U.S. Coal Exports Boom Amid Weakening Domestic Market: EIA

Strong international demand, particularly in Asia, has provided relief for U.S. coal producers reeling from the effects of the shale revolution, which has led to national coal consumption declining every year since 2008, according to the Energy Information Administration. The agency reports that U.S. coal exports reached 116 million short tons (MMst) in 2018, the highest level…

U.S. Energy Department Finalizes $3.7 Billion Loan Guarantee for Troubled Vogtle Reactors

The U.S. Energy Department on March 22 announced the closing of up to $3.7 billion in additional loan guarantees to fund the construction of two units at the delayed Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia. The decision brings the department’s guarantee of loans to $12 billion, including up to $8.3 billion provided in 2014 and…

Natural Gas Dethrones Coal in Nation’s Largest Wholesale Electricity Market

Natural gas accounted for nearly 31 percent of power generation in PJM Interconnection LLC’s footprint in 2018, surpassing coal’s share of about 29 percent, according to a March 18 report from the grid operator’s market monitor. Nuclear power dominated the region’s generating sector representing about 34 percent of the generation mix last year. Renewables had…...

FERC Seeks Input to Enhance Transmission Incentive, Return on Equity Policies

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on March 21 issued notices of inquiry to gather information on possible improvements to rules governing electric transmission incentives and the agency’s approach to determining the return on equity, or ROE, for setting jurisdictional rates charged by public utilities. Transmission incentives are crucial to spur investment, which can provide benefits,…

Clean Line Energy Wins Missouri Approval for $2.3 Billion Wind Power Line

The Missouri Public Service Commission on March 20 unanimously approved Clean Line Energy Partners LLC’s 780-mile Grain Belt Express transmission system designed to deliver 4,000 megawatts of wind power from Western Kansas to Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and the neighboring states. The move follows a July 2018 ruling from the Missouri Supreme Court, which found that…...

Dominion Strikes Deal With Connecticut Utilities to Keep Millstone Nuclear Plant Open

Democratic Governor Ned Lamont announced that Dominion Energy Inc. reached a deal with Connecticut’s two electric utility companies, units of Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc., to retain the 2,100-megawatt Millstone nuclear facility. The 10-year agreement lowers the incremental ratepayer cost by nearly half compared to the original bid that was accepted last year as part…...

Virginia Governor Vetoes Bill Preventing Participation in Regional Carbon-Trading Program

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam vetoed legislation on March 14 that would prohibit the state from joining a regional carbon program to reduce power plant emissions, without a two-thirds majority vote from both the legislative chambers. Northam also vetoed a similar bill related to limiting emissions from vehicles, saying that the measures violate the state constitution…

Illinois Lawmakers Float Bill Boosting Renewable Target to 40 Percent by 2030

Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill known as the Path to 100, which would boost the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 40 percent by 2030, up from the current 25 percent by 2025, as well as improve opportunities for utility-scale renewable projects to get approval and begin construction, putting the state on a path to 100 percent clean…

U.S. Energy-Related Emissions to Remain Flat Through 2050: EIA

U.S. energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) will remain largely unchanged through mid-century, according to projections in the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2019. Assuming no changes to current laws and regulations, the agency projects that carbon dioxide emissions will be 5,019 million metric tons in 2050, or 4% below their 2018 value, as emissions associated with coal…

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…...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – U.S. States Intensify Scrutiny of Advanced Meter Program Costs, Putting Deployments at Risk

The spread of advanced meters across the U.S. has come a long way, with over half of the nation's 152 million electricity consumers now hooked up to the devices. But further deployment of the technology, seen critical for a more responsive and reliable grid, is at risk amid heightened scrutiny from regulators, who are increasingly bowing to concerns over the costs to consumers.

Retail Suppliers Call for Market-Based Solar Credits to Ensure Competitive Prices in New Jersey’s Successor Program

The Retail Energy Supply Association expressed support for a market-determined price for solar renewable energy certificates, or SRECs, in New Jersey’s successor program, as the state transitions to a new distributed solar regime. In its comments filed with the the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on March 5, the group said that the alternative…...