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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 […]

Energy Commission Pumps More Money into Clean Economy

13 May

The California Energy Commission doled out another $39 million in clean energy funding Wednesday, adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars it has approved over the last several years. The largest share of this round of grants, $9 million, went to advance hydrogen fueling of buses. Of that amount, $5 million is to go […]

Newsom Proposes $2B for Ratepayer Bill Relief

11 May

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced May 10 that $2 billion in relief will be distributed among Californians having difficulty paying their electricity, gas, and water bills–an estimated 800,000 customers. A moratorium on utility disconnections for failure to pay is set to expire next month, but many residents continue to struggle financially largely because of the pandemic. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Building Decarbonization Bills & Proposed Rule Changes Face Headwinds

20 Apr

There is a big push for regulations and legislation to decarbonize buildings in California, largely by replacing fossil fuel use for heating and cooking with electrification. But those efforts face significant opposition from gas utilities and workers unions threatened by the proposed change. Buildings are the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, […]

What Biden’s $1.9 T Infrastructure Plan Does and Doesn’t Include

20 Apr

by Herman Trabish The Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion spending plan to make the U.S. power sector 100% clean energy by 2035 has generated great attention but barely begun its way through Congress. Clean energy proposals in the Biden American Jobs Plan would expand the renewable energy tax credits and mandate spending for clean energy and […]

The Buzz

15 Apr

State energy regulators pull a fast one and decide not to vote on a safety certification for Pacific Gas & Electric that their Wildfire Safety Division granted. Local power and ratepayer advocates, who have urged the California Public Commission to deny PG&E’s certification, are livid. The commission does vote to step up its oversight of […]

CPUC Increases Oversight of PG&E, Pulls Vote on Utility Safety Certification

15 Apr

Advocates for ratepayers and for local power, together with members of the public were incensed when state energy regulators at the last minute cancelled a vote on a fire safety certification for Pacific Gas & Electric. Annual certifications, required by AB 1054, are a condition of utilities recovering from ratepayers their wildfire costs. PG&E, which […]

SDG&E Gets Okay to Cover Its $43 Million EV Program Costs

15 Apr

The California Public Utilities Commission approved San Diego Gas & Electric collecting $43.5 million from ratepayers to recover the costs of building electric charging stations at low-income apartments and dwellings, and at workplaces. The April 15 unanimous vote was in spite of the fact that SDG&E overspent during its pilot on which this expansion is […]

Federal Regulators Take Steps to Lower Utility Incentives, Integrate State Carbon Pricing

15 Apr

Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission agree on the need for better transmission efficiency and a build out of high voltage lines. But the five commissioners strongly disagree on incentives for utilities that participate in independent and regional transmission organizations, which are responsible for grid modernizations. To protect ratepayers, FERC proposed April 15 on […]

CEC Okays Big Green Energy Grants, More Diesel Backup Looms

14 Apr

The California Energy Commission approved $73 million in grants for clean energy projects, ranging from advanced communications within batteries for fast electric vehicle charging, flexible demand response, to green microgrids. The five commissioners also moved closer April 14 to voting on two more big diesel backup generator projects at data centers. The decisive vote on […]

JUICE: Vehicle-to-Grid and Home So Close and Yet So Far

13 Apr

Hundreds of billions of dollars of public money may soon infuse the electric vehicle market. President Joe Biden plans to invest $174 billion over 10 years, and Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes spending $1.5 billion in his 2021-22 state budget. In addition, the California Energy Commission detailed April 13 a $50 million project to accelerate the […]

Bills Expanding Clean and not so Clean Electricity & Transportation Resources, Advance

13 Apr

Here’s the latest update on how 2021 climate and energy-related proposed legislation is faring: The Senate Energy Utilities & Communication Committee approved a bill to speed the integration of offshore wind and long duration storage, among other emerging clean energy resources, onto the grid and into resource planning. The committee also advanced bills to expand […]

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