California’s community choice organizations signed agreements for 3,000 MW of clean energy supplies over the last year. “These projects reflect a diversity of resources that will boost energy resilience and help California attain a 100% clean electricity system, while also supporting green jobs and fueling economic development,” CalCCA Executive Director Beth Vaughan said Nov. 3. Since Nov. 2020, aggregators added 2,000 MW in new-build renewable energy contracts and 1,500 MW in new battery energy storage contracts. This raised the total to 2,600 MW in CCA agreements, which is more than double last year’s total of 1,100 MW.
Willie Phillips’ nomination to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Nov. 2. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) said Phillips “will bring a wealth of expertise in safeguarding energy reliability and affordability to FERC.”
SoCalGas opened a new fueling station in Menifee, CA, which supplies only renewable natural gas. The fuel is made from methane captured from landfills, dairy farms, and other waste sources. It is the sixteenth public renewable gas fueling station operated by SoCalGas.
Energy efficiency can reduce the amount of long-duration storage needed to keep electricity flowing to buildings fully powered by renewable resources, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL researchers concluded that oversizing renewable capacities by a factor of 1.4 to 3.2 and aiming for 52% to 68% in energy savings through building energy-efficiency measures would “lead to cost-optimal paths depending on the region of the country.” “Minimizing long-duration storage is a key element in trying to achieve the target cost-effectively,” said Sammy Houssainy, co-author with William Livingood of a paper released Nov. 2 that outlines an approach to 100% renewables. Long duration storage, which is emerging, is defined as that which lasts 48 hours or more.
The Biden Administration pledged to cut emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane by at least 30% by 2030. More than 70 countries have joined with the United States in the Global Methane Pledge announced at the ongoing international climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, known as COP 26. The U.S. EPA proposal released Nov. 2 would require states across the U.S. to cut methane emissions from hundreds of thousands of existing sources, many from oil and gas operations, for the first time. It aims to slash 41 million tons of methane by 2035, equal to 920 million metric tons of carbon dioxide–more than the amount of CO2 emitted in 2019 from U.S. cars and commercial aircraft. It would reduce methane emissions from covered sources by an estimated 74% compared to emissions from those sources in 2005. It is projected to produce net benefits of $48 to $49 billion from 2023 through 2035.
The Supreme Court agreed on Oct. 29 to take up the challenges to the emission limits the Environmental Protection Agency plan to place on coal-fired plants under the Clean Air Act. Coal companies and Republican states filed appeals with the high court. A brief filed by West Virginia, home of Sen. Joe Manchin (D) who has successfully weakened the Biden Administration’s clean energy efforts, urged to court to act immediately. “Continued uncertainty over the scope of EPA’s authority will impose costs we can never recoup because EPA, the States, and others will be forced to sink even more years and resources into an enterprise that is—at best—legally uncertain,” it stated. The review is expected to further undermine Biden’s efforts to reduce emissions from the energy sector.
Kevin Payne, Southern California Edison president and chief executive officer, will retire on Dec. 1. He is being replaced by Steven Powell, currently SCE’s executive vice president of Operations. Payne has worked at SCE for 35 years. “Kevin has had a profound impact on SCE as its president and CEO, particularly with his customer-centric focus and in leading our significant efforts in wildfire risk mitigation and transforming our safety culture,” Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, said Oct. 28. Powell’s VP position will be filled by Jill Anderson, who is now the senior vice president of Customer Service.