The Buzz

11 Mar 2021

Lawmakers express diametric views as to which electricity resources are reliable and affordable during a U.S. Senate Energy Committee hearing.

The board of the Western Energy Imbalance Market approves a trio of market changes to help avert avoidable supply crunches when summer temperatures soar in and outside California.

Utility regulators across the country seek to resolve the dilemma of unpaid utility bills that have spiked during the pandemic. The goal is a “soft landing” for customers to avoid driving them further into debt and averting shutoffs, a researcher for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners says at a Power Association of Northern California talk. A ratepayer advocate insists that long standing inequities be addressed.

California regulators hope to tackle by late June the arrearages, totaling $650 million from the pandemic. About 900,000 households and business have fallen way behind on paying their utility bills.

The California Public Utilities also hears strategies to avert continued rate hikes while supporting payments for solar and distributed energy fed into the grid, and electric vehicles.

Gov. Gavin Newsom embraces climate protection during his mid-week State of the State. But critics point to his continuing to allow well fracking. He also is called on to set a closure date for Aliso Canyon. Meanwhile, Sen. Henry Stern takes issue with the CPUC’s apparent plan to keep the natural gas storage field open to 2030 on reliability claims.

Merchant generators weather a tough 2020. The pandemic caused annual income to fall significantly for AES, AltaGas, NextEra, NRG and Vistra, all which operate in California.

And more….

The Editors

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