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Regulators are undermining California’s transition to 100% clean energy

By Luis Amezcua and V. John White | April 3, 2021 | SF Chronicle

Last summer, failures and heat exhaustion at gas power plants contributed to California’s first non-wildfire-related blackout in 19 years. In the days following, when temperatures remained brutally high and California’s power supply dangerously low, Southern California Edison and its customers united to move 4,000 megawatts of demand off the grid, preventing further blackouts.

The lesson? Demand response delivered solutions when gas generation failed.

With the California Public Utility Commission now rushing to prevent a similar disaster this summer, advocates are concerned regulators are not going far enough to invest in the clean energy resources and demand-side solutions that are key to supporting a reliable electricity grid. In a decision last week, regulators approved a plan that, while an improvement on earlier proposals, still opens the door to new gas contracts and increased reliance on diesel generators.

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