CPUC proposes optimal 2030 system portfolio tripling battery storage, more than doubling solar
Utility Dive – February 27
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is proposing to adopt a 46 million metric ton greenhouse gas emissions target for the electric sector in 2030, to keep load-serving entities on track to meet the state's goal of supplying 100 percent of its electricity from zero-carbon resources by 2045. The CPUC's proposed decision also outlines the optimal system portfolio to reach that goal — and it includes tripling current levels of battery storage capacity and doubling pumped storage, or other long-duration storage, by 2030. Commissioners will consider the proposal at the agency's March 26 meeting, and load-serving entities are scheduled to file their integrated resource plans by July 1.
Geothermal energy contract set to boost Glendale’s renewable portfolio by 11%
Los Angeles Times - February 27
Glendale’s renewable energy portfolio is slated to get a boost with the recent approval of a contract to purchase geothermal energy from a pair of projects — Whitegrass and Star Peak — located in Nevada. This Tuesday, City Council members voted to enter into a 25-year contract with Open Mountain Energy that will eventually provide the city with 15.5 megawatts of geothermal energy annually. Glendale Water & Power officials said the energy would be delivered at a competitive price of about $67.50 to $70.25 per megawatt-hour. Negotiated through Southern California Public Power Authority, of which Glendale is a member, the deal was hailed by both city officials and environmentalists as a step toward meeting sustainability goals.
Will Kern County save California's plans for a green future?
The Record – March 1
Kern County has been identified as a key component to the state’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, and the Board of Supervisors has taken a small step toward making that goal a reality. This week, the board voted to add carbon management industries to the county’s economic development program, Advance Kern, which offers incentives to certain industries county leaders hope to foster. The vote came after a presentation by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which recently completed a study finding that Kern County could be a major beneficiary of carbon sequestration efforts. The county’s vast network of underground oil formations are ideal for storing carbon dioxide, according to the study. Steven Bohlen, a program manager at Lawrence Livermore, said the southern San Joaquin Valley had the capacity to store carbon dioxide for 100 years, and that Kern County’s existing green energy grid could be used to power the carbon-capture devices.
Proposed California bill would fund critical microgrids for vulnerable populations
Microgrid Knowledge – March 3
California lawmakers are considering a bill that would fund critical microgrids to help municipalities and others deal with power outages. Senate Bill 1215 was recently introduced by Senator Henry Stern, also the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 1339, which launched a current effort by the California Public Utilities Commission to take steps to support microgrid development in the state. Stern’s new bill is a response to a series of planned power outages last year instituted by California’s investor-owned utilities. The bill would create the Local Government Deenergization Event Resiliency Program, which would support state and local government efforts to set up microgrids to keep the power running in facilities that are needed for public safety and to protect vulnerable populations, such as people who have health issues requiring electrical equipment.
Federal report rejects removal of four Pacific Northwest dams
Associated Press – February 29
A long-awaited federal report released last Friday rejected the idea of removing four hydroelectric dams on a major Pacific Northwest river in a last-ditch effort to save threatened and endangered salmon, saying such a dramatic approach would destabilize the power grid, increase overall greenhouse emissions, and more than double the risk of regional power outages. The four dams on the lower Snake River are part of a vast and complex hydroelectric power system operated by the federal government in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The massive dams, built in eastern Washington between 1961 and 1975, are at the center of a years-long battle that pits the fate of two iconic Pacific Northwest species — the salmon and the killer whale — against the need for plentiful, carbon-free power for the booming region. Friday’s report is a draft and will be subject to 45 days of public comment.
Longroad acquires four solar projects from First Solar
Solar Industry Magazine – March 2
Longroad Energy has acquired four California-based solar projects with a combined capacity of 160 megawatts from First Solar Inc. Backed by a long-term power purchase agreement with a community choice aggregator, Marin Clean Energy, the Little Bear Solar portfolio of projects is located in Fresno County. The projects, which range from 20 megawatts to 50 megawatts and are expected to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, are designed to have a low impact on local land and water resources.
Safari Energy partners with ShopCore Properties on commercial solar projects nationwide
Solar Power World - February 20
Commercial solar developer Safari Energy announced a new partnership to develop several commercial solar projects for ShopCore Properties, a national retail owner and operator and part of The Blackstone Group. The first project, a 240-kilowatt solar rooftop system at Gilroy Crossing Power Center in Gilroy, California, was completed earlier this year. Gilroy Crossing is expected to produce approximately 360,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year of operation. Three additional solar projects are nearing completion with several more in the pipeline, including projects located in Deptford Township and Sewell in New Jersey, as well as Stockton and San Leandro in Northern California.