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Roundtable: SDG&E Wants A Minimum Rate Hike

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which has a total of 347,000 mi...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which has a total of 347,000 mirrors that power 140,000 homes in California, pictured on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 in Nipton, California.

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SDG&E requests a rate increase due to growing use of solar energy, documents show how a building renovation at SDSU was mishandled, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park says the birth of a new rhino will help save an endangered species.

Aired: August 16, 2019 | Transcript

Roundtable Guests:

Erik Anderson , reporter, KPBS News

Matt Hoffman, reporter, KPBS News

Bella Rosss, reporting intern, inewsource

SDG&E seeks increase for minimum rate customers

San Diego Gas & Electric says it needs to raise its minimum bill from $10 to $38 to account for a rise in customers who use solar power. The utility claims solar customers are paying so little that they don’t cover the cost of accessing the power grid. Alternative energy advocates say it’s a power grab, but SDG&E claims the move would be revenue neutral. State regulators will have to approve the request.

RELATED: Cities In San Diego County Want To Form Power Authority To Buy Clean Energy

SDSU bungles building repairs

Documents obtained by inewsource show how a multi-million dollar renovation project was bungled by SDSU. During spring term, the university was worried about missing a deadline that would have caused the school to lose public dollars for a project at the Professional Studies and Fine Arts building. People were sickened by fumes from the construction work, causing the entire building to close. It turns out staff had mistaken the deadline by a full year, meaning the work could have been delayed to summer months when fewer people were on campus.

RELATED: County sends violation notices to SDSU, contractors over noxious odors

Rhino birth signals progress in saving endangered species

This week, KPBS was granted access to Edward, the new Southern White Rhino calf at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The rhino was conceived by artificial insemination. Zookeepers hope this is an encouraging sign that the process can be replicated with the critically endangered Northern White Rhino species, using Southern White Rhinos as surrogates.

RELATED: Trump Administration Makes Major Changes To Protections For Endangered Species

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