By - Jim Vess

Global power M&A hits $158 billion in 2018, making it second busiest year in the last five

Energize Weekly, July 17, 2019 Global power mergers and acquisitions (M&A) reached $158 billion in 2018, making it the second most active in the last five years, according to GlobalData, a London-based data and analytics company. The number of deals was down a little more than 4 percent to 622 for 2018 when compared to 2017, which was the most

By - Jim Vess

Colorado co-op sues to block Tri-State’s move to FERC regulation, state lawmakers also concerned

Energize Weekly, July 10, 2019 Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is going ahead with its deliberations on moving from state to federal regulatory oversight even as one of its rural Colorado electric cooperatives has gone to court to block the action. Tri-State’s decision to seek regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has also sparked concern from Colorado legislative

By - Jim Vess

Wind and solar running ‘neck and neck’ in global corporate power purchases in 2019

Energize Weekly, June 19, 2019 Wind generation, which has been the dominate form of renewable energy for corporate clean energy in power purchase agreements, is running “neck and neck” with solar in 2019, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Globally, companies had signed deals for 2.8 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 2.8 GW of wind by the end of

By - Jim Vess

Global utility M&A lags in Q1 of 2019 with renewable energy deals a bright spot

Energize Weekly, May 15, 2019 Power and utility sector mergers and acquisitions worldwide dropped to their lowest level since 2012 in the first quarter of 2019, but industry executives remain positive about deals for the year, according to a survey by Ernst & Young (E&Y). The value of first-quarter deals was $20.6 billion, down 80 percent from the record $97

By - Jim Vess

U.S. coal exports, driven by Asian demand for metallurgic coal, hits five-year high in 2018

Energize Weekly, April 3, 2019 Exports of U.S. coal reached their highest level in five years, 116 million short tons, in 2018, even as domestic consumption continued to decline. The figures are based on foreign trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The U.S. exported 15 percent of its coal production in 2018, particularly metallurgical coal used in making steel,

By - Jim Vess

Colorado PUC ruling sets stage for rural electric cooperative to leave Tri-State G&T

Energize Weekly, February 20, 2019 The Colorado Public Utilities Commission waded into a dispute between a Western Slope rural electric cooperative and the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association over the co-op’s efforts to leave the association. The commission’s decision will provide a new level of oversight for Tri-State, which provides wholesale electricity to 43 rural cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, New

By - Jim Vess

Corporate purchases of clean energy soar to a new record in 2018

Energize Weekly, February 6, 2019 Corporations bought a record 13.4 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy through power purchase agreements (PPAs) in 2018, more than double the record set in 2017. Analyses by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables reported on the trend. Facebook, Google and Amazon continued to be the largest customers, accounting for a

By - Jim Vess

States begin to allow utilities to included energy efficiency programs in their rate base

Energize Weekly, December 26, 2018 New types of incentives are being added by states to the quiver programs to promote energy efficiency among utilities, according to a survey by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE), a non-profit advocacy group. The council first surveyed state energy efficiency programs in 2015 and it did so again this year. It

By - Jim Vess

Coal prices are competitive, but it isn’t leading to more coal-fired power in the PJM

Energize Weekly, December 19, 2018 A rise in natural gas prices has made coal more competitive, but in the PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest grid, the usual utility switching to the cheapest fuel has been hamstrung by the closure of mines and coal-fired units. “Conventional wisdom in PJM was that at times of high demand during the winter, coal generation

By - Jim Vess

PJM could face reliability risks in early 2020s if more coal and nuclear generation is retired

Energize Weekly, November 7, 2018 The PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest grid, can manage the announced closures of coal and nuclear plants even in the face of severe weather—but with the loss of additional generation, “the system may be at risk.” The assessment comes from the PJM’s Fuel Security Analysis released Nov. 1, which was done as its grid, which

By - Jim Vess

Pipeline constraints could hurt winter energy market prices in New York, Boston and Los Angeles

Energize Weekly, October 24, 2018 A forecast for a mild winter and adequate electricity generating capacity are good news for the winter energy markets, but pipeline constraints could create risks for several major cities, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) assessment. The growing dependence on natural gas-fired generation coupled with the pipeline issues could also “have significant implications

By - Jim Vess

High temperatures, fuel constraints pushed western electricity prices to a 10-year high this summer

Energize Weekly, October 3, 2018 High temperatures and tight fuel supplies pushed wholesale electricity prices in the western U.S. to their highest levels since 2008, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Temperatures were warmer than normal across the West. Portland, Ore., for example, posted 29 days of temperatures higher than 90 degrees from the beginning of June through

By - Jim Vess

Western Energy Imbalance Market posts a record quarter, cutting costs, providing benefits

Energize Weekly, August 8, 2018 The western Energy Imbalance Market, which serves seven utilities and the California grid operator, posted a record $71.2 million in benefits to its members in the second quarter of 2018, according to the organization. The market, known as the EIM, is a real-time bulk power trading market to balance electricity supply among its members and

By - Jim Vess

High levels of wind and solar on the power grid could lower wholesale electric prices

Energize Weekly, June 6, 2018 High levels of wind and solar on regional power grids can decrease electric wholesale prices by $5 to $16 a megawatt-hour (MWh), according to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “Increasing penetrations of variable renewable energy (VRE) can affect wholesale electricity price patterns and make them meaningfully different from past, traditional price patterns,” the

By - Jim Vess

PJM capacity auction sees renewables, coal and natural gas rise while nuclear plummets

Energize Weekly, May 30, 2018 PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest grid, saw prices jump more than 80 percent to $140 a megawatt-day across most of its grid in the annual capacity market auction. But even with the hike, many nuclear power plants couldn’t successfully bid. The price increase was expected as a result of lower prices in energy markets, which

By - Jim Vess

Falling renewable energy prices could make $112 billion in gas-fired generation a stranded asset, RMI study says

Energize Weekly, May 30, 2018 Coal-fired generation is being supplanted, for the most part, by cheaper natural gas turbines with $112 billion in new gas-fired power plants proposed or under construction, but those plants could face the same market fate as coal, according to an analysis by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The analysis by RMI, an independent energy consultant,

By - Jim Vess

Southwest Power Pool approves terms for western utilities to join its wholesale market

Energize Weekly, March 21, 2018 The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) board of directors on March 13 approved the terms for utilities and transmission operators from eight Western states to join their wholesale electricity market. The proposal deals with issues of cost sharing, governance, operations and, in a number of areas, gives the Mountain West Transmission Group region some separate consideration

By - Jim Vess

Utilities need to adapt to a changing market with new business approaches, RMI study says

Energize Weekly, January 31, 2018 A rapidly shifting, yet slow-growing electricity market is forcing utility executives and state regulators to redefine the role of utilities—from expanding their monopoly positions to becoming open platforms for competition, according to a study by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The question, the study by the energy consulting group said, is where to draw the

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