U.S. Energy Department Plans to Invest Over $120 Million to Facilitate Coal Products Innovation

The U.S. Energy Department on June 26 announced a plan to invest $122 million in building coal products innovation centers through a competitive process in multiple coal producing basins. The move aims to sustain the domestic supply chain of carbon ore, rare earths and critical minerals, and produce value-added and innovative coal products to the...

U.S. Coal Production Projected to Decrease by 25 Percent This Year: EIA

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects coal production to fall by 25 percent to 530 million short tons this year from 2019 levels in its Short Term Outlook released on June 9. The projections are subject to uncertainty as mitigation and reopening efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, the agency said. Production in...

Renewables Exceed Coal in U.S. for the First Time in Over a Century: EIA

U.S. annual energy consumption from renewables reached 11.5 quadrillion British thermal units in 2019, surpassing coal for the first time since before 1885, according to a May 28 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency pointed to the growth of renewable energy, especially wind and solar energy, for electricity generation amid the continued...

U.S. Coal Shipments to Power Sector Hit Record Low in 2019: EIA

U.S. coal shipments to the power sector declined for their fifth straight year in 2019, down to the lowest value, according to a May 12 report from the Energy Information Administration. Nearly 70 percent of coal delivered to the U.S. electricity sector last year was transported completely or in part by rail. Coal delivery costs, which...

U.S. Coal-Fired Power Generation Dropped to Four-Decade Low in 2019: EIA

U.S. coal-fired generation dropped by 16 percent last year, reaching 966,000 gigawatt-hours, the lowest since 1976, according to a May 11 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The decrease was largely driven by increased output from natural gas-fired plants and wind generation facilities. Lower power demand in 2019 also contributed to the fall in...

New Mexico Regulators Delay Decision on Solar Projects Planned to Replace Coal-Fired Capacity

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on April 29 put off a decision on the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s plan for two solar-plus-battery projects to partially replace the generation from the San Juan Generating Station scheduled for retirement by 2022. In a March 27 recommended decision, hearing examiners suggested that the commission approve...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – New England Grid Operator Proposes Market-Based Solution to Energy Security Challenges

The New England grid operator has proposed a long-term, market-based solution to the region’s energy security problem as the power generation fleet moves towards a mix of energy-limited resources. With the retirement of resources with stored fuel, the system is increasingly reliant on facilities that run on just-in-time natural gas deliveries and weather-dependent wind and solar energy. To address the ensuing challenge, the grid operator proposes to improve the current market structure by creating incentives for the region’s fleet to invest in the energy supply arrangements and technologies on which the region depends.

U.S. EPA Reverses Finding That Formed Basis for Obama-Era Power Plant Mercury Rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 16 issued a final rule concluding that it is not appropriate and necessary to regulate hazardous air pollutant emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants, rescinding a 2016 supplemental cost finding that formed the basis for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS. The agency said that…...

EIA Lowers U.S. Wind, Solar Projections for 2020 Amid COVID-19 Economic Slowdown

The U.S. electric power sector will add 19.4 gigawatts of wind capacity and 12.6 gigawatts of utility-scale solar capacity in 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook issued on April 7. These annual wind and solar capacity additions are 5 percent and 10 percent lower, respectively, compared to the previous report. Renewable…...

U.S. Energy Department Explores Use of Storage Technologies to Enhance Performance of Fossil-Fueled Power Plants

The U.S. Energy Department plans to announce a funding opportunity for energy storage technologies that can improve the performance, reliability, and flexibility of fossil-fueled power generating facilities, according to an April 7 news release. The department expects co-location of energy storage with fossil energy assets to enable multiple benefits, including more reliable and affordable energy supply,…...

EPA Relaxes Enforcement Measures to Provide Flexibility Amid COVID-19 Crisis

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on March 26 announced a temporary policy relaxing its enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy gives more flexibility to power plants and other regulated entities on pollution control measures in a time of crisis. The measure allows the noncompliance as long as the entity provides…

New Mexico Regulators Approve PNM’s Plan to Exit San Juan Coal Plant

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on April 1 approved the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s request to abandon the San Juan Generating Station and use securitization bonds through the Energy Transition Act, or ETA, to finance its remaining investment in the plant. The move follows the state Supreme Court’s ruling that the commission must apply the ETA to the closure and replacement…...