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 $1.4 billion program to grow renewable energy, and clean the grid, transportation and polluted communities. It is a big price tag for ratepayers but the current EPIC reaped more than its cost. The Commissioners also okay 1,200 MW of utility contracts for battery and battery-plus-solar projects.

The five CPUC commissioners dispute with their executive director is coming to a head. Their lawyer says her whistleblower claims are meritless and the CPUC is not required to publicly air administrative laundry. It will get publicly aired this coming Monday, however.

A lot of blame for the recent rolling outages has been going around but the lack of support for demand response is a big one. Interviews with demand response advocates reveal they’ve been pushed to the wings by slashed payments and compliance difficulties. In addition, an offer to the grid operator and CPUC to reduce the stress on the grid by 5,000 MW of load reduction from companies switching to backup generation gets rejected.

Although the CPUC approved Pacific Gas & Electric putting in 350 MW of diesel generation at its substations to keep power flowing during fire-related shutoffs, energy and air regulators object to the significant local air pollution. The push is on to get the polluting backup systems replaced with clean ones by next year.

New research shows that private rooftop solar development is better for customers than utility owned.  That is because utility owned rooftop only benefits shareholders.

If new homes were all electric they would be cleaner, cheaper and built faster, according to a guest editorial by NRDC’s Pierre Delforge. And with grid-responsive electric technology, the largest energy uses in homes would become grid assets that help avoid power outages. 

And more…

The Editors

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