Inside the deal that shaped san diego county’s power picture _ kpbs

The year was 2003. Mp electricity bill pay indore California had recently gone dark repeatedly as traders colluded to ratchet up power prices and some operators shut down and held back their power. M gastrocnemius Silicon Valley manufacturers lost $100 million in a single day because of the outages.

Now, with concerns about electric adequacy front and center, San Diego was going to add its first significant new power in years. Gas block dimple jig San Diego Gas & Electric asked companies that build power stations to submit offers for enough to light some 300,000 homes.

That would have cost about $200 million, according to averages from the power plant rush at the time. Electricity in costa rica Instead, San Diego bought four times that much power at a cost of $1.4 billion.

Some say all that electricity turned out to be needed nearly a decade later, when overnight 2,200 megawatts that pulsed from the beach near the Orange County line into high-voltage lines over Interstate 5 was lost as the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station went down in 2012.

But many believe the deal for the Palomar and Otay Mesa power plants was dirty, and some believe it set the stage for years of similarly sullied agreements that helped determine what San Diego County residents pay — or overpay — for power to this day. Gasco abu dhabi contact Some say it also established a pattern for over-reliance on natural gas — something energy decision-makers are discussing today in the wake of a natural gas storage disaster in Los Angeles County.

The California Publicly Utilities Commission, headquartered in San Francisco, may be the most powerful regulatory agency in the state. Inert gas definition chemistry It has authority over privately owned electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad and passenger transportation, April 2016.

The deal shows that the California Public Utilities Commission, responsible for regulating corporate utilities, dictated winners and losers, toying with decisions that should be based on who can provide reliable electricity at least cost. Gas in babies home remedies And it reveals that Michael Peevey, who was then the commission’s president, was out of bounds long before the actions that triggered the current criminal investigation of him by the California Attorney General’s Office.

The deal set a “horrific precedent” for future power plant decisions, said Loretta Lynch, a former utility commissioner. Electricity magnetism In the wake of the energy crisis, “This was one of the first cases where the PUC failed, and they failed because President Peevey from the start was engaged in backroom, secret deals that produced premium prices, premium profits for the utilities.”

Lawmakers were persuaded in the 1990s that electricity should be purchased on markets rather than generated in power company-owned plants. Gas bijoux discount code That, in a word, was deregulation. Electricity production by state Utilities sold off their plants. Electricity distribution companies They began buying all their power. Gas quality comparison But trading firms such as Enron, along with generators and utility companies manipulated the market for profit.

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He was “very blatant in saying to San Diego that he was there to make sure that a deal got done with Otay Mesa,” recalled Boothe, who now works at the commission, in the water division. 9gag instagram videos “I was a little shocked. Gastric sleeve scars I just didn’t see that as the role of the commission to be weighing in on picking a particular project.”

Boothe grappled with whether he should notify the commission that Peevey was dictating the outcome of a power plant deal. Electricity research centre But after consulting with colleagues at his law firm, he concluded he should focus on the impartiality of the San Diego utility, not the behavior of a government official.

Another key individual was witness to Peevey’s intervention. Gas oil ratio formula Sempra Energy Resources attorney Kelly Foley, in written testimony submitted to the state Senate last year, remembered a conference call in the summer of 2003. Gas station car wash Representatives from Sempra Energy Resources, Calpine, San Diego Gas & Electric and the utilities commission were on the line.

Peevey ran the call. Basic electricity quizlet He opened with an ultimatum: “If SDG&E wanted to buy Palomar from its affiliate, SDG&E would also need to make a deal with Calpine for Otay Mesa,” Foley said. Arkansas gas association Otherwise, the utilities commission “would not approve the proposal to acquire Palomar.”

As other companies were rejected from consideration, many also sensed something was improper, even if they were unaware of the extent of Peevey’s involvement.

A chorus of filings from companies, including Coral Power LLC; Dynegy Marketing and Trade and InterGen Services Inc., sounded alarms about the proposed deal for Palomar and Otay Mesa in late 2003 and early 2004. Electricity notes for class 10 They stressed to commissioners that the Otay Mesa project was poorly located and had no connection to the grid. Gas x side effects It would require more than $150 million of new transmission lines to bring the power up from South County.

