By Published On: September 19, 2021

Updated Sept. 23

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation providing more than $15 billion to reduce the impacts of the climate crisis. Of that amount $3.9 billion is to advance the state’s zero emissions vehicle market. Another $5.2 billion is for water and drought resilience, and $1.5 billion for wildfire prevention, including clearing trees and brush. “California is doubling down on our nation-leading policies to confront the climate crisis head-on while protecting the hardest-hit communities,” Newsom said Thursday. The underlying bill is SB 170 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley).

Federal regulators agreed to allow the California grid operator to accommodate two new 30 MW gas plants in Yuba City by allowing an additional 11 MW to flow into the grid from the point of interconnection without a time-consuming transmission analysis. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s order last week approved a three-year waiver of CAISO’s open access transmission agreement requirements to accommodate the new power. CAISO successfully pointed to the increased need for additional power in the face of intense heat, seriously diminished hydropower, and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mandate to get as much additional gas generation online by October 2022. Commissioner James Danly, however, insisted that the emergency relief request was a result of “ongoing and persistent failure of its markets to attract and retain adequate resources to maintain reliability.” Danly’s dissent asserted that the waiver order was illegal for being retroactive.

Chevron announced it plans to invest in the Utah project to create and store green hydrogen at the Intermountain Power Plant that supplies Los Angeles and other Southern California public power agencies. This project to revamp the plant to be fueled by renewably-produced hydrogen is the first major project to test out the use of green hydrogen in turbines. It is considered key to the greening of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “The potential to partner with Mitsubishi Power and Magnum Development on the Advanced Clean Energy Storage project presents an exciting opportunity that would bring together our unique strengths and would provide a scalable platform to supply our customers with affordable, reliable and ever-cleaner energy,” said Jeff Gustavson, President of Chevron New Energies. Conservation advocates and other skeptics have doubts about the massive oil and gas company’s intentions. Is “its investment in hydrogen a delaying tactic, a way to claim it’s taking action on climate change while continuing to focus most of its energies on oil and gas?” asked LA  Times energy reporter Sammy Roth in his Sept. 16 Boiling Point newsletter.




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