Weekly Energy Digest for March 20, 2020

by | Mar 20, 2020

Below are some of the energy-related news stories we’ve been reading this week …

California                                       

Court Approves PG&E’s $23B Bankruptcy Financing Package

Pacific Gas & Electric on Monday won court approval to raise $23 billion to help pay its bills over destructive California wildfires after Gov. Gavin Newsom dropped his opposition to a financing package designed to help the nation’s largest utility get out of bankruptcy. (Associated Press, March 16)

Contractor Denies PG&E’s Claims of Overcharging after Camp Fire

A Bay Area contractor that did work related to the aftermath of the 2018 Camp Fire is pushing back on claims that it overcharged PG&E Corp. and made improper payments to two company employees. (San Francisco Chronicle, March 15)

Groups Join Fight Against SDG&E Natural Gas Pipeline Project Along I-15

Crews have already started working on a 50-mile project that will replace some segments and pressure-test others on an old natural gas pipeline that runs along Interstate 15, but four consumer and green groups say the project should be halted until an environmental review is completed. (San Diego Union-Tribune, March 18)

Power Still Out for 12,000 Customers Across Northern California After Snow, PG&E Says

PG&E says about 12,000 customers remain without power in the Sierra Nevada foothills after a recent low-elevation snowstorm caused “significant” damage to the utility’s equipment. (Sacramento Bee, March 19)

Utilities Commission Rejects SDG&E Proposal to Nearly Quadruple Minimum Monthly Bills

The California Public Utilities Commission shot down a proposal by San Diego Gas & Electric that called for nearly quadrupling the minimum bill charged to residential customers from $10 per month to $38. (San Diego Union-Tribune, March 18)

‘Mount Trashmore’: Solar Panels Planned for Former East Bay Landfill Site

Alameda city officials now hope to install approximately 7,830 solar panels at the site at Doolittle Drive and Harbor Bay Parkway, as well as 16 “inverters,” or equipment used to convert sunlight to energy. The converted energy would be fed directly into the power grid. (Mercury News, March 17)

Nation/World

Oil Market Impacts of COVID-19

Oil markets aren’t the first thing that hardly anyone thinks about when reading updates on the novel coronavirus. The health threat is frightening, and the economic impact will be devastating for many low wage and service workers. (Energy Institute at Haas, March 15)

How Power Companies are Keeping Your Lights on During the Pandemic

The American power grid has been described as the world’s biggest machine — and the people who run that machine say they’re prepared to keep the lights on as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. (Los Angeles Times, March 19)

Texas Weighs Curtailing Oil Production for First Time in Decades

Texas regulators are considering curtailing oil production in America’s largest oil-producing state, something they haven’t done in decades, people familiar with the matter said. (Wall Street Journal, March 19)

U.S. Power Use Weakening After Plunging in Italy Amid Coronavirus

Demand for electricity is beginning to weaken in parts of the U.S. hardest hit by the coronavirus and could fall further in coming days as shelter-in-place orders spread, following a path taken by Italy’s industrial region. (Wall Street Journal, March 18)

Solar, Wind and Storage Industries Seek Relief in Coronavirus Stimulus Package

The clean-energy sector is pressing lawmakers to extend deadlines for the solar ITC and wind PTC as the outbreak trips up project timelines. (Green Tech Media, March 19)

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