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The Buzz

22 Jul

Pacific Gas & Electric is going to underground a whopping 10,000 miles of power lines in risky fire territory. It made the announcement several days after informing state regulators it may have ignited the Dixie Wildfire in Butte and Plumas counties, which continues to spread. The price tag will be hefty but putting underground lines […]

CAISO Launches Initiative to Better Serve Western Grid, Raises Priority Conflicts

21 Jul

Under recently approved market changes, the California Independent System Operator seeks to double down to protect reliability in the states of the Western Interconnection it serves while guarding the transition to growing levels of variable and distributed renewables. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved CAISO’s interim market mechanisms in late June to allow more efficient […]

The Buzz

15 Jul

A divided California Public Utilities Commission green lights a $240 million utility electric vehicle charging program to help get the state closer to its 1 million-plus charger target. Two commissioners object, including because they didn’t have time to analyze the newly revised decision that earlier had been pulled off the Thursday agenda. Utility regulators unanimously okay […]

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. […]

Oregon Fire Stresses California’s Grid but Blackouts Averted

13 Jul

Updated July 15 Source: Climatechangedispatch.com The worsening Bootleg wildfire in southern Oregon shut off 5,500 MW of power imports from the Northwest, requiring the California grid operator and utilities to call for conservation across the state to protect the grid Friday through Monday. But the California Independent System Operator, which manages the California Oregon Intertie […]

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, […]

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. […]

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 […]

Shorts

15 Jun

The U.S. Supreme Court June 14  declined to take up oil companies arguments challenging a California State Court that is allowing damage claims for climate harms to go forward. San Francisco and Oakland brought a public nuisance suit against Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips for their products’ emissions, insisting they have caused flooding and damaged city […]

Shorts

10 Jun

A community choice aggregator serving six small cities in Riverside County went into bankruptcy at the end of May. Western Community said that mounting unpaid utility bills during the pandemic and a prohibition on discontinuing service caused it to go belly up. It “owed creditors as much as $100 million, but had less than $50 […]

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 […]

The Buzz

21 May

State regulators require the private utilities to offer to sell renewable portfolio resources to community energy and other providers. Each aggregator and other entity will be offered a proportional share of the resources bought by the utility for its ratepayers that later joined a non utility. But the California Public Utilities Commission 5-0 vote declines […]

Agency Heads Tout Power Additions Ahead of Summer, Not all Clean

19 May

The chiefs of the California grid operator and energy agencies told lawmakers Tuesday that they have done everything they possibly can to avoid blackouts this summer. “We know we are in a stronger position than last year,” Marybel Batjer, California Public Utilities Commission president, said during a May 18 Assembly Utilities and Energy Commission hearing. […]

The Buzz

13 May

Additional resources give the California Independent System Operator more confidence in this summer’s grid. More than half will come online as the sun sets and air conditioners fire up. The grid operator also points to other resources in the event of intense peak demand if there is another whopper heat wave across the West. The […]

Grid Operator Raises Its Extreme Summer Peak Estimate by 6%

13 May

The California Independent System Operator is “cautiously optimistic” that the grid will be more stable this summer than last because there will be 2,000 MW of added resources by Sept. 1 to help meet soaring consumption from cranked up air conditioners as the sun sets in late afternoon and early evening. That includes supply from […]

Faster Permits for Installing Vehicle Chargers Focus of Bill

11 May

Legislation to speed up plodding local permitting for home vehicle chargers and commercial charging stations to ensure 250,000 chargers are installed in California by 2025 is on the Assembly Floor. AB 970 by Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and David Chiu (D-San Francisco) would deem a permit application approved 25 days after submission unless city or […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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