Resource Adequacy

POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for August 23, 2016

DOE funds 12 cybersecurity projects to improve infrastructure; Amtrak to implement community microgrid; UK to review coal policy post-Brexit


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • The DOE is providing up to $34 million towards 12 cybersecurity projects to improve the country’s energy infrastructure. The funds will cover five cybersecurity areas including: detecting and responding to operational threats, integrating renewables securely, reducing exposure, detecting malware already in the supply chain and identifying gaps in the cybersecurity roadmap released in 2011.
  • Amtrak is planning to implement a community microgrid on its transit system so that it can continue to operate in the event of a power outage. The proposed $31.3 million microgrid with operate with 17.2 MW of energy generation and 4 MWh of storage. Costs (operation, maintenance and fuel costs) total $7.2 million annually with forecasted revenue streams of $10 million annually.
  • The U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union could have ramifications on the country’s power supply and lead to a potential review of the U.K.’s policy on coal. As a non-EU member, the U.K. could be excluded from creating the rules that govern the EU’s wholesale power and gas markets leaving its energy market vulnerable.

As Peak Demand Keeps Rising in ERCOT, Records Fall

Powering Texas through the hot summer season


Lamar Power Plant, Luminant’s Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant

Lamar Power Plant, Luminant’s Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant

With the August heat above 100 degrees and covering much of Texas this week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas set another record for peak power demand on Thursday between 4-5 p.m. of 71,197 megawatts. The previous record of 71,043 megawatts had just been set one hour earlier (between 3-4 p.m.). The new peaks set on Thursday blew past 71,000 megawatts for the first time and beyond the records set on Wednesday and Monday of this week.

To give you an idea of how much generation that is, one megawatt can power 200 homes in periods of high demand.

On these hot days when demand is at its highest, where does all that power come from?

ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to 24 million Texas customers, representing 90 percent of the state’s electric load. Luminant is the largest power generator in ERCOT.

The ERCOT grid relies on a diverse mix of energy sources that when all pulling together provide the power for this growing state. Here’s a breakout from ERCOT of which energy sources provided the power when Texans needed it most when Monday’s record was set:

  • 57% natural gas (includes combined cycle as well as traditional steam and combustion turbines)
  • 27% coal
  • 8% wind
  • 7% nuclear
  • 1% other (hydro, renewables, diesel)
    Note: Percentages are rounded
Forney Power Plant – Luminant’s Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant

Forney Power Plant – Luminant’s Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Plant

These numbers also underscore the importance of dependable power generation from natural gas, coal and nuclear energy.

Over the record peak hour on Monday, Luminant’s coal and gas plants and Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant helped supply nearly 15,000 megawatts to the grid.

“We strive for operational excellence, and on days like we’ve had this week, we’re reminded why it’s so important to work as a team to maintain safe and reliable operations,” said Steve Horn, Luminant chief fossil officer. “Our employees deserve immense credit for safely working in these extreme temperatures to help their fellow Texans stay safe and cool.”

With more hot days ahead, Luminant’s people, plants and mines are doing their part for safely powering Texas.

POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for July 12, 2016

Congress to vote to convene to discuss energy legislation; India to have first electricity surplus since 2008


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • In preparation for the August recess, the Senate is scheduling to vote to convene a conference committee with the House in order to reach an agreement on the first major energy legislation since 2007.  Both the House and the Senate have passed energy bills in the past year, but now need to compromise on a final bill and have it pass both chambers of Congress before it can be sent to the President.
  • In India, forecasters have indicated that the country will have its first electricity surplus since 2008 because of transmission improvements and increased generation. According to the power ministry’s Central Electricity Authority, India could potentially have 1.1 percent extra electricity supplies by March 2017. The Central Electricity Authority also indicates that power demand is expected to grow 9 percent to 1.21 trillion kWh with supplies expected to rise 13 percent to 1.23 trillion kWh. India currently accounts for approximately 6 percent of global energy use.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for June 22, 2016

