The big storm that began Jan. 27 that sent high winds, snow, and heavy rain across Northern California knocked out power to about 575,000 Pacific Gas & Electric customers and 50,000 Sacramento Municipal Utilities District customers. As of late Tuesday afternoon, PG&E restored power to about 434,000 customers. “Hazardous conditions exist in many locations within PG&E’s service area,” the utility stated. SMUD restored power to about 20,000 by Tuesday evening.
Marin Clean Energy is being served by a new 160 MW solar project covering 1,200 acres in Fresno, it announced Jan. 27. This Little Bear project, which consists of four solar facilities, went online last month. It is owned by Longroad and two Danish pension funds, PKA and PenSam. The output of the facility is under a long-term contract with MCE. The total project costs were approximately $320 million. To date, MCE has invested $1.6 billion in new California renewable projects, the aggregator said.
The Biden Administration suspended new oil and gas leasing permits on federal lands and waters for 60 days, the Department of Interior announced Wednesday morning. “The President’s action will provide a chance to review the federal oil and gas program to ensure that it serves the public interest and to restore balance on America’s public lands and waters to benefit current and future generations.” DOI’s statement added that fossil fuel extraction on public lands is responsible for about 25% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. More than half of the 26 million acres of onshore leases to the oil and gas industry are unused and non-producing.
Pacific Gas & Electric’s board announced Jan. 26 it appointed Adam Wright utility principal executive officer, replacing interim president Sumeet Singh. Wright has been MidAmerican Energy’s CEO and president. Julius Cox was named executive vice president of people and shared services the same day. Cox was Dynegy’s chief administrative officer. “Each of them brings unique and deep expertise, and I know they will hit the ground running and help us to make meaningful progress in safely serving our customers,” Patty Poppe, PG&E’s new CEO, said. The two new appointments are effective Feb. 1. Wright’s annual base salary will be $825,000. He’ll be eligible to participate in the utility’s short-term and long-term incentive plans, “with a target participation rate of 90% of his base salary,” according to PG&E’s Securities & Exchange Commission filing.