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CPUC Beefs up Capacity Mandate, Seeks Extended Life for Coastal Plants

7 Nov

After acknowledging the death and destruction wrought by the Camp Fire on the eve its first anniversary, state energy regulators unanimously approved requiring utilities, community energy and direct access providers to line up 3,300 MW of additional energy reserves. The California Public Utilities Commission also agreed during its Nov. 7 meeting to urge the State […]

Democrats Object to FERC Appointee Hearing

5 Nov

In spite of no action by the White House on the unfilled Democratic seat at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee Nov. 5 vetted Republican FERC nominee James Danly. Committee Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said it was acceptable to hold the hearing because President Donald Trump had […]

Juice: Revitalizing The Lost Coast With Offshore Wind

7 Oct

California’s reach for 100 percent carbon-free power and electrification of its transportation system gives policy makers the chance to revitalize the economy of the state’s North Coast. Humboldt County’s coast—commonly called the Lost Coast—was once the bustling center of the state’s forestry industry. But, forest decline and environmental protections placed on the region’s logging turned […]

Offshore Wind Promises Carbon Goal Savings

3 Oct

As California aims to decarbonize its power grid and electrify transportation, interest in developing offshore wind power farms is growing. To date, 14 companies have signaled they hope to develop offshore wind projects along the state’s North and Central Coasts, according to Necy Sumait, renewable energy section chief for the Pacific office of the federal […]

Price and Variable Rates Help Protect a Clean Grid

25 Sep

Power pricing is a key driver impacting energy demand that can go a long way towards ensuring the reliability of a low carbon grid. “Prices are a powerful signal,” according to a presentation by Debra Lew, a Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body consultant, made at a Sept. 24 California Energy Commission workshop on Net Zero […]

Vanishing Renewable Premium

16 Sep

The green premium has disappeared in Texas and the same will happen in California and elsewhere By Fereidoon Sioshansi Environmentally conscious consumers traditionally had to pay a premium to get clean kilowatt/hours. They’ve been typically offered as a “premium” product by the suppliers: the higher the renewable content, the greener the electrons and higher the […]

Digital Analysis Compares Power Costs

27 Aug

The Natural Resources Defense Council introduced a tool that compares the costs of different sources of electricity in different states across the U.S., ranging from solar power in California to coal-fired generation in Wyoming. “At a time when cities, states, universities, and utilities are considering aggressive climate goals, this knowledge is essential to establishing informed […]

CA Electricity Sector Emissions Fall Nearly 10%

13 Aug

Greenhouse gas emissions from California’s electricity sector in 2017 dropped 9 percent below 2016 levels, but overall emissions in the state fell only 1 percent. The decrease in electricity emissions was offset by rising emissions from the state’s transportation sector, which is the largest source of carbon gases in the Golden State. That is according […]

Undercurrents: East Bay Energy Inks 200 MW of Clean Energy Deals

24 Jun

The East Bay Community Energy June 24 signed four contracts for 213.5 MW of wind and solar energy and battery storage projects. One of the four deals is a 10-year agreement for 20 MW of energy storage to provide resource adequacy. It is to partially replace the 40-year old polluting 165 MW Oakland power plant […]

FERC Continues to Exclude GHG Impacts in Project Decisions

18 Apr

Two major liquefied natural gas facilities export projects in Texas and Louisiana were approved 3-1 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, although the decisions omit evaluations of their direct and cumulative greenhouse gas impacts. Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, who cast the decisive yes vote at the April 18 meeting, welcomed the projects and the decisions including […]

San Bernardino County Restricts Renewable Projects

5 Mar

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Feb. 28 acted to curb construction of new utility-scale renewable energy projects on about 1 million acres of desert land within county areas with community plans or zoned as rural living districts. Community-scale projects intended to serve local communities still would be allowed under the policy. The board […]

Shorts

20 Feb

The California Energy Commission approved its 2018 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update, which gives priority to building emissions reductions. The vote cast at the Feb. 20 business meeting, is “a bold—and necessary—shift in energy priorities,” according to Pierre Del Forge with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “In the push to boost energy efficiency, electricity from […]

Shorts

11 Feb

Updated Feb. 12. Sempra Energy is selling its remaining wind power plants to American Electric Power for $551 million in cash, the San Diego-based company said Feb. 12. Under the agreement, it will sell wind projects in Hawaii and east of the Rockies with 724 MW of combined capacity. The deal is subject to regulatory […]

Undercurrents: Morro Bay Eyes Ocean Wind Project Benefits

11 Dec

A project developer entered an agreement late  last month with the city of Morro Bay aimed at creating local benefits if a 650 MW offshore wind farm is eventually built about 30 miles off the coast of San Luis Obispo County. Castle Wind and the city struck the community benefits deal Nov. 29. It seeks […]

CA Set to Meet 2020 Renewable Standard

1 Nov

California is on target to meet that state’s 33 percent renewable portfolio standard, according to a California Public Utilities Commission report to the Legislature on Nov. 1. However, community choice aggregators and direct access providers will have to pick up their pace in procuring renewable energy. “California continues on its path to a 100 percent […]

Redwood Coast Energy Aims for Offshore Wind Project

24 Sep

Redwood Coast Energy Authority and a group of private companies are hoping to build an offshore wind energy project along the Humboldt County coast that could be operational by 2024. It would be the first offshore wind project on the West Coast. The facility would consist of 10 to 15 floating wind turbines more than […]

Shorts

18 Sep

Sempra Energy is selling its non-utility solar energy assets to Consolidated Edison, the San Diego-based company revealed Sept. 20. Sempra also is selling battery energy storage development projects and one wind facility. The total sale will bring it $1.54 billion in cash. The assets included are: Mesquite Solar 2 and 3 in Arizona; Copper Mountain […]

Elephants & Donkeys Like Solar & Wind

16 May

A recent Pew Research Center poll of American attitudes on energy and the environment finds little difference in support for solar and wind energy among Republicans and Democrats compared to the gulf in their respective views on fossil fuel and nuclear power. Yet, there is a substantial difference of opinion on how to encourage renewable […]

JUICE: 100% Renewable Bill Withers

17 Apr

Solar panels and solar water heaters gleam on every fourth or fifth house as I drive along the road to Kahului from Lahaina on Maui after passing a bank of wind turbines spinning in the ever constant Trade Winds. In O’ahu the view is much the same, with massive banks of solar panels visible everywhere, […]

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 […]