Category: Electricity

Oops: Face shield takes a face dive into Texas nuclear reactor

A worker’s face mask fell into one of the nuclear power plant’s reactors during refueling, leading to a delay in the operation.  More »

NRG to stop all funding of South Texas nuke expansion

The two-reactor expansion of the South Texas Project will really grind to a halt now that one of the primary partners, NRG Energy, says it will write down its investment in the project.  More »

Why electricity isn’t like airlines

There’s one key difference in electric deregulation compared with deregulation of airlines, Loren Steffy writes. In those industries, competition drove prices lower. In Texas, electricity markets were deregulated with the goal of benefiting the companies involved.  More »

TEPCO will use gas to offset nuclear power loss in Japan

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it will install gas turbines at two thermal power plants to partially offset power shortages caused by the loss of generating capacity at disaster-stricken power plants including the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex.  More »

TVA will reduce its coal operations to settle lawsuit

The Tennessee Valley Authority over the next five years will shutter operations that account for about 16 percent if its coal-fired capacity and pay $10 million to settle lawsuits from several states, the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups over air quality.  More »

Dynegy names interim CEO

Former railroad executive E. Hunter Harrison, named a director last month with the backing of one of the Houston-based power producer’s biggest shareholders, takes over from David Biegler, an independent director who served in the as interim role after Bruce Williamson left the company.  More »

GE to buy Converteam for $3.2 billion

The deal will allow GE to add equipment that helps electricity flow to the power grid from devices such as wind turbines. It brings GE’s spending on energy acquisitions to more than $11 billion since October as the company targets E&P, renewables like wind and solar, and rising demand for steady power in emerging markets such as Brazil and China.  More »

Japan Energy Impact

The Institute for Energy Economics of Japan (IEEJ) discusses the energy impact of the devastating earthquake that hit Japan on March 11, 2011 in its latest Japan Energy Brief. IEEJ notes that the earthquake and tsunamis, which tragically claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people and devastated cities, towns and villages in a […]  More »

Believe it or not, Harvard chemists can snuff flames with electricity

Since the time humans first began to control fire around 400,000 years ago we have had just a few simple tools to douse the flames. Now some Harvard University chemists believe they have found a way to bring fire suppression into the digital age by controlling flames with electricity.  More »

S. Carolina lawmakers take dim view of new light bulbs

This week state legislators will begin debating a bill that would allow companies to make incandescent bulbs in South Carolina, despite a federal law that is phasing out incandescent bulbs in favor of compact fluorescents.  More »

Is Texas electric competition working for consumers? Let’s look at an old bill

A colleague’s electric bill from 1995 seems to be quite a bit cheaper per kwh than her current bill. We look into whether current rates could beat her old bill.  More »

Getting at conflicting feelings on nuclear power

Nuclear energy hits all our hot buttons when we judge how risky something is: It’s invisible. It’s out of our control. It’s manmade, high-tech and hard to understand. It’s imposed on us, instead of something we choose. It’s associated with major catastrophes, not small problems.  More »

Solving the energy riddle won’t be easy

The Japanese nuclear crisis will undoubtedly be a setback for nuclear energy. But it also highlights a hard truth about energy: that every source — no matter how clean, low-cost or seemingly safe — carries risk. Indeed, if nuclear suddenly falls o…  More »

Texas nuke plant development moves to slow lane

Work on the two-reactor expansion of the South Texas Project nuclear plant near Bay City will slow down in the wake of the nuclear power disasters in Japan.  More »

Houston-area power bills may go up $3 a month

The Texas Supreme Court has granted CenterPoint Energy’s request to recover what may be more than $2 billion in deregulation costs, which could mean another $3 per month on customer electric bills over the next 15 years.  More »