Industry: Utilities
April 7, 2017

On March 11, utility-scale solar generation in the territory of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) accounted for almost 40% of net grid power produced during the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is the first time CAISO has achieved these levels, reflecting an almost 50% growth in utility-scale solar photovoltaic installed capacity in 2016. The large and growing amount of solar generation has occasionally driven power prices on the CAISO power exchange during late winter and early spring daylight hours to very low, and sometimes negative, prices. However, consumers in California continue to pay average retail electricity prices that are among the highest in the nation.

April 7, 2017

Altogether, these and other merchant-transmission projects could cost upward of $17 billion, plus at least a further $20 billion in wind, solar and hydro projects to fill these lines. There are no federal subsidies available for building transmission lines, though wind farm developers are eligible to tap a U.S. tax credit for building new production.

March 3, 2017
In 2016, the California Independent Systems Operator (ISO), which coordinates most of the electricity used in California, imported a net daily average of 201 billion kilowatthours (kWh) throughout the year from other western regions, or about 26% of its average daily demand. Those imports were supplied by the other two regions that make up the Western Interconnect (WECC). The Northwest region of WECC, which includes most of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, and a small area of northern California, supplied a daily average of 122 billion kWh. The bulk of the remaining imports to the California ISO, 68 billion kWh per day on average, came from the Southwest region of WECC, which includes much of Arizona, New Mexico, and small portions of Nevada and Texas.
Feb. 5, 2017
The 13 percent increase in natural gas rates took effect in August, but consumers didn’t feel the pinch until December, when residents turned up their thermostats in the face of a particularly cold and wet season. Electricity rates were raised three times in the past year. Combined, electricity and gas rates for PG&E customers are an average of 21 percent higher than they were a year ago, said utility spokesman Donald Cutler.
Jan. 30, 2017
The facility at the utility’s Mira Loma substation in Ontario contains nearly 400 Tesla PowerPack units on a 1.5-acre site, which can store enough energy to power 2,500 homes for a day or 15,000 homes for four hours. The utility will use the collection of lithium-ion batteries, which look like big white refrigerators, to gather electricity at night and other off-peak hours so that the electrons can be injected back into the grid when power use jumps.
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May 19, 2017 / Natalie Kitroeff

May 19, 2017 / Ben Leubsdorf