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Fast Track Opportunity for Battery Storage Projects In California

Energy Storage System Concept

On July 31, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Emergency Order (“EO”) to address the strains on the energy grid from climate-change related weather events (see our prior analysis here).  The EO included a directive for the California Energy Commission (“CEC”) to create an expedited permitting process for new or expanded battery storage projects that (a) add at least 20 megawatts of power, (b) can discharge for at least for 2 hours, and (c) can deliver net peak energy…

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Keeping the Lights On

Solar Energy With Transformer Substation

CA Emergency Proclamation to Quickly Increase Energy Generation, Suspend Certain Environmental Requirements On Friday, July 30, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a Proclamation of a State of Emergency (Emergency Order or EO) stating that climate-change related weather events including drought, extreme heat and wildfires have caused reductions in the availability of power generation from hydroelectric resources and grid interconnections.  Due to these trends, the EO predicts a 3,500 megawatt (MW) shortfall during peak periods this summer and fall, and potentially…

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Judicial Counsel Clarifies Emergency Statutes of Limitations for CEQA and Land Use Challenges

Judicial Council Of California Blue Seal

As part of the California Judicial Council’s April 6th response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Judicial Council adopted Emergency Rule 9 which tolled statutes of limitations for civil causes of action from April 6th until 90 days after the Governor declares an end to the state of emergency. While most civil claims must be brought within a period of years, land use practitioners were quick to point out that this Emergency Rule effectively added an additional three times the statute…

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If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

Man Typing A Text Message On A Smartphone

On May 8, 2020, the Third Appellate District certified for publication its decision in Petrovich Development Company, LLC et al. v. City of Sacramento et al. (opinion can be found here). The Petrovich court held the developer did not receive a fair hearing because “concrete facts” established that a City Councilmember was biased and took affirmative steps to assist project opponents and organize the opposition at the hearing.  Text messages and email correspondence provided the majority of the evidence. Although…

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Governor Approves Online-only CEQA Notice During COVID-19

California Environmental Quality Act Web Portal Screen Capture

While uncertainty remains regarding the CEQA statute of limitations under the Judicial Council’s April 6th Emergency Order (available here), the Governor issued Executive Order N-54-20 (EO N-54-20) on April 23 to provide some clarity on noticing procedures under CEQA (available here) while physical distancing protocols are in effect. EO N-54-20 suspends certain public filing and notice requirements under CEQA for 60 days. Any materials that would normally be required to be publicly posted, filed with a county clerk, or made available to…

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