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California Energy Markets / This Week
[CEM 1306 / October 24, 2014]
How the CPUC Might Change After the Ex Parte Saga
An ongoing review of CPUC processes by an adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown seeks to boost efficiency and effectiveness at the agency after the Pacific Gas & Electric ex parte scandal. One remedy would be to carve out policy issues from ratesetting cases, placing topics in a less formal setting and not subjecting them to ex parte rules. Other ideas include getting commissioners to discuss agenda items more often at their meetings or in all-party hearings, and requiring the commission to report ex parte contacts. Meanwhile, in PG&E's gas transmission and storage case, parties questioned if the ex parte violations have tainted the case so much it cannot proceed.
Cal-ISO Looks for Ways to Tap Into More Imperial Valley Renewables
The Imperial Irrigation District currently exports about 612 MW of renewables to the Cal-ISO grid, but has more than 1.5 GW of existing and planned renewables projects that may have difficulty being considered "deliverable" to Cal-ISO because of import rules. The grid operator has upped IID import capability by 200 MW to accommodate projects with signed power-purchase agreements. It is also looking at recalculating the maximum import capability from IID, reallocating Arizona import capability to IID, and transmission solutions.
Noble Americas to Provide CCA Services to Lancaster
Noble Americas Energy Solutions will provide data-management services for the City of Lancaster's community choice aggregation program under a contract approved by the Lancaster City Council on Oct. 14. The city will pay the San Diego-based company up to $1.1 million annually for customer services including call-center operations, and to work with incumbent utility Southern California Edison on billing administration. Lancaster is preparing to launch a CCA program, Lancaster Energy Choice, in May.
Los Angeles Allowing for Additional Review of Feed-In Tariff Projects
Public outcry over plans to build ground-mounted solar systems in more-rural Los Angeles neighborhoods has prompted city officials to clarify the permitting requirements for feed-in tariff projects. Under a new determination issued by the city, all solar FIT projects in Los Angeles are now subject to conditional-use permits. The city is seeing an influx of solar projects as the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power implements a 100 MW FIT program, with generous incentives spurring strong interest from developers.
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