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California Energy Markets / This Week
[CEM 1314 / December 19, 2014]
Smart Meter Rules Advance With Concerns Over Disability Provision
In a new decision, the CPUC adopted interim fees that it had set for customers to opt out of smart meters. The commission also blocked communities from opting out as a whole and found that charging opt-out fees does not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. But parties have questioned that finding, saying that the commission cannot make such a determination because the proceeding did not review health and safety issues.
Peevey Leaves CPUC Amid Praise, Criticism
Energy-sector participants lined up to praise CPUC President Michael Peevey, who this week ended his 12-year reign at the commission. They recounted Peevey's push to ensure utilities procure renewables, remain financially healthy and protect consumers. They recalled his efforts to set up solar programs, his work that resulted in reducing pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions, and his persistence at getting utilities to procure goods and services from businesses owned by minorities, women and disabled veterans. But the City of San Bruno and a consumer group expect the 2010 fatal gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno-and the regulatory failures that led up to it-to comprise a big part of his legacy.
Sonoma Clean Power to Serve All Eligible Areas as Petaluma Joins In
The City of Petaluma has pulled the trigger on joining Sonoma Clean Power, a milestone that extends the reach of the upstart community choice aggregation program to all eligible areas in Sonoma County. Proven rate savings and emissions reductions convinced officials in Petaluma-the last holdout city in the county-that SCP is ready for prime time. The aggregator is now teeing up an energy-supply purchase to accommodate the addition of Petaluma, as well as Cloverdale and Rohnert Park, this summer.
Tribes Sue Over Blythe Solar Project
The Colorado River Indian Tribes have asked a federal court to rescind the government's approval of the Modified Blythe Solar Power Project, a 485 MW solar-photovoltaic facility proposed on 4,000 acres of federal land northwest of Blythe. The tribes assert that the Bureau of Land Management conducted no real government-to-government consultation before approving the project, as required under federal law, and then allowed project developer NextEra Energy Resources to begin ground-disturbing activities at the site before cultural-monitoring plans were set up.
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