Washington Post: Biden sends signal he is serious about climate change with John Kerry pick

Nov. 24 — Installing the senior statesman into the newly created position gives it gravitas at a time when U.S. credibility abroad on global warming and other issues has waned under President Trump. 

— Washington Post

 

Utility Dive: Climate progress in power, 5 other sectors too slow to limit global warming

Nov. 23 — The report analyzed 21 indicators across the six sectors to find that current climate efforts are too slow to drive a 50% cut in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. In the transportation sector, for example, the report said greater adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) will depend on governments to promote behavioral change among consumers. Shifting people away from cars and onto public transit will need incentives for that behavior change, the report said, with policy likely to lead the way.

— Utility Dive

 

S&P Global: Investment in US clean energy to total $55 billion in 2020

Nov. 23 — US investment into wind and solar energy will total $55 billion in 2020, said Jigar Shah, cofounder and president of Generate Capital, Nov. 20.

— S&P Global

 

Texas Observer: Rural Voters Stepped on the Gas for Trump Across the Texas Oil Patch

Nov. 23 — Even in Democratic strongholds, some voters in the state’s vast shale plays were afraid of Joe Biden’s energy platform.

— Texas Observer

 

KXXV: Solar center to power 150 megawatts of the City of Bryan come 2022

Nov. 23 — Invenergy, a Chicago-based developer of electricity generation facilities, is building a 1,310-megawatt solar energy project in northeast Texas.

— KXXV

 

Utility Dive: Why capital markets are continuing to finance utilities facing rising flood and other climate change impacts

Nov. 20 — Duke Energy multiplied the damage caused by Hurricane Michael and Florence tenfold to estimate the impact from storms over the next decade, according to its CDP filing. NRG Energy, with one of of its two headquarters in Houston, Texas, used the damage from Hurricane Harvey to benchmark the potential impact of storms on its assets.

— Utility Dive

 

Fort Worth Business Journal: Proposed law seeks additional fees on electric vehicles. Here’s how many EVs are in Fort Worth and how much it can cost

Nov. 23 — A Texan lawmaker is attempting to levy additional fees on electric vehicles (EV) that could cost North Texas EV drivers collectively more than $2.5 million annually.

— Fort Worth Business Journal

 

Amarillo Globe-News: Xcel Energy’s major New Mexico line project signals economic growth

Nov. 21 — Through Xcel Energy’s Power for the Plains grid enhancement initiative, more than $3 billion has been invested in high-voltage transmission lines in New Mexico and Texas that deliver electricity from power sources into towns and industrial areas. A key component of this build-out has been constructing a 345-kilovolt transmission corridor into southeastern New Mexico where oil and gas exploration and related industries have greatly expanded economic opportunity for the region.

— Amarillo Globe-News

 

El Paso Times: City creates position to strengthen partnership with El Paso Electric

Nov. 21 —  A healthy and reliable electric utility is without a doubt critical to the well-being and vibrancy of any growing community. For nearly 120 years, El Paso Electric (EPE) has filled that role for our region, providing electricity to over 436,000 customers in west Texas and southern New Mexico.

— El Paso Times

 

Washington Post: U.S. greenhouse gas emissions set to drop to lowest level in three decades

Nov. 19 — Battered by the coronavirus pandemic, the stalled economy is projected to have generated 5.9 billion metric tons of emissions, about the same level as 1983, according to the private research organization.

— Washington Post

 

Houston Chronicle: Texas bill would require study to reach 100 percent renewable power

Nov. 19 — The study would identify how Texas can transition the state’s electricity generating capacity to 100 percent renewable energy, including potential obstacles and an examination of economic and other benefits to Texas for shifting to renewables.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Utility Dive: States urge FERC to avoid further intrusions on authority in any future carbon pricing policy

Nov. 20 — Competitive power trade association groups, the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) and the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), argued that carbon pricing, or other market-based policies like it, are more effective at curbing carbon emissions economically compared to other state policies, in comments filed Monday. Meanwhile, states and investor-owned utilities (IOUs) cautioned FERC against preferring carbon pricing over other policy mechanisms.

— Utility Dive

 

Utility Dive: Chatterjee congratulates Biden, Harris on election win in latest move toward FERC ideological center

Nov. 20– President Donald Trump has yet to concede the race and is actively contesting the election results, though his claims of election fraud have been deemed invalid by major news organizations. As a result, many Republicans, including Chatterjee’s former boss Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have yet to acknowledge Biden’s win, which has yet to be certified because of ongoing disputes from the Trump administration.

— Utility Dive

 

Utility Dive: Why capital markets are continuing to finance utilities facing rising flood and other climate change impacts

Nov. 20 — In a sample of 18 utility disclosures on climate risks analyzed by Utility Dive, 13 stated flooding and heavy storms were a short-to-mid term threat.

– — Utility Dive

 

Dallas Morning News (Commentary): Why does Atmos Energy predict your gas bill will increase by 42% in the next five years?

Nov 19 — There’s one slide in a 45-slide presentation that Dallas-based Atmos gave to financial analysts a week ago that got my attention. It shows that an average $48 monthly gas bill this year is projected to increase to $68 by 2025. I pulled out my calculator. That’s a 42 percent increase!

— Dallas Morning News

 

CW39: Ways to make your home more energy efficient

Nov. 18 — We all like saving money, especially when it comes to energy costs, so we headed over to the Reliant Smart Home in the Heights to learn about ways to make our homes more energy efficient.

— CW 39

 

Solar Power World: Invenergy to install whopping 1.31-GW solar project in Texas

Nov. 18 — Invenergy, a leading privately-held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, today announced a 1,310-megawatt solar energy generation facility that will be the largest in the United States upon completion. Currently under construction in northeast Texas, the Samson Solar Energy Center will support the sustainability objectives of five major consumer brands and supply power to three Texas municipalities.

— Solar Power World

 

Houston Business Journal: NRG Energy to raise $3B in debt to fund Direct Energy deal

Nov. 18 — The company will fund the deal with a combination of cash on hand and debt.

— Houston Business Journal

 

KFOX: El Pasoans raise concerns over planned $140m generator for El Paso Electric

Nov. 17 — In a public meeting on Tuesday night, El Pasoans aired their concerns about El Paso Electric’s plans for a multimillion dollar power plant project in Northeast El Paso.

— KFOX

 

Odessa American (Press Release): Cypress Creek Renewables’ Largest Solar Development Project Reaches Commercial Operation in Texas

Nov. 16 — The 162 MW Wagyu solar PV project in Brazoria County, Texas is now delivering power to the grid. Located near Houston, Texas, the project is owned by Cubico Sustainable Investments (Cubico), a leader and global investor in renewable energy, and was developed by Cypress Creek Renewables.

— Odessa American

 

S&P Global: SPP sets new wind record of 18.4 GW, tops 60% of the day’s output

Nov. 16 — After surpassing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in nameplate wind capacity in October, the Southwest Power Pool reset its record for wind output at 18,442 MW as of 6:20 pm Nov. 14, which equaled 64.4% of the average hourly demand at that time, according to federal data.

— S&P Global

 

El Paso Herald-Post: El Paso Utilities unite to educate, empower customers to avoid scams

Nov. 16 — he frequency and volume of scams over the last year has increased, particularly those disguised as assistance to those impacted by the pandemic, targeting both residential and commercial customers. As scammers target customers of all three utilities that serve El Paso, the tactics used on customers have similarities.

— El Paso Herald-Post

 

CleanTechnica: Communities Put Clean, Renewable Energy On The Ballot

Nov. 16 — In the 2020 election, several communities had clean energy on the ballot as well as candidates for President of the United States, Congress, and state and local races. Here’s a brief overview of several ballot measures illustrating how cities are moving at a rapid pace creating new funding to support local clean energy, and that clean energy has a much broader appeal than either political party.

— CleanTechnica

 

Lewisville Leader: Atmos Energy to conduct controlled flaring (updated)

Nov. 13 — Flaring is a standard industry practice used to safely remove natural gas from a limited section of pipeline, which is necessary to perform routine maintenance or other work. In order to reduce any impact on the environment, flaring equipment injects the right amount of oxygen to cause elimination of methane. Atmos Energy employees will be onsite with fire extinguishers and protective equipment, standing at a safe distance to monitor the operation.

— Lewisville Leader

 

Tyler Morning Telegraph: Gexa Energy Achieves Ambitious 100% Renewable Energy Goal

Nov. 16 —  Gexa Energy, a leading Texas retail electricity provider, announced today that it has reached its goal of shifting all residential plans to 100% renewable energy and providing every residential customer with green power at no additional cost.

— Tyler Morning Telegraph

 

Spectrum News: Texas Women of Power Working in Electricity

Nov. 16 — There’s a steady increase in women entering male-dominated trades in the United States, and in the Lone Star State, two are in control of the power. It’s not unusual for Ursula Villareal an Stefania Gutierrez to get puzzled looks from people when they explain what they do for a living.

— Spectrum News

 

Houston Chronicle: Nonprofit tasked with bringing more solar power to Spring Branch

Nov. 13 — The nonprofit Solar United Neighbors announced the launch of the Spring Branch Solar Co-o, a group tasked to help homeowners and businesses use the renewable energy source. The group will host several free online webinars about solar energy and the co-op, and is open to homeowners and business owners in Northwest Houston, including Piney Point, Hedwig Village, Jersey Village and Greater Inwood.

— Houston Chronicle

 

FOX 29: Vaccine could mean boost to the Texas energy sector

Nov. 13 — Covid-19 has delivered a blow to many industries. The entertainment, restaurant and hospitality sectors have taken a dive for the worst. Including Texas, the nation’s top producer of crude oil and natural gas, is tipping the scales – in the wrong direction.

— Fox 29

 

Houston Chronicle (Commentary): The W. A. Parish plant in Texas is burning your lungs and the planet. Why won’t NRG replace it?

Nov. 15 — Because sunny, windy Texas has long relied on coal as a source of power, the connection between health and energy is more acute here than in many states — and maybe most acute in the Houston region, where one of the largest and most notoriously dirty coal-fired power plants in the United States is still burning.

— Houston Chronicle

 

RTO Insider: Early-evening Solar Trough has ERCOT’s Attention

Nov. 15 — ERCOT experienced its own version of the duck curve this summer, with tight operating conditions as the sun set and solar production dropped off.

— RTO

 

San Antonio Express-News: CPS Energy has cut emissions, but remains large polluter in Texas

Nov. 11 — Through the first 10 months of the year, Texas has produced more power from wind and solar than in any previous year.

— San Antonio Express-News

 

Houston Chronicle: Texas bill would tax wind, solar generation but not natural gas

Nov. 11 — The bill from state Rep. Ken King would add 1 cent to every kilowatt hour of energy generated. The tax likely would be passed on to consumers, adding about $12 a month to bills for households that use 1,200 kilowatt hours of renewable power sources each month. Power generated from natural gas would be exempt from the tax.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Utility Dive: A solution could be lying along rail lines and next generation highways

Nov. 12 — Multiple studies show the need for interregional transmission is growing and proposals to streamline siting will help, but cost allocation remains a barrier.
— Utility Dive

 

The Texas Observer: Texas Has Elected A Climate Change Denier to the Railroad Commission

Nov. 10 — Newly elected commissioner Jim Wright will be one of three people in charge of regulating the state’s oil and gas industry. He doesn’t believe that flaring contributes to climate change.
— The Texas Observer

 

GreenTech Media: Evergy Pushes Back on Report of NextEra Energy’s $15B Acquisition Offer

Nov. 10 — Midwestern utility Evergy pushed back Tuesday against a report from Reuters that it rebuffed a $15 billion acquisition bid from NextEra Energy, the U.S. renewable energy leader that’s been seeking to take advantage of its high stock price to expand its roster of regulated utilities in recent years. 

— GreenTech Media

 

KFDA 10: Xcel Energy’s Harrington Station will switch to natural gas by 2025

Nov. 10 — Xcel Energy announced today the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reached an agreement with the company to convert a major power plant to natural gas fuel system to meet national air standards.

— KFDA

 

Austin American-Statesman: Bastrop County tables tax abatement proposal for planned $190M solar project

Nov. 10 – -The Bastrop County Commissioners Court on Monday tabled a proposal to authorize a tax abatement agreement between the county and international renewable energy company RWE Renewables, which is spearheading a plan for a $190 million solar project near Rosanky.

— Austin American-Statesman

 

Texas Monthly: ExxonMobil’s Failure to Go Green Could Worsen Its Financial Future

Nov. 10 —  As other major oil companies have invested in renewable energy, the Irving-based producer has stubbornly stayed the course.

— Texas Monthly

 

Flower Mound Leader: Atmos Energy to conduct controlled flaring

Nov. 10 — Atmos Energy crews and contractors will oversee another controlled flaring of natural gas from approximately 7 a.m. to noon Thursday and Nov. 17 and 19 at the intersection of FM 407 and Summit Avenue in Lewisville.

— Flower Mound Leader

 

Houston Chronicle: Another coal plant to close in East Texas

Nov. 9 — A coal-fired power plant in East Texas will close and another will stop using the fuel to comply with federal environmental rules, according to the Ohio power company that owns them.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Dallas Morning News: Dallas upgrading 1,000 street lights to LED, expanding Wi-Fi to needed areas

Nov. 8 — Though it’s only a fraction of the city’s total lights, the benefits of LED include energy preservation, more illumination and less frequent maintenance, according to a presentation to the City Council on Wednesday.

— Dallas Morning News

 

RTO Insider: Texas PUC Approves ERCOT Board Members

Nov. 10 — Texas regulators approved the election of Sally Talberg and two others to three-year terms on ERCOT’s Board of Directors.

— RTO Insider

 

Vox: How Joe Biden plans to use executive powers to fight climate change

Nov. 9 — His proposal calls for an aggressive shift to clean energy, carbon neutrality by the middle of the century, and massive federal investment to drive these changes. Contrast that with President Donald Trump, who put forth no plan to deal with climate change and actively undermined existing policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

— Vox

Utility Dive: Senate uncertainty muddies clean energy path, but offshore wind, EVs poised to gain with Biden

Nov. 9 — Former Vice President Joe Biden was elected president of the United States Saturday morning, with Pennsylvania putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win, pending certification and the outcome of legal challenges. But the political make-up of the Senate remains uncertain as the Georgia Senate race is headed to a special election in January.

— Utility Dive

 

S&P Global: U.S. election results show deeper divide on energy, tough path for tackling climate

No v. 6 — While control of the White House and US Senate still hung in the balance, a host of implications for energy and commodity markets from the Nov. 3 elections unfolded across the country, revealing a deepening divide on energy issues that will make it harder to pursue federal policy on decarbonization and mitigating climate change.

— S&P Global

 

Midland Reporter-Telegram: Top 8 Basin counties produce more than half of state’s oil

Nov. 9 — The RRC reported Midland, Martin and Pecos counties made up the top three, followed by Howard (fifth), Upton (sixth), Loving (seventh), Glasscock (ninth) and Reagan (10th). They combined to produce 55.081 million barrels of crude oil, which was 51.02 percent of the total reported statewide. In July, those eight counties accounted for 52.2 percent.

— Midland Reporter-Telegram

 

Solar World: AEP Energy Partners seeks proposals for Ohio and ERCOT solar projects

Nov. 4 — For the ERCOT sited projects, the company is seeking renewable energy purchase agreements of 12 years or less for solar facilities that begin operation between 2021 and 2023. Proposals with alternative terms will be accepted. Accepted bids will be at AEPEP’s discretion.

— Solar World

 

Killeen Daily Herald: Oncor Reports Third Quarter 2020 Results

Nov. 5 — Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (“Oncor”) today reported three months ended September 30, 2020 net income of $258 million compared to net income of $263 million in the third quarter of 2019. The $5 million period over period decrease was primarily driven by unfavorable weather and increases in operating costs and expenses attributable to ongoing invested capital, including depreciation and amortization, interest expense and taxes other than income, partially offset by increases in revenues from rate updates to reflect greater invested capital.

— Killeen Daily Herald

Houston Chronicle: Oil and gas industry praises GOP’s hold on Railroad Commission

Nov. 5 — Texas’ oil and gas industry hailed Republican James Wright’s election to the Texas Railroad Commission while environmental groups lamented Democrat Chrysta Castañeda’s loss as a setback in efforts to combat climate change.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Houston Business Journal: NRG Energy plans hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of divestment

Nov. 5 — NRG Energy Inc. is expecting to draw at least $250 million from asset sales in the near term. That would be the net proceeds, after associated debt repayment, for divestments in the next six to 12 months, CEO Mauricio Gutierrez said during his company’s quarterly earnings conference call.

— Houston Business Journal

 

Dallas Morning News: Texas energy is going green, no matter who’s president

Nov. 6 — Solar and win power, along with storage batteries, account for 95 percent of the proposed projects on ERCOT, Texas’ electric grid.

— Dallas Morning News

 

Midland Reporter-Telegram: Vistra buys more retail power brands, expands reach

Nov. 5 — Vistra, one of the biggest sellers of electricity in Texas and best known for its TXU Energy brand, has been on a buying spree along with the other big retail electricity seller competitor NRG Energy. Together, the two companies have locked up about 75 percent of the retail electricity market in Texas.

— Midland Reporter-Telegram

 

Renewables Now: AEP Energy seeks long-term PPAs from new wind, solar

Nov. 5 — he retail electricity and gas supplier, a unit of US utility American Electric Power Company Inc (NYSE:AEP), on Wednesday launched a Requests for Proposals (RfP). Interested parties are invited to submit a notice of intent to bid by November 13, 2020. Full proposals are due by November 23, 2020.

— Renewables Now

 

San Antonio Express-News (Commentary): Pipelines essential to state’s recovery

Nov. 3 — It’s our economic lifeblood, contributing to virtually every good and service we produce. We cannot rebuild our industries, small businesses, services, cities and our lives without the heat, light and power that generate the jobs, homes, food and amenities that make our lives livable. Energy pipelines make that possible — nearly 470,000 miles of them that crisscross the Lone Star State and deliver affordable, reliable energy to Texas’ homes and businesses.

— San Antonio Express-News

 

Yahoo Finance: Was The Smart Money Wrong About NRG Energy?

Nov. 3 — Out of thousands of stocks that are currently traded on the market, it is difficult to identify those that will really generate strong returns. Hedge funds and institutional investors spend millions of dollars on analysts with MBAs and PhDs, who are industry experts and well connected to other industry and media insiders on top of that. Individual investors can piggyback the hedge funds employing these talents and can benefit from their vast resources and knowledge in that way. 

— Yahoo Finance

 

Energy Choice Matters: Vistra, Parent Of TXU, Acquiring Retail Electric Customers From Two Texas REPs

Nov. 4 — Vistra announced today an agreement to acquire the Texas retail electric customers of Infinite Energy and Veteran Energy at an estimated EV/EBITDA multiple of ~3.7 times, which the company said, “expand[s] Vistra’s retail footprint in the attractive Texas market with a gain of ~60,000 residential customer equivalents.”

— Energy Choice Matters

 

Fitch Ratings: Texas Utilities Face Regulatory Challenges

Nov. 3 — Utilities’ capital investments are mostly recovered through general rate cases in Texas and are based on historical test years with adjustments for known changes after the end of the test year. Transmission cost of service and distribution cost recovery factor are important interim rate adjustment mechanisms that mitigate regulatory lag between rate cases. Authorized ROEs in the last 10 years are largely in line or slightly better than the sector median at the time of the approval in the last five years. Equity capitalization ratios for electric utilities are lower than those for gas utilities and the industry median.

—  Fitch Ratings

 

EE News: Energy, environment in play as races near the finish

Nov. 2 — The 2020 presidential race between Trump and Joe Biden, the Democratic former vice president, is a referendum on many issues, including the president’s character and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that has thrown the world into disarray, killed more than 230,000 Americans and crashed the economy.

— EE News

 

CleanTechnica (Commentary): How Texas Can Lead The Global Electric Vehicle Transformation 

Nov. 2 — Texas has also become a magnet for global renewable energy firms, the UK’s EDF Energy being one good example. In the latest development on that score, last week the nation’s largest rural electric cooperative inked a deal with  

— CleanTechnica

 

Reuters (Analysis): Biden’s clean-energy ‘revolution’ faces challenge to match fossil-fuel jobs, pay

Oct. 30 — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, seeking to allay concerns that his plan to fight climate change would harm the economy, has promised a “clean energy revolution that creates millions of unionized middle-class jobs” if he’s elected.

— Reuters

 

Utility Dive: Hydrogen is having a moment, and power generation is leading the way

Nov. 2 — In fact, the transformation has already begun, according to Sean Ebnet, vice president of business development for Ørsted, an offshore wind company with headquarters in Denmark. Ebnet told ACORE members that many European nations have established goals to replace natural with 20% green hydrogen, and that Germany is aiming for as much as 60% replacement. Blending hydrogen with natural gas, he said, makes the transition to 100% renewable energy more cost effective because it allows industries to take advantage of existing infrastructure.

— Utility Dive

 

Utility Dive: Wind remains cheaper, but solar’s costs are falling faster, Lazard finds

Oct. 28 — Wind and solar generation continues to cost less each year, according to Lazard, making them increasingly attractive compared to more traditional resources, particularly as newer options like hydrogen are emerging to potentially address some of the challenges posed by renewables.

— Utility Dive

 

Utility Dive: Battery constraints preventing ramp up of electric truck production, Tesla says

Oct. 27 — Fleets will have at least three electric options in 2021 — if the manufacturers stay on schedule. Not only should Tesla’s offering be ready for delivery in 2021, but Volvo’s VNR Electric should be available for lease that year. Daimler Trucks’ Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul and Kenworth’s Class 8 T680E are slated to enter into production.

— Utility Dive

 

Texas Tribune: Texas Democrats think a seat on the oil and gas regulating board could be their best chance of winning statewide in two decades

Oct. 30 — With attention on Texas races up and down the ballot, a virtually unknown Republican candidate and big-time donations to the Democratic nominee, Democrats think they have a shot of winning a seat on the Railroad Commission.

— Texas Tribune

 

Dallas Morning News (Commentary): A transmission line and nature preserve can co-exist

Oct. 30 — This is a prediction from local environmentalists, and it’s the same prediction environmentalists made the last time the same electric utility clear-cut the same strip of land it owns for the transmission line, in 2000. By the time the utility’s bulldozers began to roll this year, the plants and trees had indeed grown into a thick habitatOct. 30 — After Oncor clear-cut and mulched a strip of land under a transmission line in White Rock Lake Park, the vegetation will likely take 10 or 15 years to grow back. That is, if Oncor allows it to.

— Dallas Morning News

 

Dallas Morning News: Why Texas’ top power company, Vistra, is embracing clean energy

Oct. 30 — Texas also is No. 1 in wind generation, and solar capacity is coming on fast. Here’s another sign of energy’s evolving times: Vistra Corp., the state’s largest electricity generator, is retiring coal plants and investing heavily in solar power and storage batteries.

 

— Dallas Morning News

Kilgore News Herald: City council seeks time to review SWEPCO hike

Oct. 31 — For a Texas residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, the request would result in an overall bill increase of approximately $15.71 per month, or 15 percent, the release read.

— Kilgore News Herald

Corsicana Daily Sun: Solar Center planned for Navarro County

Nov. 2 — According to its website, Armadillo Solar Center will use over 600,000 solar panels to generate more than 440,000 megawatt hours of energy annually, or enough energy to power almost 42,500 homes. The Armadillo Solar Center is designed to help meet the energy needs of the state by providing solar-powered electricity and a significant economic boost to the local community over the life of the project, including tens of millions in royalty payments to project landowners and new property tax revenue that benefits the Mildred ISD, Navarro County, Navarro College, and other taxing entities.

— Corsicana Daily Sun

 

Beaumont Enterprise (Commentary): Late fracking controversy might affect Texas races

Oct. 29 — The oil industry may be down in some ways but it is not out in Texas. That was proved last week in the final presidential debate. It didn’t affect the contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden that much, but it may have had a big impact on two important races in Texas.

— Beaumont Enterprise

 

Houston Chronicle: Harris County reaches agreement with CenterPoint for bike trails along utility easements

Oct. 29 — Harris County officials Tuesday approved an agreement between the county and CenterPoint Energy outlining the use of utility easements as hike and bike trails.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Houston Chronicle (Commentary): Texas is already transitioning from oil and it is an opportunity, not a liability

Oct. 30 — Texas has been at the cutting edge of America’s clean energy revolution. We rank first in wind power, third in battery storage capacity and fifth in solar. We’re also a growing leader in electric vehicles. Tesla is currently building a manufacturing facility just outside of Austin to build their Cybertrucks.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Houston Chronicle (Commentary): Texas Railroad Commission should reinstate production limits

Oct. 30 — Texas was the birthplace of the modern oil industry. The Texas Railroad Commission fostered this global industry by coordinating American production limits and then faded to the background as world oil production shifted overseas. But now the United States is once more the center of global oil production — even with the current oil bust, America produces far more oil than any other nation. So, Texas must once again take a central role in stopping oil and gas waste. The Texas Railroad Commission can lead the United States toward smart production limits and data that preserve Texas’s natural resources.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Odessa-American: EDF Renewables and Pedernales Electric Coop Sign Wind Project Agreement

Oct. 29 — EDF Renewables North America and Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. (PEC), the largest distribution electric cooperative in the United States, today announced the signing of a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a 100 megawatt (MW) share of the King Creek 1 Wind Project. Located on ranch land in Throckmorton and Haskell Counties, Texas, the King Creek project expects to begin delivering clean electricity in Q4 2021.

— Odessa-American Online

 

Utility Dive: States accelerated renewables under Trump. Could a Biden win slow that?

Oct. 29 — The bipartisan push in favor of more renewable energy deployment at the state level could evaporate under a Biden administration that may lean toward federal mandates, experts say.

—  Utility Dive

 

E&E News: Tesla microgrids spread as U.S. grid ‘gets worse and worse’

Oct. 28 — A Tesla Inc. executive made a stir last week when he revealed that the company is operating more than 120 microgrids. The online comment by Michael Snyder, Tesla’s director of engineering and construction for energy projects, signaled that a company known for its cars and batteries is restlessly encroaching on other parts of the energy system.

— E&E News

Laredo Morning Times: Harris County’s upcoming hike and bike paths will give ‘power walk’ a new meaning

Oct. 28 — Get used to those sounds on your evening stroll. A new agreement between Harris County and CenterPoint Energy paved the way to construct hundreds of miles of hike and bike trails along grassy right-of-way that houses high-voltage power lines.

— Laredo Morning Times

 

Everything Lubbock: How to safely heat your home without breaking the bank

Oct. 28 — Energy experts said the thermostat is responsible for about half of heating and cooling costs in a residence, and for every degree the temperature goes above 70, bills go up too. So before you reach for the heat, they encourage homeowners to check for little things around the house that may be costing them money while letting the cold creep in.

— Everything Lubbock

 

Houston Chronicle: 60 percent of voters support transitioning away from oil, poll says

Oct. 28 — The poll by Politico and Morning Consult showed that 55 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents and 83 percent of Democrats support such a move, which President Donald Trump has criticized as likely to wreck the U.S. economy.

— Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle (Commentary): Biden’s fracking pullback could be good for Texas

Oct. 28 — The former vice president has been criticized for pledging to transition to renewable energy and to restrict drilling on federal lands, if elected. The American Petroleum Institute estimated that Biden’s drilling ban could lead to 120,000 job losses by 2022. S&P Global Platts, meanwhile, said the proposal would trim about 1.1 million barrels per day from U.S. oil production by the middle of the decade.

— Houston Chronicle

 

USA Today (Commentary):Texas is not all about oil and gas anymore

Oct. 28 — Oil and fracking have been making waves since they came up in the second and last presidential debate, and no wonder. The most contested states in the 2020 presidential election include the top two producers of natural gas in the country — the traditional political battleground of Pennsylvania and my newly competitive home state of Texas.

— USA Today

 

The Grist: Why is Michael Bloomberg giving $2.6 million to elect a railroad commissioner in Texas?

Oct. 28 — Oil and gas companies burn off billions of cubic feet of natural gas into the atmosphere every year in Texas alone. It’s both wasteful — the gas could be used to power the state’s populous cities many times over — and a major source of climate-warming pollution. Nevertheless, the Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that regulates the industry, has largely sanctioned the practice, rubber-stamping applications from companies that want to engage in unlimited flaring.

— The Grist

 

S&P Global: Rising Henry Hub prices to fuel seasonal decline in gas-fired power generation

Oct. 27 — On Oct. 26, benchmark Henry Hub gas climbed to a 19-month high at $3.08/MMBtu as a blast of winter-like temperatures swept the Rockies and the Midwest fueling a surge heating demand. On Oct. 27, cash prices at the Louisiana hub were down just 4 cents to $3.04/MMBtu, preliminary settlement data from S&P Global Platts showed.

— S&P Global

 

Houston Business Journal: Texas comptroller approves Savion’s solar project incentive agreement

Oct. 27 — The incentives would save Savion millions of dollars in property taxes.

— Houston Business Journal

Texas Tribune: Texas Republicans highlight energy issues as a closing argument of campaign

Oct. 28 — Texas’ oil and gas industry has had a horrible year. As the recession persists and Election Day nears, Republicans have latched on to Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s debate exchange about the energy sector and the environment.

— Texas Tribune

 

Texas Tribune: Michael Bloomberg gives $2.6 million to Texas Democrat running for railroad commissioner

Oct. 26 — Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has made a late donation of $2.6 million to the Democratic nominee for railroad commissioner, Chrysta Castañeda, providing a massive fundraising boost in a race for the oil and gas regulatory board that usually does not see such big money — or attract much political interest outside Texas.

— Texas Tribune

 

Austin American-Statesman (Commentary): Modify Texas’ tax structure to reflect the energy transition

Oct. 27 — A great energy transition is underway in the U.S. and around the world. According to a new report from the International Energy Agency, the coronavirus pandemic is actually accelerating the move away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner energy sources. And a recent study from the OECD, a group of 37 economically advanced countries, concludes that “peak oil demand” has already occurred in the developed world. With solar and wind energy projects benefiting from falling costs and widespread government support, the IEA expects renewables to provide 80% of the growth in global electricity demand through 2030.

— Austin American-Statesman

 

Forbes: Renewable Energy Surges Even In Fossil Fuel Friendly Red States

Oct. 26 — The nation’s two largest coal-producing states, Wyoming and West Virginia, have emerged as leaders in renewable energy and energy storage, respectively, according to a new report.

— Forbes

 

Hays Free Press: Kinder Morgan says pipeline re-reoute is complete

Oct. 23 —  The route of Kinder Morgan’s Permian ˙Highway Pipeline is about 99 percent mechanically complete’ through the Texas Hill Country and is on track to be carrying natural gas from West Texas to near Houston early next year.

— Hays Free Press

 

Dallas Morning News (Commentary): Oncor carved out part of White Rock Lake’s heart. How does Dallas stop the next land massacre?

Oct. 23 — Our outrage over the sorry mess that the utility made in this nature preserve is justified, but we need real action to keep it from happening again.

— Dallas Morning News

 

Houston Business Journal: Texas comptroller approves incentives for ConnectGen solar project

Oct. 23 — The incentives would save the company millions of dollars in taxes over the 10-year life of the agreement.

— Houston Business Journal

 

KVUE: Texas candidates, experts react to Trump and Biden’s exchange on oil industry

Oct. 23 — In Thursday night’s presidential debate, presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden spoke about transitioning from the oil industry. At one point during the debate, President Donald Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry?” to which Biden said, “I’d have a transition from the oil industry, yes.”

— KVUE

 

Politico: Biden’s oil slip gives Trump campaign hope in Pa., Texas

Oct. 23 — Joe Biden’s plan to move to a clean energy economy isn’t new to those who’ve been paying attention: For months, he’s promised to put the country on a path to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

— Politico

Houston Chronicle (Commentary):  Oil and gas, environmental stewardship remain key to economic growth

Oct. 26 — As the Texas oil and natural gas industry slowly recovers from a historic decline in global demand brought on by COVID-19 and other market factors, policy leaders must think longterm when considering measures that could impact the future of domestic production and its unmatched contributions from an economic and geopolitical perspective. While challenges remain, no one should understate the resilience of this industry and its importance to our country for generations to come.

— Houston Chronicle

Forbes (Commentary): As Trump Dismisses Renewables, Energy Sector Doubles Down

Oct. 25 — Though the biggest energy headline coming out of last week’s U.S. presidential debate was whether a President Biden would end fracking, President Trump’s critical portrayal of renewable energy warrants more attention than it has gotten – and a closer look at the reality of growth in the sector.

— Forbes

 

Fox 7 — Atmos Energy to flare natural gas in Leander Oct. 26-30

Oct. 25 — From approximately 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Oct. 26-30, crews will flare natural gas west of Ronald Reagan Boulevard just south of the South Fork San Gabriel River.

— Fox 7 Austin

 

S&P Global: Rising water stress risk threatens US coal plants, largely clustered in 5 states

Oct. 22 — Based on an analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and the World Resources Institute, power generators in Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Wyoming and Michigan operate about 37.1 GW of coal-fired generation capacity in areas projected to face medium-high to extremely high water stress — when humanity’s competition for water exceeds nature’s ability to replenish it — due to climate change in 2030.

— S&P Global

 

KLTV: Two solar farms set to be constructed in East Texas

Oct. 22 — East Texas will soon be home to some new solar farms. It’s a part of an effort for more renewable energy by the Texas-based company Vistra, the parent company of Luminant Energy. The two solar farms are set to be constructed in the Forest Grove area of Henderson County, and northeast of the city of Henderson in Rusk County.

— KLTV

 

Texas Tribune: Donald Trump and Joe Biden sparred over Texas’ energy industry and global warming during final presidential debate

Oct. 22 — In debating a major Texas industry, Trump emphasized economic priorities while Biden advocated for alternate means of energy besides oil and gas.

— Texas Tribune

 

Reuters: Trump, Biden clash over climate, oil industry in final debate

Oct. 22 —  Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden clashed over the country’s response to climate change in their final presidential debate on Thursday, which included a stark disagreement over the future of the oil industry.

— Reuters

 

Utility Dive: Cities’ GHG emissions reduction efforts, by the numbers

Oct. 23 — The first half of 2020 saw an 8.8% decrease in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a scientific report recently published in Nature Communications. This reduction was “larger than any in history,” the authors wrote, yet governments — particularly U.S. cities — have plenty of work to do before they can hang up their hats.

— Utility Dive

 

12 News: What is the Texas Railroad Commission? A closer look at who’s running

Oct. 21 Dallas Democrat Chrysta Castañeda is running against Republican Jim Wright for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the oil and gas industry.

— 12 News

Vox:  Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout

Oct. 21 — After many years of failure to launch, new companies and technologies have brought geothermal out of its doldrums, to the point that it may finally be ready to scale up and become a major player in clean energy. In fact, if its more enthusiastic backers are correct, geothermal may hold the key to making 100 percent clean electricity available to everyone in the world. And as a bonus, it’s an opportunity for the struggling oil and gas industry to put its capital and skills to work on something that won’t degrade the planet.

— Vox

Utility Dive: NextEra wind, solar backlog passes 15 GW as it looks to replicate renewables strategy with hydrogen

Oct. 22 — The backlog of renewable energy projects that NextEra expects to construct over the next few years grew by about 1,450 MW in the third quarter and now exceeds 15 GW, more than the total current renewables portfolio of its wholesale generating subsidiary, NextEra Energy Resources, the company announced during its Q3 earnings call on Wednesday.

— Utility Dive

 

Houston Chronicle: ‘Frustrating as it can be’: CenterPoint’s frequent outages happen rain or shine, customers say

Oct. 22 — Persistent power outages that continue for years have become a liability for CenterPoint, angering homeowners and business customers who say their complaints fall on deaf ears. The outages — and particularly the utility’s response to complaints from grocer H-E-B — played a key role when CenterPoint’s request for a rate hike was slashed in January.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Denton Record-Chronicle: Council members ask for safety requirement for building around plugged gas wells

Oct. 21 — The Texas Railroad Commission, according to city documents, requires that wells be plugged no later than a year after they have been abandoned or are non-producing. State law allows municipalities no authority to regulate plugging.

— Denton Record-Chronicle

 

The Hill: Union organizer discusses support for Green New Deal-style provisions in Texas

Oct. 20 — Pollock went on to point to working conditions in the green energy sector as well as the opportunity to build union representation in renewable energy companies as a major selling point that has led to workers seeking employment in the renewable fuel industry.

— The Hill

 

The Hill: How to expand rural broadband, fast and affordably

Oct. 19 — The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified many problems in America, but with creative approaches, these problems can become opportunities. One of the most important, yet least discussed, issues is the continued lack of access to high-speed internet in rural areas — an issue that profoundly affects economic growth, education and daily life.

— The Hill

 

The Hill: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill

Oct. 20 — A new bill from House Democrats turns to the oceans as a way to fight climate change, proposing to expand offshore wind while barring drilling along America’s coasts.

— The Hill

 

Utility Dive: US corporate buyers will drive 44 GW to 72 GW of new renewables over next 10 years

Oct. 21 — Corporate-driven power purchase agreements (PPAs) could represent 20% of all utility scale renewable power additions from 2021 to 2030.

— Utility Dive

 

NewsWest 9 — Atmos Energy explains rate increase

Oct. 18 — Since March Atmos employees have been estimating reading meters. In the month of October, they have gone back out to reading meters in person.

— NewsWest 9

 

Houston Chronicle: Railroad Commission eyes change to flaring rules

Oct. 20 — Flaring opponents, however, say the proposed reporting changes don’t go far enough to curtail the practice. They instead demand that the commission look to its own history — to a time when it rigorously enforced state laws against the waste of hydrocarbon resources — and take steps to eliminate routine flaring within five years.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Dallas Observer: City Creates Committee To Clean Up Oncor’s Mess at White Rock Lake

Oct. 19 — For the second time in two decades, several acres of The Old Fish Hatchery at White Rock Lake were mowed down by local energy provider, this time Oncor, surprising Dallas residents used to exploring this little bit of nature in the Big D.

— Dallas Observer

 

Energy News Network: Solar can hurt home values if it displaces scarce suburban greenspace

Oct. 20 — The analysis by University of Rhode Island researchers did not account for aesthetic treatments, and found no impact from arrays in rural areas.

— Energy News Network

 

E&E News: House races to watch on energy, environment

Oct. 19 — Despite an ongoing pandemic and economic uncertainty, energy and environmental issues remain significant factors in more than three dozen competitive House races that will likely help decide the size and makeup of the expected Democratic majority in the next Congress.

— E&E News

 

Utility Dive: DOE campaign drives $95M in building energy cost savings

Oct. 20 — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) just-completed Smart Energy Analytics Campaign, facilitated by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has reportedly created the world’s largest collection of building energy analytics, highlighting the benefits of energy management and information systems (EMIS) in commercial buildings like offices and retail spaces.

— Utility Dive

 

Utility Dive: 2019 US wholesale solar prices more than double wind, gas as renewables use reaches record levels

Oct. 20 — According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), last year the average U.S. wholesale price for solar electricity was $83/MWh — more than double the price paid to producers of electricity generated by wind, fossil fuels, or nuclear.

— Utility Dive

 

Dallas Business Journal: Oncor eyes Q1 2021 move-in date for 200K-SF relocation in downtown Fort Worth

Oct. 16 — About 600 employees will be making the move.

— Dallas Business Journal

 

Harker Heights Herald: Negotiated settlement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Corp., Mid-Tex Division

Oct. 16 — ASCS consultants concluded that the system-wide deficiency should be $111.5 million instead of the claimed $136.3 million, a difference of $24.8 million.

—  Harker Heights Herald

 

El Paso Herald-Post: EP Electric receives unanimous approval from PUCT for new power station

Oct. 16 — Late Friday afternoon, officials with El Paso Electric (EPE) announced that the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) unanimously approved their application for the construction of Newman Unit 6 power station.

— El Paso Herald-Post

 

ABC 8: What is the Texas Railroad Commission? A look at who’s running

Oct. 17 — Dallas Democrat Chrysta Castañeda is running against Republican Jim Wright for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the oil and gas industry.

— ABC 8

 

Fox4: Oncor clear-cuts three acres at White Rock Lake without city approval

Oct. 17 — The city of Dallas is in talks with Oncor after it clear-cut three acres of trees by White Rock Lake without notifying the city first.

— Fox4

 

Fox Business: Spread of electric cars sparks fights for control over charging

Oct. 17 —  The proposals are sparking concerns from consumer advocates about higher electric rates and oil companies about subsidizing rivals. They are also drawing opposition from startups that say the successors to gas stations should be open to private-sector competition, not controlled by monopoly utilities.

— Fox Business

 

Clean Techica: Texas Wind Power Growth 2010–2019 — 6% to 18% of Texas Electricity

Oct. 16 — In 2019, wind-powered generation contributed 84.4 thousand gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity in Texas, an 11% increase from the 75.7 thousand GWh generated in 2018. Substantial growth in wind capacity in the state was the primary reason for this increase. Texas wind capacity rose almost 17% in 2019, from 24.1 gigawatts (GW) in 2018 to 28.1 GW in 2019. Wind power accounted for 18% of the electricity generated in Texas in 2019, compared with 6% in 2010.

— Clean Technica

 

Plainview News: Council approves rate increase for Atmos Energy customers.

Oct. 14 — Starting Dec. 1, Atmos Energy both residential and commercial customers across the South Plains and up the Panhandle will notice the increase. For residential customers, the average bill should show an estimated $3.04 increase.

Plainview News

 

Renewables Now: Wind is a growing part of the electricity mix in Texas

Oct. 16 — Substantial growth in wind capacity in the state was the primary reason for the increase. Texas wind capacity rose almost 17% in 2019, from 24.1 GW in 2018 to 28.1 GW in 2019. Wind power accounted for 18% of the electricity generated in Texas in 2019, compared with 6% in 2010.

— Renewables Now

 

KLTV: SWEPCO proposes 15 percent rate change for Texas customers

Oct. 15 — Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, has submitted a request to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for a net annual increase of $90.2 million in the company’s non-fuel base rates. On a total customer bill basis, the net increase is approximately 15.6%.

— KLTV

 

Utility Dive: Lithium-ion dominates utility storage; could competing chemistries change that?

Oct. 15 — The industry is growing increasingly comfortable with lithium-ion, but its limitations open up a space for other technologies to compete in the storage mix.

— Utility Dive

 

 

Utility Dive: Cities push ahead on Energy Efficiency as a Service as private sector plays catch up

Oct. 5 — The proliferation of new technologies has transformed areas of mobility and software into comprehensive service offerings to bolster operations. Now, public sector entities are leading the charge on a tech-driven service offering that’s been bubbling under the surface for decades: Energy Efficiency as a Service (EEaaS).

— Utility Dive

 

Bloomberg: Permian site leaked gases uncontrollably for months, group says

Oct. 9 — An oil well site in the Permian Basin owned by a bankrupt shale producer has spewed polluting gases into the atmosphere for 10 months, despite being investigated by Texas regulators, according to an environmental group.

— Bloomberg

 

Houston Chronicle: As Trump deregulated environmental protections, society pushed back

Oct. 9 — President Donald Trump has undertaken a rollback of environmental regulations unlike anything in U.S. history, promising new manufacturing and industrial activity in the United States while drawing dire warnings from environmentalists.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Houston Chronicle: US oil and gas industry lost 107,000 jobs in the pandemic. Most will take years to return

Oct 9 — Texas, the nation’s top oil producing state, has borne the brunt of the industry’s layoffs. Drilling and oil-field services companies operating in Texas employed 162,350 workers in June, about half of the 297,100 workers at their peak of employment in December 2014, according to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.

— Houston Chronicle

 

KVUE: Election race for Texas railroad commissioner

Oct. 10 — It’s a title that could come off as a little misleading. That’s because the Texas Railroad Commission doesn’t regulate railroads anymore, but does still serve an important role in Texas. The Texas Railroad Commission is a state agency that regulates oil and gas production.

— KVUE

 

Houston Chronicle: Biden would be good for oil prices, Goldman Sachs says

Oct. 12 — But new analysis by Goldman Sachs says that compared with a second term of the Trump administration, a Biden presidency could be a positive for U.S. oil and gas drillers because tougher regulations on hydraulic fracturing would likely reduce production, raising crude prices.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Reform Austin: Texas Gets an ‘F’ on Teaching Kids About Climate Change

Oct. 12 — Thirty six states and the District of Columbia rely on the Next Generation Science Standards for developing course curriculum on climate change and global warming. Texas isn’t one of them. Instead, Texas is among six states that have chosen to write its own standards. That is the reason for the state’s F grade in the report.

— Reform Austin

 

ProPublica: Inside the Utility Company Lobbying Blitz That Will Hike Electric Bills

Oct. 9 — Democrats who campaigned against Virginia’s largest public utility, Dominion Energy, swept into office. Then the company’s lobbying efforts kicked into high gear. Here’s how it fought against legislation meant to lower residents’ electric bills.

— ProPublica

 

Dallas Morning News: ‘It looks like an atomic bomb went off’: Many express outrage over Oncor’s clear-cutting of White Rock nature area

Oct 9 — “They destroyed an ecological jewel,” said Kelly Cotten, a nearby resident of the area and longtime White Rock environmental activist, after Oncor contractors last month bulldozed and clear cut a wide swath of land that runs through a beloved, historic wildlife area close to lake.

— Dallas Morning News

 

Bloomberg: Permian site leaked gases uncontrollably for months, group says

Oct. 9 — An oil well site in the Permian Basin owned by a bankrupt shale producer has spewed polluting gases into the atmosphere for 10 months, despite being investigated by Texas regulators, according to an environmental group.

— Bloomberg

 

Culture Map Dallas: White Rock Lake clear-cutting leads this round of Dallas news

Oct. 9 — The Dallas City Council is considering the return of scooters on city streets, but only with the understanding that operators will hew to the rules, including verifying the age of users so that juveniles can’t use them; disabling the scooters at night; and keep them evenly distributed, no more than eight scooters per block. They’ll only allow two companies to operate. A public meeting is supposed to take place on October 15.

— Culture Map

 

D Magazine: Oncor’s Clear-Cut Lies and Prevarications at White Rock Lake

Oct. 9 — The company’s statements about its destruction of part of the Old Fish Hatchery don’t align with reality.

— D Magazine

 

Reform Austin News: Abandoned Oil Wells May Cost Texas Taxpayers $117B

Oct. 9 — About 783,000 unplugged oil wells across Texas have been abandoned by their owners, according to a new report by Carbon Tracker, a nonprofit think tank researching the impact of climate change on financial markets. That’s about 20% of the 3.8 million abandoned wells in the nation.

— Reform Austin News

 

Houston Chronicle: Texas residential power use is up as more people work, study at home

Oct. 7 — Consumers are using about 6 percent more power than they did a year ago, according to Innowatts, the Houston-based energy analytics company that collects data from 40 million electricity meters.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Houston Chronicle (Commentary): Crenshaw’s tired talking points on renewable energy no longer apply

Oct. 7 — For reasons I cannot fathom, conservatives such as Crenshaw like to mislead the public about the viability of wind and solar energy, limitless fuels that have kept electricity prices in Texas among the lowest in the nation. The only reason to dislike renewable energy is if your donors and supporters make their money from uncompetitive fossil fuels.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Utility Dive: How Austin Energy simultaneously managed COVID-19 and a new carbon price adder

Oct. 8 — In a bid to slash emissions, Austin Energy was just beginning to utilize a new carbon price adder when COVID-19 hit. The mechanism would limit coal dispatch and eliminate thousands of tons of carbon emissions. Despite a pandemic that has upended traditional ways of doing business and forced the utility to turn its focus from energy to employee and customer health, the clean energy strategy has worked.

— Utility Dive

 

Houston Chronicle:  CenterPoint Energy failed to disclose New York hedge fund’s $1.3B investment, according to complaint

Oct. 7 — Two consumer advocacy groups filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week against CenterPoint Energy of Houston for allegedly failing to disclose its recent financial ties to a New York hedge fund.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Dallas Morning News (Commentary):  Regulators can support the Texas economy by knocking down hurdles to build pipelines

Oct. 7 — The best way to ensure our nation’s energy future and stability is by fostering a regulatory environment that is conducive to large-scale infrastructure investment.

— Dallas Morning News

 

Utility Dive: The value of solar in Texas has surged even more than its growth

Oct. 6 — Bucking popular wisdom, the relative value of solar-weighted generation in Texas’ main power market, ERCOT, reached an extremely high value in 2019 – well above recent levels for anywhere in the US. They remain relatively high in 2020, despite a much calmer ERCOT market. What’s more, ERCOT futures pricing now indicate solar-weighted power value may stay elevated for years to come.

— Utility Dive

 

D Magazine: Oncor Lays Waste to Swath of Land at White Rock Lake

Oct. 6 —  Oncor came through with some heavy machinery and turned about 15 percent of the area into mulch. I cycled over there yesterday afternoon to have a look. From the hike and bike trail, you can’t see the destruction.

– D Magazine

 

KPRC-TV: Is gas line protection pitched from Centerpoint necessary?

Oct. 5 — Does Centerpoint get a cut of the premiums? Consumer expert Amy Davis asked Plummer that question. He said Centerpoint is making money from the program.

— KPRC TV

 

Houston Chronicle: Will electricity merger provide power for wholesale market?

Oct. 5 — The expansion, Octopus officials say, is tied to growth in electrification demand that will make consumers more focused on electricity prices. The power industry in competitive areas — such as Houston and Dallas — is ripe for disruption, much like the airline industry was years ago when discount airlines challenged the legacy carriers.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Solar Power World: U.S. solar generation grows 22.2% even through coronavirus pandemic

Sept. 28 — For the period January-July, solar-generated electricity expanded by 22.2% (compared to the same period in 2019) and provided nearly 3.4% of the nation’s total. Wind grew by 13.0% and accounted for almost 8.5% of total generation. Combined, net electrical generation by wind and solar is 15.5% greater than one year ago. Together with hydropower, biomass and geothermal, renewables provided 21.2% of total electrical output — up from 19.2% a year earlier.

— Solar Power World

 

Utility Dive: FERC has legal authority to implement a carbon price, experts tell commissioners

Oct. 1 — Under sections 206 and 205 of the Federal Power Act, FERC has the authority to actualize such a policy through the regional transmission operators (RTO) and independent system operators (ISO), six panelists spanning academia and industry law told commissioners. But a slightly murkier question is whether the commission has the power to implement such a tariff unilaterally — an issue Commissioner James Danly was particularly interested in.

— Utility Dive

 

Clean Technica: Rocky Mountain Institute Study Shows Renewables Are Kicking Natural Gas To The Curb

Oct. 3 — After analyzing the most recent data from two of America’s largest electricity markets — ERCOT in Texas and PJM in the Northeast — the Rocky Mountain Institute has come to a startling conclusion. Renewables are muscling in on natural gas as the preferred choice for new electricity generation. In fact, according to RMI, what happened to coal is now happening to gas. What is needed, the organization argues, is a move away from the monopoly markets that have been the norm in the utility industry for more than 100 years and toward more open competition. Because when renewables compete head to head with thermal generation, they win hands down 95% of the time.

— Clean Technica

 

The Houston Chronicle: Disconnected? There may be another way to pay power bills

Oct. 2 — The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that Congress passed in March provides an extra $94 million to help eligible low-income Texans affected by the coronavirus pandemic pay their utility bills, according to the Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute, an Austin based research group that focuses on energy and fuel poverty in Texas.

— Houston Chronicle

 

Plainview Herald: Increase in natural gas costs could mean higher electric bills for Xcel Energy customers

Oct. 2 — Xcel Energy is awaiting approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas to revise the monthly fuel cost factor that collects for natural gas and coal that fuel area power plans and the cost of electricity purchased from other suppliers, according to the news released. Approval could mean an increase of 6% or $6.29 more per month starting Nov. 1 for bills of 1,000 kilowatt-hours.

— Plainview Herald