News and analysis about energy in California with an eye toward renewables.
Utilities
Solar's 'Threat' to Utilities Prompts Financial Rating Downgrade

Solar's 'Threat' to Utilities Prompts Financial Rating Downgrade

Utilities: That embarrassing thing where a major financial firm tells you your industrial sector might not survive if we save the planet.
Protesters Visit SoCal Edison Headquarters Over Solar Battle

Protesters Visit SoCal Edison Headquarters Over Solar Battle

Commentary: If a recent cease and desist letter that Southern California Edison (SCE) sent to rooftop solar activists was intended to make them go away, it seems to be having the opposite effect. Which could be a metaphor for utilities and rooftop solar itself, when you get right down to it.
Sacramento Valley Town to Buy Solar Power From Kern County

Sacramento Valley Town to Buy Solar Power From Kern County

Solar: The upscale Sacramento suburb of Roseville will buy electrical power from a solar facility more than 260 miles south of the city, in a Kern County town more readily known for oil wells than solar fields.
Story Continues Below
Support KCET
SoCal Edison Not Laughing at Rooftop Solar Satire Video

SoCal Edison Not Laughing at Rooftop Solar Satire Video

Utilities: A satirical video intended to poke fun at alleged utility obstruction of rooftop solar in California has attracted the ire of Southern California Edison.
Group Objects to Giant Solar Plant Near Manzanar Historic Site

Group Objects to Giant Solar Plant Near Manzanar Historic Site

Photovoltaic (PV): Manzanar was the site of a shameful chapter in California's history, where thousands of Japanese Americans were imprisoned on account of their ethnicity. Now a utility wants to cover up that history with solar panels.
Is SoCal Edison Attacking Home Power Solar Energy Storage?

Is SoCal Edison Attacking Home Power Solar Energy Storage?

Commentary: Homeowners who have a little bit of extra cash when they install solar panels are often encouraged to add battery storage to their home system. But a Southern California utility just delivered some upsetting news to owners of those storage systems.
Video Mocks Utility Outreach to Latino Pols in Attempt to Squelch Solar

Video Mocks Utility Outreach to Latino Pols in Attempt to Squelch Solar

Commentary: A group of environmental and economic democracy activists charges that utilities are targeting Latino politicians to restrict access to rooftop solar despite the fact that most California Latinos support more solar. And the groups are using satire as a weapon.
North Hollywood Apartment Building the First in L.A.'s Solar Program

North Hollywood Apartment Building the First in L.A.'s Solar Program

Utilities: L.A.'s Feed-in Tariff program, in which rooftop solar owners can make money selling unused energy to the LADWP, launched today.
Is Big Solar Dead?

Is Big Solar Dead?

Solar: With the cancellation of one of the biggest solar projects proposed for the California desert, the utility-scale solar boom of 2009 continues to falter. And analysts deep in the energy industry are taking notice.
Has Solar Power in California Reached a Tipping Point?

Has Solar Power in California Reached a Tipping Point?

Solar: In the first three months of 2013 almost a fifth of the solar installed in the state was put in without subsidies. As prices continue to fall and increasing costs of fossil fuels make solar ever more attractive, has California reached a solar tipping point?
Group: Penalty For PG&E Explosion Not Nearly Enough

Group: Penalty For PG&E Explosion Not Nearly Enough

Utilities: Though regulators are insisting that Pacific Gas & Electric pay a record $2.25 billion in penalties for its role in a disastrous September 2010 gas line explosion in San Bruno, a ratepayer activist group says that doesn't go nearly far enough.
Regulator: 'Throw the Book at PG&E'

Regulator: 'Throw the Book at PG&E'

Utilities: The head of the safety division of California's ratepayer protection agency has blasted Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) over the utility's reaction to a proposed $2.25 billon penalty stemming from a 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people, saying "It's time to throw the book at PG&E."
Bill Would Require Half State's Power be Renewable

Bill Would Require Half State's Power be Renewable

Utilities: A bill introduced into the California Legislature would require that all California utilities get 51 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2030.
Boxer Calls for Justice Department Investigation Into San Onofre

Boxer Calls for Justice Department Investigation Into San Onofre

Nuclear : Senator Barbara Boxer has asked the Justice Department to look into whether plant operator Southern California Edison deliberately misled regulators as the utility replaced aging steam generators at the plant's two remaining units.
SoCal Edison Ready for Summer Without Nuclear Power

SoCal Edison Ready for Summer Without Nuclear Power

Utilities: Representatives say the Southern California utility should be able to meet demand for power even without the San Onofre nuclear power plant, as long as Fortune throws a few breaks its way -- and with the help of its customers.
Will Solar Power Doom PG&E?

