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California Energy Markets / This Week
[CEM 1292 / July 18, 2014]
SDG&E Tests Effectiveness of Drones in Day-to-Day Operations
San Diego Gas & Electric is testing the effectiveness of using drones for inspecting power lines, locating the causes of power outages, and other operations and maintenance-related applications. SDG&E reports it is the first utility in the U.S. to be granted Federal Aviation Administration approval to test the unmanned aircraft, which the utility is undertaking in limited areas of San Diego County. The lightweight drones are fitted with multiple cameras and are controlled by a licensed pilot.
Report Finds Potential for Shortages, Manipulation in State Carbon Market
The California Air Resources Board should take steps to better protect the state's cap-and-trade market from potential shortages and manipulation, a CARB advisory group recommends in a new report. The Market Simulation Group, enlisted by CARB to stress-test the market's design, found there is small but significant potential that the cap-and-trade program's allowance reserve could be depleted, leading to possible shocks in the market. The possibility also exists that participants may withhold allowances to create "artificial scarcity."
Cal-ISO Opens Major Transmission Line to Competitive Bidding
Cal-ISO's Board of Governors approved the 500 kV Delaney-Colorado River transmission project, which will be open to competitive solicitation. The project, which links California and Arizona, has a capital cost of $325 million and both Southern California Edison and Arizona Public Service have expressed an interest in building it.
Parties Target Integration Costs, Long-Term Plans With Renewables Procurement
Stakeholders want California investor-owned utilities to detail their efforts for going beyond the 33 percent renewables portfolio standard, since that number is a floor rather than a cap. They also offered proposals for a possible integration cost adder when evaluating renewables contracts.
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