Soggy California Winter Set to Charge Up State’s Hydropower Sector

California’s unusually stormy winter is promising good news for the state’s struggling hydropower industry.

After three years of extreme drought, winter weather has driven up the most populous U.S. state’s snow levels to 235% of normal, according to the latest figures from the California Department of Water Resources. That’s likely to fill up hydro reservoirs during the spring melt, which could lead to more of the cheap renewable energy source and less dependence on fossil fuels, public agencies and utilities said.

California Funds 60 MWh Tribal Long-Duration Storage Project With Nation’s Largest Vanadium Redox Flow Battery

The California Energy Commission has issued a $31 million grant to build a 60 MWh long-duration energy storage system that is expected to provide backup power to the Viejas Tribe of Kumeyaay Indians and bolster the reliability of the energy system statewide.

New California Load Management Standards, Including Retail Rates That Change Hourly, Are a ‘Huge Leap’: CEC

The California Energy Commission on Oct. 12 adopted new load management standards requiring utilities to develop retail electricity rates that “change at least hourly” to reflect grid costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

California Prepares for Energy Shortfalls in Hot, Dry Summer

California likely will have an energy shortfall equivalent to what it takes to power about 1.3 million homes when use is at its peak during the hot and dry summer months, state officials said Friday.

Threats from drought, extreme heat and wildfires, plus supply chain and regulatory issues hampering the solar industry will create challenges for energy reliability this summer, the officials said. They represented the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s energy grid.

CAISO Approves Nearly $3B of Transmission Projects to Prepare for California’s Clean Energy Goals

The California Independent System Operator approved a transmission plan Thursday that includes 23 projects, estimated to cost nearly $3 billion, to cope with the dramatic increase in renewable generation and forecasted load growth in its footprint.

Long-Duration Storage Projects Gaining Steam

Just days after the California Energy Commission announced the first application in the state for storage using compressed air, another long-term storage proposal advanced: a 500 MW project that would use pumped storage at the San Vicente Reservoir in eastern San Diego County.

The City of San Diego and the San Diego Water Authority board have begun negotiations with BHE Kiewit, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, on the financing and building terms for the estimated $1.5 billion pumped storage facility. The city and the water agency also approved two contracts totaling $6.2 million for an environmental impact analysis and for preparation of an interconnection agreement with the grid operator plus a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, all on Jan. 27.

Welcome to Lithium Valley: One of the World’s Largest Lithium Deposits Is Located at the Salton Sea—and the Potential Economic Ramifications Have Drawn Comparisons to Silicon Valley

The story of Lithium Valley begins in earnest on Sept. 29, 2020. That’s the day when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1657, sponsored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, creating a “Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction in California.” That commission is now called the Lithium Valley Commission. What is this all about? Oh, just the fact that up to 40% of the world’s potential future lithium supply is located under and near the Salton Sea.

Scripps Oceanography Gets Share of California Energy Commission Contract to Simulate Climate Change

The California Energy Commission has awarded a $1.5 million contract to three University of California campuses, including UC San Diego, that will work in tandem to better simulate climate change scenarios that can be used by utilities and others to anticipate the effects.