Industry: Utilities
News
Aug. 11, 2017

Nuclear plants in New York will continue to receive payments collected from all in-state load serving entities (LSE) in recognition of their clean energy contributions. Those payments, which might be as high as $8 billion over a ten year period, may also be as low as zero during years in which the average wholesale price of electricity rises to a level at which selling power becomes profitable for the qualifying plants. In a decision filed July 25, Judge Valerie Caproni dismissed the motions filed by various electrical generators and trade groups of electrical generators that challenged the constitutionality of the New York Public Service Commission’s decision to create a Zero Emission Credit program.

News
July 21, 2017

Plans for what was once billed as one of the world’s largest solar power projects will be scaled back dramatically following years of opposition from three environmental groups who filed lawsuits over an endangered rat and other species they said would be harmed by its construction. . . .But San Benito County supervisors, who were not included in the settlement talks, are furious, saying they will lose out on millions of dollars in taxes that they were promised when they originally approved the larger project in 2010. “I can barely speak because I’m so angry,” said Supervisor Anthony Botelho. “This would have generated much-needed revenue. All you have to do is drive down there and see the conditions of our roads. We have minimal amounts of public safety. This was going to be a big thing, but the rug was pulled out from under us. And it was all done in secret.” . . .The county had been counting originally on $5.4 million in sales tax from the large project — and then roughly $2.5 million under the 247-megawatt project. But Joe Paul Gonzalez, the county’s clerk-auditor-recorder, told supervisors that the county would not be receiving any sales tax from the project because Con Edison had purchased the panels in a way that made San Francisco the recipient rather than San Benito County.

News
July 16, 2017

California is poised for a swift transformation of its electricity landscape — and that could bring tumult if preparations aren’t made soon to maintain quality and avoid reliability problems like rolling blackouts, the state’s leading energy regulator is warning. After decades of dominance by investor-owned utilities, electricity markets in the state are becoming more competitive. Ratepayers today have a growing number of choices for powering their lights, laptops and electric cars — from installing rooftop solar panels and consumer-scale batteries to joining increasingly popular government-run electricity programs known as community choice aggregation, or CCA. Currently, investor-owned utilities such as San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric together buy and sell more than 75 percent of the state’s electricity. Their collective share could plunge to 10 percent within the next five years, with CCA programs causing most of the change, according to the state’s most aggressive forecast. More conservative estimates still show major shifts away from the utilities.

News
June 23, 2017

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who campaigned four years ago as someone who would stand up for Department of Water and Power ratepayers, is pushing a proposal to give six raises within five years to more than 9,000 workers at the utility.

The salary agreement, backed Tuesday by Garcetti’s appointees on the DWP board, would provide raises of least 13.2% and as much as 22.3% by October 2021, depending on inflation. Beyond that, the pact would deliver a 4% boost over two years to the base pay of hundreds of DWP electrical distribution mechanics, also known as linemen.

News
June 21, 2017

California energy regulators say the state could benefit from sharing more electricity with its neighbors during heat waves such as this week’s, but a proposal to do so has stalled after the election of President Trump. . . . “We will reduce costs for everybody. We will reduce pollution. We will improve system reliability, and these are all reasons to do this,” says Cavanagh. Last August, Gov. Jerry Brown wrote to leadership in the Legislature that he would look to pass a proposal earlier this year. “I have directed my staff, the Energy Commission, the Public Utilities Commission and the California Air Resources Board to continue working with the Legislature,” Brown wrote. “The goal is to develop a strong proposal that the Legislature can consider in January.” That still hasn’t happened, although the governor has maintained he still supports regionalization.

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