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. Pacific Gas & Electric faces the toughest questions because state officials want to avoid shutoff debacles this year. If done right, fire officials say utility shutoffs and equipment-sparked wildfires will be significantly reduced.

Public pressure on the Energy Commission to mandate that new construction be all electric is growing. Electrification advocates says it is a prerequisite to improved human and climate health. SoCal Gas insists its unhealthy financially.

This week’s Juice shows how the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is leading California down the green hydrogen road. Its planned conversion of the coal-fired Intermountain plant in Utah into a mixed natural gas-green hydrogen facility then full clean H2 is the most ambitious alternative electricity project to date.  A Palm Desert bus fleet is leading the Golden State down the green hydrogen transportation path. The drop in the cost of electrolysis extracting H2 from water is clearing the way.

A State Personnel Board report faults both the California Public Utilities Commission and its executive director, who was put on leave, for suspect hiring. It calls on the CPUC to adopt an anti-nepotism policy and to judge whether the director’s hiring of former colleagues requires corrective action.

And more…

The Editors

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