Category: Electricity

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 »

Oops: Texas’ summer power picture just a bit less bright

The reserve margin — the amount of power plant capacity available beyond the projected summer peak demand — is nearly 1 percent less than first reported this week due to double-counting of some new power plants.  More »

ERCOT needs a weatherman to know which way the temperature goes

Squishy numbers from the Texas power grid operator make Loren Steffy wary of assurances Texas won’t face blackouts during a hotter-than-average summer.  More »

Lights out at FERC

The agency responsible for overseeing the reliability of the U.S. electric grid shut its Washington, D.C., headquarters today because it had no power.  More »

Japanese energy strategy: Hawaiian shirts

The Japanese government is introducing a “Super Cool Biz” campaign that advocates wearing Hawaiian shirts, T-shirts and sandals to work as a way to save electricity this summer. (Via W$J)  More »

Texas should be ready for peak summer power demand *update*

The state’s electric grid should be primed for summer, state officials said while predicting a peak demand well below last summer’s record.  More »

Valero restarts Texas City refinery after power loss

Valero’s refinery and Texas City plants owned by BP and Marathon lost power early May 27. A spokesman for Valero declined to estimate when its refinery would be operating normally.  More »

More power outages hit Texas City refiners

A broken power line insulator may be behind outages in Texas City and LaMarque that knocked some refineries offline Friday morning. Power was restored later in the day.  More »

Constellation buys StarTex for $142.5M

The all-cash deal gives Baltimore, Md., based Constellation a foothold in the Texas mass market, the most active residential market in the country.  More »

Hydro Green Energy seeks to add turbines to Longhorn Dam

The Houston-based company wants to add three underwater turbines to the dam in Central Texas. It would then sell the electricity generated to the city of Austin.  More »

Power market is neither fish nor fowl

The electricity market in Texas is far from free, Loren Steffy writes. Even in the deregulated wholesale side of the business, regulators can’t seem to leave the market to its own devices.  More »