Tag: electric utilities

Islanding Puerto Rico

83 percent of Puerto Ricans remain without power three weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island. The goal is for 25 percent of customers to regain power by the end of October, but it could be months before the territory’s grid is fully operational again. Meanwhile, 36 percent of the island still does not have water service. Since energy is required to treat and deliver water, presumably the lack of power is standing in the way of getting some of those water systems back online. (Water, of course, is also needed to generate energy, but that’s a topic for another time.) Continue reading

Throwing Shade: The Great American Eclipse vs. Solar Power

On Monday, Aug. 21, a total eclipse will slice across the United States for the first time since 1918. It will take just 93 minutes for the eclipse to move across the entire country, and it will appear only briefly.

Since the last coast-to-coast eclipse nearly a century ago, solar generators have come to provide a small but growing piece of the nation’s energy needs, and the eclipse will at least partially obscure the sun for approximately 1,900 utility-scale plants. More than 21 GW of solar capacity will be impacted, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

While the impact is minor on a broad scale—utility-scale solar provides less than 1 percent of the United States’ electricity use—utilities in specific regions see the impact as large enough to develop contingency plans. Continue reading

EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan: Initial Thoughts on Electric Utility Costs and Pricing

Coal-Fired-Power-PlantBy David Tucker and Lexi Kay

In June 2014, the U.S. EPA proposed the Clean Power Plan rule for the regulation of existing electric power plants under Section 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act. A comment period for this proposed rule will soon end on December 1, 2014, which makes this a good time to ask some basic questions: What is this proposed rule for power plants? What might be some of the potential cost and pricing impacts on electric power utilities and their customers? How might North Carolina be impacted by the proposed rule?

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