SACCWIS Recommends Extending Retirement Dates for OTC Facilities – Again

The Statewide Advisory Committee on Cooling Water Intake Structures (SACCWIS), which is composed of the CAISO, CCEC, and CPUC – filed a draft report to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) this week (9/20) recommending that the OTC facilities slated for retirement remain on-line for an additional 3 and 5 years.

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California Bans the Sale of New Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles Beginning in 2035

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted this week to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035, a first-in-the-nation mandate the state’s leaders hope will jolt the automotive industry and truly make electric vehicles mainstream.

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Governor Newsom Enjoys Environmental Victories on Last Day of Session – Also Wins on Diablo

On the final day of the legislative session, Governor Gavin Newsom scored major victories on some of his “5 point climate plan,” including the “lithium valley,” and Diablo.  As for what kind of “horse trading” or favors were afforded for the votes – those will eventually be revealed. 

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CAISO, CPUC, CEC Issue Preliminary Report on Blackouts

The Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee will be holding an oversight hearing with the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and California Energy Commission (CEC) aimed at reviewing a report on the rolling blackouts triggered in August. The Preliminary Root Cause Analysis 121 page report issued by the three energy agencies today offered the following three key findings.

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CAISO Declares Flex Alert for Thursday, Oct. 1

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, October 1, 2020). With high temperatures in the forecast, the power grid operator is predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use.  Reduced capacity, along with fire activity and heat, has led to a potential shortage of energy supply tomorrow evening. Earlier this afternoon, a Grid Alert was issued for a possible electricity shortage in the day-ahead market, for one hour beginning at 6 p.m. tomorrow, and a Restricted Maintenance Operations [...]

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PG&E Declares PSPS Event Beginning Early Sunday Morning

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced late Saturday that they are declaring a Public Power Safety Shutt-off (PSPS) event beginning early Sunday morning and that they will last until Monday. Delivering the news during a press briefing, the utility said they expected the PSPS to impact nearly 89,000 customers in 16 counties across Northern California. In a statement released after the press conference, PG&E said that "The anticipated scope and timing of this event has changed from earlier announcements, based on updated weather forecasts that showed stronger wind gusts in a larger portion of PG&E’s service area.  PG&E’s in-house meteorologists, [...]

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PG&E Says PSPS Possible for 100K this Weekend Due to Heat and Wind

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has warned late today that a Public Power Safety Shut-Off (PSPS) event is possible for close to 100,000 residents in Northern California this weekend as strong offshore winds are forecast to hit the region starting Sunday morning. According to the PG&E press release, costumers in Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Kern, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Tehama, and Yuba counties could lose power over the weekend. Following legislative and regulatory approval, California utilities were afforded the ability to enact PSPS events if high-risk weather conditions occurred.   While the utilities have been under [...]

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Newsom Orders Ban on Gas-Fueled Vehicles by 2035

Governor Gavin Newsom today (9/23) called for a ban on the sale of new gasoline-fueled vehicles beginning in 2035.  Newsom said he is directing the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish regulations requiring that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California in 2035 be zero-emission vehicles.

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As California’s Fires Burn, Governor Newsom and President Trump Make Nice

The largest wildfire in California history is currently burning in Northern California.  A series of lightning strikes ignited 37 fires that merged together.  The August Complex Fire exploded in size earlier this week after winds blew flames beyond previously-established control lines, according to the U.S. Forest Service.  

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Saturday Mid-Day Update: Historic Fires Cover the West

UPDATE9/12/2020 -- 12noon Wildfires are burning across the West, but cooler weather may be offering some hope in the coming days.  Also, just announced, President Trump will visit Sacramento on Monday (9/14) for a briefing on the California wildfires. According the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), the combined firefighting force across the West is more than 29,000 currently on the front lines of these fires.  Across the West, thousands of homes and other structures have been lost and regrettably, 26 lives so far.  NIFC also reported that evacuations are active in 6 States across the West due to the massive [...]

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State Water Resources Control Board Unanimously Approves Extension of OTC Facilities

Members of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) voted unanimously extended the deadlines for once through-cooled (OTC) compliance for four natural gas power plants in an effort to maintain grid reliability in the Los Angeles area, a vote that took on extra importance after two nights of rotating blackouts last month.

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More Public Power Safety Shutoffs are Coming in 2020

As reported over the last several days on GovReport, a statewide heatwave, fires in Northern and Southern California, and high winds are forcing California's in state utilities to declare or consider public power safety shutoffs (PSPS), an ability that was granted to the utilities via legislation that was signed by Governor Newsom and regulations that were later approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). As of Monday (9/8), Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), is currently in the midst of a PSPS event for 17 Northern California counties -- an event that could impact as many as 200,000 customers.  Late [...]

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PPIC Survey says Californians favor renewable sources, are not as likely to want to pay more for electricity

The Public Policy Institute of California’s released an environmental survey (PPIC Eviro Survey) that shows that Californians strongly support policies on environmental protection, but not everyone is willing to pay more for their energy services.

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CPUC Mandates Back-Up Power for Cell Towers by 2021

The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved to mandate that wireless providers have backup power for communications facilities in fire-prone areas by next July after residents lost crucial phone service during past disasters and PSPS shut-offs. It was among several resiliency mandates the PUC approved.

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