California Regulators Greenlight $100 Million for Energy Storage Projects to Boost Wildfire Resilience

The California Public Utilities Commission approved new budgets, modified incentives and rules for energy storage under its Self-Generation Incentive Program, as part of an ongoing effort to improve wildfire resiliency throughout the state, according to a September 12 press release. The program upgrade consists of a $100 million resiliency fund that supports the installation of energy storage in…

Washington Utilities on Track to Meet Renewable Energy Targets for 2019

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission found that Pacific Power and Light Company, one of the state’s investor-owned electric utilities, is complying with Washington’s renewable energy requirements for 2019 by supplying at least 9 percent of its electric load through renewable sources, according to a September 12 press release. Last month, the regulator reviewed compliance by the state’s other…

EnerKnol’s State Policy Playbook: Northwest Utilities Prepare for Impending Coal Phase-Outs

Carbon reduction is becoming ingrained in the planning strategies of utilities across the Northwest in response to state-level decarbonization policies and market changes. As coal plants are no longer cost-competitive, utilities are taking advantage of new technologies and favorable economics of natural gas and renewables.

Connecticut Governor Calls for Plan to Decarbonize Power Sector by 2040

Democratic Governor Ned Lamont on sept. 3 signed an executive order directing the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to evaluate pathways and recommend strategies to transition to 100 percent carbon-free power by 2040. The order expands the responsibility of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, or GC3, which was tasked with developing strategies…

EnerKnol’s State Policy Playbook: California’s Quest for Clean Energy

California’s energy landscape is evolving rapidly driven by its ambitious clean energy and carbon reduction goals. Recent actions range from enhancing renewable integration to reforming carbon market rules, strengthening auto-emission standards, and revising energy efficiency policies.

U.S. EPA Proposes to Repeal Obama-Era Methane Limits on Oil, Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 29 proposed to reverse regulations put into place in 2016 to limit the emissions of methane, a potent global warming pollutant, during oil and natural gas drilling operations. The move follows a sweeping executive order that President Trump issued in 2017 to undo the prior administration’s climate regulations…

California’s Climate Spending Surpassed $900 Million in First Half of 2019: CARB

California’s Climate Investments initiative has grown to include over 20 state agencies involved in the development and implementation of 60 programs focused on reducing climate pollution, according to an Aug. 26 press release from the Air Resource Board. The program funded $914 million in projects during the first six months of this year, compared to…

U.S. Court Rejects Industry Challenges to Obama-Era Smog Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Aug. 23 dismissed claims from industry groups that the Obama administration failed to provide a reasoned explanation for setting more stringent ozone standards in 2015. While upholding the primary standard that protects public health, the court directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to…

U.S. EPA’s Haze Rule Guidance Gives States More Flexibility

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 20 released recommendations to help states in developing air-quality plans to address visibility-impairing pollution under the Regional Haze Rule’s second implementation period ending in 2028. The guidance provides more leeway for states, highlighting the discretion and flexibilities available for state implementation plans. The agency said the guidelines aim…

Heatwave Pushes Texas Grid Operator to the Limit Prompting Emergency Conservation Measures

The Public Utility Commission of Texas issued a news release on August 13 urging Texans to conserve electricity as record demand met temperatures in the triple digits. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. saw its operating reserves dip below their 2.3 gigawatt threshold and push power prices to the market cap of $9,000/MWh. High temperatures…

States Challenge Trump Administration’s Rollback of Power Plant Emission Rules

A coalition of 22 states and 7 cities on Aug. 13 filed a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Affordable Clean Energy” rule that replaced more stringent Obama-era restrictions on power sector emissions. The new plan allows states the flexibility to choose from a list of technologies to set performance standards for individual facilities, making…

Nevada Regulator Joins Climate Change Coalition

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission became the fourth western state to join the Western Public Utility Commissions’ Joint Action Framework on Climate Change, a cooperative effort to promote clean energy and reduce carbon emissions, according to an Aug. 13 press release. The other signatories to the coalition, which was established in 2006, are the California, Oregon,…