The Buzz

24 Jun 2021

State utility regulators work through a packed agenda, with approval of Pacific Gas & Electric’s $1.2 billion ratepayer-funded bond to cover wildfire costs getting a silent okay, being folded into the California Public Utilities Commission’s consent agenda.

Getting public attention at this week’s CPUC meeting are its unanimous approval of an unprecedented mandate for 11,5000 MW of new clean energy resources mid-decade. Fossil fuel plants need not apply. Although excluded from zero emissions and renewable resources that are to be online by 2026, gas plants may continue to play a role.

State regulators also agree to extend the freeze on power disconnections another three months. Customers swimming in debt are expected to get help from the state budget surplus.

Also getting a helping hand are 21 disadvantaged communities across the state. They land $20 million in grants for emissions-free transit options—from clean ride sharing and shuttles to bike sharing.

Ratepayers are paying $100 million a year to subsidize gas line connections to new homes. Decarbonization advocates insist the subsidy end. It raises rates, undermines climate protections and will result in costly pipelines being ditched in order to attain carbon-free energy in the state by 2045.

Getting offshore wind built off California’s northern and central coasts is on track. The federal energy management agency is primed to auction leases in the deep waters next summer. California’s coast is big but only a small percent is suitable for floating turbines, expecting to accommodate 4.6 GW.

And more…

Elizabeth McCarthy

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