Tag Archives: PG&E

Solar faster, cheaper, no cooling water, no leaks, no explosions

Way back in 2014 I calculated that half the right of way acreage of the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline could produce just as much electricity, cheaper, faster, taking no land, using no cooling water, risking no leaks or explosions. Solar is even cheaper now, doubling deployed capacity every two years, and even Duke, FPL, and Georgia Power are building solar farms everywhere. So why do utilities persist in building more pipelines?

Net generation, United State, all sectors, monthly, Chart
Net generation, United States, all sectors, monthly, U.S. EIA.

Every electric utility can read that chart from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, which shows wind (the middle orange line) and solar (the green line coming up from the bottom) adding up to almost all of “other renewables” (the top blue line), with nothing else growing like that. All the pipelines rammed through regulatorially captured agencies don’t come close Continue reading

Demanding the state PUC get a friendly judge: a best practice for utilities?

300x225 Title page, in A Best Practices Leadership Forum for Small Utilities, by Carol A. Brown, Chief of Staff to President Michael R. Peevey, 2 April 2013 A utility didn’t stop at blowing up a Calfornia neighborhood, it also demanded the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) get a favorable judge for that 2010 San Bruno natural gas pipe explosion. The CPUC president’s chief of staff just last year wrote slides praising his Legacy as Best Practices. Does that legacy include suborning justice? He’s still there, although she was fired, and three PG&E executives “ended their employment”. How many other PG&E and other utility executives and CPUC and other state regulators follow those same Best Practices?

Ellen Knickmeyer, Associated Press, 15 September 2014, PG&E Officials Removed for Improper Communications,

Four senior officials with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and the state commission regulating it were removed or resigned over emails released Monday showing the utility and state regulators appeared to negotiate which judge would be assigned to hear one of the utility’s rate cases.

The emails show the commission ultimately assigned to the case a judge for whom PG&E had expressed a preference, rather than another judge who PG&E said “has a history of being very hard on us.”

Also Monday, California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey, who was included Continue reading

Potential defects shipped to Farley reactors and four others

No worries about this reactor coolant system defect; Westinghouse says so, and didn’t even list Vogtle or Diablo Canyon, where Southern Company and PG&E said they were going to install these shields. Nevermind a reactor operator warned us back in January. Westinghouse did list “Beaver Valley Unit 2, Callaway, D.C. Cook Unit 1, Farley Units 1 and 2, and Wolf Creek”.

NRC Event Notification Report for July 29, 2013 Event Number 49217:


“The defect being reported concerns an identified inconsistency between the intended design functionality of the SHIELD passive thermal shutdown seal (SDS) and that observed during post-service testing.

“The purpose of the SDS is to reduce current reactor coolant system inventory losses to very small leakage rates for a plant that results in the loss of all reactor coolant pump (RCP) seal cooling. The SDS is a Continue reading

Diablo Canyon nuclear units 2 and 1 down one after another

The local newspaper didn’t look past PG&E’s news about unit 2 coming back up (lightning strike) to notice that unit 1 had been down (pipe leak) a few weeks before.

Diablo Canyon 1 and 2 from 16 June 2013 to 16 July 2013

David Sneed wrote for the San Luis Obispo Tribune 16 July 2013, Diablo Canyon’s Unit 2 reactor back at full power, Continue reading