Wetter weather and continued growth in renewable energy sources resulted in some big changes in electricity generation in California in 2016, according to numbers recently released by the California Energy Commission. Natural gas still accounted for the largest single share of in-state power generation but the amount deployed dropped 10 percent last year. The difference was largely replaced by electricity produced by large hydro facilities — home to reservoirs that started to fill up at the end of 2016 as one of the wettest winters on record began — and production from wind and solar, which each posted double-digit growth.
Archive for date: July 19th, 2017
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When Senior Park Ranger Maureen Beckman started patrolling Carbon Canyon Regional Park about five years ago, there was one thing she heard most often: Don’t be the ranger who kills the redwoods. Tucked into the south end of the park about a mile’s hike from the nearest parking lot is a three-acre grove of 242 coastal redwood trees – the tallest standing about 100 feet. Nearly two years ago, with California in a severe drought and water rationed by local governments, the thirsty redwood trees were in peril.
An internationally recognized purification system credited with turning wastewater into drinkable water in Orange County will begin the final stage of expansion with a $124 million investment from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, officials announced Wednesday, July 19. The expansion of Orange County’s Groundwater Replenishment System will allow it to grow by 30 million gallons per day, to a total of 130 million gallons that will provide nearly half of Orange County communities with 85 percent of their water.
Californians have been bracing themselves for a drier future accompanying a warming climate. But research by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, suggests that the state may actually get wetter in the event of severe climate change. The study, published July 6 in Nature Communications, reports that more years in the state could look like El Niño ones, when California typically has wetter winters. The authors found that average annual precipitation in California could increase by about 12 percent if nothing is done to curb carbon emissions. Average precipitation in the winter could increase by as much as 30 percent.
The Sacramento Bee reported this week that the Board of Directors of the Westlands Water District were skeptical of paying for the Delta tunnels project (WaterFix). This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that prior analyses have shown that the project is not cost-effective, particularly for agricultural water users. But after digging into the presentation by Goldman Sachs to the Board of Directors of Westlands, it appears that the cost numbers for WaterFix are likely to be significantly higher than what Goldman Sachs presented.
The San Diego County Water Authority this week issued a Request for Proposals for a potential joint energy storage projectwith the City of San Diego that could lessen upward pressure on water rates and also increase opportunities for renewable energy penetration throughout the region by leveraging existing infrastructure at San Vicente Reservoir. The potential project would consist of a closed-loop interconnection and pumping system between the existing San Vicente Reservoir (which is owned by the City of San Diego) near Lakeside and a new, smaller reservoir located uphill. The system could provide up to 500 megawatts of renewable energy.
With a friend in the White House and their party in control of both chambers of Congress, House Republicans have embarked on their most ambitious effort yet to change the way water flows in California. Legislation that the House sent to the Senate last week outlines a bold effort to build big new dams and shift water from fish, birds and other wildlife to farms in the San Joaquin Valley. The legislation would dry up long stretches of the state’s second-longest river, the San Joaquin, and end efforts to restore its obliterated salmon runs.
The San Diego County Water Authority has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a potential joint energy storage project with the City of San Diego. According to the public agency, the project could lessen upward pressure on water rates and also increase opportunities for renewable energy penetration throughout the region by leveraging existing infrastructure at San Vicente Reservoir. The facility would consist of a closed-loop interconnection and pumping system between the existing San Vicente Reservoir (which is owned by the City of San Diego) near Lakeside and a new, smaller reservoir located uphill.
Grant Davis, general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, was tapped Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown as the state’s new director for the Department of Water Resources, handing a veteran of North Bay politics and water policy a central role in Brown’s controversial bid to overhaul California’s water system with a $17 billion pair of tunnels under Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Davis, 54, has led the county Water Agency since 2010 and is set to begin in his new post in Sacramento in August, pending confirmation by the state Senate.
San Diego County Water Authority is seeking proposals for a potential 500MW joint pumped storage project at San Vicente Reservoir with the City of San Diego. The potential project is expected to not only increase renewables penetration, but can also lessen pressure on water rates throughout the region by using existing infrastructure. The project would consist of closed-loop interconnection and pumping system between the existing reservoir and a new smaller reservoir located uphill. With a potential to produce 500MW of renewable energy, water from the downhill can be pumped uphill during off-peak times.