Tucson Electric Power, which serves 420,000 customers in southern Arizona, has entered into a long-term solar energy contract with NextEra Energy Resources at a price of less than 3 cents/kWh, which TEP described as “historically low.”
Under the agreement, NextEra will build and operate a 100-MW solar array and a related 30-MW energy storage system that are expected to be in commercial operation by the end of 2019. The project will be sufficient to provide electricity to 21,000 homes.
Arguments made by various parties in a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceeding that seek to justify implementation of a Department of Energy proposed rule that would affect organized wholesale power markets fall flat on a number of fronts, the American Public Power Association said in a Nov. 7 filing.
In comments filed on Oct. 23, the American Public Power Association urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject a Department of Energy proposed rule that would require organized electricity markets to adopt tariff changes that would ensure full cost recovery for certain “fuel-secure” resources.
The Association said in a news release that while it agrees that the DOE’s proposed rule has raised important questions that the industry should study further, the proposed rule is ambiguous and incomplete in many respects, and unworkable in its current form.
By Paul CiampoliAPPA News DirectorPosted November 14, 2017
When it comes to discussions about things like distributed energy resources, the smart grid and microgrids, cost and equity issues for customers cannot be left by the wayside, said Mike Hyland, the American Public Power Association’s senior vice president of engineering, on Nov. 12, at a gathering of state utility regulators in Baltimore, Md.
“We have to understand that we cannot continue down a path of the reverse Robin Hood,” Hyland said. “You can’t have the poor on the system paying for the rich to have solar panels on their roofs,” he said.
Hyland was one of several participants on a panel, “Believers and Skeptics: A Debate About Distributed Energy Integration on the Distribution Grid,” at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ annual meeting and education conference.
A two-year budget deal signed by President Donald Trump on Feb. 9 includes provisions that will benefit the development of nuclear power in the U.S. including the expansion of Plant Vogtle, which is located near Waynesboro, Ga.
Trump’s signing the budget deal formally set annual discretionary spending targets for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and ended the second government shutdown of the year.
Faced with the need to add air pollution controls to its Nearman Creek coal-fired power plant or shut it down, the Board of Public Utilities in Kansas City, Kansas decided to undertake a major construction project: adding $250 million worth of air quality equipment to the 235-megawatt plant. The project was financed using tax-exempt municipal bonds.
The project was the largest in the Kansas utility’s history, with as many as 400 construction crews onsite at times, said David Mehlhaff, chief communications officer for BPU, in an August 10 interview with the American Public Power Association.
The BPU installed selective catalytic reduction, or SCR, technology at the Nearman plant, along with a circulating dry scrubber, powder activated carbon injection and pulse jet fabric filters. Black and Veatch was the lead engineer and construction manager.
The upgrades were finished late last year — on schedule and slightly under budget — and the Nearman plant came back on line with the new equipment in March 2017. There were no lost-time injuries during the two-year project, Mehlhaff said.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is predicting that natural gas and renewables will make up most of the 2018 electric capacity additions. The agency expects nearly 32 gigawatts (GW) of new electric generating capacity will come online in the United States in 2018, more than in any year over the past decade.
Citing poor market returns, Luminant on Oct. 13 announced plans to retire two coal-fired power plants in Texas totaling nearly 2,300 megawatts, a week after saying it would retire an 1,880-MW coal-fired plant.
The Energy Information Administration on July 5 said that based on EIA survey data for new, utility-scale electric generators, capacity-weighted average construction costs for many generator types have fallen in recent years.
It said that the cost of utility-scale solar photovoltaic generators fell 21% between 2013 and 2015, from $3,705/kW to $2,921/kW. More than half of the utility-scale solar photovoltaic systems installed in the U.S. track the sun through the day, and in general, those systems cost slightly more than those installed at fixed angles, the agency said in its “Today in Energy” report.
EIA defines utility-scale generators as having a capacity greater than one megawatt.
