All Source Competitive Solicitations

Rapid technology changes are driving renewed interest in all-source competitive solicitations by electric utilities. This type of procurement allows all potential resources — utility-scale and distributed energy resources (DERs), whether owned by utilities, customers or third parties — to compete to meet a utility’s needs. A new Berkeley Lab report, All-Source Competitive Solicitations: State and Electric Utility Practices, describes principles, …

‘A total mindshift’: Utilities replace gas peakers, ‘old school’ demand response with flexible DERs

Utility-customer cooperation can balance renewables’ variability with flexibility without using “blunt” demand response or natural gas. Also see: https://www.brattle.com/news-and-knowledge/news/grid-enhancing-technologies-shown-to-double-regional-renewable-energy-capacity-according-to-study-by-brattle-consultants Herman K. Trabish, March 8, 2021, Utility Dive Utilities and their customers are learning how their cooperation can provide mutual benefits by using the flexibility of distributed energy resources (DER) to cost-effectively balance the dynamics of the new power system. The …

More than half of the country’s coal fleet can be retired and replaced with renewables without compromising reliability reserve margins

March 2021, RMI in PV Magazine New reports from RMI offer ways to rapidly decarbonize the U.S. power system while also maintaining reliability. The first report, Cutting Carbon While Keeping the Lights On, said that more than half of the country’s coal fleet can be retired and replaced with renewables without compromising reliability reserve margins. RMI, formerly Rocky Mountain Institute, found that 27% …

Out of Date Monopoly Utility Models Still Treat Rooftop Solar As Unexpected: There’s a better way

The result is monopoly utility plans have two shortcomings. First, they underestimate solar adoption. Second, they ignore the financial truth that customer-owned solar can compete with utility-scale solar on price, because customers pay the capital costs and distributed solar provides more value to the grid than centralized solar power plants. When utilities model new power plant acquisition, they price utility-scale …

Hansen’s transmission bill

ptdoe writes: what is Hansen’s bill really about?  Looks like we already have load balancing being evaluated if not fully accomplished–the thing they don’t have in the don’t-mess-with-me state.  Is giving the monopolies a free hand to build more transmission lines really a good idea if CCA is approved for use in CO?. And what about the U.S. effort to …

Colorado’s Community Solar Program

BY LILLI AMBORT AND MARIA MCCOY | DATE: 17 FEB 2021 |  In 2010, Colorado passed the Community Solar Gardens Act (HB 1342), which enabled the statewide shared renewables pilot program. Colorado expanded the program through legislation (HB 1284) and a 2016 settlement deal with Xcel Energy, but it is still capped at 105 megawatts. The Community Solar Gardens Act encourages creation of community solar gardens by investor owned utilities (IOUs), with …

Mississippi regulators force Mississippi Power to close unneeded coal and gas plants

By Daniel Tait | February 23, 2021 | Tags: Georgia Power, Mississippi Public Service Commission, Plant Daniel, Plant Greene, Plant Watson | URL: https://wp.me/p7hDYu-4Xa Mississippi regulators force Mississippi Power to close unneeded coal and gas plants Mississippi regulators are forcing Mississippi Power to shutter as many as 950 megawatts of uneconomic and unneeded legacy coal and gas plants by the end …

Natural gas utilities lobby for pre-emption against gas bans and building decarbonization

Across the country, natural gas utilities and their lobby, the American Gas Association, are lobbying state legislatures to adopt laws preempting cities and municipalities from banning new natural gas infrastructure in order to combat climate change. Preemption laws are an anti-majoritarian tool increasingly used by business lobbying groups and conservative lawmakers to stem grassroots progressive momentum. Gas Industry Lobbies In …

Gas makes up half of power generation in Texas and HALF closed. Capitalism doesn’t invest in resilience: Texas and California built different power grids, but neither stood up to climate change

Gas made up 48% of power generation in TX (or 51% by other accounts) and half was off-line. The majority of ERCOT’s winter peaking capacity relies on natural gas-fired power, and in total gas makes up 47.45% of the grid operator’s generation footprint. At its peak, 52,277 MW of the grid operator’s 107,514 MW in installed capacity fell offline or …

A primary justification for fuel-dependent generation is its theoretical ability to generate regardless of the weather but over 40% of the coal, gas, & nuclear fleet are offline due to the cold in TX

Excerpt, RMI, 2/18/21… Wind turbine icing is the “least significant factor” in driving the outages, according to an ERCOT spokesperson. Additionally, it is notable that this is a relatively straightforward problem to solve. For example, in Canada “cold weather packages” allow wind turbines to operate in very low temperatures. Moreover, grid planners know and expect that wind power is often unavailable during system …