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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 […]

Community Aggregators Team Up for 732 MW of Clean Energy

19 Jul

Two community energy organizations in northern California have gone in together on 732 MW of long-term renewables, including new solar-plus-storage projects, set to come online between 2022 and 2024. Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) signed joint contracts ranging from 10 to 20 years. They include 66 MW of wind […]

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 […]

Bills Okaying Cheaper Loans for Storage and EV Chargers, Munis Issuing Customer-Backed Bonds Advance

13 Jul

Energy storage and electric vehicle chargers would become eligible for zero- and low-interest loans under legislation passed out of the Senate Energy Utilities and Communications Committee July 12. The bill expands an existing program run by the California Energy Commission to fund public entities’ energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Two other bills also got […]

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 […]

Proposal Would Make Clean Microgrids More Affordable

15 Jun

The costs of small and large non-fossil microgrids would drop under a proposed California Public Utilities Commission decision released last week. It would lower a key part of the standby charge paid by system owners to investor-owned utilities. These charges are typically levied by IOUs to avoid shifting costs onto regular grid-connected customers. But the […]

Latest Carbon-Cutting Blueprint Hashed Out at Public Workshop

10 Jun

Electrifying buildings and transportation won’t get the state to carbon neutrality by 2045, staff from energy and air pollution control agencies said over two days of California Air Resources Board workshops this week. The focus was ARB’s significant update to its long-term plan to avert worsening climate change. There also was general consensus that the […]


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 […]


3 Jun

Silicon Valley Power recently signed a three-year contract with CIM Group’s Aquamarine Westside Project for approximately 500,000 megawatt hours of solar power. The renewable power is to come from the very large Westlands Solar Park in Fresno and Kings counties expected to come online this September.

The Buzz

27 May

Clean local microgrid bills keep moving forward in the Legislature. Also continuing to advance is hotly contested legislation that would add significant costs to net metered solar rooftops. But measures to decarbonize state buildings and promote more renewables fizzle. Find out more in the latest legislative roundup. A big gust is propelling offshore wind energy […]

Energy Bill Winners & Losers

27 May

Among the bills moving ahead in the Legislature are ones backing installations of clean microgrids in fire-prone communities and adding fees to net metered small solar rooftops. The key local community microgrid measure is SB 99 by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa). It would create a grant and technical assistance program at the California Energy Commission […]

State Utility Regulators Call For 11.5 GW of New Resources by 2026

25 May

Two competing California Public Utilities Commission proposals would require utilities, community energy and other provider investments in a combined 11,500 megawatts to come online between 2023 and 2026 to ensure a solid and far less polluting grid. About one tenth would come from fossil-fueled power. One proposal, by Administrative Law Judge Julie Fitch, would okay […]

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 […]

CPUC Only Okays Utilities Selling RPS Resources to Community Energy

20 May

Private utilities that purchased renewable resources on behalf of customers that have now switched to community energy must offer that generation to community aggregators and other providers, the California Public Utilities Commission decided May 20. It deferred action on related contentious issues such as how the three investor-owned utilities will sell resources offered for sale […]


11 May

The Biden Administration approved an 800 MW wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island May 11. It had been held up by the Trump Administration. Final approval of the $2.8 billion project “will enable the beginning of construction activities on the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the U.S. this year,” developer […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

The Buzz

8 Apr

A week after a national report found that the City of Los Angeles could be powered fully by renewables by 2035, the City Council gives SoCalGas’ Playa del Rey underground gas storage field the thumbs down. It’s a gesture welcome by clean energy advocates but holds little clout. Environmentalists call on the city council to […]


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