California Sets Two Records Regarding Solar Power Production

LCG, March 8, 2018--The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) recorded an all-time peak percentage of demand served by solar energy facilities on Sunday, achieving a record 49.95 percent at 12:58 p.m. The prior peak record was 47.2 percent set on May 14, 2017.

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ERCOT Expects Record-breaking Peak Demand this Summer

LCG, March 2, 2018--The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) yesterday released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming spring season (March - May) and its preliminary assessment for the summer season (June - September). ERCOT, the grid operator for most of Texas, is predicting record-breaking peak usage this summer driven by the strong Texas economy. The combination of record-breaking peak usage and the recent retirement of older electric generating units is expected to result in tight operating reserves.

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Industry News

Agriculture Group Backs PG&E Hydro Plan; Independent Power Producers Don’t Like It

LCG, Aug. 11, 2000--Lobbyists began choosing sides yesterday as the California Public Utilities Commission began studying a proposal by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to transfer its hydroelectric facilities in the state to a newly created unit of its parent holding company PG&E Corp.

The proposal, reported here yesterday, had the backing of The Utility Reform Network (TURN), theCoalition of California Utility Employees (CUE), Agricultural Energy Consumers Association(AECA), California Retailers Association, Sonoma County Water Agency, and Tuolumne UtilityDistrict.

Director Michael Boccadoro of the AECA called the settlement agreement "an historic opportunity to guarantee that these resources are operated in a reliable, environmentally sound manner and toprovide electric customers with significant economic benefits."

But the owners of independent power plants are against the proposal. Jan Smutny-Jones, executive director of the Independent Energy Producers Association, said "The best way to protect the environment and ratepayers, and to foster a truly competitive electric market is through an open, conditioned auction of these generating assets."

When PG&E first proposed transferring ownership of the hydro facilities to an affiliate, the plan was dismissed as self-serving and concerns over market power were raise. So, the utility proposed that it auction its plants, just like it did with its fossil-fueled power plants. That raised concerns by environmentalists and others who wondered what would happen to Californias rivers when competing generation companies ran the hydro turbines full time.

This time around, PG&E says its proposal should satisfy both environmentalists and free-market competitors.

As the sainted Noah Webster said in his 1802 American Spelling Book, "It makes a difference whose ox is gored."

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