Category: Electricity

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 »

CenterPoint in power struggle over transmission line plan

An unlikely group of landowners, GOP officeholders and environmentalists have teamed up to fight the company’s five-county power line proposal. CenterPoint says the line is necessary to improve the reliability of Houston’s electric grid.  More »

LNG Export: A U.S. Natural Gas Game Changer?

Despite a well-supplied market, Henry Hub has experienced a rare excitement spiking to a 10-month high partly on the prospect of increasing LNG trade and export after the U.S. Energy Department authorized Cheniere Energy (Amex: LNG) to export LNG from its Sabine Pass terminal. However, not everyone, including ConocoPhillips, is sold on LNG exports yet.  More »

GE sees Saudi energy sales doubling as gas turbines cut oil use

With oil prices around $100 a barrel, Saudi Arabia and other oil producers in the Middle East will try to free more of their crude for exports rather than burning it to generate electricity. That’s a big opportunity for GE, one exec says.  More »

Southern Co. CEO: Cyber security necessary for smart grid to succeed

An advanced electricity grid could allow customers to automatically charge electric cars or run big appliances when energy prices are cheap, Southern CEO Tom Fanning said. But that means information would have to be sent over the grid, creating opportunities for a hacker to disrupt the system.  More »