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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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

SDG&E Faces No Competition for San Diego Franchise

5 May

San Diego Gas & Electric remains the sole bidder in the City of San Diego’s solicitation for exclusive electric and gas services. “We do not feel it is appropriate to characterize where we are in the negotiation process,” Jeffery Martin, CEO of parent company Sempra Energy, told financial analysts May 5. The city, the eighth […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Push and Pull Over the Costs and Benefits of Rooftop Solar Exports

20 Apr

by Fereidoon Sioshansi The U.S. solar industry had another record year in 2020 installing 19.2 GW of capacity, 43% above 2019. That is according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2020 Year in Review, released in mid-March by the Solar Energy Industry Association, and Wood Mackenzie. California, Texas, and Florida were the top three states […]

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 […]

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 […]

News Roundup: LA City Council Pressures SoCalGas to Close Playa del Rey Field

8 Apr

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously April 7 to close the Playa del Rey underground natural gas storage facility owned by Southern California Gas. The Playa del Rey field is smaller but considered riskier than the Aliso Canyon gas storage field. The Playa facility, which is near the LA International Airport, is located in […]

Sonoma County DA Charges PG&E with Five Felonies

6 Apr

The Sonoma County District Attorney filed criminal charges against Pacific Gas & Electric April 6, alleging it ignited the Oct. 23, 2019, Kincaid Fire. It harmed six fire fighters, destroyed 374 buildings, and torched nearly 78,000 acres of land over a period of two weeks. The utility also was charged with causing air pollution through […]

Shorts

6 Apr

updated April 8 Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislators agreed on a $536 million “early action” fire prevention package. The package will fund the thinning of forests, fuel breaks around vulnerable communities and community hardening infrastructure to mitigate wildfire damage. “This year, we are budgeting more than $1 billion, with more than $500 million in early […]

Community Energy Continues to Grow

1 Apr

Correction April 2 More than 200 cities and counties in California now are served by community energy. As of April 1, the number hit 201, with East Bay Community Energy’s expansion into Newark, Pleasanton, and Tracy; and Marin Clean Energy’s addition of Pleasant Hill and Vallejo to its service territory, the California Community Choice Aggregation […]

Commission Proposal Okays PG&E $7.5B Ratepayer Bonds

31 Mar

The California Public Utilities Commission is on the verge of green lighting Pacific Gas & Electric’s plan to issue an unprecedented $7.5 billion in ratepayer-backed bonds to cover part of its 2017 wildfire liability. Rejecting multiple intervenors’ warnings about possible ratepayer harm, the Commission proposal specifically would allow PG&E to refinance its $6 billion short-term […]

100% Clean Energy Requires Mega Capacity Stretch

16 Mar

Achieving 100% clean electricity in California by 2045 will require a three-fold increase in current installed capacity. It is estimated to cost 6% more than a 60% renewable portfolio standard. That is according to a joint report by the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission and Air Resources Board. The report estimates an annual […]

Energy Commission Code Update Proposes More Electric Appliances in New Buildings

16 Mar

The latest edition of the California Energy Commission’s influential energy efficiency code does not include a mandate for all-electric new buildings. That is despite a new joint agency report on the path to a 100% clean energy concluding that decarbonizing energy use in new and existing buildings “is a key climate-fighting strategy.” The 2022 Title […]

The Buzz

11 Mar

Lawmakers express diametric views as to which electricity resources are reliable and affordable during a U.S. Senate Energy Committee hearing. The board of the Western Energy Imbalance Market approves a trio of market changes to help avert avoidable supply crunches when summer temperatures soar in and outside California. Utility regulators across the country seek to […]

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