Doors opening for consumers supplying the energy market, CPUC president’s debut, big bucks for climate mitigation

By Published On: January 13, 2022

The California Energy Commission is breaking ground with its new rulemaking to automate consumers’ ability to get paid for sending power from their grid-connected water heaters, EVs, and other devices into the market. This new “prices to devices” process will aim to tie customer demand flexibility to real-time rates.

The new state regulatory chief’s first meeting entails little commission action but lots of public comment. Much of the California Public Utilities Commission meeting this week is spent on public support and opposition to the payments and charges attached to the rooftop solar proposal, which has generated a firestorm of controversy.

Gov. Gavin Newsom uses the projected large budget surplus to support climate protection to the tune of $22 billion. Of that amount,  $6.1 is for transportation electrification and $2 billion for clean energy, much of it to help overburdened communities. It also includes funds for unemployed fossil fuel workers.

The first draft of the state budget proposal for 2022-23 includes $240 million to bring back online two large pumped storage projects at the Oroville dam in Northern California. The funds are for a system that sucks up cold water deep in Lake Oroville to replace the warm water that’s gone through the hydropower turbines and is sent back up behind the lake for another run to supply a stressed grid.

Community choice joins forces to issue a request for 670 MW of clean energy to come online between 2024 and 2026, to satisfy their share of the mandate calling for 11,500 MW of alternative power mid-decade.

A Letter to the Editor from microgrid developer Enchanted Rock agrees with a Current editorial warning about the downsides of the continued increase in diesel backup generation. It touts the advantages of the company’s natural gas and renewable gas-fired systems, which are installed in states other than California but have gotten little traction in the state.

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