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Rich Nemec

Richard Nemec began writing for NGI in 1995 and has 30 years experience in the energy industry. He holds BA from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and a MA in journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; and completed MBA courses at Northwestern's Evening Graduate School of Management.

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West Coast Correspondent | Los Angeles, CA

email rich.nemec@naturalgasintel.com

SoCalGas, Unions Sue California Commission Over Natural Gas Report

SoCalGas, Unions Sue California Commission Over Natural Gas Report

Citing a seven-year-old state law, a labor-business trio led by Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) last Friday sued the California Energy Commission (CEC) in a state Superior Court in Orange County for allegedly dismissing natural gas as an energy option. Joined by the Utility Workers of America Locals 132, 483 and 522, as well as…

August 5, 2020
Post-Bankruptcy, PG&E Seeking to Reinvent, Shed Debt

Post-Bankruptcy, PG&E Seeking to Reinvent, Shed Debt

PG&E Corp. and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executives during the second quarter earnings call, the first in 18 months, illustrated the heavy lifting ahead to reduce debt, withstand another wildfire season and complete a reorganization in the aftermath of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Interim CEO Bill Smith during the quarterly call touched on wildfire mitigation…

August 4, 2020
California Cap-and-Trade Providing Billions to Utilities

California Cap-and-Trade Providing Billions to Utilities

San Diego Gas and Electric Co. (SDG&E) last month distributed $64 in credits to all residential customers, similar to actions earlier this year by the state’s other investor owned utilities (IOU) as part of the annual payoff from the quarterly cap-and-trade auctions. Since the program kicked off in 2012-2013, the IOUs have received $7.36 billion…

August 3, 2020
PG&E, Tesla Begin Work on Landmark Battery Storage Project in Northern California

PG&E, Tesla Begin Work on Landmark Battery Storage Project in Northern California

Tesla Inc. and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) have begun construction of a 182.5 MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) at the combination utility’s Moss Landing substation in Monterey County, CA. The megapack system is considered a landmark in developing and deploying utility-scale batteries. In late 2018 California regulators approved plans for Moss…

July 30, 2020
SoCal Edison Confident about Wildfire Readiness, Nagged by Past Uncertainty

SoCal Edison Confident about Wildfire Readiness, Nagged by Past Uncertainty

Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) is facing the current wildfire season with renewed confidence while sweating out the unknowns of the ultimate financial and legal liabilities of separate 2017 and 2018 wildfires in which the utility has been implicated. Parent company Edison International CEO Pedro Pizarro spoke about both sides of the issue during a…

July 29, 2020
Europe RNG Production Sprinting Past North America

Europe RNG Production Sprinting Past North America

Eighteen nations in Europe collectively are ahead of North America in adopting production sites for renewable natural gas (RNG), or biomethane, with growth rising 51% in the past two years, according to the Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) America trade organization. A study earlier this year by the American Gas Association (AGA) Foundation reported 110 RNG…

July 29, 2020
California Regulators Questioned About Electrification’s Impact

California Regulators Questioned About Electrification’s Impact

Three California lawmakers have asked the chief regulator to consider alternatives to electrification that could be more affordable for average and low-income consumers as part of the state’s attempt to decarbonize. Assembly members Jim Cooper, Patrick O’Donnell and Blanca Rubio, who represent working-class areas of Sacramento and Los Angeles counties, told President Marybel Batjer of…

July 28, 2020
Hydrogen Bidding to Gain Hold in Power Sector, with Natural Gas as Enabler

Hydrogen Bidding to Gain Hold in Power Sector, with Natural Gas as Enabler

In a post-coal, carbon-neutral world, hydrogen and renewable energy resources can lead the way in the transition from fossil fuels, a panel of experts said recently in a webinar hosted by the California Hydrogen Business Council. Supporting the vision of a “fiscally sustainable” future for hydrogen, executives during the webinar offered insights from the perspective…

July 27, 2020
Gas-Fired Peaking Generation No Longer Favored in California

Gas-Fired Peaking Generation No Longer Favored in California

The number of natural gas-fired peaking plants in California has increased sharply, to 79 from 24, in the first 15 years of this century, though none have been opened in recent years as the state increasingly moves to phase out fossil fuels to facilitate decarbonization. That trend is a reflection of one of the key…

July 23, 2020
SoCalGas Turning to Fuel Cells to Produce Electricity

SoCalGas Turning to Fuel Cells to Produce Electricity

Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is producing near carbon-free electricity at two of its largest Los Angeles area facilities with fuel cell microgrids that operate on natural gas, renewable natural gas or hydrogen. SoCalGas is using Bloom Energy solid oxide fuel cells that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), air pollutants and the cost…

July 22, 2020