Category: Electricity

House bill would suspend environmental penalties when blackouts loom

Legislation approved by a House committee on Wednesday would give lectric utilities a free pass for keeping the lights on and power flowing whenever the government orders them to continue operations — even if that means running afoul of environmental mandates.  More »

Drones can combat power outages, expert says

Power companies could borrow an anti-terrorism tool to aid them in responding to outages after big storms. A nonprofit research group believes that drones could be used to gather information quickly about damage and speed up the ability of crews to restore electricity to customers.  More »

Duke Energy earnings helped by weather, rates

The largest U.S. utility posted earnings Friday of $634 million for the first quarter.  More »

April electricity demand hits three-year low

Power demand hit a three-year low in April, as temperatures were warmer than usual on the east and west coasts and below-average temperatures lingered in the Upper Midwest.  More »

Energy Future reports $569 million first-quarter loss

Energy Future Holdings Corp., the Texas power company seeking to restructure at least $32 billion of debt, reported its ninth consecutive quarterly loss.  More »

ERCOT: Hot summer likely to require power conservation

State electricity planners are preparing for another summer of withering heat, as they make their determinations on the sufficiency of electricity generation for peak heat conditions.  More »

Bill would force firms to remove wave-energy buoys

Oregon lawmakers don’t want the state to get stuck with the bill if a wave-energy company installs equipment off shore and then goes belly up.  More »

Europe finds energy source in South Texas mesquite

A Czech Republic company says it has found an abundant, long-term source of energy in South Texas to help European utilities produce electricity. But it has nothing to do with the Eagle Ford Shale.  More »

Wholesale power prices drop at most U.S. hubs amid mild weather

Spot electricity prices across most of the major U.S. hubs were lower today as moderate weather crimped demand.  More »

Texas lawmakers give utilities a tax boost

The Texas Senate passed a bill on Tuesday afternoon that would remove the ability of state regulators to review tax payments in calculating future utility rates increases.  More »

Southern to take $333 million charge on coal-gas plant

Southern Co., the second-largest U.S. power company by market value, will take a $333 million charge in the first quarter because of rising costs at its Kemper County coal-gasification plant.  More »

Wind energy plan tests power of farmers

The first high voltage electric transmission line to dissect their crop and pasture land arrived in 1967, when Sunflower Electric paid Edwards County farmer Anthony J. Brake $1,413 for the privilege.  More »

Potential bankruptcy renews debate on utility tax

The potential bankruptcy of Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings is being seized on by some groups to stir debate over taxes that power companies collect but don’t always pass on to the federal government.  More »

Flatt out environmental comments on the last few months of the greenhouse gas regulatory world

It has been a while since my last blog post. In the climate change legal world, most of what has happened in the past few months has been of the utilitarian, and not the showy variety. California continues to implement its Global Warming Solutions Act (A.B. 32) and has already held two auctions of the […]  More »

Motiva Port Arthur refinery shuts down after power outage

The Port Arthur, Texas refinery lost power Sunday and there isn’t a timeline for restarting the plant, a person familiar with operations said.  More »