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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 […]

Legislation Sends Edison Penalty to Long Beach

19 Jul

The Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee July 18 passed a bill that would direct a $4 million penalty slapped on Southern California Edison for blackouts in Long Beach in 2015 to the city. SB 174 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) would keep the penalty issued by the California Public Utilities Commission from going […]

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 […]

Calls for Conservation Protect the Grid

22 Jun

A flex alert issued for June 21 and 22 helped the state grid get though the worst of the persistent heat wave that gripped California this week without any major outages. Power demand peaked on June 20 at 44,184 MW, compared to an all-time high of 50,270 MW during the summer heat storm of 2006, […]

Utility Electric Car Projects Hit Speed Bumps

18 May

Two private utilities’ proposed pilot projects to expand electric car charging to accelerate use of electric vehicles met resistance this week. The projects are part of plans by the state’s three investor-owned utilities to spend $1 billion on chargers to reduce emissions from transportation, the largest source of greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. […]


10 May

California will have plenty of power this summer, the grid operator concluded in a report May 11, although the ongoing closure of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field in Southern California remains a concern. The California Independent System Operator said that its system should have a 19.5 percent operating reserve margin under normal conditions. […]

Utility Parents Report Flush Earnings

9 May

California’s investor-owned utilities all reported healthy increases in net income for the first three months of 2017, with Pacific Gas & Electric reporting the most significant growth. Edison International: The parent company of the regulated utility Southern California Edison reported earnings of $362 million, or $1.11 a share, in the first quarter of 2017. That’s […]

CAISO Eyes Need for Controversial Puente Project

2 May

The grid operator is poised to study whether local resource adequacy in Ventura County could be met with demand response, renewable resources, energy storage, and other preferred resources in place of building the proposed natural gas-fired Puente power plant on the beach. “We know full well that there could be other options to this, including […]

Undercurrents: Possible Settlement on Nuke Waste

12 Apr

In a move that grabbed headlines in Southern California but may not amount to much, a group agreed April 7 to settle a suit to block Southern California Edison from expanding nuclear waste dry cask storage facilities at its closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. With the lack of any long-term repository for spent […]

CARB’s EV Pedal-to-Metal Makes Blue Skies for Utilities

29 Mar

As the Trump Administration backtracks on federal 2022-25 automotive fuel efficiency standards aimed at cutting greenhouse gases, the California Air Resources Board remains gung ho. Air regulators March 24 reaffirmed the state’s parallel standards and laid plans for going further. A key beneficiary likely will be the state’s utilities. “Today ARB affirmed the technical reviews […]

Calpine to Restart Delta Energy Center at a Scaled-Back Level in Wake of a Fire

8 Mar

Calpine will restart its Delta Energy Center plant in Contra Costa County as a simple cycle peaking plant to help maintain grid reliability in the San Francisco Bay area after a fire damaged a steam turbine there that had made it a more efficient and higher rated combined cycle plant. The California Energy Commission approved […]

Undercurrents: Upwardly Creeping Gas Prices Prompt LADWP to Boost Power Charge

7 Mar

Higher gas prices are requiring the nation’s largest municipal utility to increase what its customers pay for electricity each month. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is moving to raise what it charges the average customer for power by 0.220 cents per kWh, a total increase of about a $1.10 a month. “This […]

Opposition to Puente Power Plant Increases

28 Feb

The head of the state Senate and seven other state lawmakers took the unusual step of urging the California Energy Commission not to license NRG’s controversial 262 MW gas-fired Puente power plant project in Oxnard along the Ventura County coast. The lawmakers insist the needs assessment for the facility is outdated and fails to take […]

CPUC Approves Major Edison Substation Upgrade

9 Feb

The California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 9 gave the green light to Southern California Edison to build a major new substation in Monterey Park and upgrade associated transmission lines at total cost of $561 million. The project will replace the existing 220 kV Mesa substation with a new 500 kV substation and bolster connecting transmission […]

Proposed Deal Scales Back IOU Revenue & Returns

8 Feb

The private utilities and ratepayer advocates Feb. 7 filed a proposed  modification of a deal to reduce the utilities’ approved revenue requirements and dial back their double digit rates of returns in 2018. The proposed settlement before the California Public Utilities Commission would shave back Pacific Gas & Electric’s return on equity from 10.4 percent […]

Distributed PV Installations Fall in Era of Lower NEM Rates

7 Feb

Two of the three investor-owned utilities, which offer less favorable net energy metering rates to customers with new solar rooftop systems, have seen installations drop by up to a third. (more…)

Viewing Community Choice Through Different Lenses

2 Feb

The rewards and risks of the growth in communities providing alternative electricity resources were debated during a day-long Feb. 1 hearing at the California Public Utilities Commission. “Is the state going to let one thousand flowers bloom or will it pursue centralized long term resource planning,” asked  Matt Freedman, The Utility Reform Network attorney. He […]

Southern CA Electricity Storage Systems Unveiled

31 Jan

Just ahead of hearings this week on whether or not to allow SoCal Gas to reopen its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field near Los Angeles, the California Public Utilities Commission and utility officials highlighted the rapid installation of battery storage banks linked to the grid. The storage systems, including those built by AES and […]

Three Private Utilities Seek $1.1 B for EV Infrastructure

26 Jan

California’s investor-owned utilities filed new plans with state energy regulators seeking a total $1.06 billion dollars in ratepayer recovery to expand electric charging infrastructure for cars, buses, trucks and off-road equipment in their territories. Together, Southern California Edison’s and Pacific Gas & Electric’s proposals filed at the California Public Utilities Commission Jan. 20 total $800 […]