A group of eight California community choice aggregators on Oct. 16 issued a request for offers for up to 500 MW of long-duration energy storage. The Joint CCAs, which include Central and Northern California providers that together serve nearly 3 million accounts, seek minimum 10-year contracts for projects that can be operational by 2026 and have a discharge period of at least eight hours. The group received more than 58 project entries representing 14 different technologies from a request for information on long-duration storage earlier this year. "By working together, the eight CCAs are able to procure large-scale projects that would be challenging for one CCA to procure on its own," Girish Balachandran, CEO of Silicon Valley Clean Energy, said in a news release. The RFO proposals are due Dec. 1.

Judge William Alsup, overseeing Pacific Gas & Electric's felony probation, directed the utility to explain its role in the ignition of the Zogg Fire and to describe which equipment was removed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (see CEM No. 1611). Alsup also told PG&E to describe the extent of trimmed and untrimmed vegetation in the area where the equipment was removed, and explain whether the equipment was transmission, distribution or substation equipment. The fire began on Sept. 27 north of Igo, caused four deaths, and burned more than 56,338 acres.

PG&E has so far added 300 weather stations and 137 fire-watch cameras to high-fire-threat areas this year, bringing its total to 900 weather stations and 270 cameras throughout Northern and Central California. The utility aims to have 1,300 weather stations—about one for every 20 miles of electric line—by the end of 2021 and roughly 600 cameras by the end of 2022, providing a visibility of roughly 90 percent in high-risk areas when the system is complete. Cal Fire and other fire agencies can control the cameras as needed, and anyone can view them. Station observations are available at PG&E's website and MesoWest.

The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the primary driver for an expected 51.6-percent compound annual growth rate in the U.S. electric truck market between 2020 and 2030, according to a new report by PS Intelligence, released Oct. 12. Analysts expect market revenues to increase from $211.5 million in 2019 to roughly $15 billion by 2030. Although the coronavirus pandemic has dampened adoption, the report finds the growing need for heavy-duty trucks in the bulk freight services niche for use in logistics should spur the market. The authors also say most of the revenue is being generated in California through incentive programs, and cite the California Air Resources Board's Advanced Clean Truck Regulations as another factor supporting continued market growth.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that community choice aggregators in the state are likely to have more renewable resources than investor-owned and cooperative utilities, but that CCAs' contracted resources are on average farther from their service territories than those of traditional electric utilities. Newer providers face barriers to contracting local energy resources, authors Madison Hoffacker and Rebecca Hernandez stated in the study's abstract. They found that about 20 percent of California providers' purchased energy could be considered local and that 42 percent is drawn from out-of-state resources. Consuming electricity closer to its source increases efficiency and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a UC Davis news release says. The study's authors in the release note parallels between consumer interest in local, decentralized electricity generation and in local-food movements.

Colorado State University's Energy Institute acquired the state's first public hydrogen fueling station, the institute said in an Oct. 6 statement. The electrolyzer station will produce hydrogen by splitting water molecules. Energy Institute staff will use it to conduct research on hydrogen fuel-cell technology as an alternative to lithium batteries for alternative-fuel vehicles. The institute is also discussing with Fort Collins Light & Power and Platte River Power Authority using hydrogen to provide load leveling on the electric grid. The station will operate with limited hours or by appointment for semi-public use, the statement said.