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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: Who Were Those Price Gougers?

LCG, April 11, 2001While California Gov. Gray Davis and other politicians have been blaming Texas-based generators for driving up the price of wholesale electric power in the state, they could have found some even more venal pirates closer to home.

Like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. According to a study by the California Independent System Operator, the LADWP, as well as the federal Bonneville Power Administration and Canada's BC Hydro, the provincial utility of British Columbia, reaped a pretty penny at the expense of the state's two largest utilities and now its taxpayers.

The biggest price-gouger according to the study was Powerex, the trading arm of BC Hydro. They took in almost twice as much in "excess profits" as did the most avaricious private company, Southern Energy, which is now called Mirant Corp. Those profits helped keep prices low in British Columbia.

The LADWP was not bashful about playing Home Sweet Home on the market. It was selling power at higher prices than Reliant Energy Inc. of Houston and The Williams Cos., the Tulsa-based company that marketed power for AES Corp.

Bonneville also charged what it thought was top dollar for power sold into California, but it was not as savvy a trader as LADWP or BC Hydro. It got less per megawatt-hour, but raked in lots more because of the massive amounts of power it sold Cal-ISO.

All of those who sold power to California say they played by the rules that California set up, and so they did.

There was more news from the Wild and Wool-gathering West.

  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission yesterday checked out the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., to make sure the company's bankruptcy did not represent a danger to safety or health. Following the inspection, Ellis Merschoff, the NRC's western regional administrator, told reporters that the utility's financial problems have not compromised the 2,200 megawatt facility's safety or operations.

  • California lawmakers and bureaucrats were in Boise, Idaho as officials from 121 Western states met with three members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in an effort to rein in soaring electricity prices that are expected to set records throughout the West this summer. The Californians were there to ask for price caps.
    "We came here today to ask FERC to establish cost-based rates for 18 months, until new supplies in California come on line and our conservation efforts have significantly reduced demand," said Democrat Robert Hertzberg, speaker of the state Assembly.
    "The state of California is on the verge of dying economically unless this thing is tamed," California Public Utilities Commissioner Geoffrey Brown told FERC.
    "Price caps do not provide incentives for conservation and they discourage investment in new generation," said Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.

  • Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali yesterday authorized PG&E to refund up to $3.5 million per month in security deposits to customers. Under the order, payments of about $1.7 million a month will go to residential customers and $1.8 million to businesses. PG&E in its request said the money belonged to the customers and not repaying it could cause them a hardship.

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