California adopts programs to secure electricity supply in 2022, 2023

Dec. 3 (Reuters) – California utility regulators have taken several steps to help keep the lights on through the summer of 2022 and 2023 after this year’s extreme heat waves baked on the west coast of the United States and forced the state grid operator to impose spinning blackouts last year.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Thursday approved measures to increase the supply of electricity generation and encourage consumers to reduce demand, especially when extreme weather conditions stress the grid.

These actions were part of the CPUC’s continued efforts to respond to Governor Gavin Newsom’s emergency proclamation of July 2021 urging all national energy agencies to ensure there is sufficient electricity for respond to the request.

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CPUC analysis found that a range of 2,000 to 3,000 megawatts (MW) of new supply and demand side resources will help improve grid reliability under the most extreme circumstances in 2022 and 2023 .

One megawatt can power around 200 homes on a hot summer day.

Some of the CPUC’s decisions will allow more consumers to enroll in programs that pay them to reduce electricity consumption and sell electricity from electric cars when the grid is under strain.

The CPUC also approved new pilot pricing programs to test whether consumers would use farm water pumps and car chargers during off-peak hours in the evening when electricity demand and prices are lower.

On the supply side, CPUC has ordered utility units from PG&E Corp (PCG.N), Edison International (EIX.N) and Sempra Energy (SRE.N) to acquire a total of 2,000 to 3,000 MW of additional supply and demand. resources for the summer of 2022 and 2023.

Some of these supply-side resources could come from natural gas-fired power plants.

After years of restraining the growth of fossil fuel infrastructure, California has turned increasingly to gas for power generation this year after drought and wildfires have left it with little hope. other options to keep the lights on. Read more

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Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Marguerita Choy

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Rosemary C. Kearney