CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2014 |
Officials kept their cool as they turned up the heat to finish construction of a new central utility plant in the middle of Los Angeles International Airport. LAX operators invited retired plant engineers to return and help run the old heating and cooling plant while current engineers were being trained to operate a new $438-million facility. On Tuesday, the retirees will be on hand at noon when 79-year-old former chief building operating engineer Walt Garrick flips the switch to shut down the old plant, which has been in continuous operation keeping airport passengers and workers comfortable since 1961.
February 21, 2014 |
With the shooters who attacked a Silicon Valley power station last April still at large and Congress increasing pressure on utilities to do more to protect such facilities, electricity companies are looking at a new security technology popular among urban police forces. Sensors that can immediately track, within 10 meters, the location of gunfire will soon be tested at two power stations. An executive at the Bay Area firm that manufactures that technology, ShotSpotter, said public safety concerns preclude him from disclosing exactly where.
February 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- Alarmed by the shooting attack on a Silicon Valley-area power station last spring, several senators called on regulators to review security operations at electrical utilities and consider imposing new rules to protect against future attacks. “Last year's sophisticated attack on the Metcalf substation in California's Silicon Valley was a wake-up call to the risk of physical attacks on the grid,” said a letter the senators sent regulators Friday. “The incident came uncomfortably close to causing a shutdown of a critical substation which could have resulted in a massive blackout in California and elsewhere in the West.” The letter was signed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and fellow Democratic Sens.
February 6, 2014 |
California hasn't completely escaped the effects of the polar vortex. Although the Golden State avoided the freezing snowfalls that affected regions farther east, power plants in the Southland are now grappling with low supplies of natural gas brought on by cold weather that won't quit. That has prompted the state's electric power grid operator, known as the California Independent System Operator, to issue a Flex Alert asking for voluntary energy conservation on Thursday until 10 p.m. PHOTOS: Richest and poorest cities in America The operator, which normally issues such alerts during the hot days of summer when air conditioners are on full blast, is working closely with California gas companies to ensure "the reliability of the electric and gas systems in California.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2014 |
A nuclear power plant in Avila Beach shut down one of its two generators after an electrical arc that apparently was sparked during a storm, a utility spokeswoman said Monday night. Unit 2 at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant went offline automatically Sunday morning as rain fell along the Central Coast, Pacific Gas & Electric spokeswoman Kristin Inman said. "The system performed as designed and automatically went offline to protect equipment," PG&E said in as statement. Inman said a preliminary investigation shows that the arc resulted from a buildup of dust that mixed with moisture on a lightning arrestor.
January 13, 2014 |
Carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's energy sector rose about 2% in 2013 after declining for several years, federal energy officials reported Monday. The reversal came because power plants last year burned more coal to generate electricity, after years in which natural gas accounted for an increasing share of the nation's electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the analytical branch of the Department of Energy. Though the 2013 figures are not final, once all the data are in, analysts expect a roughly 2% increase in carbon emissions over 2012 because of a small rise in coal consumption, the agency said in a report posted online on Monday.