Energy Exchange

Grinch utilities and regulators spoil holidays by forcing customers to pay billions for Midwest coal plants

Thanks to Midwest utilities, regulators and a pair of unprofitable power plants, electricity customers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana will get a lump of coal this holiday season. The owners keep running these plants at a big loss – projected at over $5 billion – resulting in higher electricity prices and polluting power that isn’t needed.

A challenging setup

As part of the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC), the two plants sit in southern Ohio and Indiana. Nearly 65 years old, these plants were built to power a plant in Piketon, Ohio that enriched uranium for nuclear weapons for the Cold War. The uranium facility ceased operations in 2001, but the power plants continue on.

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Also posted in FirstEnergy, General / Comments are closed

With dynamic electricity pricing, more data can lead to more savings

By Kim Sha and Ben Liu, clean energy interns

Illinois’ largest utility, ComEd, is almost finished deploying advanced metering infrastructure to its customers. In fact, there are now more than 3.8 million installed smart meters in Illinois, feeding anonymized energy-use data – recorded in half-hourly kilowatt-hours – back from the grid.

How to make use of this unwieldy flood of data and enhance the efficiency of the grid? Our new paper, Modelling Marginal System Costs for the Commonwealth Edison Distribution Network, provides a framework for regulators, utilities and other researchers to begin to examine the insights provided by smart meter data, highlighting opportunities to save money for customers and utilities alike. Specifically, our study shows that under real-time electricity pricing, ComEd customers can save money not only by changing how much electricity they use, but by adjusting when they use it.

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Also posted in Time of Use / Comments are closed

With this new roadmap, Ohio can lay the groundwork for billions of investment dollars and thousands of new jobs

Earlier this year, I wrote about a report that shows Ohio could net more than 20,000 jobs and $25 billion in investment dollars through energy innovation.

And now we have the roadmap – with nine common-sense, concrete action steps – to get Ohio from here to there.

Building on a vision

The new roadmap report, Powering Ohio: A Path Forward for Energy and Transportation Transformation, is the second in a series by Synapse Energy Economics. Both rely on the insights and guidance of a diverse group of advisors from across the state’s business, regulatory, academic, labor and manufacturing sectors.

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Also posted in Electric Vehicles, Energy Innovation / Comments are closed

Ohio continues move to smarter power system with multimillion-dollar clean-energy agreement

Over the past few years, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has actively opposed FirstEnergy in several cases where it sought bailouts for its uneconomic coal plants. We will continue to do so.

But if the utility giant wants to build a cleaner, more modern grid, we are eager to work together. Case in point: We are pleased to report that we reached an agreement on FirstEnergy’s plan to spend $516 million on grid modernization, bringing about lower bills, greater customer choice and less pollution.

Following AEP and Dayton Power & Light’s related agreements – both approved earlier this year – and in the midst of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s (PUCO) innovative PowerForward initiative, it’s clear Ohio is on a path to a smarter, more sophisticated power system. Read More »

Also posted in FirstEnergy, Grid Modernization, Voltage Optimization / Comments are closed

This Energy Efficiency Day, manufacturing has its moment

By: Caroline Heilbrun, EDF+Biz intern

Have you ever thought about how much energy it takes to manufacture the products you use every day?

While our nation’s refineries, factories, and plants produce some of the world’s highest quality products, the energy at work in our industrial manufacturing facilities is extremely intensive. This is due, in large part, to the inefficiencies inherent in the manufacturing process. The sparks flying from giant robotic arms along the assembly line? That is heat lost to friction. Those harmful chemicals spewing from smokestacks? They represent unused inputs. At every step of the supply chain, there is opportunity to cut waste.

On Energy Efficiency Day, October 5, we should consider the myriad benefits of acting upon those opportunities. Efficiency cost savings for the manufacturer can translate into cost savings for the consumer, higher quality products, and healthier air for people who live and work nearby. Plus, less electricity consumption means less stress on the electric grid.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Jobs / Comments are closed

State leaders concerned about safety of reusing oil and gas wastewater

Regulators from across the country met in Vermont this week at the Environmental Council of the State’s (ECOS) fall meeting to discuss some of the nation’s most pressing environmental challenges. I joined members of ECOS’ Shale Gas Caucus to discuss an emerging threat imminently impacting oil and gas-producing states: the question of what to do with the massive amount of wastewater produced by the oil and gas industry each year.

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Also posted in California, Colorado, General, Natural Gas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, produced water, produced water, State, Texas, Water, Wyoming / Tagged | Comments are closed