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California Energy Markets / This Week
[CEM 1330 / April 17, 2015]
PacifiCorp Will Explore Becoming Transmission Owner in Cal-ISO Markets
PacifiCorp has signed a memorandum of understanding to explore becoming a participating transmission owner in Cal-ISO's markets, a move expected to lower generation costs and improve renewables integration with the coordination of the two largest electric grids in the West. One big question going forward, however, is how Cal-ISO would be governed given the entrance of a large, non-California utility into the grid operator's markets.
Ontario Announces Plan to Link With California, Quebec on Cap and Trade
The Canadian province of Ontario has announced it intends to establish a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse-gas emissions and join the carbon market operated by California and Quebec. Ontario plans to impose a hard ceiling on GHG emissions for major sectors of its economy, and create a market where businesses can buy or sell carbon allowances or credits that can be used for compliance. California officials welcomed the news, calling it an important step in the fight against climate change.
California Looks to CCS for Natural Gas
The CEC this fall plans to release a $1 million to $2 million funding solicitation for research into innovative carbon capture and storage technologies for natural gas plants, California's largest category of point-source carbon-dioxide emissions. Research into CCS applications for natural gas has lagged compared to funding for coal applications, but with electricity generation accounting for much of the expected growth in natural gas consumption over the next 25 years, interest in CCS for gas plants is growing at both the federal and state levels.
RPS Case May Consider Increase in Goal
The CPUC has started outlining ways to refine implementation of the renewables portfolio standard program-and possibly increase the 33 percent RPS requirement. The commission's latest RPS proceeding is considering various issues such as updating the process to evaluate bids, using more distributed generation to meet the RPS, and factoring greenhouse-gas emissions reduction into procurement mechanisms.
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