Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday set the stage for higher PG&E utility bills by signing legislation to ease the impacts from the shutdown of the Diablo Canyon facility, California’s last remaining nuclear power plant. San Francisco-based PG&E intends to phase out the reactors of its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County […]
San Onofre emails show history of private meetings between regulators, energy insiders and advisers to Gov. Jerry Brown
Emails that California utility regulators withheld for years — and recently released under a court order — show that political appointees of Gov. Jerry Brown met privately to discuss state energy policy. . . .Critics were quick to condemn the meetings, which according to the emails were held through most of 2014. “They are not […]
Who is the world’s largest operator of wind and solar farms? It’s also America’s most valuable power company. Still stumped? It’s by design. “That is a marketing problem…that we foster intentionally,” Michael O’Sullivan, NextEra Energy Inc.’s head of renewable development, told University of Notre Dame students in 2015. The Florida company has grown into a […]
[Deregulation] opened the door to market manipulation by Enron and some other big energy players, drove one major utility (Pacific Gas and Electric) into bankruptcy, almost sent another (Southern California Edison) into insolvency, caused blackouts and wound up costing California consumers many billions of dollars. This brief excursion into not-so-distant history is important because the […]
The legislation, now known as Assembly Bill 813, will be considered by the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications committee, the influential panel chaired by Hueso. It was also referred to the Senate Judiciary committee because the bill rewrites terms of the state-controlled nonprofit that now governs most of the state power grid. Supporters say the […]
Global spending on renewable energy is outpacing investment in electricity from coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants, driven by falling costs of producing wind and solar power. More than half of the power-generating capacity added around the world in recent years has been in renewable sources such as wind and solar, according to the […]
After the well at Aliso Canyon was sealed, the state of California prohibited Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) from filling the storage facility, a series of underground caverns made of depleted former oil wells, to capacity. SoCalGas also may not draw gas from Aliso Canyon unless other options have been exhausted. The result is that California […]
In what is considered the largest single investment by any state to promote electric vehicles, California utility regulators Thursday approved $776.5 million to fund and evaluate projects that will be carried out over the space of five years by the state’s three investor-owned utilities. The portion assigned to San Diego Gas & Electric accounts for […]
The specific reactor approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is built by NuScale, an Oregon-based energy company that has been working on its design for over a decade. The reactor design is only about 65 feet long and generates 50 megawatts of power, and comes with enough fuel to last an entire year. The reactor […]
NRG Energy announced last week it would close three gas-fired power plants: The Etiwanda plant in Ranch Cucamonga, the Ormond Beach plant in Oxnard and the Ellwood plant in Goleta. They were aging plants, built in the 1960s and ’70s. But plans for some new plants are also being sidelined. Last October, NRG asked the […]
PG&E has arrived at its goals for renewable energy deliveries earlier than what’s required by a statewide mandate, the company said Tuesday — but fresh challenges loom due to the embattled utility’s reliance on a nuclear energy plant in central California that’s slated for deactivation. The company stated that it has reached the 2020 renewable […]
The California Public Utilities Commission has amended its long-standing mission statement, leaving out the idea of ensuring “reasonable rates” for the water and power used by the public. The change comes as state utility regulators have been under criminal investigation for potentially improper backchannel dealings with the utility companies they oversee and facing multiple lawsuits alleging they failed to protect the people they serve. For more than 20 years, the agency mission statement said, “The CPUC serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental enhancement and a healthy California economy.” Under a recent revision, the statement now says: “The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services.”
PG&E customers might confront higher monthly bills under a regulatory plan that directs the utility to seek new electricity sources, such as batteries, to replace three power plants — including one in San Jose. The power plants involved are the Metcalf Energy Center in south San Jose, along with Northern California’s Feather River Energy Center and the Yuba City Energy Center. All three now operate on fossil fuels.
State regulators want Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to replace three natural gas plants with energy storage, a move that represents another significant step toward a clean energy future. The California Public Utilities Commission will vote Jan. 11 on the proposal that would require PG&E to seek clean alternatives to replace the three fossil-fuel plants.
Wind power capacity edged out coal for the first time in the Texas history last week after a new 155-megawatt wind farm in Scurry County came online. The farm in question is the Fluvanna Wind Energy Project, located on some 32,000 acres leased from more than 130 landowners.
Fluvanna pushed total wind power capacity in the state to more than 20,000 megawatts, while coal capacity stands at 19,800 megawatts and is slated to fall to 14,700 megawatts by the end of 2018 thanks to planned coal powerplant closures. Next year, Luminant will shutter three coal-fired plants—Monticello, Sandow, and Big Brown—and San Antonio’s CPS Energy will close J.T. Deely Station. Wind capacity in the state will reach 24,400 megawatts by the end of 2018, according to projections from Joshua Rhodes, a research fellow at UT Austin’s Energy Institute.