State regulators direct the state’s three investor-owned utilities to bring online up to 3,000 megawatts and negawatts the next two summers to avoid grid outages. To enable that target, the California Public Utilities expands the Emergency Load Reduction Program to households and eases the way for storage. It also okays pilots to shift agricultural water pumping, EV charging and other programs to cut high demand. It also approves $180 million for energy efficiency programs, with the investor-owned utilities being the main recipients.
The CPUC also opens the door to more diesel power backups. PG&E can install yet more diesel units at its substations to keep power flowing during outages and supply the grid during emergencies next summer.
The number of mega batteries and small battery packs that keep homes and businesses powered during outages and wildfires, and balance the system during times of peak demand, continue to rise. Pairing the battery systems with solar puts the plentiful sun power to good use. But the effect of changes to local rooftop system payments under the upcoming net energy metering decision on distributed pairing is an open question.
The long-troubled Jordan Cove LNG facility in Oregon will not go forward. The developer asks federal energy regulators to vacate the construction permits.
Green hydrogen’s fate depends on getting state and federal financial assistance. Proponents point to its promise to decarbonize power plants, industry, and big vehicles but also its high costs.