EIA Publishes Regional Electricity Supply and Pricing Forecasts Using UPLAN Model

LCG, August 13, 2019--The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that it is revising the presentation and modeling of its forecasts for electricity supply and market hub pricing to better reflect current electricity markets and system operations in the U.S. Beginning with the August 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the new forecasting approach models electricity markets using the UPLAN production cost optimization software developed by LCG Consulting. EIA uses the solution results provided by this proprietary model to develop the STEO forecasts of monthly electricity generation, fuel consumption, and wholesale prices.

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Dominion Energy Virginia Pursues 500 MW of Renewable Projects

LCG, August 8, 2019--Dominion Energy Virginia announced Monday that it is seeking bids for up to 500 MW of renewable capacity in both 2021 and 2022 to increase its clean energy resources. Dominion Energy stated that it is committed to having 3,000 MW of solar and wind in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022. This near-term step is part of an ultimate company commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 across the 18 states it serves.

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Industry News

Minnesota Power Moves Forward with Biomass Initiative

LCG, April 18, 2007--Minnesota Power announced earlier this week its plans to develop biomass resources as a key element to providing clean, renewable, "carbon-friendly" electricity to serve its customers. The plans are part of its "Biomass Initiative," a long-term energy plan that includes the evaluation and screening of a variety of biomass projects. Primary biomass feedstocks include wood waste and forestry residues.

The screening process included a number of factors, and those feasible projects with the best economics have now advanced to become finalists in the process. The short list includes the construction of 50-MW biomass fueled unit at Minnesota Power's Laskin Energy Center in Hoyt Lakes, and consuming biomass fuel at existing Minnesota Power facilities; and developing projects at customer sites which provide process improvements and generation additions.

Minnesota Power will work with other entities to further define the top projects, including the development of the biomass supply plan necessary to support the fuel requirements of the projects. The final plans will be submitted by Minnesota Power to the State as part of the company's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) later this year.

In February, Minnesota Governor Pawlenty signed legislation that requires electric utilities, including municipal power entities, to use renewable energy to supply 25% of retail electric sales to customers in Minnesota by the year 2025. The new law includes renewable supply goals for most utilities of 7% by 2010, 12% by 2012, 17% by 2016 and 20% by 2020. The largest electric utility, Xcel Energy Inc., has a higher goal of 30% by 2020.

Renewable supply resources include wind, hydroelectric, solar, biomass and hydrogen. Wind energy is specifically targeted to account for one quarter of the renewable supplies utilized.

The new law includes provisions to develop a renewable energy credit trading system that would allow utilities to trade in order to achieve renewable goals. Financial penalties may be assessed if goals are not met.

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