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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: Diablo Canyon to Take May Off

LCG, April 24, 2001One of California's largest single sources of electricity, a 1,100 megawatt unit of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., will be taken out of service Sunday for scheduled refueling and maintenance.

Just in time for the warm weather.

For the past few weeks, California weather has been ideal from the point of view of state energy officials. Unseasonable storms have put more water into the reservoirs behind the many hydroelectric facilities dotting the state's rivers and have added snow to the meager snowpack that provides still more water power in June. With the storms, came overcast skies that moderated temperatures. The state has been coasting along with about 4,000 megawatts of power in reserve.

But two-unit Diablo Canyon provides about 4 percent of the state's electricity, and one of those units will be out of business for about seven weeks.

Stephanie McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the California Independent System Operator, said "The next two weeks are going to be very tight, because we have anywhere from 10,000 to 13,000 megawatts offline. She also noted that an increase of 10 degrees in the ambient temperature in the state translates into a need for 2,000 additional megawatts of generation.

This is, blessedly, a slow news day for California.

  • But motorists, which everyone in California is, could get hit hard at the gasoline pump if the rolling power outages taken as a foregone conclusion for this summer cause refineries to shut down unexpectedly. Refineries are highly complex, and shutting just part of one down for maintenance takes a lot of planning. A sudden outage, even for only an hour, could put a refinery out of commission for a week.
    And because of the state's harsh environmental rules, gasoline for California cars is brewed only in California. That means that gas could not be imported from other states to take up the slack. Today in the San Francisco Bay Area, the average price for a gallon of regular gas is $2.03, the highest in the nation. The state's power crunch could make it go a lot higher.

  • The California Energy Commission isn't the only agency in the state that stands between power plant developers and an adequate supply of electric generation. While the commission must listen to every environmental objection (and pay environmentalists for their "expert" testimony), it also must wait months for project reviews by local governments.
    Yesterday, the state assembly voted 67-4 to approve a bill that that would limit the time a local government could spend thinking about a power plant application to 100 days. The measure would also shorten the approval time for repowering existing plants from 12 months to 180 days and would require the state Air Resource Board and local air districts to speed up their approvals of anti-smog plans for new and repowered plants.
    "This gives us a chance to put some electrons on our grid," said Assemblyman Anthony Pescetti, a Rancho Cordova Republican. "This is the first step to try to deal with the supply side in our state."

  • About 200 city and county officials were in Sacramento yesterday for a two-day "workshop" sponsored by the American Public Power Association, the group representing municipal utilities nationwide. APPA was trying to drum up interest in its type of power and they were plenty of listeners.
    "It's a great time for them to be considering this," said Alan Richardson, APPA president. "They feel abandoned and if they want to protect their needs this is a way to do it."
    Jan Schori, general manager of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, said SMUD had been getting calls from local officials asking for information on forming a municipal utility. "The one positive thing, the one silver lining in this cloud of the energy crisis, is renewed interest in public power," she said.

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