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California Energy Markets / This Week
[CEM 1296 / August 15, 2014]
Edison Expects SONGS Decommissioning Will Cost Less Than the $4.4 Billion Estimated
Southern California Edison expects it will buck an industry trend of estimates for nuclear-plant decommissioning going up over time, and that its $4.4 billion estimate for the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will actually go down. That was the testimony of Tom Palmisano, Edison's vice president and chief nuclear officer, at a hearing on SONGS before the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. Palmisano updated the lawmakers on decommissioning plans, and fielded questions on the transport of nuclear material, state oversight, and the decommissioning trust fund.
CPUC Approves PG&E Rate Increase
The CPUC approved Pacific Gas & Electric's 2014 general rate case, in a decision that allows the utility to collect almost $2.4 billion more in rates through 2016. The decision was approved Aug. 14 despite complaints from consumer groups that it provided too much money in areas such as smart meters and nuclear-plant operations-especially as separate proceedings will boost rates around the same time for gas-related infrastructure. The commission also approved changes to shape energy programs for low-income customers. The decision updates cost-effectiveness tests for energy-efficiency measures and makes enrollment easier, among other changes.
San Bruno Gets Support in Recusal, Sanction Requests
Consumer groups and the City and County of San Francisco backed San Bruno's request to sanction Pacific Gas & Electric after e-mails between the utility and CPUC President Michael Peevey and his staff came to light. Parties argued that the communications break rules against such private exchanges. The commission has ongoing investigations into a fatal 2010 gas-pipeline explosion in San Bruno, and the exchanges touched on key issues, parties agreed. PG&E objected, saying such information exchange is necessary among regulators and regulated utilities.
Sonoma Clean Power Finalizes Energy Purchase for Second Phase of Rollout
Sonoma Clean Power is finalizing a power-purchase agreement with Constellation as the fledgling community-choice aggregator prepares to roll out service to 148,000 customers in December. Meanwhile, SCP is reporting growing interest from jurisdictions outside its service territory, with the City of Arcata and Mendocino County expressing interest in joining the CCA program. SCP continues to have a lower-than-expected opt-out rate.
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