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Climate Roundup: Low Carbon Energy Project Slated for Huntington Beach

13 Dec

SoCal Gas joined with the University of California-Irvine’s Advanced Power & Energy Program Dec. 12 to design an “advanced energy community” in an underserved neighborhood in Huntington Beach. The community will be planned as a replicable model that employs solar, wind, and renewable natural gas technology, including storage of renewable energy with power-to-gas technology. “Creating […]

Proposal To Replace Calpine RMR Deals with Storage & Alt Energy

13 Dec

A California Public Utilities Commission resolution released Dec. 8 would direct Pacific Gas & Electric to contract next year for sufficient local energy storage and preferred resources to ensure that the reliability-must-run contracts the grid operator entered with three Calpine plants are not renewed after 2018. The California Independent System Operator last month approved one-year […]

PG&E Pitches Replacing Oakland Plant with Clean Power

6 Dec

Pacific Gas & Electric is proposing to swap out the 40-year old natural gas-fired power plant owned by Dynegy in Oakland with up to 40 MW of local alternative power supplies and a utility substation upgrade. PG&E wants the California Independent System Operator to approve its plan to develop local clean energy resources, including energy […]

Undercurrents

5 Dec

Pacific Gas & Electric upped its game on energy storage Dec. 4 by seeking approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to enter into six new contracts with a total storage capacity of 165 MW. “These contracts and the storage capacity they represent will help us better integrate our growing renewable generation sources, and bring […]

Senate Panel Begins Work on Energy Measures

5 Dec

A U.S. Senate committee took testimony during a Dec. 5 hearing on seven separate bills dealing with Department of Energy programs. Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes pledged to work with the House Energy & Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy & Power as the bills advance. He expressed enthusiasm about some of the measures, including […]

Zero Net Energy Construction Goal Faces Critical Review

30 Nov

The state’s much vaunted strategy to require that all new homes built beginning in 2020 are zero net energy is being re-examined as the California Energy Commission begins to set building codes to enforce the goal. A key development that may weigh on the future of zero net energy is a new study that claims […]

Storage Clashes With State Goals

15 Nov

Battery electricity storage systems installed with California Public Utilities Commission-ordered subsidies are boosting peak load and increasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to analyses discussed at a Nov. 15 commission meeting. CPUC Regulatory Analyst Patrick Doherty called the evaluation “bad news.” Figuring out how to ensure systems help achieve the state’s goals of reducing emissions and […]

Generator Earnings Generally Lower

6 Nov

Independent generator earnings were generally down in the third quarter of 2017, except for bright spots at NextEra and Calpine, with the latter changing hands after ongoing losses. AES, which like most of its generating brethren, is moving to modernize a handful of once-through cooled plants along the Southern California coast, reported a fall in […]

CPUC Rolls Out CA Power System Resource Plan

2 Nov

The California Public Utilities Commission laid out its goals for the upcoming integrated resource planning process to guide future procurement of power resources towards a lower carbon future. Under the integrated resource planning process, said CPUC staff member Forest Kaser, the reference plan aims to identify the least-cost approach to meeting the state’s 2030 greenhouse […]

Undercurrents

1 Nov

As cooler temperatures take hold in Southern California, SoCal Gas is warning of energy supply risks in the coming season due to limitations placed on its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field that reopened earlier this year. SoCal Gas President Bret Lane outlined the concerns in an Oct. 30 letter to the California Energy Commission […]

The Buzz

20 Oct

Greening the grid is the talk of the town. At the CAISO’s annual confab held this week, most bets are that a westward grid expansion will happen. Why? Because proponents insist it will promote renewables, which will decarbonize both the grid and economy, near and far. Achieving that goal, however, requires paying new alternative resources […]

Solar & Storage Project Aims to Cut Muni’s Gas Use

19 Oct

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is eyeing whether it can downsize a planned natural gas power plant in Utah designed to replace the coal-fired Intermountain Power Plant when it closes in 2025, according to the muni’s general manager. LADWP General Manager Dave Wright told the muni’s board Oct. 18 that it might […]

Brown Wraps Up Bill Signing

16 Oct

Among the last of the energy measures signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on or before the Oct. 15 deadline are ones promoting greater reliance on clean resources to meet power needs in Los Angeles in the wake of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage incident and advance rooftop solar energy systems. Brown signed SB 801 […]

The Buzz

13 Oct

Utility regulators approved $30 million for energy storage facility subsidies in disadvantaged communities, mostly for institutional systems. The California Public Utilities Commission’s former chief administrative law judge is preparing to sue the agency in court on claims of a retaliatory firing after blowing the whistle on alleged collusion by the commission staff with Pacific Gas […]

CPUC Okays $30M of Storage Subsidies for Poor Communities

12 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission Oct. 12 unanimously approved parameters for spending one quarter of the annual energy storage incentive program funds in qualifying disadvantaged and low-income communities. “I hope this is a good example of making a good program more equitable,” said Cliff Rectenschaffen, the presiding commissioner on the decision. He added that the […]

The Buzz

5 Oct

A top legislative staffer gives an insider’s look at the fallout from the governor’s ill-fated effort to push through a bill to create an integrated western grid in the waning days of the legislative session. Electric transportation advocates flock to a meeting this week on the California Air Resources Board’s plan to give away $1.5 […]

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 […]

Energy Bills Signed

3 Oct

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a half dozen energy-related measures into law, including ones to promote energy storage, enhance utility safety, temper utility service disconnections for non-payment, and further reform the California Public Utilities Commission. Brown vetoed one bill that would have dedicated a utility penalty for sparking a wildfire to fire prevention and fighting efforts. […]

Undercurrents: Long-term Nuclear Waste Disposal Remains Stalled

26 Sep

State and local representatives pressed for federal solutions to the problem of mounting radioactive waste at nuclear power plants, including the closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, during a House Oversight & Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, & Environment Sept. 26. David Victor, chair of the SONGS Community Engagement Panel, told the […]

Shorts

25 Sep

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposal to facilitate aggregated energy storage and distributed energy resources to participate in wholesale power markets has drawn wide support in comments filed on the federal agency’s proposal, according to an analysis released Sept. 27 by the Solar Electric Power Alliance and the Edison Electric Institute. However, the two organizations’ […]