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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 […]

Capital Roundup: Calif. & Feds Reach Offshore Wind Deal

25 May

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced May 25 that he and the Biden Administration reached a deal to promote 4.6 gigawatts of offshore wind development in California over the next decade. Part of the agreement entails a lease sale offer by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as early as next year that would open 400 […]

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 […]

Agency Heads Tout Power Additions Ahead of Summer, Not all Clean

19 May

The chiefs of the California grid operator and energy agencies told lawmakers Tuesday that they have done everything they possibly can to avoid blackouts this summer. “We know we are in a stronger position than last year,” Marybel Batjer, California Public Utilities Commission president, said during a May 18 Assembly Utilities and Energy Commission hearing. […]

Energy Commission Gets Unprecedented Boost in Funding

19 May

The California Energy Commission will see a 140% increase in its budget, from some $996 million to $2.4 billion, if lawmakers sign off on the Governor’s May budget revisions. Adding in federal funds and reimbursements, the agency could receive even more. The big expenditure items are for light- to heavy-duty zero emission infrastructure. The increase […]

Green Hydrogen Alliance Growing in Los Angeles

18 May

A coalition promoting the development of a hydrogen industry based on renewable resources in California grew significantly with the addition of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power this week. Green hydrogen also gets a big boost in the Governor’s revised budget announced May 14, assuming it gets approved by the legislature. The revised […]

Massive New Investment in Clean Energy in Governor’s Budget

18 May

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s newest proposed budget directs billions of dollars of surplus state funds and federal Covid relief to ameliorating the climate crisis. The May revision of the 2021-22 budget proposal provides nearly $1.8 billion for zero emission transportation. There also is $900 million for renewables and other clean energy investments. Funded areas include: Long […]

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 […]

Faster Permits for Installing Vehicle Chargers Focus of Bill

11 May

Legislation to speed up plodding local permitting for home vehicle chargers and commercial charging stations to ensure 250,000 chargers are installed in California by 2025 is on the Assembly Floor. AB 970 by Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and David Chiu (D-San Francisco) would deem a permit application approved 25 days after submission unless city or […]

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 […]

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 […]

Local Permitting Remains Major Hurdle to EV Charging

4 May

Getting local permits for electric vehicle chargers in hand, and the cost of installing them in California, continue to exceed national averages. That is despite the enactment more than five years ago of a law to streamline permitting. The average wait time for a local EV charger permit in California is 70% longer than the […]

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. […]

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 […]

News Roundup: SoCalGas Used Ratepayer Money to Lobby Against Energy Efficiency

27 Apr

Southern California Gas subverted an effort designating ratepayer funds for energy efficiency to do the opposite: oppose local, state, and federal energy efficiency efforts. But there will be no penalty. That is according to a California Public Utilities Commission proposed decision. The proposal confirms the findings of the CPUC’s Public Advocates’ Office that for seven […]

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 […]

Bills Pass that Back Offshore Wind and Home Batteries for Grid Support

22 Apr

This week, the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee approved legislation to launch California’s offshore wind industry and allow home battery projects to help balance the grid during times of spiking temperatures. Passed on an 11-0 vote April 21, AB 525 by Assembly members David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) requires the […]

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