East Coast Begins To Clean Up And Assess Damage From Hurricane Sandy

A post-Hurricane Sandy storm has been brewing in New Jersey since PSE&G filed an infrastructure-hardening project with the Board of Public Utilities last year. The utility is seeking $3.9 billion to fortify power grid infrastructure flooded during the hurricane. The BPU is balking at the price and questioning the extent to which customers will benefit… Keep reading →

Joplin, Missouri Reels After F5 Tornado Devastates Town, Kills 132

East Coast utilities are making big grid investments to prep for a hot and stormy 2013. Fresh on the heels of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction last year, East Coast utilities are girding their grids for future storms, including a 2013 hurricane season that’s shaping up to be a tough one, according to the latest forecasts. That spending… Keep reading →

How many billion of dollars does it take to secure the infrastructure of an energy company against the “known unknowns” of historic storms and other forms of interruption and just as importantly, who should pay?

The Public Service Enterprise Group company of New Jersey (PSEG) had an opportunity to answer that question in real time in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy, a storm that impacted facilities that had never been hit by storms in 50 years of operation and knocked out power to a remarkable 90% of the company’s customers. Since then, the firm knows that “business as usual is not enough,” PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo told the AGRION Energy & Sustainability Summit in a wide-ranging speech opening the second day of the conference in New York City this week. Keep reading →

Some US utilities could have weathered Hurricane Sandy better than they did if they had invested in smart grid improvements such as smart-metering, outage management, and distribution management systems, a senior GE official said.

John McDonald, Director of Technical Strategy and Policy Development for GE Digital Energy, said utilities that have not yet installed the technology would have known about outages more quickly, been able to swiftly identify their locations, and been able to assign repair crews more efficiently if they had the enhancements in place. Keep reading →

Independent retail electricity providers have sprung up in various states across the US where deregulation has occurred and policies have been put in place to spur competition.

Approximately 20 states have enacted such policies, but the trend toward choosing electricity suppliers appears to be growing. Keep reading →

The US energy system will be transformed beyond recognition in the next quarter century, but the only certainties are that no one knows what it will look like and it will cost a lot of money.

Electricity’s future is about “disruptive technologies,” speakers including Secretary of Energy Steven Chu told the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the Department of Energy’s National Electricity Forum Feb. 5-9 in Washington DC, and the power industry needs “partnerships” with state regulators to invest in the uncertain new era. Keep reading →

Santa arrived a few days early for environmentalists, but the coal industry is getting Scrooge.

The Environmental Protection Agency released its Utility MACT rule on Wednesday, issuing a controversial order to slash mercury and other hazardous emissions from coal-fired power plants. By 2016, all plants must emit as little mercury as the best 12% do today, lowering national emissions 90%. Keep reading →

The last few years have already seen a dramatic change in discourse on energy issues in the US and globally. But a complex present is laying the groundwork for a new, potentially cleaner, energy future.

Congressional deadlock is allowing two game-changing Environmental Protection Agency rules to pass into law, the Mercury & Air Toxics Standards (known as the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology, or MACT, rule) and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, CSAPR, which together will cost utilities and ratepayers billions of dollars. Keep reading →

A new US EPA rule to cut power-plant emissions is setting supporters including some states, three power companies and at least one city on a collision course with generators, public utility commissions, and other states that oppose the plans.

The Cross State Air Pollution Rule, finalized by the agency in July, requires 27 states in the eastern half of the US to make significant reductions in sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide that crosses state lines and causes ozone and fine particle pollution in those areas. Keep reading →

A New Jersey fight over new electric generating capacity raised a wide range of fundamental power market issues as it intensified late last week.

New Jersey’s top utilities regulator clashed with the head of the grid manager PJM on Friday over plans to build three new gas-fired power stations in a bid to bring down high retail electricity costs. Keep reading →