U.S. Added Over 31 Gigawatts of Electric Generating Capacity in 2018, Largest in 15 Years: EIA

The U.S. added 31.3 gigawatts of generating capacity in 2018, the largest since the 2003 capacity addition of 48.8 gigawatts, according to a March 11 report from the Energy Information Administration. Natural gas accounted for 62 percent of utility-scale additions, while wind and solar photovoltaic represented 21 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Coal accounted for…...

Dominion Scrambles to Sign Power Contracts as Millstone Retirement Deadline Approaches

Dominion Energy Inc. is due to make a decision by March 15 on whether or not to retire the 2,100-megawatt Millstone nuclear plant. Despite securing the ability to compete for long-term contracts with other zero-carbon resources such as wind and solar, the biggest zero-emission power plant in the region may be forced to close if…

Georgia Regulator Approves $526 Million in Spending on Vogtle Nuclear Project

The Georgia Public Service Commission on Feb. 19 announced its approval of $526.4 million in construction expenses incurred by Georgia Power Company in the first half of 2018 for the Vogtle expansion project. The agency said the authorization does not deem the expenditure to be prudent, and is only an acknowledgement that the company has…...

U.S. Nuclear Regulator’s Post-Fukushima Safety Rule Weakens Seismic, Flooding Protections

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced a final rule addressing nuclear plant safety to incorporate lessons learned from the 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, according to a Jan. 24 news release. The rule removes the requirement in the final draft presented by the commission staff in 2016 requiring nuclear plants to take additional…...

Power Suppliers Seek Supreme Court Review of State Nuclear Subsidies

The Electric Power Suppliers Association on Jan. 7 filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review appellate court rulings that upheld zero-emission credit programs designed to support financially struggling nuclear plants in New York and Illinois. The organization argues that the subsidy programs infringe on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s jurisdiction over wholesale…...

U.S. Energy Department Announces $18 Million for Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects

The U.S. Energy Department selected 11 projects located across six states for cost-shared research and development of advanced nuclear technologies, according to a Nov. 13 press release. The projects, valued at about $25 million, make the third batch of recipients under the department’s advanced nuclear technology funding opportunity. The first round provided $60 million and…

Policy Choices Will Shape Future of Global Energy Sector: IEA’s World Energy Outlook

Under current and planned policies, global energy demand is expected to grow by over 25 percent to 2040, requiring an annual investment of more than $2 trillion in new energy supply, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook published on Nov. 13. The agency said that over 70 percent of global energy investments…

U.S. Nuclear Plant Outages Spiked in September With Early Retirements and Hurricane Related Shutdowns: EIA

Electric generation capacity losses resulting from nuclear plant outages spiked in early September as a result of earlier than expected maintenance, adverse weather conditions and early retirement, according to the EIA’s latest data. Hurricane Florence caused a nine-day unscheduled outage at the 1,870-megawatt Brunswick Nuclear Plant in North Carolina, which was forced to safely shut…

Trump Nominates McNamee to FERC as Agency Examines Crucial Issues of Pipeline Policy, Resiliency

President Donald Trump nominated Bernard L. McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the term ending June 30, 2020, to fill the vacancy resulting from Commissioner Robert Powelson’s resignation in August, according to an Oct. 9 release from the agency. McNamee currently serves as the Executive Director of the U.S. Energy Department’s Office of…

U.S. Uranium Production Hits Historic Lows as Nuclear Plants Retire: EIA

Uranium purchases by U.S. commercial nuclear power plants totaled 43 million pounds of triuranium octoxide last year, 15 percent lower than 2016 and the lowest since 1998, according to an Oct. 3 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Triuranium octoxide, called yellow cake, represents the first step in nuclear fuel production. The agency attributed…

U.S. Enacts Laws to Foster Advanced Nuclear Technologies, Encourage Private Sector to Boost Energy Innovation

U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation that will eliminate financial and technological barriers to nuclear innovation, according to a Sept. 28 press release from the U.S. Energy Department. The department said the legislation builds on the success of its Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear or GAIN initiative, which seeks to enable the industrial community…

New York, Illinois Nuclear Subsidies Survive Legal Challenges

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Sept. 27 upheld New York’s zero emission credit program adopted in August 2016 to support the state’s financially struggling nuclear plants. The ruling rejects complaints that the program depresses energy and capacity prices in the wholesale power auction overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.…