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By Published On: December 11, 2014

Retail gas choice for residential customers has not taken off in California, according to the Energy Information Agency on Dec. 3. California had 10.4 million gas utility customers in 2013 eligible to choose their natural gas provider, with their gas utility simply transporting gas to them. Yet only some 283,000 residential customers, or about 2.7 percent, got their gas from providers other than their local utility. Nationwide about 38.5 million residential customers are eligible for gas choice and some 7 million, or about 18 percent, have opted for suppliers other than their local utility. California consumers have been free to choose alternative natural gas suppliers for their homes since 1995. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia offer retail gas choice for residential customers. This year is predicted to be the biggest year for concentrated solar projects, assuming Abengoa’s 250 MW Mojave Solar is fully on line by the end of this month, according to a Dec. 8 report by the Solar Energy Industries Association. The first quarter of this year was the largest quarter ever for concentrating solar power because of the completion of the 392 MW Ivanpah project and Genesis Solar project’s 125 MW, according to the association’s U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. In addition, as of the end of this last quarter, 1,354 MW of photovoltaic systems were installed. That is 41 percent higher than the same quarter last year, making it the second-largest quarter for solar installations to date. The Department of Energy announced Dec. 10 it will provide up to $12.5 billion in loan guarantees to nuclear energy projects in the U.S. The funds are to support “innovative clean energy technologies that bring the U.S. closer to a low-carbon future," said Secretary Ernest Moniz. Southern California Edison selected an underground nuclear fuel storage system for the closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Dec.11. The dry storage system by Holtec International will consist of buried steel and concrete encased canisters covered by a 24,000 pound steel and concrete lid. It is supposed to be installed by 2019. More than 160 windows in the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s headquarters building were cracked by a massive fire nearby that destroyed a seven-story apartment complex under construction. The traffic tie-up that occurred the morning of Dec. 8 in downtown L.A. after fire crews extinguished the blaze also made it hard for LADWP employees to get to work, resulting in a slowdown of customer service at the department. Streets and the northbound lanes of the 110 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles remained closed in the aftermath of the conflagration. Let Laguna Vote, a Laguna Beach citizen’s group, is petitioning the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to order Southern California Edison to remove nuclear waste from the closed-down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station as quickly as possible and place it in a new interim storage area on either a military base or another sparsely populated area. As of Dec.10, 338 people had signed the petition.

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