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Impacts of COVID-19 Virus on Electricity Demand

LCG, March 27, 2020 -- Jeremy Platt, an energy scientist, Palo Alto has made some early analysis of impact of COVID -19 on electricity demand using the grid operators data published by LCG. Data from several areas of the country offer early and near real-time views of impacts of the economic slowdown due to evolving regional and statewide coronavirus mitigation strategies.

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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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Industry News

California Okays $400 Million for Power Purchases

LCG, Jan. 19, 2001California Gov. Gray Davis signed two electricity-related bills yesterday evening, one of which will revamp the board of the California Independent System Operator. The other rescinds the portion of the state's 1996 restructuring law that requires the state's investor-owned utilities to sell their non-nuclear power plants.

Neither measure promised much help for Californians who endured a second day of rolling blackouts.

But late yesterday the legislature approved a measure that would provide $400 million to the California Department of Water Resources so it can continue to purchase power for the state's two largest electric utilities, which have been impoverished by subsidizing customers.

Davis said he would sign that bill today. "We're being asked to keep the lights on," he said. "If it requires some money, then money will be appropriated."

State Senate President Pro-Tem John Burton, a San Francisco Democrat, introduced a bill yesterday that would create a public power authority to finance construction of new power plants, help modernize older plants and finance energy conservation programs.

Burton said he was "taking aim at the astronomical energy prices in California."

The state Senate also debated a measure, passed on Tuesday by the Assembly, that would allow the Department of Water Resources to enter into long-term contracts with power producers to purchase electricity at no more than 5.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Some lawmakers questioned whether a state agency would be able to buy power that cheap. Power producers have said the soaring price of natural gas, the fuel of choice for thermal power plants in California, has made the rock-bottom price somewhere around 7 cents or 8 cents, even for a lot of power over a long period.

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