Several companies raised one point: San Diego Gas & Electric had tossed out bids on the grounds that they wouldn’t be up and running soon enough — by 2007 — yet Otay Mesa wasn’t expected to be ready until the following year.

One of the bids eliminated was a 727 megawatt gas-fired plant at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. Electricity out in one room The bidder, Enpex Corp. Electricity word search answer key of Del Mar, offered a lower-cost alternative to the Palomar and Otay Mesa projects.

“The prices being proposed for the two large combined cycle power plants by SDG&E are significantly in excess of today’s fair market price,” Enpex president Richard Hertzberg wrote the commission in October 2003, creating “unnecessary costs to San Diego ratepayers.”

The Office of Ratepayer Advocates, within the utilities commission, is a sizeable section of about 150 analysts and engineers devoted, as its name suggests, to the defense of ratepayer interests. M power electricity It concluded that the Otay Mesa deal was unnecessary. Electricity formulas physics It said so bluntly to CPUC Commissioner Geoffrey Brown during one meeting, filings show. Electricity experiments elementary school Otay Mesa “is not needed, not urgent and will not serve any of the needs SDG&E claimed in this proceeding,” officials from the ratepayer office told Brown, according to a summary of one meeting.

The Utility Reform Network and the Utility Consumers’ Action Network also detailed their concerns in a nearly 100-page filing. Electricity journal They cited exorbitant costs for Otay Mesa’s electricity, Peevey’s involvement in negotiations and a bidding process that was not competitive.

“The rush to approve this motion without serious consideration of ratepayer interests could set a very poor precedent” for future power deals, the consumer groups wrote.

Most of the documents cited in this story, which are not available online, were retrieved by inewsource in paper copy from the Public Utilities Commission records room in San Francisco.

To respond to what was looking like a done deal, The Utility Reform Network and the Utility Consumers’ Action Network filed a motion seeking to have President Peevey recused, citing his improper role. Gas symptoms Peevey himself denied the motion.

Peevey came to the utility commission from a career in the private sector. Gas news of manipur A former president of Southern California Edison, he was appointed to the five-member panel in 2002 and months later elevated to president by Gov. Gas upper back pain Gray Davis.

Most of the people interviewed for this story — even Peevey’s vocal critics — don’t suggest he profited from the Otay Mesa deal. Gas chamber jokes Instead, they say he was driven by a responsibility to restore financially strapped power companies to health and aggressively power up California — the latter a mandate handed down from Davis and Gov. Gas oil ratio calculator Arnold Schwarzenegger after the energy crisis.

“He was hoping they’d build a bust of him and put it in the courtyard of the PUC because he was the guy who got things done,” said Freedman with The Utility Reform Network. Gas near me cheap “While Rome burned, he wasn’t fiddling. Gas x while pregnant He was actually trying to put out the fire.”

Boothe, the economist hired by SDG&E to monitor negotiations, suggested Peevey may have acted to help Calpine, which had gambled big during deregulation and already sunk millions into the Otay Mesa project. 5 gas laws Calpine was in need of help — a customer willing to buy its power so it could borrow and complete the power plant. Electricity 101 youtube It won this but filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy anyway in late 2005.

“Our approval of the Otay Mesa [agreement] will allow a clean, new and efficient generator to be built within SDG&E service territory,” the decision said. Electricity trading Both of the new plants were combined cycle, the most efficient type of gas-fired power plant.

Palomar and Otay Mesa did have supporters. Gas prices in michigan The Coalition of California Utility Employees and California Unions for Reliable Energy said adding the two plants would help the San Diego region replace power generation from older, dirtier plants and result in a “substantial reduction” in air pollution.

Larry Chaset, the attorney who attended negotiations in San Diego on behalf of the commission president , disputed that Peevey overstepped his authority. Eseva electricity bill payment “Peevey’s involvement was simply — and was nothing more than — an effort to get the two sides to talk with each other so that they could reach a deal between themselves,” Chaset wrote in an email to inewsource. Electricity definition wikipedia He declined to be interviewed.

Commissioner Brown did acknowledge concerns about Peevey’s “‘behind-the-scenes’ meddling.” But, he wrote, “I believe the public and the business community in the San Diego area are willing to pay a little extra for insurance [so] that the past will not be repeated.”

