Original post made by Walter_E_Wallis, Midtown, on Feb 18, 2010
Since the energy crises of the 70s, brought on by a combination of events [Google 'energy crises'] , governments have more and more displaced energy producers from the planning process. I predicted way back then that the only rational policy for utilities was to hand the future to the government. With the regulatory beating PG&E took from Diablo Canyon, Helms Hydro and Humbolt Bay, capped with the final assault, a market essentially deregulated except for the price they could collect, PG&E acknowledged that their client was no longer the customer, but the government was.
There was a large, vocal constituency, part Malthusian, part Luddite, opposing construction of any new facilities and so the government decided to reduce the demand by regulating consumption rather than increase the supply to meet demand. The rational way, increasing capacity to meet increasing demand, was no longer possible.
Utilities were ordered to set aside a certain portion of their revenues to support government approved alternatives. It was no skin off their teeth as long as they got theirs, so pinwheels and hamster wheels and other heavily subsidized foolishness was given free reign.
If the peninsula has 2 feeders geographically separated, the loss of one feeder would have resulted in a switching flicker. The California Energy Commission and the PUC are responsible for the failure to require redundance of services. Fire them and let the industry come up with a competitive market scheme.