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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 […]

PG&E to Underground 10,000 miles of Power Lines

22 Jul

As the Dixie wildfire in Butte and Plumas counties linked to a tree falling on a remote Pacific Gas & Electric circuit continued to spread, PG&E announced it was taking the unprecedented step of undergrounding 10,000 miles of power lines in high fire danger areas. It estimates the cost at roughly $15-20 billion. It could […]

CPUC Allows PacifiCorp to Delay Coal Retirement Plan, Eases Economics of Clean Microgrids

19 Jul

The California Public Utilities Commission voted without discussion to extend by several months the date by which PacifiCorp must file its plan detailing the retirement of coal plants serving 45,000 California ratepayers. PacifiCorp is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. At the same July 15 meeting, the CPUC approved waiving a utility standby capacity […]

CPUC Avoided Cost Calculator for Solar Fails to Avoid Controversy

5 Jul

California’s success at building utility-scale solar has lowered the value of local rooftop solar to the system, threatening its present economics. The California Public Utilities Commission’s 2021 avoided cost calculator update quantifies the costs avoided by using distributed energy resources. The avoided cost for local solar is the lowest it has been in a decade, […]

PG&E Seeks 30% Rate Hike

1 Jul

Pacific Gas & Electric, which charges some of the nation’s highest rates for electricity and gas, is seeking to raise those rates 30%. Much of the increase would be for $7.4  billion in new investments the company proposes in its 2023-26  general rate case, filed with the California Public Utilities Commission Wednesday afternoon. Half of […]

SCE Wants Another $1B in Ratepayer-Backed Bonds

29 Jun

Southern California Edison filed its second application to issue ratepayer-recovery bonds to cover part of its wildfire capital spending as well as losses from utility bills that went unpaid during the pandemic. SCE’s $1 billion bond request filed June 23 is the first utility application that includes recovery of arrearages from unpaid bills because of […]

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

24 Jun

State utility regulators work through a packed agenda, with approval of Pacific Gas & Electric’s $1.2 billion ratepayer-funded bond to cover wildfire costs getting a silent okay, being folded into the California Public Utilities Commission’s consent agenda. Getting public attention at this week’s CPUC meeting are its unanimous approval of an unprecedented mandate for 11,5000 […]

Shorts

22 Jun

SDG&E released a new guide June 22 that provides details about electric medium- and heavy duty-vehicles in the pipeline—from the Ford F-150 Lightening to electric buses. The 110-page guide includes the weight, charging range, amount of battery storage and other details that are available for emerging electric large vehicles. The state agency with oversight over […]

San Diego Stays Married to SDG&E

1 Jun

After failing to find any competitors for the city’s electric and gas services, the San Diego City Council voted 6-3 to continue the city franchises with San Diego Gas & Electric for another 20 years. The right-of-way agreements include an option that allows the city to cancel after a decade for any reason, including to […]

PG&E Sells Headquarters for $800M, Exec Compensation Soars

25 May

Pacific Gas & Electric announced May 24 it found a buyer for its long-time headquarters in downtown San Francisco. It will sell its buildings on Beale and Market streets near the San Francisco Bay for $800 million to Hines Atlas US LP, a Delaware limited partnership. After 115 years in the City by the Bay, […]

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 […]

The Buzz

7 May

Pacific Gas & Electric’s $7.5 billion bond issuance gets final approval. Regulators sign off on its financing order, which includes oversight by a finance team tasked with protecting customers. Ratepayer advocates welcome the oversight on condition it is robust, but object to the legal basis of the approved ratepayer-backed securitization. San Diego Gas & Electric […]

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 […]

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 […]

Shorts

22 Mar

The grid operator’s Western Energy Imbalance Market officially added four community-owned utilities and a federal power agency March 25. The newest members are Turlock Irrigation District and the Balancing Area of Northern California. BANC members are the Modesto Irrigation District, the City of Redding, the City of Roseville, and the Western Area Power Administration–Sierra Nevada […]

Independent Generator Earnings Suffer

9 Mar

All of the generator’s earnings took a hit during the pandemic last year, though those operating in California remained profitable. AES: This global power generator posted 2020 earnings of $46 million, or 7 cents a share, compared to a net of $303 million in 2019, or 46 cents per share. Fourth quarter earnings were far […]

The Buzz

25 Feb

The 2020 and quarterly earnings of the parent corporations of the four investor-owned utilities are a mixed bag. Annual net income for Edison International and PG&E Corp. drops while fourth quarter earnings rise. Sempra Energy’s reported income goes the opposite direction. While utility leaders sing the praises of increased investments and revenue to analysts, economists, […]

Utility Annual Earnings & 4th Quarter Go North and South

25 Feb

Edison International’s earnings for 2020 fell, but its fourth quarter net income was higher than in 2019. For Sempra Energy, the reverse was true. Edison International–Annual earnings for Southern California Edison’s parent company dropped to $700 million in 2020, or $1.98 per share. That compares to $1.3 billion in 2019, or $3.78 per share. Fourth […]

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