A TechCA Publication

2911, 2022

CAISO Symposium Provides Insight on Direction of Utilities

More than 850 attended this year’s California Independent System Operator (CAISO) Symposium. While most of the conference focused on regional issues and day-ahead scheduling, the opening panel consisted of panelists representing western state utilities.

2009, 2022

Newsom Signs Climate Package

As we had previously reported and expected Governor Gavin Newsom this week signed his climate package of bills which he proposed late in the legislative session, and a number of other climate bills that had been part of our tracking list this session.  The new laws will now require the state to become carbon-neutral by 2045, produce 90% of its electricity from clean sources by 2035, create safety zones around oil wells near homes, and draft rules to fast-track permitting of technology that aim to remove carbon from the air. 

1409, 2022

California Sets Power Usage Record as Historic Heatwave Wanes

California faced one of the most prolonged heatwaves in its history.  All-time record temperatures up and down the state made it difficult for Californians to stay cool and the power to stay on.  The result of the oppressive heat led to Governor Gavin Newsom calling for an emergency proclamation to address the ten-day power crisis.  The proclamation loosened some environmental rules to ensure that the power stayed on and offered more benefits for those entities who chose to reduce energy usage.

2101, 2021

Will governor’s $1.5 billion zero-emission vehicle plan lose steam?

As part of his $227 billion 2021-22 budget, Gov. Newsom proposed nearly $1.5 billion to support his executive order to make all new vehicles zero-emission by 2035, but the plan faced criticism at its first budget hearing, with Republicans and Democrats saying not so fast.

2010, 2020

Changes in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee Staff

While the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee’s makeup is bound to change after the election, Assemblyman Chris Holden recently announced staff. Laura Shybut, Senator Jerry Hill’s Chief of Staff, will become the new chief consultant to the committee.

110, 2020

SoCalGas Natural Gas Storage Near Capacity

According to the US Energy Information Administration, SoCalGas natural gas inventories were about 79 billion cubic feet (Bcf) at the end of September. SOCalGas storage facilities are now 94% full and 6 billion cubic feet greater than this time last year. While SoCalGas natural gas inventories are slightly lower than 2018, they were more than 16 Bcf higher than levels in 2016 and in 2017. Following the leak at Aliso Canyon in 2015, significant limitations were placed on SoCalGas’ largest storage facility. In addition, the company has now returned line 235-2 into service. This vintage, 1957 pipeline, which runs approximately [...]

2209, 2020

Solar Projects Impacted As Joshua Tree Moves Closer To Being Protected Species

Calling climate change a factor in the decision, the California Fish & Game Commission today voted unanimously to formally review whether the Western Joshua Tree is an endangered or threatened species. The Commission also passed in a 3 to 1 vote an emergency rule to allow more than a dozen solar projects to move forward, provided the groups follow the Commission’s new take policy. Under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), the Fish and Game Commission can review whether new plant or animal species should be added to the endangered list. Today’s decision makes the Western Joshua Tree a candidate [...]

1609, 2020

 2019 Power Figures Show California Relies On Neighbors To Keep The Lights On

The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently issued its 2019 power generation statistics showing that California used less power in 2019. The figures show overall demand dropped by nearly 3 percent in 2019 as compared to 2018. With the 2020 pandemic, California is expected to continue using less despite some recent extreme heat events.  The 2019 statistics also provide warning signs for California’s future. California reduced its dependency on conventional power compared to 2018 with coal power down 12.7%, natural gas down 4.6%, and nuclear power down 3.5%. To make up for the difference in power, large hydropower was up nearly [...]

909, 2020

CEC Update on Meeting California’s 100% Clean Energy Goals Calls for Massive Build Out of Renewables

Today, California Energy Commission staff provided an update on the joint agency report to meet the 100% clean energy goals by 2045. The staff presented that most existing generation and an additional 145 and 180 GW of new power will be needed to meet California’s future energy demands. “SB 100 is achievable with existing technologies,” said Liz Gill of the Energy Assessments Division during her presentation to the commissioners. “However, sustained record-setting resource build rates will be required to meet SB 100.”In today’s meeting, the energy commission staff outlined some scenarios to achieve clean energy goals depending upon future energy [...]

1006, 2020

Energy Consumption Up During Week 12 of Shelter-in-Place Order

Energy usage continued to be up as compared to last year during week 12 of the shelter-in-place order. A second week of triple digit temperatures led to weekday power demand pushing up nearly 5% compared to the same time last year, according to the California ISO. Natural gas power also spiked during week in order to handle the increase in power demand. Natural gas was up nearly 5,000 mega-watt hours (MWh). In a three-day window, natural gas peaked around 7 p.m. between 16,000 and 19,000 MWh. Meanwhile, all other sources of power were down. Renewables were down for the same [...]

906, 2020

Prices Jump as SoCal Gas Begins Pipeline Maintenance

The spot price of natural gas at the SoCalGas Citygate trading hub jumped to more than $2.40, a 25-cent increase in a single day, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The price jump is due to summer weather, which increases demand, and a planned two-month maintenance that will reduce gas flow between Arizona and California. SoCal Gas began maintenance on Line 235-2, which is approximately 50 miles long and runs from Victorville to just east of Barstow. The maintenance reduced flow on the line by 40%. This is not the first time there has been work done on the [...]

306, 2020

Two Split Roll Initiatives Qualify for the November Ballot

On May 29, the Secretary of State (SOS) announced that a second split-roll initiative has qualified for the ballot. The initiative, called “Schools and Communities First,” is a constitutional amendment that changes how California taxes commercial and industrial properties. 

306, 2020

Energy Consumption is Up During Week 11 of Shelter-in-Place Order

Triple-digit temperatures led to a spike in energy usage during week 11 of the shelter-in-place order. While load reductions have generally been down over the last several weeks, this week saw a shift in power usage. According to figures from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the weekday power demand was up nearly 20% compared to the same time last year. Natural gas power also spiked in order to handle the increase in power demand. Natural gas was up more than 5,000 megawatt-hours (MWh). In a three-day window, natural gas peaked around 8 p.m. between 15,000 and 18,000 MWh. Imports [...]

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