Christopher Weber / AP

A California utility launched a hybrid power system designed to help power California through the summer when demand spikes, per the AP. Southern California Edison and GE made the announcement Monday. They say the units went live in March.

Potential benefits: Officials say the system will lower costs for both operations and customers, and will be useful in areas that tend to rely on renewable energy systems that need backups.

How it works: The system operates on a 10 megawatt lithium-ion battery energy storage system and works somewhat like a hybrid car, switching as needed to the gas turbine.

The California trend: California has a strong pipeline of other projects that transfer batteries into electric power generating units, such as Tesla's operation in Southern California that absorbs electricity during the day and injects it back into the grid when needed.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

8 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been highly influential in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.

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