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CPUC Acts to Advance Electric Vehicles

17 Dec

The California Public Utilities Commission has passed three more measures to promote electric vehicles. “These decisions will help with rates, charging behavior, infrastructure, and investment in underserved communities,” Commissioner Cliff Rechtschaffen said Dec. 17. In the first action, the Commission eliminated demand charges for commercial owners of electric vehicles in San Diego Gas & Electric […]

PG&E & SCE Customers Will Soon See Double Digit Bill Increases

17 Dec

After numerous speakers objected to the California Public Utilities Commission increasing electricity and gas rates because of the shelter in place orders, higher winter utility bills and loss of jobs, a rough estimate of the big increases in the investor-owned utility bills starting next year was presented Dec. 17.  Rate hikes are driven largely by […]

News Roundup: PG&E Admits it Caused Zogg Fire, Nichols not Next EPA Chief

15 Dec

Updated Dec. 17 Pacific Gas & Electric acknowledged that its equipment likely started the huge fire in Shasta County on Sept. 27, which killed four people and destroyed 204 buildings during the nearly two weeks it burned. More than 56,000 acres were torched. PG&E said it will take a $275 million hit in its end […]

Cal Advocate Says SoCalGas Deserves Large Fine

15 Dec

The Public Advocates Office urged the California Public Utilities Commission to fine SoCalGas $124 million on claims it continued to use ratepayer funds to undermine state and federal gas efficiency rules, after it was prohibited from doing so. The standards apply to buildings and appliances. In May 2018, the Commission forbade the gas utility from […]

Shorts

15 Dec

Updated Dec. 17 President-elect Joe Biden announced Dec. 17 he will nominate former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm as the new Secretary of Energy. He also plans to name former U.S. EPA chief Gina McCarthy National Climate Advisor. The appointed Deputy National Climate Advisor is Ali Zaidi. Zaidi is currently New York’s Deputy Secretary to the […]

The Buzz

10 Dec

Liane Randolph, who has been at the California Public Utilities Commission for the last five years is making a big move. She is the next Air Resources Board chair, replacing Mary Nichols, who may head to Washington DC. Southern California Edison signs another big round of energy storage deals this week. That includes 585 MW […]

CEC Grants Aim to Drive Hydrogen Vehicles

10 Dec

The California Energy Commission Dec. 9 unanimously approved $33 million in funding for alternative transportation projects, including almost $25 million in grants for the installation of hydrogen refueling stations. Another $8 million grant was awarded to the Air Resources Board to help expand its program aimed at improving mobility options in struggling communities. Three grants […]

CPUC Commissioner Liane Randolph Named State Air Chief

9 Dec

In a surprise move, Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed utility regulator Liane Randolph to head the California Air Resources Board. She will replace Mary Nichols in January. “I am beyond excited and honored to join the path-breaking team at CARB, which has been at the forefront of environmental progress for decades,” Randolph said. She committed to […]

SCE Inks 590 MW of Storage Deals

9 Dec

Southern California Edison signed four long-term contracts for 590 megawatts of battery storage. Three of the deals are large utility-scale, lithium ion projects with a combined 585 MW of capacity. The fourth is for 5 MW of aggregated customer storage. “Bringing more utility-scale battery storage resources online will improve the reliability of the grid and […]

Shorts

9 Dec

A new bill would create a blueprint for expanding the use of green hydrogen. SB 18 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) directs the California Air Resources Board, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission to designate green hydrogen as a key energy source for renewable power uses and long-term storage. Advancing hydrogen […]

JUICE: CAISO Board’s First Woman Chair Focuses on Renewable Integration

9 Dec

The California Independent System Operator is charged with operating 80% of the state’s massive electric highway. The first board of this semi-public entity launched in May 1997. It had 25 directors, five of them women. It included a range of representatives, from private utilities, to independent generation companies, which thrived temporarily, to environmentalists. The first […]

News Roundup: Stebbins Sues CPUC, Senator Seeks to Advance Decarbonization

8 Dec

Alice Stebbins, the former California Public Utilities Commission executive director, who was recently fired, filed a lawsuit against the agency. She claims she was illegally ousted for being a whistle blower. “Ms. Stebbins was fired because she had the courage to blow the whistle, insist on collecting money due to the CPUC, and try to […]

Integrating Variable Resources and Flexible Demand

7 Dec

What is the best way to mix in growing levels of intermittent renewable resources in networks such as California’s, as it marches towards a 100% clean energy portfolio by 2045? Among the usual suspects are better interconnections, and more generation diversity, including more storage and price responsive demand, a resource traditionally neglected. A newly released […]

The Buzz

3 Dec

The Diablo nuclear power plant’s Unit 2 shuts down just two days after it goes back online over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The $100 million rebuild of the electric generator part malfunctions for a third time. A watchdog wants to know the cause, who is on the hook for the repair and whether there will […]

PG&E Rates Climb and Climb Again

3 Dec

As Californians pay higher electric bills because work and other activities are confined to home, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a request from Pacific Gas & Electric to increase its revenue this year by $9.1 billion, a nearly 7% increase over last year. In 2021, there will be an additional $316 million rise […]

Diablo Canyon Unit Down Again

3 Dec

One of two main units at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is down for the third time. Soon after Unit 2 was restarted over the Thanksgiving weekend after a month-and-a-half long outage, Pacific Gas & Electric again had to take it offline. The problem continues to be with an electric generator component that was […]

Four More NorCal Cities Ban Natural Gas in New Buildings

3 Dec

San Jose, Oakland, plus two Silicon Valley cities—Los Altos and Sunnyvale—voted to restrict natural gas use in new construction. San Jose and Oakland both voted Dec. 1 that beginning next June and August respectively, most new residential and commercial construction will be all-electric. Both city councils are expected to cast their final vote on the […]

Strong Santa Anas May Cause Long Outages

1 Dec

Updated Dec. 3 San Diego Gas & Electric shut off power to 73,000 customers starting Dec. 1 because of multi-day powerful Santa Ana winds.  The winds are impacting a huge swath of Southern California, from Los Angeles to San Diego. A number of wildfires broke out mid-week. Brian D’Agostino, SDG&E’s director of fire science and […]

San Francisco Utility Chief Charged with Bribery

1 Dec

The Department of Justice announced Nov. 30 it has charged the head of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Harlan Kelly, with accepting bribes. Later that same day, Kelly announced he was retiring a year-and-a-half ahead of schedule. He said it was both “painful” to end his 35-year career because of “false allegations” and impossible […]

Shorts

1 Dec

The U.S. Senate confirmed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominations of Republican pick Mark Christie and the Democratic choice Allison Clements the evening of Nov. 30. Christie, Virginia State Corporation Commission chair, was confirmed to a term ending in 2025. Clements, a policy consultant for The Energy Foundation and a former attorney with NRDC, was […]

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