Michigan’s Lansing Board of Water and Light and groSolar on Aug. 29 announced the start of construction of a utility-scale solar project in Michigan.
The project, first announced in December 2015, was delayed because the original site proved unsuitable for construction of the project, BWL noted in a news release.
"This solar energy project expands and diversifies our renewable energy portfolio for our customers," said BWL General Manager Richard Peffley. "Solar energy projects like this will feed directly into the BWL’s distribution system and supply power during the summer peak demand period.”
The approximately 24-megawatt AC solar array is expected to generate approximately 45,000 megawatt-hours annually. BWL customers will receive power generated by the solar array by the summer of 2018 through a power purchase agreement between groSolar, a solar power development, engineering, procurement and construction firm, and BWL.
The project is estimated to create over 150 temporary full time construction jobs and generate approximately $5 million in wages, BWL noted.
As the economics of traditional power operations become more challenging, public power utilities are turning to a range of cutting-edge generation resources — from small modular reactors to renewables.
“As community-owned utilities, our members are at ground zero for a lot of changes, from energy efficiency to decisions about decommissioning plants,” said Carolyn Slaughter, director of environmental policy at the American Public Power Association. “Our planning horizons are long-lived because we’re making the most economical decisions for operating these units. We don’t make decisions for three years; we look at 30-year horizons.”
The Association’s Public Power Forward initiative aims to help public power utilities prepare for the new era in electricity. It includes a business, policy and technology assessment toolbox that utilities can use in their own business models to meet customer demands with next-generation energy sources.
Given their smaller size and community connection, public power utilities are uniquely positioned to broaden their generation portfolios in response to customer preferences. Many utilities are getting at least some of their electricity from newer energy sources like solar, wind, and combined-cycle natural gas.
In an unusual step that could have significant implications for U.S. wholesale electricity markets, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on Sept. 28 directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue a final rule that would require organized wholesale power markets to “develop and implement market rules that accurately price generation resources necessary to maintain the reliability and resiliency” of the country’s bulk power system.
The Department of Energy is focused on the need to preserve “fuel-secure” generation as a way in which to guard against threats to the reliability and resiliency of the power grid and it therefore wants to allow for the recovery of costs of those units.
Small modular reactors were a key area of focus at a recent hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, with a Department of Energy official saying advanced SMRs are “potentially game changing.”
A Department of Energy proposal that would require organized wholesale power markets to develop and implement market rules ensuring cost recovery for “fuel-secure” generation resources necessary to maintain the reliability and resiliency of the U.S. bulk power system “fits comfortably” within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s reliability efforts, said FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee.
Over the past decade, retail electricity prices “have not closely followed the costs of fuels used to generate electricity, such as coal or natural gas,” mainly because of changes in the other costs involved with producing and delivering electricity in the United States, the Energy Information Administration said Sept. 7.
Even though the cost of natural gas — one of the main fuels for producing electricity — has declined over the last 10 years, the average retail price of electricity in the U.S. has risen, the EIA said in its Today in Energy publication.
The average retail price of electric power has gone up by about 1.5 percent a year between 2006 and 2016, about the same as the 1.6 percent per year general rate of inflation over those years, the agency said. In contrast, natural gas prices for U.S. electric generators have fallen at an average rate of 8.4 percent a year since 2006, the EIA said.
By Paul CiampoliAPPA News DirectorPosted February 5, 2018
Exelon Generation on Feb. 2 said that the Oyster Creek Generating Station, a nuclear power plant in New Jersey, will permanently shut down in October 2018, at the end of its current operating cycle.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has set a deadline of Oct. 23 for comments to be submitted to the agency on a recent Department of Energy proposal that aims to preserve “fuel-secure” generation and requires FERC to issue a related final rule.
Click on the following link to read an article on the waning use of coal to generate electric energy: http://www.powermag.com/four-things-that-are-killing-coal/?pagenum=1
Page 1 of 3