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Podcast / Audio

Clean Energy: the view from California. Podcast

image credit: CR_LB_JM

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Clean Energy: the view from California. Podcast

It’s our 21st podcast and an international episode! Dr Massey and I are delighted to be joined by Lincoln Bleveans, Assistant General Manager for Power Supply at Burbank Water & Power, Los Angeles, California.

As always on New Energy Chinwag, we cover a lot of ground and a lot of different topics! Given our guest, it’s no surprise that the focus was on what has, is and will be happening in the clean energy world in and around California: Clean-Energy-the-view-from-California

California is a market that matters greatly to the development of this industry. Not only is it a leading market in this particular sector but it’s a big one in global economic terms too: according to figures published by the IMF and others in 2019, it’s now the 5th biggest economy in the world on a GDP basis – that’s bigger than the UK! 

So, like us, we’re sure you’ll be hugely interested in Lincoln’s view of the energy space there.

Click on Clean-Energy-the-view-from-California and enjoy!


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Charley Rattan's picture

Thank Charley for the Post!

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 26, 2020 5:08 pm GMT

Charley, as a resident of Burbank I would ask Lincoln why if

"Solar took a dive, a very fortunate dive for us, in terms of cost, and continues to get cheaper. The PPA pricing we're seeing now would have been fantasy a couple of years ago..."

why does Burbank's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report show residential rates at Burbank Water and Power (BWP) a full 20% higher than they were ten years ago?

I would ask him, at least, if I didn't already know the answer: citing wholesale PPA prices in no way reflects the actual cost of solar electricity to customers, which includes necessary frequency / voltage regulation, supply balancing with our city's expensive gas peaker plant, and "spinning reserve" - turbines idling during daylight hours to balance fickle solar generation which can change from one minute to the next.

Lincoln Bleveans's picture
Lincoln Bleveans on Jan 27, 2020 6:49 pm GMT

Bob - You are of course correct that PPA pricing is not the actual cost of reliable electric service to retail customers, but in this case PPA pricing is a major component of that cost.  Thus favorable to overall power prices.

BWP's rates are higher than they were ten years ago -- no question.  BWP's cost of service -- and thus rates -- is a function of power prices, labor costs, operations and maintenance costs, and a number of other factors.  And, as we show in our budget process every year, those costs can vary and, in many cases, increase over time.  That said, BWP has been able to keep annual rate increases at or below the long-run rate of inflation, however, consistent with our oft-reiterated goal.  And our 2019 Integrated Resource Plan reinforces that path going forward.  

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