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Undercurrents

17 Jul

The state’s investor-owned utilities will release their second quarter earnings statements later this month, and the results likely will be mixed. Pacific Gas & Electric announced that it expects to post a big loss. There is no indication, however, that the other two utility holding companies, Edison International and Sempra Energy, will do so. PG&E […]

Edison’s Controversial Local Clean Energy Deals Win Approval

12 Jul

The California Public Utilities Commission voted 4-1 to allow Southern California Edison to recover more than $300 million from ratepayers for 125 MW of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage agreements slated for the constrained western Los Angeles sub-basin. “This will drive market transformation,” said Mike Picker, CPUC president, during the agency’s July 12 business […]

Wildfire Liability Bill Goes to Conference Committee

3 Jul

Details of Sen. Bill Dodd’s SB 901 are to be hammered out in a legislative conference committee. That includes terms of standards governing when utilities could be held liable for wildfire damages. The Napa Democrat’s measure would set standards requiring utilities to improve their efforts to prevent wildfires, including more effort to clear vegetation around […]

Proposal Cuts Ratepayer Tab for San Onfore’s Closure

28 Jun

A California Public Utilities Commission law judge blessed a settlement reached earlier this year that will limit what ratepayers have to pay for Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station closure costs. The settlement, approved late last week, would undo an earlier agreement approved by the commission in 2014 that would have stuck ratepayers […]

Bill Extends Energy Storage Incentive

21 Jun

After approving legislation setting parameters on utility wildfire risks, the Assembly energy panel passed a bill that would add another five years to the program offering incentives to behind-the-meter small energy storage systems. SB 700 by Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) would extend the small energy storage subsidy under the Self Generation Incentive Program. This […]

Clean Tech: The Next Energy Efficiency Frontier: Labs

6 Jun

With the largest population and economy in the nation, California has more laboratories than any other state, boasting some 116 million square feet of energy-gobbling scientific space. Labs represent “the next major frontier in energy efficiency,” Allison Paradise of My Green Lab and Alison Farmer of kW Engineering told the California Energy Commission during a […]

Juice: Picker’s Picks

5 Jun

Editor’s note: Like Grateful Dead archivist Dick Latvala “picked” the band’s most energetic concerts for release as albums in his “Dick’s Picks” recordings, California Public Utilities Commission President Mike Picker picks the best resources to release energy to the Los Angeles basin’s grid to keep the area rockin’. A proposed decision to deny Southern California […]

CPUC Approves $8B in Energy Efficiency Plans

31 May

The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved an $8 billion cap on rolling energy efficiency business programs covering eight years. The decision approving the efficiency business plans covers those of the four investor-owned utilities, Marin Clean Energy, the Bay Area Regional Energy Network, the Southern California Regional Energy Network and the Tri-County Regional Energy Network. […]

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 […]