What’s next, a blackout at the Academy Awards?
During one of the highest profile television events of the year in the US, viewers and players sat in the dark after one half of the storied Superdrome stadium was plunged into extended darkness. The first thought for many in the energy sector was of Entergy, the electric generating firm that is the dominant power supplier to the region. Keep reading →
While the nation has been focused on new sources of natural gas and shale oil, few noticed the slow decline of an older energy source, nuclear power. Today, commercial nuclear power is struggling to stay in the game.
The power markets are hammering the nation’s nukes. Over a decade ago, several regions decided to create Regional Transmission Organizations (or Independent System Operators) and use the market to set power prices. Today, North America has ten independent RTOs/ISOs, where wholesale power is auctioned every few minutes. Keep reading →
Solar power reduces electricity prices. As more solar is added to deregulated power grids, power prices fall lower. The secret sauce is the markets.
Deregulated power markets are invisible to many Americans, yet every few minutes they set the price for much of their electric power. There are ten separate power markets currently operating in the North America. According to the ISO/RTO Council, they serve approximately two-thirds of electricity consumers in the United States and more than half of all consumers in Canada. Keep reading →
When it comes to energy and politics, the United States is not what it appears. Deregulation of the power markets is one example. Some regions of the nation have developed robust power markets. Others regions do not and they don’t want it.
The regionalization of the power markets means there is no such thing as a national grid. According to The ISO/RTO Council, the United States has seven formalized power markets and vast regions where no markets exist at all. Approximately two-thirds of US consumers are served by the seven deregulated power markets. The objective of these markets is to provide buyers and sellers price discovery, liquidity, and non-discriminatory access to wholesale power. Keep reading →
The battle lines have been drawn for years, but the fight over nuclear power’s risks and benefits reached a new stage in New York this week where issues including public safety, reliability, the environment and ratepayer costs are being disputed.
The Indian Point nuclear power plant run by Entergy generates over 2,000 MW approximately 30 miles north of New York City. Supplying roughly 25% of New York City’s and Westchester County’s electricity, the plant’s operating licenses are due to expire within the next few years and the federal hearings are drawing Indian Point’s proponents and critics into stark relief. Keep reading →
Even as global nuclear power prospects have been overshadowed by events in the past year, US nuclear power has remained relatively steady. But controversy following the Fukushima disaster is starting to impact operations at existing nuclear units as well as permitting for proposed facilities.
Particularly controversial has been upstate New York’s Indian Point nuclear plant run by Entergy in Buchanan, New York. As the plant reaches its fortieth year and Entergy applies for a new 20-year license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, several key stakeholders are trying to block the way. Keep reading →
Power utilities are beginning to focus more attention on transmission as the aging system tries to keep up with increasing renewable energy generation as well forecasts for increased overall demand for electricity.
Giant power company American Electric Power announced last week that it was restructuring some of its executive leadership to reflect a renewed commitment to transmission projects both within and outside its power generation region. Among the changes, AEP’s SVP of Transmission, Michael Heyeck, will also become president of Electric Transmission America, a joint venture of AEP and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, effective January 1, 2012. Keep reading →
Entergy will divest its transmission business into a newly-formed entity, Mid South TransCo, which will then be merged with ITC Holdings to form the nation’s largest independent transmission company, the companies announced today.
Though the last few decades have seen mergers among power utilities that do everything from generation and transmissions to disaster repair and customer service as they seek operating scale, today’s deal underlines a countervailing trend toward specialization as companies seek investment capital and clearer regulatory signals. Keep reading →
What if you could get all the benefits of advanced metering without buying a single meter or hiring a single person? That’s the proposition put forth by SAIC’s “Smart Grid as a Service.”
The $11 billion, McLean, VA-based contractor provides a wide range of information technology services. It does about 90% of its business with the government and the balance with private industry. SAIC has decades of experience serving the defense industry. That gives it deep expertise in security, large databases and complex event processing. Although not as well-known as some of its competing systems integrators, SAIC also has a lot of energy and utility experience. For instance, SAIC manages a large swatch of Entergy’s operations. Keep reading →
For 25 days, the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant was staffed round the clock by 850 craft workers in addition to its usual staff as they replaced about a third of the plant’s fuel assemblies.
Entergy was refueling the plant for the twenty-ninth time since it was built in 1972, a process that was completed on November 3. Meanwhile, a court case brought by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin against the plant remains pending in court. If the state wind the case, the nuclear plant will be shut down again by March 2012. Keep reading →