POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for Sept. 3, 2014

ERCOT ready for winter; technology changing utilities; communities going into power business

POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily round-up of news for your consideration:

  • The Texas power grid is expected to be in a better position to meet fall and winter demands, the Dallas Morning News reports. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas says new power plants and wind farms have come online, increasing generating capacity by 4 percent from a year ago. From the report:

    “This coming winter, ERCOT is projecting peak demand at close to 53,000 MW. That has shrunk the projected reserve margin to about 16,000 MW, compared with 21,000 a year ago. A reserve margin is the difference between the projected peak power demand and grid capacity, factoring in maintenance and weather. … Reserve margins have been a contentious issue in Texas in recent years. Low power prices have slowed the construction of new generating capacity, even as the state’s population continues to grow.”

  • Greentech Media explores the competitive pressures utilities are facing as result of “disruption” brought on by technological changes:

    “Solar PV, distributed storage, electric vehicles and home energy management platforms are giving many consumers direct technology choice for the first time — enabling third-party companies to erode the market share of incumbent utilities that have mostly operated in a limited competitive environment.”

  • Eco-minded communities are getting into the power business to cut costs and lower their carbon footprint, but critics say the cities’ ability to offer lower prices will be short lived. From the Los Angeles Times article:

    “Impatient with the pace at which states and the federal government are confronting climate change, communities from the coast of Massachusetts, Cincinnati, Chicago and Boulder, Colo., have begun taking steps to elbow aside big electricity companies and find green power themselves.”

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