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The Buzz

1 Jul

Senate energy bills pass a key Assembly policy committee this week. That includes ones supporting building and vehicle electrification and beefing up the thin ranks of utility fire prevention workforces with Conservation Corps workers who’ve been fighting fires, including those formerly incarcerated. PG&E proposes a massive rate hike, partly to fund ongoing safety work of […]

Bills to Boost Electrification and Staff Up Wildfire Safety Advance

1 Jul

Building decarbonization efforts took another small step forward Wednesday when a bill that creates guidelines for builders and homeowners passed the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee June 30. SB 68 requires the California Energy Commission to create a roadmap for the electrification of both new and existing homes. The goal is educating contractors and funding […]

PG&E Seeks 30% Rate Hike

1 Jul

Pacific Gas & Electric, which charges some of the nation’s highest rates for electricity and gas, is seeking to raise those rates 30%. Much of the increase would be for $7.4  billion in new investments the company proposes in its 2023-26  general rate case, filed with the California Public Utilities Commission Wednesday afternoon. Half of […]

CEC Waives Permit for Another Diesel Backup at Data Center

29 Jun

The California Energy Commission exempted yet another very large diesel backup system from its permit certification process, putting the issue in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s court. The Commission also voted to allow two natural gas-fired power plants in Southern California to increase their output to meet peak demand when the heat soars. […]

SCE Wants Another $1B in Ratepayer-Backed Bonds

29 Jun

Southern California Edison filed its second application to issue ratepayer-recovery bonds to cover part of its wildfire capital spending as well as losses from utility bills that went unpaid during the pandemic. SCE’s $1 billion bond request filed June 23 is the first utility application that includes recovery of arrearages from unpaid bills because of […]

Shorts

29 Jun

The grid operator did not call a flex alert on Monday because demand was lower than projected during a west-wide heat wave. The California Independent System Operator’s forecast peak for June 28 in the day-ahead market was 40,160 MW, compared to the actual peak of 37,802 MW. The projected peak on Tuesday was 39,055 MW, […]

Remembering Bill Marcus

28 Jun

The highly respected and long-time energy economist Bill Marcus passed away earlier this year after a battle with prostate cancer. “He was the most effective and influential utility regulatory advocate ever,” Ralph Cavanagh NRDC Energy co-director, Climate & Clean Energy Program, said. Marcus worked at various organizations for more than 40 years, including the California […]

The Buzz

24 Jun

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 […]

Regulators Okay PG&E’s $1.2 B Ratepayer-Backed Bond, Extend Power Disconnect Freeze

24 Jun

Without discussion, the California Public Utilities Commission approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s issuance of $1.2 billion in ratepayer-backed bonds to cover part of its wildfire mitigation expenses. This follows the CPUC’s earlier approval of PG&E’s $7.5 billion ratepayer-funded bond to cover part of the claims from its wildfire victims approved in the bankruptcy court last […]

CPUC Mandates 11.5 GW of New Clean Electricity

24 Jun

State regulators stripped natural gas power plants from a new mandate that 11,500 MW of new resources be online by mid-decade, to the delight of clean energy advocates. Two earlier competing California Public Utilities Commission proposals would have included fossil resources, with one calling for 1,500 MW and the other 500 MW to be squeezed […]

Struggling Communities Land $20M for Emissions-Free Transportation

24 Jun

Local clean energy transportation projects in 21 polluted, disadvantaged communities across the state were awarded $20 million in grants June 23. The money comes from the California Air Resources Board’s carbon cap-and-trade program and will fund projects ranging from zero emissions shuttles to bike sharing. “These funds directly support disadvantaged communities and communities of color […]

Calls to Do Away with Subsidies for Natural Gas Hook Ups

22 Jun

Eliminating subsidies for natural gas pipeline connections to new homes in California is critical to slashing greenhouse gas emissions, advocates say. “We have to stop digging the hole deeper,” Panama Bartholomy, Building Decarbonization Coalition executive director, told the California Energy Commission during its June 22 Building Decarbonization workshop. The coalition is a nonprofit made up of […]

Upcoming Sale of California Offshore Wind Leases

22 Jun

Next summer, the federal agency that holds authority over offshore wind development in federal waters plans to auction leases for up to 4.6 GW of floating turbines off the coasts of Humboldt and Morro Bay. That is according to Jean Thurston-Keller, U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management coordinator of the federal-state Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task […]

Shorts

22 Jun

SDG&E released a new guide June 22 that provides details about electric medium- and heavy duty-vehicles in the pipeline—from the Ford F-150 Lightening to electric buses. The 110-page guide includes the weight, charging range, amount of battery storage and other details that are available for emerging electric large vehicles. The state agency with oversight over […]

The Buzz

17 Jun

The California grid operator extends the call for conservation from Thursday to Friday evening. Initially, high heat across the West was expected to be the main threat to reliability on June 17 but then 1,100 MW of in-state generation crashes. About the same time, an unscheduled 600 MW of gas plants comes to the California […]

Calls to Conserve Electricity Thursday-Friday

17 Jun

The grid operator called on Californians to reduce their use of air conditioning and appliances Thursday and Friday during the first intense western-wide heat wave of the year. The California Independent System Operator June 17 called for conservation from 5 PM-10 PM on Thursday and 6 PM-9 PM on Friday to keep blackouts at bay. […]

Is Demolition Finally Here for Klamath Dams?

17 Jun

The last major hurdle for a long-planned removal of four dams on the Klamath River flowing in parts of California and Oregon fell Thursday. Photo is courtesy of the Karuk Tribe The 136 MW of dams devastated native fish. Now federal regulators have approved replacing PacifiCorp, the dam owner, with officials from the two states […]

FERC Scrutinizes New Gas Projects’ Climate Pollution Impacts

17 Jun

At its regular meeting this week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved two more orders that affirm its authority to take into account new natural gas projects’ greenhouse gas emissions. A 2017 court ruling said the agency must do so when certifying projects. Commissioner Allison Clements, a proponent of such a climate evaluation, said she […]

CPUC Takes a Beating for Ignoring Legislative Mandates

17 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission leadership was taken to task by a key Assembly energy committee for not implementing legislative mandates­ on a series of issues–-from energy efficiency to direct access. The berating came during a June 16 hearing. Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) said the legislature passes bills with “clear […]

Report: Strongest Business Case for Paired Solar Plus Storage is in California

15 Jun

Co-locating solar and battery projects is a big plus in California, unlike in most other balancing authorities in the country, where land restrictions, transmission congestion and other drawbacks can make it difficult to pencil out. The finding comes from a study on the costs and benefits of co-locations by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory presented […]

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