Global demand response capacity set to grow to 144 GW by 2025; TWC releases job numbers


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • According to a new report published by Navigant Research, global demand response capacity is expected to grow to 144 GW in 2025. Current demand response capacity is nearly 39 GW. The U.S. is expected to lead the adoption of demand response programs. Several factors (ex. low natural gas prices and coal/nuclear retirements) will affect the growth path of demand response programs. Regulators and other market officials are requesting tighter requirements to ensure reliable operations and efficient markets as demand response programs become a larger part of the response base.
  • The Texas Workforce Commission states that there have been 171,800 jobs added over the past year with jobs added in 13 out of the past 14 months. The state’s unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 4.4 percent in May, below the national average of 4.7 percent.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for June 9, 2016

Using analog technology to safeguard the grid; Smartphone apps to show power availability and prices


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • The Senate Intelligence Committee is proposing installing analog technology into the grid to safeguard the country’s electric system. Senator Angus King of Maine, one of the four lawmakers behind the bill, says that using analog technology would reduce the chances of an attack as the equipment would need to be physically accessed. Lloyds of London estimates that an attack on the nation’s power grid could lead to economic losses ranging from $243 billion up to $1 trillion.
  • In India, smartphone apps are helping to bring power to 1.3 billion people. The apps display power supply and prices with an aim for transparency and a reduction in the country’s blackouts.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for May 12, 2016

EIA reports world energy consumption to grow by 48 percent; DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge shows energy cost savings of $1.3 billion


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • The EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 reports that world energy consumption is projected to grow by 48 percent between 2012 and 2040. More than half of this projected increase is said to come from China and India, two non-OECD countries. Over the projected period, renewables and nuclear power are the two fastest-growing energy sources with renewable energy growing by 2.6 percent annually and nuclear power increasing by 2.3 percent per year.
  • The DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge has seen energy efficient commitments triple since 2011 which has resulted in energy cost savings of more than $1.3 billion. In total, there are 310 Better Building Challenge partners with a goal to reduce their energy consumption by at least 20 percent within 10 years. These 310 partners represent 34,000 buildings and facilities, 4.2 billion square feet and $5.5 billion in energy efficiency investment.  In 2016 alone, more than 60 new partners have joined the challenge.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for May 11, 2016

India's electricity consumption to increase by 4x; Wyoming considering a tax increase on wind-generated electricity; The advanced energy industry's workforce is expected to grow by 7 percent


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • By 2030, India’s electricity consumption is expected to increase by four times the current amount (from 1.1 trillion units to 4 trillion units).  Part of this demand is expected to come from the 230 million people who will have access to electricity for the first time. Coal and Power Minister, Piyush Goyal, said “Indian electricity sector, to my mind, is possibly the biggest business opportunity the world has to offer today.”
  • The legislature in Wyoming is considering increasing the state tax on wind-generated electricity. The current tax of $1 per MWh brought in $3.8 million in revenue. Any additional revenue will be allocated to covering the state’s budget shortfall.
  • A report released by the Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance shows that the state’s advanced energy industry employs approximately 143,000 workers. Employers in this sector are expected to increase their workforce by 7 percent. Advanced energy represents a $16 billion industry in Texas.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for Apr. 27, 2016

Venezuela implements a two-day work week to save power; City in Vermont is the first U.S. city to run on 100 percent renewable electricity


POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • In the country’s latest attempt to stave off its power crisis, Venezuela’s president announced that all public sector workers will work a two-day work week for at least two weeks. The country has already implemented rolling blackouts and given government workers every Friday off to save power, but with water levels at the nation’s largest dam which provides 66 percent of the country’s power at its minimum operating level, additional measures are being taken.
  • Burlington, Vermont, became the first U.S. city to run on 100 percent renewable electricity. The electricity is acquired by biomass, hydroelectric, solar and wind energy with hydroelectric energy as its largest source of renewable power. The city has a population of 42,000.