(Photo: BFS Man)

Drones can combat power outages, expert says

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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.
A man walks in front of Duke Energy Corporate Headquarters in a Charlotte, N.C.  (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File)

Duke Energy earnings helped by weather, rates

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The largest U.S. utility posted earnings Friday of $634 million for the first quarter.
Categories: Electricity
(Steve Hockstein/Bloomberg)

April electricity demand hits three-year low

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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.
Power transmission lines stretch along Space Center Boulevard in Houston. (Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

Energy Future reports $569 million first-quarter loss

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Energy Future Holdings Corp., the Texas power company seeking to restructure at least $32 billion of debt, reported its ninth consecutive quarterly loss.
An ERCOT worker mans a desk in the Texas electric grid manager's Austin control room. (Photo: ERCOT/Tom Reel)

ERCOT: Hot summer likely to require power conservation

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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.
Categories: Electricity, Texas
Photo: Peter Kaminski, Flickr

Bill would force firms to remove wave-energy buoys

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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.
Categories: Electricity, Environment
Mesquite wood chips are shown in a truck loaded about 40 miles from Corpus Christi. 
(Greenheart)

Europe finds energy source in South Texas mesquite

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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.
(Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

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

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Spot electricity prices across most of the major U.S. hubs were lower today as moderate weather crimped demand.
Categories: Electricity
Greg Thiergart, a radio communication technician with CenterPoint Energy, works on a smart meter project in Houston. (Houston Chronicle file photo/Johnny Hanson)

Texas lawmakers give utilities a tax boost

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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.
(Image: Fotolia)

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

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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.