You are viewing our free articles. To view our subscriber-only content, please sign in or sign up for a free two-week trial!

The Buzz

18 Sep 2020


Groundbreaking action by federal regulators requires grid operators to open their doors to aggregated power from energy storage, solar rooftops, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency. CAISO is ahead of the regional transmission operator pack, but the new rule is expected to ease the way for more clean distributed resources into its grid.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also investigates the causes of California’s rolling blackouts...

[more...]

Fed Commodities Regulators Break the Mold with Call for Carbon Pricing

17 Sep 2020


The climate crisis threatens the stability of the U.S. financial markets, warned commissioners appointed by the current president to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in a recent report.

Although their report has not been approved by the full commission, Emilie Mazzacurati, founder/CEO of climate risk analyst 427, called it miraculous in the current political environment. She added that it sets out principles a new administration could use to ameliorate climate risks...

[more...]

The Buzz

11 Sep 2020


Northern San Diegans vigorously protest San Diego’s plan to upgrade and extend a big power line from San Marcos to Escondido. After listening to concerns about fire and financial dangers, as well as visual blight, the California Public Utilities Commission pulls the item from this week’s business meeting.

In other news, the utility regulators learn that the Klamath dam removal has not ground to a halt since federal regulators changed the terms of the settlement...

[more...]

Energy Chair Sounds Alarm Over Skyrocketing Electric Bills

9 Sep 2020


The Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee Chair warned that increases in California utility bills are becoming untenable. Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) pointed to the private utilities' tab to reduce climate-aggravated wildfires, which gets passed on to customers.

“Rates are really getting out of control,” Holden said during a Sept. 9 Power Association of Northern California meeting, held remotely...

[more...]

The Buzz

27 Aug 2020


State utility regulators sign off on funding the country’s biggest green public interest energy program and utility electric vehicle charging plan. The California Public Utilities Commission approves Southern California Edison’s $436 million program to install 38,000 electric car ports, focused on renters in and outside of struggling communities.

The CPUC also extends for a decade the California Energy Commission’s $1...

[more...]

California Builds Out EV Charging for Renters

27 Aug 2020


California regulators unanimously approved the largest utility electric car charging infrastructure program in the country. The California Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 to allow Southern California Edison to charge its ratepayer $436 million over the next four years to install 38,000 light duty vehicle chargers.

Commissioner Cliff Rechtschaffen recognized concerns about the program’s cost...

[more...]

The Buzz

20 Aug 2020


After 400,000 Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric customers had their power cut late last week because extreme heat spiked energy demand, Gov. Newsom tells energy officials to analyze the screw up. The grid operator, and heads of the California Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission also must detail how their policy and/or programs contributed to the rolling outages...

[more...]

CA Gets It that the Power System Must Manage EV Charging

18 Aug 2020


California’s heat wave-induced blackouts came during evening peak demand spikes. If California fails to manage electric vehicle charging it could make those spikes a lot more common, according to new research.

California leads the U.S. with nearly 750,000  of the estimated 1.5 million U.S. light duty EVs. Electric vehicle sales rose over 60% in 2019.  The Golden State's goal is 5 million zero emission vehicles by 2030...

[more...]

The Buzz

14 Aug 2020


Triple digit temperatures across much of the state starting today will significantly drive up peak demand. The grid operator calls on customers to conserve energy the afternoon and evening of Aug. 14 to avoid overtaxing the grid because of a surge in air conditioning. Some warn that demand response is largely being left out of the mix.

The three investor-owned utilities present their latest plans for decreasing the reach of public shutoffs and protecting the medically and financially vulnerable...

[more...]

Officials Demand PG&E Limit Shutoffs, Protect the Vulnerable

14 Aug 2020


After Pacific Gas & Electric’s damaging shutoffs last fall, state officials demanded Aug. 13 that it immediately work with county health officials to ensure the most physically vulnerable residents have essential power.

State officials applied a much heavier hand to PG&E than to the two private southern California utilities. Earlier this week, representatives from Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric presented their latest fire and outage reduction strategies for this year...

[more...]

