View as a Web page

August 2013

Letter From the Chair

Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Spark from the California Energy Commission, a newsletter designed to spark your interest in what we are doing to meet the state's energy needs, and the unique role we play developing California's energy policy and planning strategies.

Image of worker working on solar panel tower

Credit: Photo courtesy of BrightSource Energy.

World's Largest Solar Thermal Plant Nears Completion

Plant Will Produce Clean Energy and Economic Benefits

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generation System, located in the Mojave Desert, is on track to becoming the world's largest solar thermal power plant. The project is slated to have two of its solar units generating electricity by the end of 2013 and the third by early 2014, according to California Energy Commission staff . . .

Photo of San Joaquin Electric Bus

Charging Ahead in Stockton

San Joaquin Regional Transit Debuts All Electric Buses

It's the start of the line for battery electric public buses in Northern California. With the help of an Energy Commission award, the San Joaquin Regional Transit District launched two electric buses into service in late May, marking the first time a Northern California transit district has had an electric bus in its fleet . . .

Image of Art Rosenfeld and President Obama

Credit: Photo courtesy of the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation

Art Rosenfeld Receives National Award

Medal of Technology and Innovation Awarded in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to former California Energy Commissioner Art Rosenfeld on receiving the 2011 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Known as the "Father of Energy Efficiency," President Obama presented Rosenfeld with the award in February. Art celebrated his birthday in June. The Energy Commission wishes him a very happy belated birthday! . . .

Image of New Commissioners Scott and Hochschild

Meet the Newest Commissioners

New Faces at the Energy Commission

Commissioners David Hochschild and Janea A. Scott were both appointed to the California Energy Commission by Governor Jerry Brown in February 2013. The Governor appoints, with Senate confirmation, five Commissioners to staggered five-year terms. The Commissioners must represent specific areas of expertise: law, environment, economics, science/engineering, and the public at large . . .

Close Up Image of Energy Efficiency Washer

Energy Efficiency Standards Save Money, Environment

Consumers Reap Benefits on Electricity Bills

When it comes to saving money on your utility bill, the cheapest electricity is the electricity you never use. Yet, you can also save money using air conditioners, refrigerators, lighting systems and televisions that use less energy due to California Energy Commission energy efficiency standards . . .

Close up if interior of Toyota

Summer Driving Tips Rev Up Savings

12 Tips to Save Money at the Pump

Have an end-of-summer road trip planned? Take these Energy Commission fuel-saving tips along for the ride . . .

Split image of a Solar Panel on left side and the Sun through trees on right side

Did You Know?

The 3,322 megawatts (MW) of solar energy installed in California puts the state first in the nation in installed solar capacity, followed by Arizona and New Jersey. There is enough solar energy installed in California to power 717,600 homes.

Source: Solar Energy Industry Associations ®



  • New Renewables Portfolio Standard rules for California's publicly owned utilities were approved in June and will help California meet renewable energy targets. The Commission estimates that California utilities were generating 22 percent of their energy from renewable resources as of June.
  • A historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E). The first-ever agreement between ARPA-E and a state agency establishes a framework for collaboration on federal and state energy research and demonstration programs and projects.
  • Three natural-gas power plants that the Commission licensed and oversaw construction of went on-line as of June: 850-megawatt CPV Sentinel Energy Project near Desert Hot Springs; the 760-MW Marsh Landing Generating Station in Antioch; and the 500-MW Walnut Creek Energy Park in City of Industry. CPV Sentinel and Walnut Creek are peaker projects, while Marsh Landing is a fast-start, combined cycle project. The projects are capable of producing a combined 2,110 megawatts, enough energy to power 1,582,500 homes.


  • Our new Tracking Progress tool shows where we are in meeting our Renewables Portfolio Standards goals. This valuable public resource will house the latest numbers on the amount of solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and small hydroelectric energy being generated in California.
  • The Commission collaborated with the Air Resources Board and others to support deployment of 100 all-electric UPS delivery vans celebrated at a UPS facility in San Bernardino.
View more events on our calendar
California Energy Commission Seal Linked to the California Energy Commission main website Find us on facebook logo linked to California Energy Commission's Facebook page Twitter Logo linked to California Energy Commission Twitter Page Address of the California Energy Commission - 1516 9th Street, Sacramento California
If you have questions, comments or suggestions for The Spark, please email
If you'd like to receive future issues of this newsletter, please subscribe at:
If you no loger wish to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe at: