D Magazine: How Oncor Made a Killing at White Rock Lake

December 2020 — The nature area, which encompasses about 50 acres at the southwest end of the lake, is beloved territory at my house, though I can’t claim our connection to it is entirely legitimate. When our son, now 34, was a scrappy kid of 9 or 10 years old, he and his motley East Dallas buddies took shovels out there and made jumps for their bikes, much to the chagrin of the bird-watchers who had primary responsibility for protecting the place.

— D Magazine


S&P Global: Renewables are ‘disrupting’ the merchant power sector

Dec. 3 —  a report titled, “Power Market Update: For Independents, Rising Renewables Remains The Primary Challenge,” S&P Global Ratings credit analysts said that retail power continues to be “the best defense” against disruption in the merchant power sector.

— S&P Global



Power Engineering Magazine: Mortenson, GE Renewable Energy partner with Clearway to repower 160-MW Texas wind farm

Dec. 3 — Clearway Energy Group announced completion of the repowering work at the 160-MW Langford wind farm in Christoval, Texas. Mortenson led construction efforts for increasing nameplate capacity by 10 MW and generational output by more than 25 percent.

— Power Engineering Magazine


Utility Dive: Accelerated electrification inevitable, but tech, deployment must meet local needs, according to Report

Dec. 3 — Electrification policies need to take into account local and regional differences, Guidehouse partner Eric Barbour said at ASE’s Active Efficiency Forum.

— Utility Dive


Utility Dive: Utility customers owe up to $40B in COVID-19 debt, but who will pay it?

Dec. 3 — Residential and small business customers could owe “$35 billion to $40 billion dollars to their utilities by March 2021,” according to National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association (NEADA) Executive Director Mark Wolfe. “Our new arrearage data shows that by then, individual unpaid bills may be as high as $1,500 to $2,000, which is as much as some customers pay for electricity in a year.”

— Utility Dive

Reuters: Some Republican states would fight forced utility emissions cuts under Biden climate agenda

Dec. 2 — Republican-governed Mississippi, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and Arkansas said they would challenge any new federal policies requiring the power sector to cut carbon emissions. Utah and Missouri, also under Republican governors, said they would review proposals before deciding.

— Reuters


RTO Insider: Vistra to Shut down Another Texas Coal Plant

Dec. 3 —  Vistra said it would retire the 650-MW Coleto Creek plant no later than 2027 because it would be too expensive to comply with recently finalized EPA rules. | 

— RTO Insider

San Antonio Express News (Commentary): Battery technology gives Texas a clean energy boom

Dec. 2 — ERCOT had almost 4,000 megawatts of solar generation installed at the end of October, and that is projected to increase 25 percent.

— San Antonio Express News

S&P Global: Luminant to retire another natural gas-fired plant in ERCOT

Dec. 2 — Luminant will decommission and retire the 69-MW, natural gas-fired Wharton County Generation plant, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has said. It is the second fossil-fuel plant to be announced for retirement in Texas in as many days.

— S&P Global

S&P Global: Facing uncertain future, gas operators look to hydrogen lifeline

Dec. 2 – Even as many utilities await regulatory guidance, some are forging ahead. Northwest Natural and Dominion are both studying hydrogen blending in training facilities while advancing plans to pair green hydrogen with carbon to create synthetic natural gas through a process called methanation. Meanwhile, CenterPoint Energy Inc. and SoCalGas plan to begin blending very small amounts of green hydrogen into parts of their systems in 2021.

— S&P Global

San Antonio Express News: CPS accepting bids for major clean energy push

Dec. 1 — Solar energy generation has increased exponentially in Texas in recent years, and CPS Energy has pushed to incorporate more solar power in San Antonio.

— San Antonio Express News

Business Wire (Press Release): NRG Receives FERC Approval for Direct Energy Acquisition

Nov. 30 — NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE:NRG) today announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the previously announced acquisition of Direct Energy from Centrica PLC. The acquisition is expected to close in early January 2021, with a target date of January 5th.

— Business Wire


San Antonio Business Journal: Australian-owned company targets South Texas

Nov. 30 — This is the first time that the company, owned by a pair of oil industry veterans, has filed to drill a well in South Texas.

— San Antonio Business Journal


Victoria Advocate: Coleto Creek Power Plant shutting down by 2027

Dec. 1 — The Fannin coal plant, which was built in 1980, is closing due to a combination of federal environmental regulations and competition in the Texas energy market, said Brad Watson, director of community affairs for Vistra, the parent company of the plant’s owner-operator.

— Victoria Advocate

S&P Global: Luminant to retire 55-year-old, 235-MW gas-fired plant at Trinidad, Texas

Dec. 1 — Luminant plans to retire by April 29 its 235-MW natural gas-fired Trinidad Power Plant about 70 miles southeast of Dallas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced late Nov. 30, which elicited diverse opinions Dec. 1 from industry observers regarding market impacts.

— S&P Global

Financial Times: Biden’s renewable energy deadline too ambitious says power boss

Nov. 30 —  Joe Biden’s goal to eliminate carbon from the electricity sector in 15 years would imperil his presidency, according to the head of Vistra, the leading independent power producer in the US.

— Financial Times


Quartz: How wind and solar toppled Exxon from its place as America’s top energy company

Nov. 30 — In early October, the world passed a milestone in the clean energy transition that, until very recently, seemed unthinkable: Exxon was unseated as the most valuable energy company in America. And not by Chevron, its closely-trailing oil and gas competitor. No, Chevron got leapfrogged too—by NextEra Energy, a company that has built the world’s largest collection of wind and solar farms.

— Quartz

Houston Chronicle: A massive solar farm may be a boon to Houston’s Sunnyside. Or not.

Nov. 30 — The city project, being built by Wolfe Energy, would produce enough power for about 5,000 homes. Along with its planned hiking and biking trails and aquaponic farming space, the 240-acre development could be a boon to this low-income neighborhood, some residents say. But recent studies, including one from the University of Texas at Austin, show that solar farms depress nearby home values.

— Houston Chronicle

Utility Dive: Solar-plus-storage poised to become more financially attractive, but seasonal solutions remain key

Dec. 1 — Solar-plus-storage has already begun to compete with open cycle gas turbines, and in some areas such as California combined-cycle gas generators are struggling to maintain their status as the lowest-cost generation asset. Regions with access to cheap natural gas may see slower transitions, according to the report.

— Utility Dive

S&P Global: Hourly profiles drive divergent green prospects in ERCOT, CAISO

Nov. 18 — Though California is thought to be the leader in renewable energy in the U.S., run by an aggressive clean energy standard, Texas has more installed capacity, with no effective renewable portfolio or clean energy standard, and is quickly catching up to California in its renewable market share. With plentiful land area and strong resources across the state, Texas is the leader in wind power capacity and has the largest development pipeline of solar and wind projects.

— S&P Global

KTAB: Texas Railroad Commission discusses possibility and timeline of moving toward renewable energy

Nov. 25 — The Texas Railroad Commission, the agency in charge of regulating the state’s oil and gas industry, is weighing in on how the incoming Biden administration could impact those industries here in Texas.


Midland Reporter-Telegram: Oil poised for rebound, according to Fed

Nov. 28 — A recent conference on energy and the economy presented by the Federal Reserve banks of Dallas and Kansas City included an examination of the outlook for global oil and gas markets.

— Midland Reporter-Telegram

Clean Technica: Top 10 States For Renewable Energy, & Their Renewable Energy Splits

Nov. 28 — Whereas hydropower is the dominant source of renewable electricity in New York, Oregon, and Washington, wind power is absolutely dominant in Texas, and California has a notable split between solar power, hydropower, wind power, geothermal power, and even electricity from biomass.

— Clean Technica

Fox Business: Solar power booms in Texas

Nov. 29 — It is part of a growing number of solar projects in sunny, land-rich Texas, where experts long predicted solar farms would bloom. Solar-farm development in Texas is expected to accelerate in the coming years as generation costs fall and power demand grows. That growth puts it on track to claim a much larger share of a power market dominated by wind farms and natural-gas power plants.

— Fox Business

Houston Chronicle (Commentary): Hydrogen is key to Texas role in clean energy, depending on its color

Nov. 30 — Chemists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and some of the biggest names in energy are developing ways to capture hydrogen for use as a back-up for wind and solar power plants and as fuel for long-range transportation. The gas also promises to keep Texas at the center of the energy world.

— Houston Chronicle

Lufkin Daily News: Texas Railroad Commission to hear complaints about oil and gas waste facility proposed for San Augustine

Nov. 30 — The Texas Railroad Commission set Dec. 9-11 as the pre-hearing conference for a Montana-based company’s application to build an oil field waste disposal facility in the headwaters of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

— Lufkin Daily News


Wall Street Journal: Solar Power Booms in Texas

Nov. 28 — The state, a leader in wind energy, will be home to the nation’s largest solar farm, part of an expected surge in development

— Wall Street Journal