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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 Capsule: Davis Won't Get His 5,000 Summer Megawatts

LCG, April 3, 2001In a February news conference staged at a power plant near Sacramento, California Gov. Gray Davis promised to have 5,000 megawatts of new electric generation in place by July 1. "These are megawatts produced in California that will stay in California," he told reporters.

Davis will be lucky to get half of his megawatts.

A memo circulated internally at the California Energy Commission last week says that power producers will be able to complete only about 2,500 megawatts of new capacity by July, and a lot of that won't be the "new generation" the governor was talking about.

The unsigned memo was used last Thursday at a briefing that included some of Davis' staff. "Based on projects the commission is tracking, we expect projects representing a little more than half (the governor's) goal to be on-line during July 2001," the memo said without noting that "during July" is not "by July."

The memo also pointed out that most of the new generation that does come on line "will come from new baseload plants previously approved by the Energy Commission."

When the memo became public, the commission was quick to back away from its conclusions. "This is just a status report," said Roger Johnson, a power plant licensing official. "It doesn't mean we won't reach the goal."

Steve Maviglio, Davis' press secretary, said "We set achievable goals," adding it was too early to predict what may happen by summer.

What is known is, no new peaking plants have yet been approved by the Energy Commission, through five with a combined capacity of 363 megawatts are in review and could be approved this month. Whether they could be built by July 1 is another question.

And the rosy picture doesn't end there.

  • The magnitude of California's energy problems seems to have caught up with California Public Utilities Commission member Carl Wood, a Democrat, who called for more regulation during a lunch meeting of a Nuclear Energy Institute conference yesterday. Wood said "California is losing money at a rate of close to one billion dollars a month. That is what deregulation has brought us." His solution? "My personal view is that we need to have a much higher proportion of generation under regulation."

  • PUC President Loretta Lynch said yesterday she is ready to ask the commission to begin an investigation into the financial relationships of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison Co. with their parent holding companies. Inexplicably, there is still doubt that the utilities paid more for power than they charged their customers and ran up a combined $13 billion in uncollected bills. If Lynch goes ahead with her investigation, she can start by reading filing made by PG&E Corp. and Edison International Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. The holding companies for the two utilities told the SEC that they may be forced to take after-tax charges against earnings of $4.1 billion for PG&E and $2.7 billion for Edison.

  • In San Francisco's Board of Supervisors yesterday, an amendment to the city's charter was introduced that would create a power authority to generate electricity as well as buy and sell it. If approved by the board, the measure would go on the November ballot, where it would oppose a measure calling for the city to form a municipal utility district.

  • The Los Angeles Times reported this morning that there is growing interest in converting manure produced by the state's dairy farms into electricity. California has become the largest dairy state in the nation and there is no shortage of that by-product. Poul Rasmussen, president of Bioscan LLC, an environmental engineering firm, said "The possibilities are there, they are endless," as he surveyed seemingly endless rows of raked-up manure in the Chino basin in Southern California. Bioscan build an anaerobic digester system that turn raw manure into methane gas and fertilizer, a process used in Europe and the Midwest. The California Milk Producers Council, working with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency wants to give it a try and state Sen. Nell Soto is ready with legislation asking $25 million for research. Bioscan says power can be produced for about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour using its technology.

  • The California Independent System Operator has declared a Stage 2 power emergency again today.

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