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NREL Software Tool Expedites Clogged Solar Queues, Increases Revenue

19 Jul

The rooftop solar industry announced a major step forward in its longstanding effort to bring down project installation costs with a new app that automates the complicated and time-consuming permit application process for rooftop solar and solar-plus-storage. This SolarAPP+ was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Early uses have streamlined […]

SMUD Plans to Beat State Net Zero Carbon Goal by 15 Years

14 Jul

California has mandated its state power providers reach 60% renewables by 2030, but the Sacramento Municipal Utility District plans to supply 100% clean energy by the start of the next decade. That puts it ahead of virtually all other utilities, according to SMUD’s March 2021 Zero Carbon report. Its plan for net zero power supply emissions […]

Oregon Fire Stresses California’s Grid but Blackouts Averted

13 Jul

Updated July 15 Source: Climatechangedispatch.com The worsening Bootleg wildfire in southern Oregon shut off 5,500 MW of power imports from the Northwest, requiring the California grid operator and utilities to call for conservation across the state to protect the grid Friday through Monday. But the California Independent System Operator, which manages the California Oregon Intertie […]

The Buzz

8 Jul

The push to building electrification to slash greenhouse gas emissions is raising concerns that the shrinking base of gas customers will be unfairly burdened with higher utility bills. The issue is the focus of a new U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business paper. Some question why gas utilities aren’t treated like telecom companies, many of […]

100 MW Battery Project Fills Oxnard Gas Project Void

7 Jul

A 100 MW battery project opened in place of NRG’s proposed 262 MW natural gas-fueled Puente power project near Oxnard in Ventura County. The 400 MWh storage project, which will supply power for up to four hours, is under a 20-year contract with Southern California Edison. It is the second largest battery project in California. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Microgrid Near Yosemite Provides Power 24/7, Eliminates Line-Sparked Fire Risks

8 Jun

Pacific Gas & Electric has launched a new microgrid system powered by a solar array paired with batteries to provide continuous power to a tiny community in a high fire threat area close to Yosemite National Park. The standalone system, which also includes backup propane tanks, is in place of new power lines across mountainous […]

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 […]

Feds Advance Giant Desert Solar Project

4 May

The Bureau of Land Management gave a green light to a 350 MW solar project on 2,049 acres of federal land near Blythe in Riverside County May 3. Late last year, Southern California Edison contracted for 200 MW from this Crimson photovoltaic project to fuel an adjacent 200 MW battery project as part of SCE’s […]

SCE’s and SDG&E’s Earnings Rise, PG&E’s Fall

4 May

Updated May 5 Pacific Gas & Electric Corp: the parent company of the utility, reported a considerable drop in first quarter earnings, $120 million, or 6 cents a share. That contrasts to $371 million, or 57 cents a share, for the first quarter of 2020. On the utility side, PG&E’s first quarter earnings were $174 […]

CAISO Moves Toward Better Use of Storage

29 Apr

The California grid operator issued a paper Wednesday outlining proposals to make its market more friendly for energy storage after sharp criticism from storage providers. Their complaints include that compensation is inadequate because the current market algorithm is too limited to accommodate batteries in the real-time market. The aim is “to fully integrate these resources […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

LA & Sacramento Reach for 100% Clean Power Years Ahead of State Mandate

25 Mar

By the end of this decade, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power can reliably, equitably, and affordably provide power that is 98% carbon free. That is according to a National Energy Renewable Laboratory study commissioned by the City of Los Angeles released March 24. NREL analyzed multiple scenarios developed over several years to […]

Guest Juice: PG&E Storage Project Enhanced by Advanced Software

23 Mar

Corrected March 26 As the value of energy storage–both utility scale and behind the meter–becomes recognized, it is also becoming clear that its true value can only be fully captured by intelligent software. That is because the software increases the value of storage by feeding it into the grid during times of higher loads and […]

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