Expedited storage permits, Anti-gas suit dropped, SMUD pursues novel net metering reform

By Published On: September 9, 2021

The California Energy Commission accelerates the permitting of large storage projects to get more power online by next fall. The action follows the controversial expedited certification process for natural gas and diesel projects to beef up resources as the sun sets, as directed by Gov. Newsom last month. The Commission also funds what is to be the first solar and storage powered truck charging station in California. The distributed energy at the charging stop in Bakersfield will store the solar energy in used EV batteries.

SoCalGas drops its case against the Energy Commission that claimed the agency was anti-gas with its work to decarbonize the energy sector.  The agency hopes the largest gas utility in the U.S. will now work with it and not against on emission-free energy. In other news, Biden picks the head of the DC Public Service Commission to be the fifth Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member.

The Sacramento Municipal Utilities District is about to do what private utilities and their regulators have been unable to do—find a workable payment scheme to keep growing rooftop solar while reducing costs for the solar rooftop have nots. The net energy metering plan is expected to be adopted next week.

The Los Angeles District Attorney charged a former state lawmakers and three others with diverting $20 million meant for a City of Industry study on a potential massive solar farm that the San Gabriel Water and Power LLC was supposed to conduct. The money may be gone but a big solar farm sure is, including because two Southern California cities sued the City of Industry for trying to cover a large undeveloped ranch with solar panels.

LA announces it is aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2035. It is following the roadmap released earlier this year by the National Renewable Energy Lab that focused largely on a 2045-time frame.  A part of the strategy includes LA Department of Water & Power successfully converting its in-basin gas power plants so they can run on green hydrogen to meet peak demand.

The state grid operator revises rules to expand the say of its Energy Imbalance Market Governing Committee on matters that impact the western real time market. It is another small step towards moving the far larger California Independent System Operator’s day ahead market towards regionalization.

And more…

The Editors

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