US FERC a central player in long-awaited power grid study


With the intent of starting “an important conversation about the future” of the US power grid and further exploring a wide range of market factors central to the discussion, the US Department of Energy late Wednesday released its long-awaited study on grid reliability.
While DOE had remained tight-lipped since commissioning the grid study in April, stoking concerns that it would be used by the Trump administration as a basis for providing out-of-market support for struggling coal and nuclear power plants, little new ground was broken in …

Fine Print in Sempra’s Energy Deal Bears a Close Examination

The New York Times

Sempra Energy’s $9.45 billion deal to buy Energy Future Holdings and its 80 percent stake in Oncor, a Texas electricity provider, bears a close read of the fine print.
Sempra, the $29 billion power company, is the fourth to make an offer for the business over the last two years. Its bid bests Warren E. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway energy division for the bankrupt utility and gives hedge fund Elliott Management a sweeter deal. But the transaction looks rushed and leaves Sempra with …


Warren Buffett outbid in race to buy big piece of Texas electric grid

The Texas Tribune

by Jim Malewitz
Billionaire Warren Buffett has been outbid in his effort to buy Texas’ largest transmission utility.
San Diego-based Sempra Energy announced early Monday that it had swooped in with a roughly $18.8 billion deal to purchase Oncor, whose roughly 120,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines deliver power to more than 3 million homes and businesses in North and West Texas.
The announcement signaled that Oncor’s parent company had abandoned the …

ERCOT approves Texas muni’s plan to mothball coal-fired plant


The city of Garland, Texas, can mothball its 470-MW coal-fired plant in Grimes County starting October 17, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Thursday.
In a suspension-of-operations notice filed July 19 with ERCOT, Garland said it is seeking to mothball its Gibbons Creek plant on a seasonal basis, operating it June 1 to September 30 each year.
The city then filed a follow-up notice with ERCOT July 26, noting the generation resources would be …

US electricity storage facilities’ power rating tops 565 MW at end of Q2


The combined power rating of installed electricity storage in the US grew 181.5 MW over the past year, and totaled 565.5 MW at the end of the second quarter of 2017, according to data filed with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The data show 22 companies own and operate 45 grid-connected energy storage facilities in 12 states. All of the installations are battery storage systems bar two flywheel units. Of the installed power rating, 276.8 MW is used for …

NRG says ERCOT reserve margins will tighten


NRG Energy said Thursday it is expecting a tightening of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas power market as new plant build delays and cancellations as well as retirements lower the reserve margin in 2018 to a projected 11.3%.
ERCOT’s reserve margin as of May 2017 was 18.9%.
In an earnings conference call, NRG Energy CEO Mauricio Gutierrez said that the 12-month average year over year weather normalized demand growth in …