Historic drought to shrink California’s hydroelectric generation by 19%
Renewable Energy World – July 8
As a result of harsh drought conditions in California in 2021, the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the state’s hydroelectric generation to be lower in 2021 than it has been in recent years. In the first four months of 2021, hydroelectric generation in California was 37% less than in the same four months in 2020 and 71% less than during those months in 2019. According to its Short-Term Energy Outlook, hydroelectric generation in California this year will be 19% less than last year, decreasing from 16.8 million MWh in 2020 to 13.6 million MWh in 2021.
More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard
The Hill – July 7
More than 75 major U.S. companies, including Apple, Google, Lyft, and Salesforce, signed a letter circulated Wednesday urging Congress to adopt a federal clean electricity standard. In the letter, signers urged the federal government to adopt a standard that achieves 80% carbon neutrality by the end of the decade, with a goal of completely emission-free power by 2035. The letter notes that the electrical power sector alone generates a full third of nationwide carbon dioxide emissions created by burning fossil fuels.
California utilities oppose plan to waive standby fees for microgrids
Microgrid Knowledge – July 1
California utilities are opposing a proposal to lift a major component of standby charges for microgrids that meet certain air emissions standards, saying it would illegally shift costs from one group of customers to another. Meanwhile, microgrid advocates generally supported the proposal by a California Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge to suspend capacity reservation charges, but asked for some changes to the plan, according to June 29 filings with the agency. The proposal is part of the commission’s multiphase effort to spur the commercial development of microgrids.
California inches toward goals for offshore wind energy production
San Francisco Examiner – July 6
A bill that promises to jumpstart offshore wind energy production in California has come one step closer to becoming law. Authored by David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Assembly Bill 525 would direct state agencies to set statewide goals for offshore wind production and develop a strategic plan for California to achieve large-scale renewable wind energy by 2045. The bill was approved by the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, according to a news release issued Monday by Chiu’s office. The bill now moves on to the Senate Natural Resources Committee on July 13.
Groups ask Congress for first-of-its-kind cost analysis of RTOs amid market expansion debate
Utility Dive – July 8
A coalition of consumer advocates, pro-market groups, and others, spearheaded by the Electricity Consumers Resource Council, is calling on Congress to direct an independent agency to conduct a first-of-its-kind cost analysis on organized power markets in the U.S. The letter, sent July 8, asks Congress to direct the Government Accountability Office to conduct a detailed cost analysis of organized markets that are under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's jurisdiction. The effort comes in the midst of rising debate in traditionally regulated, vertically integrated utility regions about whether forming or joining a regional transmission organization could save customers money and accelerate the transition to clean energy.
GM shakes up lithium industry with California geothermal project
Reuters – July 2
General Motors Co is investing in a U.S. lithium project that could become the country’s largest by 2024, making the automaker one of the first to develop its own source of a battery metal crucial for the electrification of cars and trucks. The deal, announced last Friday, comes as automakers around the world scramble for access to lithium and other electric vehicle (EV) metals as internal combustion engines are phased out. GM said it will make a “multimillion-dollar investment” in and help develop Controlled Thermal Resources’ Hell’s Kitchen geothermal brine project near the Salton Sea, roughly 160 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Community choice aggregator signs PPA for San Diego solar project
Solar Industry Magazine – July 8
BayWa r.e. has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with San Diego Community Power (SDCP), the nonprofit community choice energy program serving five cities in the San Diego region. Under the terms of the PPA, SDCP will purchase power for 20 years from the Jacumba Valley Ranch Energy Park being developed by BayWa r.e. near Jacumba Hot Springs in San Diego County. The project will pair a 90 MW AC solar photovoltaic array with a 70 MW/280 MWh DC-coupled battery energy storage system.