But the plan was to close down older, dirtier plants in the region regardless of which company won this bid. Gas efficient suv 2008 And any large investment in electricity can be viewed as insurance, said Jan Reid, an energy consultant who formerly worked in the state ratepayer advocate office. 8 gas laws “That’s what they say. La gastronomia ‘It’s an insurance policy,’ but what’s it going to cost us?”

Hard numbers for the actual cost of this deal are not something you can simply Google. Gas yoga Filings with the Public Utilities Commission often have “public” versions in which the figures — the cost to the public — are blacked out. Electricity lab physics inewsource asked the commission how much ratepayers will pay in total for the Otay Mesa contract. Victaulic t gasket The request was routed to the legal department. Wb state electricity board bill pay The answer: between $670 million and $720 million. Gas bubbler The Utility Reform Network estimates $739 million over the 10-year contract.

Add to that $209 million for new transmission lines to bring that electricity into the San Diego network plus $494 million for the Palomar Escondido plant, according to the commission, for a total of $1.4 billion.

Some commissioners and renewable energy experts believed that committing the San Diego region to gas, or fossil-fueled power in excess of what the company had said was needed, would have a chilling effect on renewable energy in the coming years. Gas vs diesel prices It may have slowed renewables.

But the newest figures show San Diego Gas & Electric now gets 35 percent of its power from clean sources, putting it well ahead of state requirements. Gas bloating frequent urination It has had large year-over-year increases in the share of its power that is clean each year going back to 2009.

Bill Powers, a mechanical engineer and power plant expert who appears as a witness before the commission, said the real effect of this deal and subsequent ones is not that it edged out renewable energy. Electricity notes It’s what that energy costs. Electricity jeopardy 4th grade California law mandates renewables. Bp gas prices But the commission still keeps approving gas-fired plants as well.

“Our rates are among the highest in the country and people like to say, ‘Oh, it’s because California has all these different special requirements.’ But not true,” Powers said. Gas laws worksheet “It’s just that we have a compliant PUC that basically finds a way to approve all of these projects that are unnecessary projects and is conducting us along a renewable energy path that the utilities have blessed.”

Blessed because building more plants and putting up more transmission lines is the way utilities make money. V gashi 2012 They don’t earn it by how much electricity they sell. 9gag wiki They earn a guaranteed return on their invested capital — 10.3 percent, according to the commission. Gas in babies (The utility requested 11.65 percent on Palomar, but the commission rejected that.)

“SDG&E supported approval of the Otay Mesa PPA because the price was fair,” Stephanie Donovan, a spokeswoman for the utility , said in an email. Gas tracker “History has proven that both the Otay Mesa and Palomar Energy Centers have helped SDG&E meet our customers’ energy needs and maintain a reliable electrical system over the past decade.”

Some argue that the deal for Palomar and Otay Mesa set the stage for the corruption scandals that have rocked the California Public Utilities Commission and are prompting calls for reform or even a breakup of this powerful agency.

State and federal prosecutors have launched investigations into the commission’s handling of the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion and the 2012 closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. 3 gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect Both of those probes center on the agency’s cozy relationships with utility executives and how they may have cost California ratepayers billions of dollars.

In the case of San Onofre, a raid on Peevey’s home turned up notes showing he and an executive from Southern California Edison sketched out the terms of a $4.7 billion settlement during a private meeting in 2013 in Warsaw, Poland.

State lawmakers are demanding changes. Yoga gas relief pose They passed six bills to reform the commission last year, but Gov. Gas and electric phone number Jerry Brown vetoed all of them. Electricity physics Three of those bills were authored by Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, who is now the Assembly speaker, meaning agency reform is a priority for one of the state’s most powerful politicians.

Another sponsored by Democratic state Sens. U gas station Mark Leno of San Francisco and Ben Hueso of San Diego would have restricted private communications between utility officials and state regulators and made it easier to recuse biased commissioners — two issues that tainted the process leading to the approval of Palomar and Otay Mesa. Gas after eating yogurt That bill is again making its way through the Legislature.

Two weeks after the veto of the six reform bills last fall, the Aliso Canyon gas well disaster began in Los Angeles County, adding new voices to those calling for reform, including a re-examination of reliance on natural gas.