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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Shorts

9 Mar

More than 35% of the electricity Pacific Gas & Electric delivered to its customers last year was from eligible renewable resources, the company reported March 8. That level is slightly above California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard that requires energy providers supply 33% renewable energy by the end of 2020. “As we pass this major mile-marker of […]

News Roundup: CA is #1 in EVs, PG&E Sells Wireless Access to Towers for $1B

3 Feb

Updated Feb. 3 California has done more than any other state to advance vehicle electrification, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. “It is the only state to set deadlines for electrifying transit buses, heavy-duty trucks, and commercial vehicles, and to adopt statewide building codes for wiring most types of new buildings […]

Shorts

2 Feb

updated Feb. 4 A federal judge handling Pacific Gas & Electric’s probation called the utility “criminally reckless” for failing to take out a tree that may have caused last fall’s Zoff fire, which killed four people, the Courthouse News Service reported Feb. 3. Judge Alsup, who is overseeing the utility’s probation following the 2010 San […]

Five Fed Energy Regulators at the Helm

19 Jan

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s first meeting of 2021 was the first time in many months that it operated with a full five-member board. The last time there was a full commission was August 2018. “A little bit of normality is creeping back in,” James Danley, FERC chair, said at the start of the Jan. […]

The Buzz

19 Nov

State utility regulators aim to move on demand side resources to avoid outages when it is roasting hot next summer. They plan to take the unusual step of expediting changes to California Public Utilities Commission resource adequacy, demand response and other load reduction programs. Over at the nation’s capital, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission holds […]

Klamath Dams Closer to Demolition

17 Nov

Four years after a historic agreement was reached to remove dams on the Klamath River to revive the once surging salmon runs, a new revision was announced Nov. 17. It is expected to satisfy a controversial condition added by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last July. “According to many FERC nerds, this is going to […]

CAISO Executive Redo Launched

10 Nov

The new chief of the California Independent System Operator, Elliot Mainzer, announced an executive reorganization Nov. 6. It switches around managers in market policy, operations, planning and technology departments with the aim of broadening their understanding of how the grid works as it moves towards decarbonization.  “Internal mobility brings new thinking, new blood and new […]

“Super” CCA Collaboration for 500 MW of Long Duration Storage

19 Oct

Eight community choice aggregators are forming a procurement agency to jointly invest in much needed but neglected long duration energy storage. Leaders of the new Joint Powers Agency will issue a groundbreaking solicitation from their “super JPA“ that will pool the eight members’ resources and bid for up to 500 MW of long duration energy […]

CPUC Speeds Up Effort to Bring More Power Online

8 Oct

The California Public Utilities Commission vowed Oct. 8 to accelerate its usual process in order to make more energy resources available by next summer. It also promised to modernize planning to reflect extreme heat, particularly as solar and wind supplies decrease with the setting sun.  The commitment was made two days after the California Independent […]

Shorts

29 Sep

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions produced by the electricity sector dropped 2.8%, or by 150 million metric tons, last year compared with 2018. They went from 5,281 MMmt in 2018 to 5,130 MMmt in 2019, the U.S. Energy Information Administration stated Sept. 30. “Changes in the electricity fuel mix were the most important factors, with coal-related […]

The Buzz

11 Sep

Northern San Diegans vigorously protest San Diego’s plan to upgrade and extend a big power line from San Marcos to Escondido. After listening to concerns about fire and financial dangers, as well as visual blight, the California Public Utilities Commission pulls the item from this week’s business meeting. In other news, the utility regulators learn […]

Klamath Dam Removal Inches Forward

10 Sep

At an update this week on the ongoing effort to remove dams on the Klamath River, PacifiCorp representatives told the California Public Utilities Commission that progress is being made on the transfer of the lower dams to a non-profit organization.     “We continue to support the settlement agreement,” PacifiCorp’s attorney told the commissioners. When pressed, […]

Load Shifts and Less Consumption Avert More Blackouts

20 Aug

Widespread conservation at every level of electricity use, from industry, to households, is credited with lowering otherwise soaring demand on the grid on Aug. 17 and 18 by almost 4,000 MW. According to an Aug. 19 joint letter to the governor from three state energy agencies, several energy and water agencies reduced their demand. So […]

The Buzz

6 Aug

Months of speculation as to who would be the CA grid operator’s new chief ends with the naming of Bonneville Power Administration head Elliott Mainzer. He says he wants to build on the success of the Energy Imbalance Market, which BPA joins next year. A nasty dispute between state utility commissioners and the executive director […]

New Grid Operator Chief Comes from Bonneville Power

6 Aug

The California Independent System Operator chose the current head of the Bonneville Power Administration as its new chief. Elliot Mainzer is BPA’s chief executive officer and president, who will replace CAISO’s outgoing Steve Berberich Sept. 30, the grid operator announced Aug. 6. Mainzer, originally from San Francisco, has been BPA’s administrator for the last seven […]

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