The Energy Overseer
3rd Quarter 2005 Greenwire Articles and Archives
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Calif. agencies fail to resolve dispute over transmission planning
California Energy Commission adopted a version of the Energy Action Plan II on Wednesday that betrayed a continuing dispute over the jurisdiction over planning and siting new electric transmission facilities. The adopted plan differs from one approved by the state Public Utilities Commission last month, despite claims from CEC members who touted EAP II as a "consensus document" that represents "a single voice" for the two agencies on many policy matters.
Public power moves erode California grid operator's control area
Despite recent efforts to streamline operations and cut costs for its electric transmission and market services, the California Independent System Operator faces the loss of control over key portions of the Western grid later this year.
Communities quickly trump new state building efficiency rules
California will implement a more stringent set of residential and commercial construction standards Oct. 1, but at least two communities have already adopted local rules that will exceed the latest Title 24 rules for new building efficiency.
The California Energy Commission unanimously approved separate petitions Wednesday from the city of Santa Monica and Marin County to allow local enforcement of requirements for new construction that are expected to exceed energy savings from Title 24.
can cut water consumption 20 percent by 2030, report says
California could reduce its total use of water by more than 20 percent over the next 25 years through better education efforts, planning and the use of existing technologies, according to a new report by the Pacific Institute. This think tank's forecast stands in stark contrast to the State Water Plan currently being promoted by the Department of Water Resources, which -- at best -- foresees near-constant water consumption through the year 2030.
Legislature wraps up 'year of squandered opportunities'
In the end, it was the passage of time that defeated dozens of proposed environmental and energy laws in the California Legislature. As the 2005 session ended last week, major vehicles for policy changes remained stuck in committees or lay dormant on the floors of the House or Senate.
Arizona commission to up ante on renewables; California also considers RPS hike
Western states are continuing to push utilities to invest in renewable energy resources, as Arizona this week followed California, New Mexico and Texas in endorsing stricter renewable portfolio standards. The Arizona Corporation Commission on Wednesday endorsed a 15 percent renewable resources target for 2025 as part of proposed changes to the state's RPS, which officials refer to as an "environmental portfolio standard." Meanwhile, California, which earlier had accelerated its RPS for regulated utilities to 20 percent by 2010, is now considering a 33 percent mandate by 2020, according to CPUC member Dian Grueneich.
Another delay for electric utility cyber security standards
Unable to reach agreement on final wording for new rules meant to protect the nation's electric power transmission and distribution systems from malicious hackers and cyber attacks, members of the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) recently voted to extend interim standards for up to another year.
Regional transmission planning advances in Southwest
SANTA FE, N.M. -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must empower regional planners to build the next generation of electric transmission infrastructure, FERC Commissioner Suedeen Kelly told an energy industry conference here recently.
Building that infrastructure must involve "participation by all stakeholders about whether projects are needed, where and how costs are allocated," said Kelly, a former president of the New Mexico Public Service Commission. Regional transmission planning is already a reality in the Southwest, as evidenced by interrelated efforts to study and site grid expansion projects.
7/18/05 Yosemite struggles to manage visitor crunch, protect attractions Traffic through the Yosemite Valley slows to a crawl in the late afternoon. On a mid-summer day, as many as 15,000 daily visitors crowd the two-lane road that rings the valley, frequently stopping to catch a last glimpse of such world-famous landmarks as Half Dome, El Capitan and Yosemite Falls. [click here to read the full story]
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