Germany Expands Its Electricity Grid

On December 31, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order directing the Midcontinent System Operator (MISO) to make changes to the capacity auction rules, including requirements to stop relying on PJM Interconnection prices to set maximum bids and increase the amount of electricity available in the Illinois market area. FERC found that… Keep reading →

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials are seeing “no surprises” as the power industry plans compliance with new mercury rules, but some industry officials say the surprises are still to come – in customer bills.

EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy told the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners in Baltimore this week that “just a handful” of companies with specific compliance challenges have come to EPA to discuss getting additional time to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). Keep reading →

Power prices are too low. That’s what utility executives believe. They need prices to increase for their generators to return healthy earnings. Otherwise, they will have to retire plants and exit the market.

Dominion Resources decided not to wait. They recently announced plans to retire their Wisconsin-based Kewaunee Nuclear Power Station 21 years early. Dominion concluded they would not be able to achieve any earnings for their 556-megawatt unit, they might even lose money and they could not find anyone to buy it. They had no choice but to shutter and decommission Kewaunee. Keep reading →

Wind is an important aspect of utilities’ renewable portfolio standards and the Midwest Independent System Operator is committed to ensuring wind power is utilized efficiently and reliably. That is the message MISO President and CEO John R. Bear delivered to a recent American Wind Energy Association conference.

“MISO is committed to improving our ability to reliably manage all generation resources in order to continue providing the lowest-cost energy to our members and their customers. We look forward to working closely with state regulators to implement renewables as a significant aspect of our members’ renewable portfolio standard in an efficient and reliable manner,” said Bear. Keep reading →

Electricity regulators from across the US insisted this week that the Environmental Protection Agency is underestimating the time they’ll need to meet EPA’s newest air rules, and they want EPA to lay out standards now that will guarantee five years’ compliance time and insulate them from civil liability.

EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard gives generators three years from its publication date to comply, but allows state regulators to grant a fourth year and EPA to issue an administrative order allowing a fifth year in limited circumstances. The rule was approved but hasn’t been legally published yet. Keep reading →

The massive size and daunting complexity of the US electricity sector means companies often have trouble proving their contributions to their customers’ lives; benefits for the consumer are often counted in things that don’t happen, whether that be price increases or blackouts.

The regional transmission organization that operates one of the world’s largest energy markets across the US Midwest and in the Canadian province of Manitoba is working to quantify those contributions in the form of a 2011 Value Proposition study. Keep reading →