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California Energy Markets / This Week
[CEM 1260 / November 27, 2013]
Appeal of Community Power Keeps Growing
The Marin Energy Authority is set to consider adding the City of Albany and Napa County to the pool of jurisdictions served by its community-choice aggregation program, Marin Clean Energy. Formal requests by Albany and Napa County to join MEA are indicative of growing interest in CCA in the Bay Area and throughout the state as elected officials seek greener power options for residents and businesses, reduced carbon footprints, and local energy-project development. Meanwhile, CCA advocates in California are mulling the formation of a statewide joint-powers authority to make aggregation more plug-and-play.
IOUs Propose Steep Rate Hikes for Lower Tiers
California's investor-owned utilities are seeking interim rate reforms they say will help resolve a decade-long rate inequity through which residential users in upper rate tiers have borne the brunt of rate increases. The proposals, submitted to the CPUC Nov. 22, would increase lower-tier rates as much as 32 percent, while rates for upper tiers would mostly decrease. The changes come as the commission is looking at ways to restructure residential electric-rate design in line with a new state law.
CPUC Looks for Ways to Limit Green Power Costs
An effort at the CPUC looks to limit utilities' spending on procuring renewables, following state legislation that calls for avoiding a disproportionate rate impact. What that means remains up for debate and possible definition. The commission's staff, a utility, large energy consumers, and renewables-industry groups have proposed various ways to calculate the cost cap.
Duke Projects in Wyoming Are First Wind Farms Guilty of Bird Deaths
Duke Energy has cut a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice and agreed to pay a $1 million fine for killing birds at two wind projects in Wyoming, the company said Nov. 22. The charges include killing 14 golden eagles and 149 other birds at the 200 MW Top of the World and 99 MW Campbell Hill wind projects near Casper between 2009 and 2013. The case is the first-ever criminal enforcement under the 85-year-old federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act for unauthorized kills at wind projects.
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