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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 […]

House Hearing on Transmission Hits California Live Wires

24 May

Barriers to transmission needed for clean energy growth in California and across the country can be overcome, advocates told the House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis May 20. Wildfires and freezes “have left Americans in the dark and in danger just in the last four months,” Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), the committee […]

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 […]

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 […]

Shorts

26 Apr

The SMUD Board adopted a plan the evening of April 27 to have the utility be carbon neutral by the end of this decade. “Sacramento consistently ranks as one of the dirtiest air basins in the country and it disproportionately impacts our most disadvantaged residents,” said Board President Nancy Bui-Thompson. The Sacramento utility plans to […]

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 […]

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 […]

Shorts

29 Mar

The state snowpack is 59% of the April 1 average, at 16.5 inches, the Department of Water Resources announced. The key measuring station at Phillip’s Station in South Lake Tahoe had a snow depth of 83% of average, at 21 inches. “While the Southern Sierra remains well below average for both rain and snow, the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Senators Disagree on Energy Resource Reliability and Affordability

11 Mar

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee debated March 11 how to achieve a reliable, resilient, and affordable grid given the increase in extreme weather conditions and blackouts. The importance of resource diversity was stressed, but there was no agreement as to which resources are affordable or reliable. However, microgrid and battery systems got […]

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 […]

CPUC Pitches Additional 7,500 MW Mid-Decade

4 Mar

A California Public Utilities Commission proposal calls for 7,500 MW of new power in California, with less than one-third of that carbon free. The recalculation of needed resources covering 2024-26 is intended to address demand for electricity on the hottest days.  The proposal by Administrative Law Judge Julie Fitch seeks to address a resource gap […]

Offshore Wind Power Coming to California

1 Mar

Offshore wind power is heading the Golden State’s way, first to serve the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, a panel of energy experts at a California Community Choice Association webinar said Feb. 26. This renewable technology has already gained favor in Europe, Asia, and on the East Coast of the U.S. The Redwood Coast authority project […]

Bills to Ban Fracking, Create Offshore Wind Industry Introduced

17 Feb

Updated Feb. 18 Legislation that would ban the practice of fracking to extract natural gas and oil from many wells was announced Feb. 17 by Sen. Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) and Sen. Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara). The ban would affect new wells and those up for renewal starting Jan. 1, 2022. SB 467 also would […]

News Roundup: CAISO Calls for Conservation, PG&E Reaches 10M Securities Settlement

17 Feb

Updated Feb. 18 In a reversal of high heat and demand causing rolling blackouts in California, Texas suffered far larger and longer blackouts this week because of unusually icy conditions. More than 4 million customers lost power because thermal power plants were unable to operate. Wind turbines also froze. “Extreme weather conditions caused many generating […]

Jobs Pitted Against Environmental Justice in House Climate Hearing

9 Feb

The loss of fossil fuel industry jobs was Republican members’ rallying cry at a climate hearing in the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee. Environmental and Climate Subcommittee Chair Paul Tonko (D-NY) held the Feb. 9 hearing to propel President Joe Biden’s executive orders to decarbonize the economy by 2050 and create millions of new jobs. […]

Federal Officials Seek to Weaken Desert Renewables Deal

14 Jan

The Trump Administration just poked one more, perhaps final finger in California’s eye by proposing changes to the complex, stakeholder-developed plan identifying suitable sites for wind and solar development on public lands in the state’s southeastern desert. The Jan. 13 amendments to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan would open more lands to off-road vehicles, […]

Edison Reimagines California’s Distribution System

5 Jan

Distributed energy’s explosive growth makes integrating it in a way that supports the power system critical, according to a new white paper from Southern California Edison. The paper forecasts significant growth of distributed energy resources (DER) in California and “we want to have the system technologies to see and manage their impacts,” SCE VP of Asset […]

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