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November 2013

Letter from the Chair

We're wrapping up energy awareness month at the California Energy Commission. Over the past thirty days we've been educating people about the importance of energy in our everyday lives and highlighting how our daily choices impact society and the natural environment.

As part of that effort, I wanted to highlight three significant energy accomplishments from the past quarter. . .

Battery storage system sitting in a garage

Anatolia Project Brings Energy Storage to the Community

Smart Grid Pilot Stores Sunlight to Improve Grid Reliability

Families in Rancho Cordova have been storing more than old Christmas decorations and junk in their garages: they've been storing sunlight . . .

School classroom

California Schools to Receive Energy Efficiency Funds

Prop. 39 to Provide an Estimated $2.5 Billion to Retrofit Schools

The California Energy Commission is helping schools get much-needed energy efficiency funding from the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Prop. 39) . . .

White colored fuel cell vehicle

Governor Brown Signs Bill Extending Alternative Transportation Program

AB 8 will Support Innovative Technologies and Creation of Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure

Clean transportation and fuel projects in California just got the green light for continued funding, thanks to legislation recently signed into law by Governor Brown . . .

Solar PV panel

California Renewable Energy Generation Climbs to New High

Tool Tracks California's Renewable Energy Progress

California's energy policies have helped the state more than double the delivery of renewable energy to the grid since the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) was launched in 2002 . . .

State energy, water, and air quality leaders at a public workshop

Energy Agencies Collaborate on Southern California Electricity Plan

Proposed Solutions Presented to Ensure Grid Reliability

To help fill the energy gap left by the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (San Onofre) and the planned retirement of once-through cooling power plants, state energy, water, and air quality agencies have prepared a plan . . .

Collage of wind turbine, solar panels, and electricity transmission lines.

Did you know?

By the end of 2012, California was serving about 22 percent of retail electricity sales from facilities using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and small hydroelectric. California's Renewables Portfolio Standard requires that 33 percent of all electricity retail sales be served from renewable energy sources by 2020. Governor Brown stated that California's 33 percent RPS target is an important milestone and is just a starting point to reach beyond the target.



  • Commissioners Karen Douglas and David Hochschild were unanimously confirmed by the Senate Rules Committee. Commissioner Douglas was appointed for a second term to the attorney member position on the Commission in December 2012, and Commissioner Hochschild was appointed to the environmental position in February 2013.
  • Three natural-gas combined-cycle power plants that the Commission licensed and oversaw construction of went online as of August: the 600-megawatt (MW) Russell City Energy Center in Hayward; the 560-MW El Segundo Energy Center in El Segundo; and the 320-MW Los Esteros Critical Energy Center in San Jose. El Segundo was the first phase of a repowering of the facility, while Los Esteros was upgraded from a 180-MW peaker power plant. The three projects are capable of producing a combined 1,480 MW, enough energy to power 1,110,000 homes.


  • Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Senate Bill 96, which approves of the Energy Commission continuing to fund energy research, development, and demonstration projects with monies collected from the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC). The program is pending a final decision from the California Public Utilities Commission.
  • The Santa Rita Jail Smart Grid won the energy storage innovation award from Energy Storage North America. The smart grid, which received funding from the Energy Commission, enables the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin to cleanly maintain power if its connection to the utility grid is interrupted.
  • Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System produced its first output of energy when the Unit 1 station was synchronized to the power grid for the first time. Achieving this critical "first sync" is a major milestone for the project jointly owned by NRG Energy, Inc., BrightSource Energy, Inc. and Google.


  • The Energy Commission launched the California Clean Energy Tour website. The site showcases projects that are helping California meet its ambitious clean energy and climate goals.
  • The Efficiency Division released its Blueprint newsletter, aimed at providing California's 500+ building departments information on Title 24 Part 6, Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The Blueprint is a guide to information, training and resources for the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which go into effect January 1, 2014. Subscribe today!
  • Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill 327, which allows the California Public Utilities Commission to authorize fixed charges on all electricity customers and extends the state's net energy metering requirements.
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