Library from California
The price of our leaders’ green virtue will fall particularly hard on working-class Californians who already suffer the nation’s highest rate of people living in poverty. They also tend to live in less-temperate geographies such as the Inland Empire, the high desert and the Central Valley. Expect the recent moves to expand the ranks of the million Californians who suffer from “energy poverty,” defined as spending 10 percent or more of their household income on energy-related expenses.
The dream of Morro Bay as a new hub of offshore renewable energy production in California could be over before it even gets its sea legs — or it could just be ramping up. ...State and San Luis Obispo County leaders say they’ve been informed the Navy will likely recommend against building potential wind farms off the coast of Morro Bay and Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, something that could effectively sink hopes for the North Coast to be a new hub of renewable energy.
California's largest county has banned the construction of large solar and wind farms on more than 1 million acres of private land, bending to the will of residents who say they don’t want renewable energy projects industrializing their rural desert communities northeast of Los Angeles.
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to ban “utility-oriented renewable energy” in fourteen communities and in “rural living zoning districts” throughout the county. What the board has designated as “community-oriented renewable energy” (CORE), will be allowed.
San Bernadino County in California adopted this resolution banning large-scale renewable energy projects. The full resolution and presentation slides explaining the change in policy can be downloaded from this page. Minutes from a May 28, 2018 special meetiing of the supervisors is also available from this page. Below is an excerpt of the resolution. Other supporting documentation leading up to adoption of the resolution can be accessed at the link on this page.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week reasserted jurisdiction over power contracts held by California utility Pacific Gas and Electric ...PG&E last month asked a federal bankruptcy court to prevent FERC from enforcing the terms of more than 380 power purchase agreements (PPAs) that it may want to exit as part of a Chapter 11 proceeding. FERC argued Friday it must separately win approval from the agency to alter the contract terms.
In its bankruptcy filing, PG&E claims some of the credit for helping renewable energy come of age, saying its contracts “contributed to significant price reductions for renewable energy resources currently available in the market.” But PG&E is still paying out those contracts, which can last 15 to 20 years. The bankruptcy judge could potentially seek to change their terms or prices.
PG&E wants the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco to rule whether the company must honor $42 billion worth of contracts with about 350 different energy suppliers, mostly solar and wind plants. The court’s decision could have a major impact on California’s renewable energy industry and power makeup.
In this court filing, utility-giant PG&E asks the court for an injunction against efforts by FERC to assert jurisdiction over the power contracts (PPAs) held by PG&E. Court documents show PG&E is bound by 387 PPAs with more than 350 companies totaling about $42 billion. The generators whose energy is under contract are at risk if PG&E is allowed to exit the agreements. A portion of PG&E's filing is provided below. The full document can be accessed at the links on this page.
A giant wind farm proposed for more than 35,000 acres in eastern Shasta County will be the topic of a public meeting Thursday in Montgomery Creek.
"...PG&E is involved in a number of contracts with power purchase agreement suppliers. Some of these agreements have above market terms and are pretty expensive for the company. ...PG&E may seek to reject or renegotiate some of its more expensive PPAs. The rub there is, who has jurisdiction? Can the court allow PG&E to cancel these, or do they have to go to FERC?" said Foss, noting there is case law supporting both sides.
This important research examines the methods for quantifying population-level effects of human activity on raptor mortality. The study was conducted on raptors in California. Despite efforts to protect eagles, many lethal agents remain. According to the report, "prominent among them are electrocution, pesticide exposure, wire collisions, vehicular strikes, lead poisoning, and now, wind turbine blade-strikes." The abstract and conclusion of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed at the document links on this page.
Gleaning energy from ocean wind would seem to be a California ideal: It emits no greenhouse gases, has nearly no environmental footprint, and harnesses one of the state’s most powerful and plentiful natural resources. But engineering challenges, regulatory hurdles and concerns about the turbines’ impact on wildlife have, until recently, mucked any forward progress.
A major wind power project will produce enough energy for almost 40,000 Humboldt County homes and is on what its proponents describe as “a very intentional schedule” for operation in 2020. ...the project will “become very financially difficult if we’re not online by the end of 2020.”
On Friday, the federal Interior Department took the first steps to enable companies to lease waters in Central and Northern California for wind projects. If all goes as the state’s regulators and utilities expect, floating windmills could begin producing power within six years.
A new state law signed this month, SB 100, requires all of California’s electricity to come from zero-carbon sources by 2045. Many news reports advertised the law as a mandate for renewable energy, but lawmakers in Sacramento quietly acknowledged that the state may need more than wind turbines, solar panels and hydroelectric dams to meet its climate goals. The new law allows up to 40% of the state’s electricity to come from other zero-carbon sources, including nuclear energy and fossil fuel plants, as long as they capture their carbon emissions.
Migratory birds that crisscross the North American continent along the West Coast face an increasing threat from solar power plants, wind energy farms, power lines, oil refineries and other industrial facilities across Southern California.
The proposed wind farm would consist of between 10 and 15 turbines with a combined capacity of between 100MW and 150MW and would be situated more than 32 kilometres off the coast of Eureka in northern Humboldt county. It could be commissioned in 2024, according to the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA).
Most states are enjoying flat or declining electricity rates thanks to shale fracking, which has sent natural gas prices plummeting. But not California, where rates have jumped 25% since 2013. Electricity prices in the Golden State are by far the highest in the continental western U.S. and twice as high as in Washington state. The reason: California requires that 50% of power be generated from renewables such as solar and wind by 2030.
The Department of Defense gatekeeper for any renewable energy project off the coast is Steve Chun, community plans and liaison officer for the Navy’s Southwest Region, based in San Diego. ...”We have now received proposals to build wind farms at 14 different offshore sites to date,” he added. ...Also behind the scenes, California — represented by the California Energy Commission and the federal Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) — have been waiting for Department of Defense to work out its policy.