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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

SWEPCO Announces Louisiana Settlement Agreement for the Proposed Wind Catcher Energy Connection

LCG, May 17, 2018--Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), announced a settlement agreement April 13 in the Louisiana Public Service Commission's (LPSC) review of SWEPCO's request for approval of the proposed Wind Catcher Energy Connection, a 2,000-MW wind farm under construction in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The agreement includes SWEPCO, the LPSC General Staff, and Walmart Stores, Inc. and Sam's West, Inc.

The Wind Catcher project is the largest single-site wind project in the nation and is estimated to cost $4.5 billion. The project includes the acquisition of the wind farm and the construction of a 360-mile dedicated generation tie line to the Tulsa area, where the existing electrical grid will deliver the electricity to customers. SWEPCO will own 70 percent of the project, and its affiliate, Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO), will own 30 percent. The project developer is Invenergy, and SWEPCO and PSO will purchase the facility at completion, which is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020.

SWEPCO agreed to provide a number of guarantees, including a cap on construction costs, qualification for 100 percent of the federal Production Tax Credits, minimum annual production from the project, and others. By joint motion to be filed soon, the parties will ask the Commission to approve the project under terms of the settlement agreement.

SWEPCO's vice president of External Affairs stated, "We are extremely pleased with this settlement agreement as the Wind Catcher project is an exceptional opportunity to reduce customers' electric bills, bring more clean and affordable energy to homes and businesses, and further diversify the generation resources serving our Louisiana customers."

"Walmart has a goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, and sourcing from wind energy projects - like the Wind Catcher project - is a core component in the mix," said Walmart's vice president of energy. "The energy procured by SWEPCO from this project represents an important leap forward on our renewable energy journey."

SWEPCO estimates that the project will save its customers more than $4 billion, net of cost, over the 25-year life of the wind farm. Cost savings include no fuel cost for wind; full value of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), which is available for construction of new wind farm projects; and the cost-efficient delivery of the wind generation to customers through the new, dedicated power line.

The Wind Catcher project is subject to approval by utility commissions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma, as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The agreement in the Louisiana proceeding follows a February 20, 2018, agreement filed in the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) review of the project. Decisions are pending in SWEPCO's applications for approval in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, and PSO's application in Oklahoma.
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