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Unprecedented PG&E Ratepayer Bond Gets Final Okay

6 May

The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the financing order setting parameters for Pacific Gas & Electric’s unprecedented 30-year, $7.5 billion ratepayer financed securitization. It is the largest and lengthiest utility bond securitization in U.S. history, according to Joseph Fichera, Saber Partners CEO. On May 6, the CPUC approved the order detailing the financial terms […]

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 is the […]

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 […]

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

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 […]

News Roundup: SoCalGas Used Ratepayer Money to Lobby Against Energy Efficiency

27 Apr

Southern California Gas subverted an effort designating ratepayer funds for energy efficiency to do the opposite: oppose local, state, and federal energy efficiency efforts. But there will be no penalty. That is according to a California Public Utilities Commission proposed decision. The proposal confirms the findings of the CPUC’s Public Advocates’ Office that for seven […]

Shorts

26 Apr

The SMUD Board adopted a plan the evening of April 27 to have the utility be carbon neutral by the end of this decade. “Sacramento consistently ranks as one of the dirtiest air basins in the country and it disproportionately impacts our most disadvantaged residents,” said Board President Nancy Bui-Thompson. The Sacramento utility plans to […]

The Buzz

22 Apr

State regulators green light Pacific Gas & Electric’s whopping $7.5 billion ratepayer-backed bond proposal to cover its 2017 fire liability. The tab soars to $11 million when adding in the interest, which PG&E promises to repay over 30 years but with no guarantees. Consumer advocates are appalled. One calls the decision “reprehensible.” A new issue […]

PG&E’s Groundbreaking $7.5B PG&E Ratepayer-Backed Bond Set to Go

22 Apr

Pacific Gas & Electric ratepayers are now presumed to be on the hook for more than $11 billion over the next 30 years for a $7.5 billion bond, plus about $4 billion in interest. The unprecedented ratepayer-backed bond is to refinance PG&E’s $6 billion in short-term bankruptcy debt taken on to compensate fire victims last […]

New Issue at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Raises Specter of Energy Crisis

22 Apr

A new problem has surfaced at the troubled Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2, forcing it offline again this week. The 1,150 MW unit has suffered four crashes the last several months because of ongoing problems in the unit’s electric generator. Those have occurred since a $100 million rebuild in 2019. “The current work […]

Grid Operator Board Okays Restricting Exports During Extreme Heat

22 Apr

To avert blackouts this summer, the California grid operator board voted April 21 to limit exports of in-state power when the grid is highly stressed by extreme temperatures. Last August, an error in California Independent System Operator software allowed power scheduled for export in the day-ahead market to be sent out of state even though […]

Bills Pass that Back Offshore Wind and Home Batteries for Grid Support

22 Apr

This week, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee approved legislation to launch California’s offshore wind industry and allow home battery projects to help balance the grid during times of spiking temperatures. Passed on an 11-0 vote April 21, AB 525 by Assembly members David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) requires the […]

One Clean Microgrid Bill Sails Ahead, Challenges Ahead for Another with Buried Cable

20 Apr

Local agencies would get needed guidance on the best places to site clean, stand-alone microgrids under a bill that’s gaining traction. Passing out of the Senate Energy Utilities & Communication Committee on a 12-0 vote April 19, SB 99 by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) also comes with money for the microgrids and emphasizes their siting […]

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