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FERC Orders PG&E Transmission Settlement

17 May

Federal energy regulators May 17 ordered Pacific Gas & Electric to reach a settlement with eight organizations that complained last year about the utility’s rates for transmitting power. At issue is more than $500 million of potential utility overcharges. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the order without comment as part of its consent calendar […]

CEC Backs Solar for All New Homes

9 May

Virtually all new homes built in California beginning in 2020 will have to be outfitted with solar panels and be super efficient under energy efficiency standards for new residential construction approved unanimously by the California Energy Commission May 9. “The marketplace is ready,” said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who oversaw development of the new building standards. […]

Undercurrents

2 May

The California Energy Commission’s projections that electric vehicles beginning in 2025 may draw nearly 1,000 MW from the state’s grid is the focus of a planned May 23 meeting. CEC found that electric vehicles are likely to create a peak charging demand around 9 a.m. when people plug-in their cars after commuting to work, plus […]

Climate Roundup: Mixed Signals on CA Vehicle Standards Waiver

30 Apr

The fate of California’s electric vehicle requirement hangs in the balance. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt late last week told a Congressional panel he had no plans to rescind a waiver that lets the state set its own auto emissions standards. However, that was contradicted the next day by news reports indicating EPA […]

The Buzz

27 Apr

Legislation to raise payments to needed gas power plants in California, to increase the use of home electric air and space heating, and to make school reps eligible for intervenor compensation make the cut. Midweek, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee sends these measures on to the next committee. Measures to bolster energy storage and […]

Bills Advance to Promote Storage, Green Buses & Hydrogen

26 Apr

The Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee approved nine energy bills April 25, including measures to require utilities to procure more energy storage and to set rates that encourage electric bus deployment. SB 1347 by Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) passed on a 9-1 vote. It would require the California Public Utilities Commission by 2020 […]

LADWP Advances Community Solar & Storage

24 Apr

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is preparing to kick off a community solar program early next year that could involve installing up to 5 MW of photovoltaic panels within its distribution system to serve up to 6,600 customers. In other developments, the muni’s board heard that installing 100 MW of battery storage […]

Clean Tech: Turning CO2 into Fuel

24 Apr

Carbon dioxide present in raw biogas has been successfully turned into burnable methane in a process that can be powered by renewable electricity. “This groundbreaking innovation holds the potential to simplify storing renewable electricity in the form of zero-carbon renewable natural gas that can be used for home heating, water heaters, or clean trucks to […]

SoCal Gas Ordered to Fill Gas Storage Fields

28 Mar

SoCal Gas is under a state regulatory order to accelerate the storage of natural gas to prepare for summer demand because company pipelines remain out of service. The closed pipelines, which have been offline for months, hamper import capacity into the Los Angeles metro area. California Public Utilities Commission Executive Director Alice Stebbins called the […]

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 […]

Shorts

15 Mar

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said this week California cannot be the tail that wags the dog when it comes to the future of federal greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for autos. His remarks came as the EPA is reviewing Obama-era federal emissions standards that mirror California’s for the period of 2022 […]

Undercurrents

5 Mar

Amid many moving pieces, Southern California Edison is soliciting preferred resources to meet local power capacity needs in the Moorpark subarea of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties beginning in summer of 2021. Included in the mix are a potential transmission alternative and a transition from utility provided power to community choice. Preferred resources typically include […]

Legislature Sets Busy Agenda with More Energy Bills

20 Feb

Legislators in Sacramento continued introducing energy-related measures through the end of last week, including perennial bills that to make large hydropower a qualified source of renewable energy and to promote electric vehicles. While some are largely statements of intent at this juncture—with the substance to be developed later—two of the more developed measures introduced in […]

FERC Order Promises to Be a Boon for Energy Storage

15 Feb

Federal energy regulators Feb. 15 adopted an order to expand participation of energy storage providers in wholesale power markets and another to enhance the frequency response capabilities of new generation facilities. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s order on storage, said Kevin McIntyre, commission chair, requires independent system operators and regional transmission organizations to remove “unnecessary […]

New Energy Bills Pile Up Before Deadline

14 Feb

As lawmakers work furiously to meet a Feb. 15 deadline for introducing new legislation in Sacramento, numerous energy-related measures were introduced as of Feb. 13. In the Senate, new measures would backfill the loss of local government revenue in San Luis Obispo County projected to result from the upcoming closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear […]

JUICE: A Legislative Energy Agenda

6 Feb

As the Legislature gathers steam in Sacramento, numerous key energy-related issues are ripe for action, from how to deal with over-capacity in the state’s power market to the extent to which electric utilities should be liable for wildfires sparked by their equipment. Energy agencies are attempting to deal with some of the conflicts—for instance, exit […]

The Buzz

18 Jan

The California grid operator plans to move into the western reliability coordination market. And, it plans to do so at a steep discount. An independent group of scientists finds that gas storage fields are needed now, but might later be converted to store clean fuels or captured carbon dioxide. Forthcoming federal standards aim to improve […]

Science Panel Sees New Wine in Old Gas Storage Field Bottles

18 Jan

An independent state science panel concluded this week that California will continue to be reliant on natural gas storage facilities through 2020 to meet its energy needs, particularly for winter heating and power. Looking longer term, the panel suggested that California study how the storage fields will fit into a decarbonized economy. It suggested, for […]

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, […]

Undercurrents

16 Jan

The world’s energy supply increasingly is being dominated by solar and wind technologies, the International Energy Agency told U.S. lawmakers. Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, told the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Jan. 16 that by 2040 renewable technologies will produce 40 percent of the world’s electricity. Solar will dominate the march of […]