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News Roundup: Solar & Efficiency are Key for Electrification, SCE Launches EV Buildout

13 Jul

Home electrification will raise electric bills and create a serious financial burden unless rooftop solar and energy efficiency are part of the electrification package, California Energy Commission staff and non-profit finance experts said during a July 12 CEC workshop. Installing solar is necessary even where the retrofit includes energy efficiency measures, recent research has found. […]

House Hearing on Transmission Hits California Live Wires

24 May

Barriers to transmission needed for clean energy growth in California and across the country can be overcome, advocates told the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis May 20. Wildfires and freezes “have left Americans in the dark and in danger just in the last four months,” Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), the committee […]

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 […]


1 Apr

The East Bay Community Energy is directing $1.5 million toward community relief efforts in Alameda County, it announced April 2. EBCE’s CEO Nick Chaset told the management team to identify “opportunities in the current budget to repurpose as contributions for COVID-19 relief efforts.” The efforts will be tracked at: The Salt River Project and […]

The Buzz

15 Nov

California air regulators take initial steps on cap-and-trade program revisions to double greenhouse gas cuts in the decade ahead. The same day, a report is released that pushes land management changes to slash greenhouse gases in California. That includes improved forestry and woodlands management, slower conversion of natural lands and greener agriculture. At the nation’s […]

ISO Plans Discounted Western Reliability Services

18 Jan

The California grid operator is working to expand its services to include reliability coordination and expects it to cost potentially less than half of what’s charged by Peak Reliability, the current reliability coordinator in the West. “We have a fairly high confidence that the cost will be at least a 50 percent discount to Peak […]


13 Nov

Renewable energy and the prospects for electric vehicles could be upended in part by Congressional action on tax legislation. At issue is the House tax package, which would cut the production tax credit for wind energy by more than a third, eliminate the federal $7,500 tax credit for purchasing electric vehicles, and ax a 10 […]

The Buzz

25 Aug

State utility regulators okayed a shift in the peak pricing period to later in the day for San Diego Gas & Electric customers. Industry advocates warn it erodes the economic advantages of rooftop solar. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry gets an education about how the grid operates. A Department of Energy staff report he requested […]

Grid Operator Seeks to Avoid Solar Energy Crash

24 Jul

The California Independent System Operator is working to get utility-scale solar generators to reset the controls on their inverters to avoid massive losses of generation when transmission lines experience momentary faults. The effort comes after major solar systems have suddenly quit feeding power to the grid—in one case causing a sudden loss of almost 1,200 […]


26 Jun

The California Air Resources Board amended its rules for reporting greenhouse gas emissions June 29. The board decided not to include the California Independent System Operator’s energy imbalance market in the rules. Instead, it said it will collect annual information on greenhouse gas emissions related to that market under a formal subpoena process. It made […]


17 Nov

Pacific Gas & Electric reported Nov. 15 that its 6 MW battery storage demonstration project successfully participated in California’s electricity markets. The project, funded by the Electric Program Investment Charge, consists of PG&E’s 2 MW Vaca-Dixon and 4 MW Yerba Buena battery storage systems that provide energy and ancillary services in California Independent System Operator’s […]

CAISO Addresses Resource Adequacy Policy Inadequacy

27 Oct

The grid operator Oct. 27 adopted a change to resource adequacy requirements that will provide generators with more flexibility in how they line up substitute capacity when they experience unexpected breakdowns or other forced outages. (more…)

LADWP Projects Transmission Costs Will Balloon in Regionalized Grid

27 Oct

As the California Independent System Operator works to create a regional western electricity market with a centrally-operated power transmission grid, one of the major issues is how the cost of new and existing transmission projects will be allocated to participating utilities and their customers. Some critics of grid regionalization worry that California will wind up […]

SMUD Votes to Join Energy Imbalance Market, LADWP May Be Next

27 Oct

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board Oct. 20 voted to participate in the expanding western Energy Imbalance Market launched by California’s grid operator and PacifiCorp Nov. 1, 2014. The net annual savings to SMUD is estimated at $2.8 million, according to board member Gregg Fishman. “More importantly,” he said, “it enables SMUD to partner with […]

Resource Adequacy in Regionalized Grid May Require Change in California Law

20 Oct

A key problem in regionalizing the western grid is determining who will run the show when it comes to establishing and maintaining resource adequacy to ensure reliable supplies of power for utility customers. (more…)

Legislative Representatives Voice Doubts on Grid Regionalization

20 Oct

Before western grid regionalization can go forward, California’s Legislature will have to approve it, and according to two key legislative staffers, questions crucial to any decision by lawmakers remain largely unanswered after almost a year-and-a-half of study and discussion. (more…)


20 Oct

Oct. 24: A workshop will be held to receive public comments on the California Energy Commission’s Draft 2016 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Update. More information. Draft 2016 IEPR Update (320-page PDF). (more…)

OPINONATED: CAISO Ignores Massive Market Distortion that Harms Local Renewables

13 Oct

By Craig Lewis The California Independent System Operator just dropped the ball on needed transmission access charge reform and Californians will continue paying a steep price for this failure. (more…)


13 Oct

Oct. 17: The California Energy Commission and the governor’s office will host a workshop on considerations for the development of a governance structure for a regional grid operator. Discussions involve modifications to the California Independent System Operator’s governance that would be needed to facilitate the transition to a regional organization. More information. (more…)


6 Oct

The grid operator’s western Energy Imbalance Market grew Oct. 1 to include Arizona Public Service and Puget Sound Energy. APS serves 1.2 million customers and Puget Sound Energy has 1.1 million customers. The ISO’s five-minute, real-time energy imbalance market also includes NV Energy and PacifiCorp. From January to June this year, EIM reduced greenhouse gas […]


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