The Latest: Western electric grid bill clears hurdle

June 19, 2018 - 3:54 pm
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California legislation to create a western regional electric grid (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

A California Senate panel has narrowly advanced a contentious proposal to link oversight of California's electric grid with other western states.

The committee's vote Tuesday keeps alive a plan that has divided environmentalists and sparked passionate debate about the best way to expand renewable energy.

California has greatly expanded the use of renewable energy sources, particularly wind and solar. But that has brought new challenges for grid operators to manage supply and demand as weather patterns and sunlight vary.

Supporters say regionalizing the grid would make it easier and cheaper to use renewables to meet energy demand across the west. But critics worry it could allow President Donald Trump's energy appointees to threaten California's aggressive efforts to expand renewables.

It's unclear if other states have grid operators that want to link with California's systems.

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12 a.m.

A contentious proposal to link oversight of California's electric grid with other western states faces a crucial test Tuesday in a state Senate committee.

California has greatly expanded the use of renewable energy sources, particularly wind and solar, but that's brought new challenges for grid operators to manage supply and demand as weather patterns and sunlight vary.

Supporters say regionalizing the grid would make it easier and cheaper to deploy renewable energy across the western United States.

But critics, including some environmentalists and consumer advocates, say California would jeopardize its efforts to require the expansion of renewables.

The Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee will vote on the measure Tuesday.

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