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New Problem at Diablo Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 Causes 3rd Shut Down

7 Jan

Updated Jan. 8 at 2:30 PM Half of California’s sole remaining nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, is offline for the third time in six months, and it’s not expected to be back in continuous service before Memorial Day. The plant’s 1,150 megawatt Unit 2 went down Dec. 2. Both of the unit’s two unplanned outages earlier […]

News Roundup: New CPUC Executive Director

6 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission named a new executive director to replace the former chief Alice Stebbins, who was fired in August. Rachel Peterson, who has been the Acting Executive Director, became the new director Jan. 5. “It is a great move for the CPUC,” Arthur O’Donnell, energy analyst and journalist, and former CPUC staffer, […]

JUICE: Top 2021 Energy Issues

5 Jan

Looking ahead at key energy concerns this year, Current predicts soaring utility bills in an economy battered by Covid-19 will be a major issue. Others will include the fate of the vast majority of San Diego Gas & Electric’s customer base and expected devastation and outages in the upcoming fire season. Also, center stage in […]

Shorts

5 Jan

Peninsula Clean Energy signed three contracts for 245 MW of wind energy Jan. 5, running seven to 20 years. To hit its 100% renewable goal set for 2025, Peninsula needs “significant contributions from wind energy,” Peninsula Clean Energy CEO Jan Pepper said. The deals include a 20-year agreement with NextEra Energy Resources for 30 MW […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

CAISO’s Energy Imbalance Market Has Taken Big Steps but Faces Competition

2 Dec

California’s energy imbalance market had a good 2020. It passed $1 billion in total benefits, added two powerhouse participants, and filed its first plan for expanding into day-ahead trading. But the question of how California can share decision-making with other states continues to block that expansion and potential participants are looking at alternatives. The voluntary EIM […]

Air Regulators Fight Diesel Generators but Energy Commission Barely Budges

17 Nov

The need for reliable power clashed with the need for breathable air for nearly five hours at the California Energy Commission on Monday. Companies with data centers again pushed to be allowed to install hundreds of megawatts of new backup generation that runs on diesel fuel. The possibility of this much additional pollution in California […]

Grid Operator’s Budget Inches Downward

16 Nov

The California Independent System Operator’s draft 2021 budget—ranging from salary and contractor costs to market income—is its lowest since 2006, April Gordon, CAISO financial planning director, said during a Nov. 16 presentation. The grid operator’s spending plan for next year is a proposed $181.6 million, 3% below this year’s $187 million revenue requirement. The budget […]

PG&E May Face Liability for New Fire, No Cal Customers Blacked Out

13 Oct

Updated Oct. 15 Pacific Gas & Electric’s equipment could have sparked the recent 56,000-acre wildfire in Shasta County that took the lives of four people and destroyed 204 buildings. The Shasta County District Attorney announced Oct. 12 that she and CalFire officials were analyzing whether PG&E was responsible for the Zogg Fire, which began on […]

How High California Must Jump to Top Zero Emissions Bar

13 Oct

California can achieve a zero-emissions economy by 2045 with existing technologies, but only if the state adds a lot more solar, wind, and battery storage each year. It specifically requires that over the next 25 years, annual build outs of these resources exceed their single biggest growth year to date, according to a draft joint […]

California is Driving the Hydrogen Fuel Market

6 Oct

California has been a leader in hydrogen-fueled transportation and today is home to nearly all the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in the United States. There are about 7,000 of these vehicles on state roads, and only another 600 spread across the whole country. Seven thousand vehicles is very few, but hydrogen vehicles are likely […]

100 Billion Greenbacks for a Green California Recovery

5 Oct

California policymakers are talking about legislation to fund a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic-clobbered economy. The need for economic stimulus in the next legislative session is “beyond paramount” and it should include “a comprehensive suite of ideas, including investing in advanced technologies,” said Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys). The just-signed AB 841, which streamlines energy […]

California Bans Gasoline Cars in 2035

23 Sep

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Sept. 23 directing the sale of gasoline-fueled cars and small trucks to end within 15 years. This year’s worsening climate-exacerbated wildfires across the state was a key motivator. “We had to do more to make a big difference,” Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board chair, said during the […]

The Buzz

11 Sep

Northern San Diegans vigorously protest San Diego’s plan to upgrade and extend a big power line from San Marcos to Escondido. After listening to concerns about fire and financial dangers, as well as visual blight, the California Public Utilities Commission pulls the item from this week’s business meeting. In other news, the utility regulators learn […]

Community Energy Urges Resource Adequacy Improvements

10 Sep

The governor should direct the overhauling of resource adequacy rules to help mitigate future supply and demand disparities, the California Community Choice Association head stated in a letter to Gavin Newsom. The recent rolling blackouts “reveal an urgent need to reform the existing resource adequacy rules administered by the California Public Utilities Commission and the […]

Juice: Remembering San Bruno

9 Sep

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the explosion of a Pacific Gas & Electric gas pipeline that killed eight people and destroyed three dozen homes in San Bruno. The Sept. 9 disaster happened along a corroded stretch of 30-inch-wide pipe near San Francisco that burst and sent flames high into the sky. Among the dead […]

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