Will Solar Power Doom PG&E?

Utilities: A leading energy analyst has forecast the effect of dropping rooftop solar costs on Northern California's largest utility, and that forecast is bleak for the company and its shareholders.
California Now Has More Than 150,000 Solar Roofs

California Now Has More Than 150,000 Solar Roofs

Photovoltaic (PV): As of this week, California has at least 150,428 rooftops generating electricity, and probably a lot more than that.
Why PG&E Was Fined $2.25 Billion For The San Bruno Explosion

Why PG&E Was Fined $2.25 Billion For The San Bruno Explosion

Utilities: Northern California's largest utility may have to pay a total of $2.25 billion in penalties over a deadly September 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno.
Sonoma County Wants to Ditch Corporate Utility Power

Sonoma County Wants to Ditch Corporate Utility Power

Utilities: The Board of Supervisors of the Bay Area's semirural Sonoma County has voted 4-1 to launch a publicly owned electrical utility, starting in unincorporated areas but eventually encompassing the entire county. If successful, the new utility would eventually take 220,000 home and business customers away from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E.)
California Cities Snub Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Power

California Cities Snub Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Power

Utilities: On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council finalized a much-lauded agreement to wean the city's Department of Water and Power (DWP) off coal-fired electricity, and went on to oppose reopening of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. On that same day, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed a resolution urging the city's pension fund managers to sell off their interests in fossil fuel companies.
Barbara Boxer Blasts San Onofre Nuclear Restart Proposal

Barbara Boxer Blasts San Onofre Nuclear Restart Proposal

Nuclear : Senator Barbara Boxer has slammed a preliminary ruling by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission backing a Southern California Edison (SCE) proposal to restart the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station along the San Diego Coast. The Senator has called for a full investigation into the structural flaws that led to both remaining units of the ailing plant being shut down last year.
Are Utility Companies Doomed?

Are Utility Companies Doomed?

Commentary: A report by a leading utility trade association says that rooftop solar could spell doom for utilities, and recommends that power companies push for a clampdown on energy democracy.
Energy Exec: Customers 'Realizing They Don't Need Utilities'

Energy Exec: Customers 'Realizing They Don't Need Utilities'

Utilities: The CEO of the largest power-plant company in the U.S. calls rooftop solar power a "mortal threat" to utilities, and says that's not a bad thing.
California Commission Quashes 2 San Diego Gas Plants

California Commission Quashes 2 San Diego Gas Plants

Utilities: The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has likely made some San Diego County residents very happy today with a decision not to allow San Diego Gas & Electric to buy power from the controversial proposed Pio Pico Energy Center and Quail Brush Power gas-fired power plants.
It's Official: Los Angeles Coal Free by 2025

It's Official: Los Angeles Coal Free by 2025

Utilities: L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced today that the city of Los Angeles is phasing out use of coal-fired electrical power in the next 12 years.
Los Angeles Will Be Off Coal by 2025, Says Mayor

Los Angeles Will Be Off Coal by 2025, Says Mayor

Utilities: About 39 percent of L.A.'s power now comes from coal-fired plants.
Report: California Should Remove Limits on Net Metered Solar

Report: California Should Remove Limits on Net Metered Solar

Utilities: California leads the nation in distributed solar power generation (DG), but if the state wants to keep its rooftop and community solar lead it's going to have to get rid of limits on "net-metered" solar power.
Important Chapter in Southwest Environmental History Ends

Important Chapter in Southwest Environmental History Ends

Utilities: The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to devote proceeds from closing a polluting desert coal-fired power plant to promote renewable projects to benefit the Hopi and Navajo nations.
More Applicants Than Openings in LADWP Solar Pilot Program

More Applicants Than Openings in LADWP Solar Pilot Program

Photovoltaic (PV): Even though the L.A. Department of Water And Power's new solar incentive program has taken some heat, the new Feed-in Tariff already has more applicants for its first round than were planned for in the whole program.
California Ballot Prop Would Force State Takeover of Utilities

California Ballot Prop Would Force State Takeover of Utilities

Utilities: A new initiative cleared for signature-gathering Monday by Secretary of State Debra Bowen, would replace SCE, PG&E, and SDG&E with the publicly owned "California Electrical Utility District."
Boxer: SoCal Edison Knew About San Onofre Flaws Before Installation

Boxer: SoCal Edison Knew About San Onofre Flaws Before Installation

Utilities: Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Edward Markey have charged that SCE, the operator of the beleaguered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, was aware of serious problems with a critical part being installed.
More Progress On San Onofre Decision

