Category: Electricity

Power plants offline prompts conservation warning *update*

Three natural gas-fired power units with about 2,000 megawatts of capacity went offline unexpectedly Monday afternoon, leading power grid officials to call for conservation. State power usage could top the previously predicted summer peak.  More »

Coal Generators Power Struggle: Consumers To Foot The Electric Bills?

By EconMatters Utility giant American Electric Power (AEP) sent shock wave last week by suggesting consumers could see their electricity bills jump an estimated 40-60% in the next few years. AEP is one of the country’s largest investor-owned utilities, serving parts of 11 states with more than 5 million customers.  More »

Dynegy names board member to CEO post

Robert Flexon replaces E. Hunter Harrison, who has been interim CEO and president of the Houston-based power plant operator since April. Harrison will resume his role on the board and serve as non-executive chairman.  More »

New alt energy trade show planned for Houston

The Total Energy USA conference aims to attract 7,500 attendees to a combination trade show and conference centered around alternative energy in October 2012.  More »

Analysts: BP refinery problems unlikely to hurt summer driving

BP’s massive oil refining plant was taken offline by April power outages and has run at about half-capacity this quarter. That shouldn’t have much, if any, impact on gasoline prices however, according to analysts.  More »

San Antonio coal plant will be first in Texas to close

The move by San Antonio’s community-owned gas and electric company, CPS Energy, comes as many coal-fired plants nationwide face the prospect of stringent federal regulations on mercury and other emissions. The move could put pressure on other energy suppliers to take similar steps.  More »

Supreme court rules greenhouse gas nuisance claim barred by EPA regulation under Clean Air Act

Today the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act effectively pre-empts federal common law nuisance actions against companies for harms due to emission of greenhouse gases.  Importantly though the Court let stand (divided 4-4) the notion that federal nusiance common law exists to control pollution (including greenhouse […]  More »

EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules – Continued

There have been several significant actions regarding the EPA’s greenhouse gas rules under the Clean Air Act in the last few weeks.  You will recall that the EPA has already begun regulation under the Prevention of Significant Detioration program (PSD), and signaled that it would propose regulation of sources under the New Source Performance Standards […]  More »

Texas may break peak power prediction mark today *update*

The state appears to be on pace to top what the Texas grid operator expected to be peak power usage for this summer.  More »

Power plant in Matagorda Co. gains in water fight

The Lower Colorado River Authority says there is enough water, even in dry times, for a proposed coal-fired power plant in Matagorda County — a finding that all but removes one of the last hurdles for the controversial project.  More »

Electricity load already exceeds ERCOT forecast

Well that didn’t take long. Less than two weeks ago, I raised concerns that the summer temperatures forecast by the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas might be too low. ERCOT, which operates the power grid in the deregulated electricity market, predicted that sluggish employment growth and long-term average temperature forecasts should ensure its reserve cushion [...]  More »

Obama pledges $250M to boost aging electric grid

The White House strategy encourages state and federal regulators to favor “smart-grid” technologies such as advanced meters that can increase energy efficiency.  More »