At its first meeting chaired by former California deputy secretary of energy Joe Desmond May 11, the California Energy Commission agreed to put off taking legal action against the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power in the hopes of acquiring more data. The commissioners also approved a $3.2 million contract for consulting firm KEMA and decided to continue analysis of potential community aggregation for electricity sales. Desmond dispensed with any ceremony?including an introduction?after being appointed chair last week. His few comments concerned business efficiency details and were directed to staff. For the second meeting in a row, LADWP avoided legal action. However, it remains at least six weeks behind schedule in providing information the commission needs to complete the 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report for the state Legislature. The CEC is seeking information on forecasts, prices, and transmission. LADWP avoided the subpoena authorized at the April 27 meeting by providing the information, originally due March 1, ?within a week? (<i>Circuit<\/i>, April 29, 2005). LADWP staff have provided much of the needed information in conversations with the commission?s staff. The commissioners accepted staff?s recommendations and left the matter on the agenda for the May 25 business meeting. Another muni?s report due to the CEC, the city of Roseville?s, however, remains missing. The CEC also extended a contract for outside technical help with its renewable energy program. It approved a three-year, $3.2 million contract with KEMA, which has acquired the holder of the present contract, Xenergy. In response to commissioners? questions, staff said KEMA was the only company that provided a contract proposal in response to CEC requests. This caused Desmond to comment that the commission should ?consider adding [this] expertise to its staff? and not rely on outside consultants. Elena Schmid, who took over KEMA?s CEC contract efforts this month, pointed out that the company does not provide all the expertise needed under the contract. She explained that the 15 subcontractors assembled by KEMA to provide services to the CEC come from within and outside the Dutch-based company. It started life in 1927 as the Dutch electricity industry?s Arnhem-based test house. KEMA?s present shareholders are 13 Dutch utilities. After staff reported that utility exit fees are still an open question for California communities seeking to aggregate demand to expand their renewable energy supply, the commission approved a one-year extension of the ongoing assessment of the feasibility of aggregation. The limited community-choice aggregation report completed to date is encouraging, staff said, explaining that the 13 communities studied could increase renewables use to 40 percent with a 1 to 5 percent rate increase to cover exit fees. The commission also acted on two geothermal projects. It approved a 30 MW increase in Salton Sea capacity to 215 MW to make use of more efficient technology. Also approved was an 18-month extension of the suspended operation at Bottle Rock after the new owner said the company expects to meet requirements to resume operations within that time period.