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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 […]

Controversial CPUC Vote Approves $80M to Each Utility to Increase EV Chargers

15 Jul

On a rare split vote, state utility regulators narrowly approved expediting the three investor-owned utilities ability to spend more ratepayer money on electric transportation infrastructure, this time a total $240 million to ensure there are enough chargers to alleviate the concerns of would-be EV drivers. The state is falling well short of its 2030 goal […]

CPUC Greenlights Klamath Dam Removal and Energy Commission Clean Energy Funding

15 Jul

Western utility company PacifiCorp’s extrication from its ownership of four hydropower dams on the Klamath River is nearly final with an okay by the California Public Utilities Commission to transfer title to a non-profit that will handle the long-planned demolition. Source: Karuk Tribe Commission approval marks its final involvement in the transfer of ownership, allowing […]

Utilities Request to Use Ratepayer Funds for Hydrogen–Natural Gas Blending Project Rejected

15 Jul

Four natural gas utilities’ attempt to get a piece of the innovative clean energy transition in the form of a $32 million reimbursement for blending small amounts of renewal hydrogen into their pipelines got a thumb’s down from the California Public Utility Commission July 15. SoCalGas, San Diego Gas & Electric, Pacific Gas & Electric and […]

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. […]

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 […]

Will the Shrinking Ratepayer Base be Protected from Gas Utilities’ Sunk Costs?

7 Jul

The move to decarbonize buildings is prompting questions about how gas utilities and their customers will fare in an increasingly electric landscape. Turns out, their fates may diverge. U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business Professor Lucas Davis and Associate Professor Catherine Hausman from the University of Michigan found that when the customer base of a […]

Bill Promoting Offshore Wind Advances

6 Jul

Legislation to kick-start offshore wind development in California and fund new low-emissions biomass generating facilities passed the Senate Energy, Communications & Utilities Committee July 5. AB 525 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), approved on a 13-0 vote, aims to launch an offshore wind industry in California by directing the California Energy Commission to develop […]

The Buzz

1 Jul

Senate energy bills pass a key Assembly policy committee this week. That includes ones supporting building and vehicle electrification and beefing up the thin ranks of utility fire prevention workforces with Conservation Corps workers who’ve been fighting fires, including those formerly incarcerated. PG&E proposes a massive rate hike, partly to fund ongoing safety work of […]

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 […]

Regulators Okay PG&E’s $1.2 B Ratepayer-Backed Bond, Extend Power Disconnect Freeze

24 Jun

Without discussion, the California Public Utilities Commission approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s issuance of $1.2 billion in ratepayer-backed bonds to cover part of its wildfire mitigation expenses. This follows the CPUC’s earlier approval of PG&E’s $7.5 billion ratepayer-funded bond to cover part of the claims from its wildfire victims approved in the bankruptcy court last […]

Calls to Do Away with Subsidies for Natural Gas Hook Ups

22 Jun

Eliminating subsidies for natural gas pipeline connections to new homes in California is critical to slashing greenhouse gas emissions, advocates say. “We have to stop digging the hole deeper,” Panama Bartholomy, Building Decarbonization Coalition executive director, told the California Energy Commission during its June 22 Building Decarbonization workshop. The coalition is a nonprofit made up of […]

Upcoming Sale of California Offshore Wind Leases

22 Jun

Next summer, the federal agency that holds authority over offshore wind development in federal waters plans to auction leases for up to 4.6 GW of floating turbines off the coasts of Humboldt and Morro Bay. That is according to Jean Thurston-Keller, U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management coordinator of the federal-state Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task […]

Is Demolition Finally Here for Klamath Dams?

17 Jun

The last major hurdle for a long-planned removal of four dams on the Klamath River flowing in parts of California and Oregon fell Thursday. Photo is courtesy of the Karuk Tribe The 136 MW of dams devastated native fish. Now federal regulators have approved replacing PacifiCorp, the dam owner, with officials from the two states […]

CPUC Takes a Beating for Ignoring Legislative Mandates

17 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission leadership was taken to task by a key Assembly energy committee for not implementing legislative mandates­ on a series of issues–-from energy efficiency to direct access. The berating came during a June 16 hearing. Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) said the legislature passes bills with “clear […]

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 […]

The Buzz

10 Jun

The road to essential carbon neutrality is laden with challenges, requiring more than electrification of vehicles and buildings. Renewable fuels, rates that get EV drivers to charge when the grid is flush, and flexible demand also are key, agency staff say during the first cut of the Air Resources Board’s scoping plan update. It also […]

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