A diverse collection of stakeholders in California's energy future recently agreed that new approaches and wide-ranging ideas will be needed to confront the challenges the state faces from wildfires and widespread power shut-offs.
This week powerful winds buffeted California, as did widespread power outages, and other utilities joined Pacific Gas & Electric in being blamed for possibly causing destructive fires.
The finding Oct. 24 that a Pacific Gas & Electric transmission tower might be the source of yet another disastrous wildfire, coupled with serious fires in Southern California, made for a brutal week for grid users and utilities, who were already in the grip of a widespread public-safety …
The outrage expressed by Gov. Gavin Newsom over Pacific Gas & Electric's widespread power shut-off last week in Northern California, as well as the response from the state's top energy regulator, showed a curious reaction and allocation of blame for a state-government-approved event that…
Most everybody has had their power go out before, but rarely do you know it's happening ahead of time, as was the case with Pacific Gas & Electric's public-safety power shut-offs this week. However, even with months of lead-up, you don't fully believe it will happen until it does.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for two natural gas-fired power plants in Yuba City, a working-class city with about 65,000 residents in the northern Central Valley.
In the wake of marches around the globe for action on climate change, Gov. Gavin Newsom took to a national stage to spread the word about California's climate success story. But a closer look at some of his victory pronouncements reveals a much more chaotic situation on the ground than his c…
There is little doubt that natural gas is rapidly becoming non grata in California through the efforts of powerful elected officials and environmental groups, but the breakup seems to be increasingly painful.
Climate change—for years a focus in California—is shaping up to be a central theme in a U.S. presidential election for the first time and was the topic this week of a grueling seven-hour public town hall on the CNN television network among Democratic candidates.
Leadership of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power drew a strong backlash this week over a decision to delay approval of a 25-year power-purchase agreement with a commitment of up to $1.5 billion to replace natural gas-fired power plants with a massive solar/battery storage project.
California offshore waters are known for surfers, sea lions and big waves, not ocean-bound wind turbines, but anticipation is high as a new leasing process for offshore sites by the federal government begins next year.
California communities are contemplating the implications of extended public-safety power shut-offs, with elected officials saying they are hearing widespread apprehension from their constituents over the impacts of the planned outages.
Executives with California’s investor-owned utilities in second-quarter conference calls voiced support for Gov. Gavin Newsom and the AB 1054 legislation he signed in July that swiftly and dramatically reduced their financial risk from wildfires, shoring up their bottom lines.
Large hydroelectric facilities currently don’t count toward the state’s renewables portfolio standard, rankling rural utilities that say they will have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for renewables they don’t need in coming years.
Southern California Gas Co. is facing pressure from some environmentalists and elected officials to close the Playa del Rey gas storage facility in Los Angeles, a situation reminiscent of another big headache for the company—the controversy over Aliso Canyon.
The bankruptcy of Pacific Gas & Electric is putting the state’s renewable-generation goals in jeopardy, worrying developers of renewables projects that have exposure to the utility.
Grid reliability and energy prices appear to be trumping public health concerns in California as regulators deal with the reduced capacity of the Aliso Canyon natural gas facility near Los Angeles, a leaky but critical storage field that has mobilized local residents and environmental groups…
Western energy market participants agree that better regional coordination can help individual states achieve goals related to renewables and greenhouse gas reductions by allowing more efficient resource use. But integrating a patchwork of state policies into wholesale energy markets is prov…
A new settlement adds to the $97.5 million assessed to Pacific Gas & Electric in April 2018 for ex parte communications regarding the explosion and fire in the San Bruno residential neighborhood that killed eight people. PG&E’s total penalty for the ex parte communications is now set…
After hearing from market participants, California’s grid operator is expanding the scope of its already broad analysis of its markets.
Gov. Gavin Newsom filled some key state-level energy and wildfire-related positions, drawing from academia and from among veterans of other state agencies.
In recent days, the geyser-like buildup of Pacific Gas & Electric’s possible bankruptcy erupted in dramatic fashion, the fate of the utility gaining a new level of attention as an international media story and prompting feverish analysis from many quarters.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom waded into the wildfire crisis directly after being sworn into office on Jan. 7, appearing the following day in a rural, high-fire-risk area and announcing new executive orders, while characterizing the situation around Pacific Gas & Electric as “complicated.”
The commencement of 2019 sees a confluence of factors—some of them harrowing and disturbing—that could potentially result in Pacific Gas & Electric beginning a transition toward a publicly owned utility and its current management and board governance ousted. And the calls for change from…
Without underground natural gas storage, California would be unable to consistently meet winter demand for gas through 2020, the authors of a new report on underground gas storage in California concluded.
State advocates and lawmakers want to ensure utility customers get the full benefit of any savings utilities reap under the new federal tax plan.
As if dealing with devastating wildfires and mudslides aren’t enough, a growing concern for California homeowners, lawmakers and regulators is the increasing lack of obtainable and affordable insurance for residents living in areas where there is an elevated wildfire risk.
The California Energy Commission and the California Air Resources Board, in a new report assessing the time and cost needed to reach 100 hydrogen refueling stations in California, estimate the milestone can be reached by 2024, with a total outlay by the state of just over $201 million.
Energy storage is the grid’s best shape-shifter: it can act as transmission, distribution, energy, ancillary services, capacity, or load. FERC drafted a policy statement Jan. 19 clarifying that it’s fine for storage to act in wholesale markets in different ways, earning either market-based r…
The U.S. electric grid can accommodate 35 percent wind energy with palatable amounts of curtailed energy, but only if four major transmission lines costing $10.1 billion are built, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory study.
In the early days of California’s renewables portfolio standard, the concern was that high-priced RPS contracts would produce sticker shock. That concern was justified, as some of those early RPS contracts, signed in a rush when technologies were nascent, led to a hike in utility generation rates.