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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

EPA Reaches Settlement on Four Corners Power Plant

LCG, June 26, 2015-The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday announced a federal Clean Air Act settlement with several Arizona and New Mexico-based utility companies to install emission control equipment at the Four Corners Power Plant located on the Navajo Nation near Shiprock, New Mexico.

The settlement requires an estimated $160 million in upgrades to the plant's sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution controls. The settlement also requires $6.7 million to be spent on three health and environmental mitigation projects for tribal members and payment of a $1.5 million civil penalty. The public will have 30 days to comment on the settlement, which will become final with a judge's signature. A federal court must approve the settlement.

Arizona Public Service Company (APS) is the operator and primary owner of the Four Corners Plant. El Paso Electric Company, Public Service Company of New Mexico, Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District and Tucson Electric Power Company are current co-owners of the plant and Southern California Edison Company is a former co-owner of the plant. The settlement resolves claims that the companies violated the New Source Review (NSR) provisions of the federal Clean Air Act by modifying the Four Corners Power Plant without obtaining required permits or installing and operating the best available air pollution control technology.

The settlement with the APS, the majority owner and primary operator of the power plant, comes without any admission of wrongdoing from APS but levees a $1.5 million civil penalty against APS to be paid within 30 days. The APS vice president of environmental and chief sustainability officer, stated, "The settlement gives us certainty with the plant in regards to the continuing operations (there).Our goal all along has been to provide certainty for the power plant, and this is one more action that we took towards that." The assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance stated, "All power plants should be using the latest air pollution control technology. The law requires companies to protect clean air, and those living nearby - like Navajo communities - expect it. In addition to installing pollution controls, Arizona Public Service will also take the responsible steps to protect the health of those living near the Four Corners plant, which is one of the largest sources of harmful pollution in the country. The pollution controls for NOx required by the settlement improve the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) controls for the Four Corners Power Plant finalized by EPA in 2012 under the Clean Air Act's regional haze program. The current controls for SO2 will be upgraded to increase their efficiency. The new controls are estimated to reduce SO2 emissions by approximately 4,653 tons per year and NOx emissions by approximately 887 tons per year. The settlement also requires $6.7 million of mitigation funds to be spent on three types of projects, including cleaner heating systems, weatherization and a Health Care trust fund. Southern California Edison will spend approximately $3.2 million on a project to replace or retrofit local residents' inefficient, higher-polluting wood-burning or coal-burning appliances with cleaner-burning, more energy-efficient heating systems. APS and the other current co-owners will spend approximately $1.5 million for weatherization projects for local homes to reduce energy use.
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