Federal Government uses UPLAN model to examine price volatility in ERCOT

LCG, October 11, 2022--The U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, released its latest supplement to the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) in the Texas market, assessing various possible scenarios using LCG’s UPLAN NPM model, with a special focus on the effects on wholesale power prices and market conditions.

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Michigan Governor Supports Reopening Palisades Nuclear Facility

LCG, September 16, 2022--The Governor of Michigan last week sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in support of Holtec International’s application for a federal grant under the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program to save the Palisades Nuclear Facility in Southwest Michigan. The federal grant could result in restarting the baseload, carbon-free, nuclear power plant.

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Industry News

California Utilities Want Electric Rates Boosted 26% to 30%

LCG, Dec. 28, 2000California's two largest electric utilities told state regulators yesterday that lights might go out over much of the state unless the rate freeze imposed by deregulation is lifted and they are allowed whopping increases in what they charge their retail customers for power.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. asked for approval of a 26 percent rate increase. Southern California Edison Co., asking for a 30 percent increase, said that wouldn't even allow the company to break even. SoCal Edison said it would need an 82 percent rate increase to do that.

Since early this year, the two utilities have been selling power at rates frozen by the California electric restructuring law at 10 percent below 1997 retail rates. At the same time, the companies have been paying for wholesale power at prices up to 30 times higher than what was expected when the law was passed in 1996.

Blame it on supply and demand. Californians and there are more of them every day have been increasing their demand for power at record rates, and no new sources for power have been developed since the 1980s.

The California Public Utilities Commission has recognized that "rates must rise" and is meeting with the utilities yesterday and today to find out how small an increase they are able to accept without going out of business. The regulators say they will issue a decision a week from today.

At yesterday's meeting, PG&E lawyer Roger Peters told the commissioners "We are out of credit and we are close to being out of cash. People will not lend us money to buy power. You need to understand that."

SoCal Edison on Tuesday sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in U.S. District Court, in a move to allow it to charge cost-based rate for retail electricity. That action, placing the ball in a federal court, could have far-reaching results.

On December 15, FERC commissioner William Massey noted the companies' plight and said "Some day soon a federal court, when asked, will declare that utilities are entitled to recover these high wholesale costs from their customers."

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