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The Buzz

13 May

Additional resources give the California Independent System Operator more confidence in this summer’s grid. More than half will come online as the sun sets and air conditioners fire up. The grid operator also points to other resources in the event of intense peak demand if there is another whopper heat wave across the West. The […]

Grid Operator Raises Its Extreme Summer Peak Estimate by 6%

13 May

The California Independent System Operator is “cautiously optimistic” that the grid will be more stable this summer than last because there will be 2,000 MW of added resources by Sept. 1 to help meet soaring consumption from cranked up air conditioners as the sun sets in late afternoon and early evening. That includes supply from […]

Energy Commission Pumps More Money into Clean Economy

13 May

The California Energy Commission doled out another $39 million in clean energy funding Wednesday, adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars it has approved over the last several years. The largest share of this round of grants, $9 million, went to advance hydrogen fueling of buses. Of that amount, $5 million is to go […]

Few Surprises in Draft Energy Efficiency Code

12 May

The California Energy Commission’s latest proposed update to the Title 24 building efficiency code differs little from an earlier draft released in February. The latest language includes an expansion of CEC incentives to drive adoption of electric space or water heating, whichever is the biggest energy draw for a given new home, apartment, school, or […]

Faster Permits for Installing Vehicle Chargers Focus of Bill

11 May

Legislation to speed up plodding local permitting for home vehicle chargers and commercial charging stations to ensure 250,000 chargers are installed in California by 2025 is on the Assembly Floor. AB 970 by Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and David Chiu (D-San Francisco) would deem a permit application approved 25 days after submission unless city or […]

Newsom Proposes $2B for Ratepayer Bill Relief

11 May

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced May 10 that $2 billion in relief will be distributed among Californians having difficulty paying their electricity, gas, and water bills–an estimated 800,000 customers. A moratorium on utility disconnections for failure to pay is set to expire next month, but many residents continue to struggle financially largely because of the pandemic. […]

Solar Job Training Drought in South Los Angeles

11 May

South Los Angeles is a desert when it comes to solar energy training classes, according to some experts in clean energy and job training. A map of community college programs lends credence to their concern. The neighborhoods that make up the region, including the city of Compton, have some of the highest percentages of African […]

Shorts

11 May

The Biden Administration approved an 800 MW wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island May 11. It had been held up by the Trump Administration. Final approval of the $2.8 billion project “will enable the beginning of construction activities on the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the U.S. this year,” developer […]

The Buzz

7 May

Pacific Gas & Electric’s $7.5 billion bond issuance gets final approval. Regulators sign off on its financing order, which includes oversight by a finance team tasked with protecting customers. Ratepayer advocates welcome the oversight on condition it is robust, but object to the legal basis of the approved ratepayer-backed securitization. San Diego Gas & Electric […]

RPS Costs Increased Last Year, CPUC Says

5 May

The average cost of non-fossil resources bought by private utilities, community energy and other providers pursuant to California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard rose last year compared to 2019. But they still remain low. That’s according to a new California Public Utilities Commission report. It attributes the cost increase to an expansion of renewable purchases beyond solar […]

SDG&E Faces No Competition for San Diego Franchise

5 May

San Diego Gas & Electric remains the sole bidder in the City of San Diego’s solicitation for exclusive electric and gas services. “We do not feel it is appropriate to characterize where we are in the negotiation process,” Jeffery Martin, CEO of parent company Sempra Energy, told financial analysts May 5. The city, the eighth […]

Feds Advance Giant Desert Solar Project

4 May

The Bureau of Land Management gave a green light to a 350 MW solar project on 2,049 acres of federal land near Blythe in Riverside County May 3. Late last year, Southern California Edison contracted for 200 MW from this Crimson photovoltaic project to fuel an adjacent 200 MW battery project as part of SCE’s […]

PG&E Tells CPUC to Reject Challenges to $7.5B Bond Approval

4 May

Pacific Gas & Electric is defending the California Public Utilities Commission’s finding that it may proceed with its $7.5 billion mortgage-like ratepayer-backed bond issuance against objections from ratepayer advocates and others. Regulators unanimously approved April 23 Administrative Law Judge Robert Haga’s proposed decision finding the utility met the legal requirements for securitization. PG&E says it […]

SCE’s and SDG&E’s Earnings Rise, PG&E’s Fall

4 May

Updated May 5 Pacific Gas & Electric Corp: the parent company of the utility, reported a considerable drop in first quarter earnings, $120 million, or 6 cents a share. That contrasts to $371 million, or 57 cents a share, for the first quarter of 2020. On the utility side, PG&E’s first quarter earnings were $174 […]

Local Permitting Remains Major Hurdle to EV Charging

4 May

Getting local permits for electric vehicle chargers in hand, and the cost of installing them in California, continue to exceed national averages. That is despite the enactment more than five years ago of a law to streamline permitting. The average wait time for a local EV charger permit in California is 70% longer than the […]

The Buzz

29 Apr

State regulators agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric that issuance of $7.5 billion in ratepayer bonds will improve its ratings will be put to the test again. Intervenors will seek rehearing of the controversial California Public Utilities Commission decision. A major rating agency is non plussed because the big utility securitization will not affect its […]

Shaky Claims About PG&E Bond Rating Impact Raise Challenges

29 Apr

Pacific Gas & Electric argued repeatedly that it should be allowed to use bonds payable by customers to cover billions of dollars of its wildfire liability because it will help boost its credit rating. That in turn will lower borrowing costs, which then benefits those same customers. The California Public Utilities Commission bought its argument […]

CAISO Moves Toward Better Use of Storage

29 Apr

The California grid operator issued a paper Wednesday outlining proposals to make its market more friendly for energy storage after sharp criticism from storage providers. Their complaints include that compensation is inadequate because the current market algorithm is too limited to accommodate batteries in the real-time market. The aim is “to fully integrate these resources […]

Community Energy Helps Cover Legacy Costs. It Now Could Get Something in Return

27 Apr

Changes continue to ripple in California from the rise of community aggregators. A bill passed out of the Senate Energy Utilities & Communication Committee April 26 that would allow community energy and direct access providers to count the attributes of the power in private utility legacy resources toward their renewable energy and supply cushion requirements. […]

Bill to Automate Home Solar Permits Passes

27 Apr

Legislation automating building permits for rooftop solar installations and systems paired with energy storage passed out of the Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee April 26.   Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) said the aim of his SB 617 is to dramatically increase the number of homes in California with rooftop solar, which currently stands […]

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