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CEC Backs Battery System for Black Start Operations

12 Mar

The California Energy Commission March 12 cleared the way for NRG to install a 7 MW battery facility at its Marsh Landing power plant in Antioch. It will be used to provide needed power for black start operations at the plant. Last year the California Independent System Operator designated the 760 MW simple-cycle plant, which […]

Assembly Panel Seeks Assurances of A Clean Affordable Future

7 Mar

An Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee hearing centered on how to ensure California reliably and affordably decarbonizes it energy infrastructure at a time when the sector is going through a metamorphosis. “It is a difficult challenge and we have met the challenge to date,” Mark Rothleder, California Independent System Operator vice president of market quality […]

U.S. Senate Panel Focuses on Emissions & the Grid

5 Mar

Climate change’s impact on the nation’s electric system and the need for more clean and reliable energy were in the spotlight during a bipartisan committee hearing this week in Washington, D.C. “The electricity sector is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to climate change, but it is perhaps the most visible and […]

Solar Rights Bill Gets Bipartisan Support

26 Feb

Last week, Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Red Bluff) introduced SB 288, which outlines the rights of California homeowners, schools, businesses, and farmers to make and store their own solar power without interference from utilities. The bill seeks to update outdated tariffs that make it financially unattractive to install solar systems […]

EPIC Program Focuses on V2G Technologies

20 Feb

Vehicle fleets mark a significant market opportunity in the emerging vehicle-to-grid arena. Installing software with a simple control system into a large number of electric cars to allow two-way communication with the grid can shift charging times and reduce costs and impacts on the power distribution and transmission systems, according to speakers at Tuesday’s Energy […]

EPIC Program Aims to Get Ahead of Epic Changes

20 Feb

Key focuses of the state program dispensing $162 million a year are advancing innovative clean energy projects in disadvantaged communities and communities with high fire danger. Another top priority of the Electric Program Investment Charge is diversifying energy storage in California to help meet climate protection and renewable targets in a changing environment, said speakers […]

CAISO Improves Interconnection Process

7 Feb

The California Independent System Operator Board Feb. 7 approved changes that aim to reduce the interconnection barriers generation and storage projects face. There are 288 active generation and storage projects in CAISO’s interconnection queue. The latest policy changes seek “to smooth the process for getting these projects online,” according to the grid operator.  The enhancements […]

Juice: Cost of Living & Technology Challenges Public Purpose Programs

7 Jan

The collapse of a California Public Utilities Commission plan to put a surcharge on text messages to subsidize telecommunications for low-income residents points to a growing problem. Without new approaches, technological changes and California’s high cost of living may soon make it difficult to fund public purpose programs, for energy and climate change as well […]

The Buzz

4 Jan

With the New Year comes the sad news of the death of Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner, and former chair, Kevin McIntyre. The exit fee slapped on former PG&E customers is estimated to add $100 million. But, the exact tab for community choice customers should be known at the end of next week. CA’s Attorney General […]

Shorts

5 Dec

Updated Dec. 6. The U.S. Senate Dec. 6 confirmed Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a 50-49 vote. McNamee’s nomination was controversial because of the role he played while at the U.S. Department of Energy, specifically entailing its proposal that FERC order subsidies for coal and nuclear power plants. McNamee “needs to […]

Senate Panel Weighs Energy Measures in Lame Duck Session

29 Nov

A U.S. Senate subcommittee held a Nov. 29 hearing on 14 energy-related bills, spanning a wide gamut of topics, from promoting employment of veterans by the energy industry to bolstering research by the Department of Energy on energy storage and distributed energy resources. The hearing came during the lame duck session when federal lawmakers’ key […]

Shorts

26 Nov

The Bonneville Power Administration expects to decide by next fall whether or not to join the Energy Imbalance Market. In a presentation to the market’s governing board on Nov. 29, the administration said it expects to make a decision by late summer of 2019 and finalize a participation agreement in September. If it does decide […]

CEC Debates if Lithium Will Be the New Oil

19 Nov

The potential for recovering lithium from geothermal brine in the Salton Sea to meet the surging growth in use of batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage is high, but faces big hurdles. Tapping into the lithium potential, according to California Energy Commissioner David Hochschild, “could be an important part of California’s energy future.” He […]

CPUC Okays PG&E’s Big Storage Deals

8 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission on a 4-to-5 vote approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s contracts for 567.5 MW of storage in the South Bay area near Moss Landing over consumer advocates’ and community choice program operators’ objections. Last month, they challenged the cost and need for the four lithium ion battery storage deals, including because […]

Just 25% of Required Utility Storage is Online

1 Nov

Only one-fourth of the 1,325 MW of energy storage investor-owned utilities are required to have in place in little more than two years is currently operational, according the California Public Utilities Commission. The utilities have lined up a total 1,650 MW of storage deals and 1,047 MW worth of those projects have been approved. Currently, […]

ISO Symposium Focuses on the Future

18 Oct

California’s grid operator during its annual stakeholder symposium in Sacramento envisioned a future filled with super-efficient autonomous electric vehicles, commonplace energy storage systems, an integrated western grid, and the chance that energy technologies yet unimagined will emerge. Speakers at the two-day California Independent System Operator meeting Oct. 17 and 18 also discussed how a rapidly […]

PG&E Energy Storage Deals Face Headwinds

16 Oct

A California Public Utilities Commission draft resolution supports Pacific Gas & Electric’s bid for cost recovery for four storage projects with a total 567.5 MW of capacity. However, last week several protests were filed over their cost and whether they were necessary. The protestors, including consumer advocates and community choice aggregators, support energy storage as […]

CPUC Okays Storage Projects & Funds to Control Gas Leaks

11 Oct

Utility regulators Oct. 11 delayed approving utility research and development plans funded through the Electric Program Investment Charge program, but okayed energy storage contracts for two utilities, and the collecting of rates to control methane leaks from utility pipelines. Without comment, the California Public Utilities Commission approved six energy storage contracts for Pacific Gas & […]

Senators Press Treasury on Energy Storage ITC

26 Sep

Two U.S. Senators, one Republican and the other Democratic, joined late last week in pressing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to clarify that energy storage systems qualify for the 30 percent federal investment tax credit. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) wrote in a letter to Mnuchin that energy storage companies and thousands of […]

Analysis: Who Will Capture Value Behind-the-Meter

25 Sep

By Fereidoon P. Sioshansi, Ph.D. The evidence that the place to focus on in the future is mostly behind-the-meter (BTM) is gaining momentum. In early September, Energy Post published an extensive interview with Jan Vrins, managing director at Navigant, a consultancy. He said the much talked about energy transition, “… has already happened. We have […]