The Buzz

17 Nov 2017

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is jumping on the community choice bandwagon. This week its supervisors voted to seek the green light from the California Public Utilities Commission in spite of concerns about exit fees.

As community choice aggregation programs expand and mature in Southern and Northern California, renewable power projects being built to serve choice customers are swelling. The new green deals make good on the promise of local clean energy projects.

Community aggregators and the investor-owned utilities are flying past the state’s renewable mandate. The private utilities are predicted to reach a 50 percent alternative energy portfolio 10 years ahead of schedule, with more procurement needed for choice providers.

Another part of California’s low carbon dream, energy storage, is not performing as hoped and expected.  Overall, battery storage systems installed with ratepayer-funded subsidies are increasing both peak demand and greenhouse gases.

The California grid operator’s shift in focus to better balancing out growing levels of wind and solar on the grid results in a recommendation to cancel a $200 million PG&E transmission project in Fresno. CAISO is mulling over zapping another one too.

What should be all the rage for utilities after the recent Northern California wild fires fanned by unusual weather patterns is to understand weather trends in order to minimize outages, according to this week Guest Editorial.

In the nation’s Capitol, green energy may soon suffer more. Congressional action on tax legislation may upend renewable energy and the prospects for electric vehicles.

FERC’s interim chair, Neil Chatterjee outlined possible courses for the federal agency in response to DOE Secretary Rick Perry’s controversial proposal to subsidize struggling coal and nuclear plants.

—The Editors

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