The Buzz

6 Aug 2020


Months of speculation as to who would be the CA grid operator’s new chief ends with the naming of Bonneville Power Administration head Elliott Mainzer. He says he wants to build on the success of the Energy Imbalance Market, which BPA joins next year.

A nasty dispute between state utility commissioners and the executive director gets exposed this week. Director Alice Stebbins charges that she is being pushed out for trying to clean up the CPUC’s act, specifically in the areas of unrecovered utility fines...

[more...]

The Bill for Energy Shifts from the Office to Home

4 Aug 2020


The increased hours people are spending at home have driven up residential power demand in California, and with it, utility bills. Late summer with its higher temperatures only makes the situation worse. The highest increase in home energy use reported among the major private and public utilities was 15%, in the southern part of the state.

Meanwhile, electric and gas system demand has fallen because of the drop in commercial and industrial load...

[more...]

The Buzz

31 Jul 2020


A trio of Bay Area community energy providers in PG&E territory announce big plans for home battery backups. An agreement reached with Sunrun includes 20 MW of distributed solar that will charge batteries in 6,000 dwellings across three counties.

The parent companies of Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric release earnings reports. Edison sees lower earnings but much of that is because of higher earnings from an approved general rate case the year before...

[more...]

Bay Area Aggregators Launch Big Home Battery Backup Plan

30 Jul 2020


Three Bay Area community choice energy organizations announced a deal with Sunrun for 20 MW of new behind-the-meter solar plus battery backup in their territories to keep electricity flowing during shutoffs. 

Under this novel agreement announced July 30, East Bay Community Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy and Silicon Valley Clean Energy will promote the Sunrun residential projects to their customers, including to those financially and physically vulnerable...

[more...]

The Buzz

23 Jul 2020


Energy storage is surging in California, with much of it being built next to solar plants. The grid operator board approves giving these complimentary co-located projects a market boost so they can fill the gap in peak supplies over the next three years.

After many years, dozens of stakeholders reached an agreement on removing PacifiCorp’s Lower Klamath River hydro dams. Then the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission changed the terms of the deal, not to PacifiCorp’s liking...

[more...]

Grid Managers Ease the Way for Growing Energy Storage Paired w/ Solar

23 Jul 2020


The California grid operator agreed to allow owners of power plants that include both solar and batteries to operate the two sources in tandem.

The California Independent System Operator board approved the change July 22 in response to the surging trend of pairing energy storage with solar projects.

It is aimed at filling the 3,300 MW gap at peak hours, in part due to retiring natural gas-fired power plants...

[more...]

Sacramento Makes Bold Move to 100% Clean Power by 2030

20 Jul 2020


The Sacramento Municipal Utility District board voted unanimously the evening of July 16 for an extremely aggressive carbon neutral power target: 100% in just ten years. Previously the utility had aimed for 2040. California’s all out carbon neutral electricity mandate is set for 2045.

“The threat of climate change is too great for anything short of bold and immediate action,” Chris Brown, the Sacramento Climate Coalition's coordinator, said...

[more...]

The Buzz

16 Jul 2020


PG&E sparked last fall's Kincaid wildfire, CalFire reveals.

State regulators launch a cutting edge framework for figuring how big a hit combined utility bills are for low income ratepayers. The scrutinized tab will include electricity, gas, telecommunication and water bills.

More than two years after the near-devastating crumbling of the Oroville dam spillway, federal energy regulators vote unanimously to strengthen dam safety rules...

[more...]

A 21st Century Distribution System Will Provide Economic Recovery

15 Jul 2020


In response to the Covid-19 economic downturn, energy sector stakeholders are calling for a national transmission system and grid modernization but California should take a state-centric approach.

“Local level economic recovery can come from distribution system modernization,” V. John White, Center for energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies executive director, told Current. The benefit of investments in renewables after the 2008 recession exceeded the costs, which are now far less...

[more...]

The Buzz

10 Jul 2020


As wildfires spread, the governor increases the state budget to add more than 850 firefighters. Given the double whammy of fire threats and the pandemic, firefighters are directed to take necessary safety steps, including wearing masks and social distancing.  The same rules will apply to those evacuated by the state.

How to ensure the financing of the electrification of low income dwellings is the focus of a new report...

[more...]

error

Please share California's Energy Policy news source with your friends