California PUC Targets Doubling Renewable Energy by 2030

LCG, March 27, 2020--The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) yesterday unanimously approved a new emissions target for its electric sector that would double California's clean energy capacity through 2030 and effectively block new natural gas-fired electric generating facilities.

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Tennessee Valley Authority Issues RFP for 200 MW of Renewables

LCG, March 19, 2020--The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) issued a request for proposals (RFP) on March 13 to develop up to 200 MW of stand-alone renewable energy resources or renewable energy resources configured with battery energy storage systems (BESS). Solar resources must be tracking, and the projects must be commercially operational and providing power by September 29, 2023 or earlier.

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Industry News

Edison May Avoid Bankruptcy on its Own

LCG, July 20, 2001For the first time in more than a year, Southern California Edison Co. expects this month to collect more money than it will spend on electricity, giving rise to hopes that it could claw its way out of insolvency without the help of "bailout" plans by the state.

The utility accumulated around $3.5 billion in debt as it was forced to pay high wholesale prices for electricity and sell it to its customers at low rates fixed by California's failed electric deregulation law.

Wholesale power prices in California have dropped dramatically in recent weeks, partly as a result of controls established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission but mostly because of mild weather, the commissioning of new power plants and good performance of existing plants, lower natural gas prices and increased energy conservation by Californians facing higher electric rates.

Recently approved rate increases have enabled the utility to take in more than it is paying out, allowing it to boost its retail rates from about 7 cents per kilowatt-hour to 10.27 cents. SoCal Ed officials said that if those conditions continue a big "if" as a prolonged heat wave could drive power prices up the utility could make payments on a proposed bond offering to pay down the $3.5 billion debt.

The company is far from out of the woods, an executive cautioned. Brian Bennett, a SoCal Ed vice president, said "While we might be able to cover our costs going forward, it is equally important that we have a way to pay off that $3.5-billion debt."

Continued good news could obviate the need for the now-stalled plan by California Gov. Gray Davis to "rescue" the utility by having the state purchase its transmission assets for $2.76 billion. Three bills to make that plan possible are working their way through the state legislature but none appear likely to be approved before lawmakers begin a month-long vacation today.

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