More Progress On San Onofre Decision

Utilities: The process of deciding whether and how to restart the disabled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station continues.
Arizona Resolutely Marches Backward on Renewable Energy

Arizona Resolutely Marches Backward on Renewable Energy

Government: Arizona has a renewable standard that even its supporters characterize as "modest." And now they're talking about scaling it back.
LADWP Solar Program Clears Hurdle

LADWP Solar Program Clears Hurdle

Utilities: The L.A. City Council decided Tuesday not to send DWP's 100-megawatt feed-in tariff program to a Council committee for review and possible veto.
Not Everyone Impressed with L.A.'s New Rooftop Solar Program

Not Everyone Impressed with L.A.'s New Rooftop Solar Program

Utilities: Though the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power won wide acclaim for approving a plan to buy 100 megawatts of solar power from rooftops and vacant lots in Los Angeles last week, some observers have criticized the program for offering too little cash to too few Angelenos.
L.A. Makes Solar Rooftop Program 10 Times Bigger

L.A. Makes Solar Rooftop Program 10 Times Bigger

Utilities: The LADWP's Board unanimously approved a plan Friday to buy 100 megawatts of solar power from property owners throughout the city of Los Angeles.
Round Two For Community Solar Bill at California Legislature

Round Two For Community Solar Bill at California Legislature

Government: State Senator Lois Wolk launches another attempt to promote community solar projects.
L.A. City Council Member Wants Fairer Solar Incentives

L.A. City Council Member Wants Fairer Solar Incentives

Utilities: L.A. City Council member Jan Perry is calling for DWP to make a solar incentive program more democratic.
Solar Group: 'Don't Trust Utilities On Rooftop Solar Costs'

Solar Group: 'Don't Trust Utilities On Rooftop Solar Costs'

Utilities: A leading California solar advocacy group is calling utility allegations that rooftop solar panel owners cost other ratepayers money "largely horsemalarkey."
California Utilities Take Aim at Rooftop Solar

California Utilities Take Aim at Rooftop Solar

Utilities: California utilities raise the alarm about costs to ratepayers of rooftop solar... but let's not mention the billions in transmission lines those solar installations might save us.
Don't Want a Smart Meter? The Public Utilities Commission Wants to Hear From You

Don't Want a Smart Meter? The Public Utilities Commission Wants to Hear From You

Utilities: If you don't want a smart meter on your property, here's your chance to tell the CPUC.
L.A. Mayor Signs Solar Agreement With Tribe

L.A. Mayor Signs Solar Agreement With Tribe

Photovoltaic (PV): It's official: Los Angeles is buying solar electricity from the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians.
Last San Onofre Nuke Steam Generator Hits the Road

Last San Onofre Nuke Steam Generator Hits the Road

Utilities: The last of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station's old steam generators is about to hit Southern California's highways, headed for its long-term home in Utah.
Expert: Want To Promote Renewables? Pay People For Power

Expert: Want To Promote Renewables? Pay People For Power

Utilities: A wind power expert with over 35 years of experience promoting renewables says the best, fairest way of promoting renewable energy is with a feed-in tariff like Germany's.
San Onofre Nuclear Plant: Possible 'Tampering' of Generator Discovered

San Onofre Nuclear Plant: Possible 'Tampering' of Generator Discovered

Utilities: Southern California Edison found what might be -- and might not be -- evidence of tampering at the San Onofre Nuclear Power station.
New Solar Incentives for Imperial Valley Homeowners

New Solar Incentives for Imperial Valley Homeowners

Utilities: The prospects for new solar in Imperial County just got a bit brighter.
Show Me the Money: Can Utilities Survive the Shift To Renewable Energy?

Show Me the Money: Can Utilities Survive the Shift To Renewable Energy?

Utilities: As more and more property owners choose to generate power with their own solar and wind facilities, large utilities are seeing a loss in income.
Study: California Could Replace San Onofre Nuke With Renewables

Study: California Could Replace San Onofre Nuke With Renewables

Policy: A study by a renowned alternative energy thinktank holds that California could replace San Onofre by conserving energy and increasing rooftop solar.
L.A. City Council Approves $1.6 Billion DWP Solar Power Deal

L.A. City Council Approves $1.6 Billion DWP Solar Power Deal

Utilities: The plan is the largest utility-scale solar project on tribal land in the United States.
L.A. Council To Vote On $1.6 Billion Solar Contract

L.A. Council To Vote On $1.6 Billion Solar Contract

Utilities: The agreement, while raising LADWP bills, could go a long way toward helping DWP meet its renewable energy targets.