy implementation plan for the unincorporated areas of the county, which have about 375,000 residential and business customers, to the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Support for Storage Grows While Challenges Mount

4 Oct

Bipartisan support for energy storage is being propelled by the latest round of hurricanes, particularly in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Destroyed and damaged grids need to be rebuilt to be more reliable, with energy storage an essential “part of that conversation,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chair of the Committee on Energy & Natural […]