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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

Cal-ISO Releases Names of Idle Power Plants

LCG, Jan. 29, 2001The California Independent System Operator began Saturday to release the names of power plants that are sitting on the sidelines while the ISO is scrambling for power to keep the state's electric transmission grid from breaking down.

Power plant owners had regarded the information as highly sensitive, believing the knowledge that a plant was shut down would confer a competitive advantage, and insisted on secrecy. There are also employers who think employees don't know what each other earns.

California Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation last week requiring the disclosure. The new law was backed by consumer activists who believe that independent power producers have been secretly keeping their plants off line in order to drive up wholesale electricity prices.

"At one time this was pretty secret stuff," said Duke Energy Corp. spokesman Tom Williams of the disclosure, adding it now "has a limited effect on the market because traders know what units are down."

On Saturday and Sunday, Cal-ISO issued at around noon lists of plants shut down for planned maintenance and for unplanned problems. As this is written, the most recent report is that for yesterday.

The biggest unit shut down in an unplanned outage was the 750 megawatt Moss Landing Unit 6, an old plant that Duke purchased from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and wants to replace with a modern facility.

There were 25 generating units idle in unplanned outages yesterday, and it would be hard to accuse power producers of collusion on the basis of the list. Among those facilities were two 45 megawatt units belonging to the City of Pasadena, a 53 megawatt unit at the San Luis Dam operated by the California Department of Water Resources and two units of 25 megawatts each in Alameda County operated by the Northern California Power Association, which furnishes electricity to municipal utilities.

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