U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry to Step Down This Year Amid Ukraine Scandal

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced his resignation on Oct. 17 amid a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s actions to pressure the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent Joe Biden. The Energy Department wrote to House Committees that it would not comply with a subpoena demanding Ukraine-related documents, arguing that the House…

New Mexico Regulator to Decide PNM’s Coal Plant Securitization After Court Declines to Clarify

The New Mexico Supreme Court on Oct. 3 declined to hear a petition seeking clarification regarding the applicability of the Energy Transition Act to the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s closure and replacement of the San Juan coal-fired plant. The law, which took effect in June, includes provisions to issue energy transition bonds for…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – How States Are Strengthening Utility Planning to Adapt to Rapid Changes in Energy Sector

Utility resource planning is becoming more complex in the fast-changing energy landscape, prompting intense scrutiny from regulators. State measures are transforming the way utilities procure energy in light of continued growth in intermittent large-scale energy, customer-sited generation, demand response, energy efficiency, and clean energy commitments.

Fossil Fuels Continue to Dominate U.S. Energy Production and Consumption Despite Growth in Renewables: EIA

Fossil fuels continue to account for the largest share of energy consumption in the United States. Last year, about 79 percent of domestic energy production was from fossil fuels, and 80 percent of domestic energy consumption originated from fossil fuels, according to the Energy Information Administration. The share of U.S. total energy production from fossil…

Kansas Regulators Deny Westar’s Request to Charge Consumers $93 Million for Stake in 2 Gigawatt Coal Plant

The Kansas Corporation Commission denied Westar Energy Inc.’s request for ratepayers to bear the cost of its seven-month lease and subsequent purchase in August 2019 of an 8 percent interest in Jeffrey Energy Center, a massive 2.16 gigawatt coal plant located in northeastern Kansas. According to the September 12 press release, had it been approved, the…

EnerKnol’s State Policy Playbook: Northwest Utilities Prepare for Impending Coal Phase-Outs

Carbon reduction is becoming ingrained in the planning strategies of utilities across the Northwest in response to state-level decarbonization policies and market changes. As coal plants are no longer cost-competitive, utilities are taking advantage of new technologies and favorable economics of natural gas and renewables.

States Challenge Trump Administration’s Rollback of Power Plant Emission Rules

A coalition of 22 states and 7 cities on Aug. 13 filed a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Affordable Clean Energy” rule that replaced more stringent Obama-era restrictions on power sector emissions. The new plan allows states the flexibility to choose from a list of technologies to set performance standards for individual facilities, making…

New England Fuel Security Plan to Take Effect as FERC Lacks Quorum

The ISO New England Inc.’s short-term program to compensate resources for maintaining inventoried energy during winters 2023/2024 and 2024/2025 became effective by operation of law because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lacked a quorum to act on the proposed reforms before the statutory deadline, according to an Aug. 6 notice. A resource is eligible to…

Virginia Regulator Partly Approves Dominion’s Rate Rider to Fund Environmental Projects

The Virginia State Corporation Commission on Aug. 5 granted Dominion Energy Inc.’s request for a new rate adjustment clause to recover a portion of the costs incurred to comply with state and federal environmental regulations. The agency approved cost recovery for certain environmental projects, including cleaner disposal of coal ash, at Dominion’s coal-fired power plants.…

U.S. Emissions From Coal Drops to Four-Year Low Amid Changing Power Mix: EIA

Carbon emissions from coal are expected to fall by 169 million metric tons in 2019, the largest decline since 2015, due largely to changes in the electricity mix with natural gas becoming the dominant power generation fuel, according to a July 15 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. energy-related emissions are projected to…