Author Archives: Sonal Patel

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FERC Mandates Reporting of Attempted Cybersecurity Breaches

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has ordered the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) to broaden, within six months, its Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards to include mandatory reporting of cybersecurity incidents that could harm the bulk electric system (BES). FERC’s Order No. 848issued on July 19 directs NERC to develop and submit […]

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EPA Finalizes First Set of Coal Ash Rule Revisions

The Trump administration has finalized a significantly weakened rule governing the disposal of coal ash in landfills and surface impoundments by coal generators nationwide. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed on July 18 that it signed the first rule of its two-part rulemaking set that overhauls the Obama administration’s final 2015 rules for the disposal […]

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How Co-ops Transformed the Solar Landscape in Just Five Years

Electric cooperatives in the U.S. have vastly accelerated solar power installments. Today, they own or purchase more than nine times as much solar photovoltaic (PV) power as they did in 2013, a new report says.   The report, “A Solar Revolution in Rural America,” was prepared by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), a […]

Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant in China’s Guangdong province  has six units. Courtesy: CGN

First ACPR-1000 Nuclear Unit Begins Commercial Operation in China

China’s first reactor adopting its domestically developed evolutionary third-generation ACPR-1000 design has wrapped up trial operation and begun commercial operation. CGN Power, a subsidiary of China General Nuclear Power Corp., announced that the 1000-MW Unit 5 of the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province completed a 168-hour period of trial operation on July 12. […]

AFC's fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen directly into electricity, water and heat Courtesy: AFC Energy.

Refinery Hydrogen Power Pilot Takes Shape in Australia

An industrial-scale pilot plant that will use surplus hydrogen from refinery operations to produce power is taking shape in Australia. Industrial alkaline fuel cell power company AFC Energy on July 12 said it received its first commercial order for a hydrogen power generation unit in Australia from Southern Oil Refining, a subsidiary of Northern Oil. […]

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FERC Thwarts ISO-NE’s Attempt to Keep Mystic Gas Units Online

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on July 2 denied ISO-New England’s (ISO-NE’s) request for a tariff waiver to keep two gas-fired units—a total capacity of 1,700 MW—at Exelon’s Mystic Generating Plant in Boston, Massachusetts, running to address “fuel security risks.” The commission instead gave the grid operator a year to submit permanent tariff revisions […]

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FERC Nixes PJM’s Fixes for Capacity Market Besieged by Subsidized Resources

In a 3–2 decision, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected approaches filed by PJM Interconnection to reform its capacity market, whose integrity and effectiveness has been increasingly and “untenably threatened” by state subsidies for preferred generation resources, the federal regulatory body acknowledged. The June 29 order sharply divided the commission, prompting Democrat Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur […]

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Trump Administration’s ‘All-of-the-Above’ Strategy Stresses Export Role for Natural Gas

The Trump administration, which is considering subsidizing baseload coal and nuclear power for resiliency and “national security,” is pursuing an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that emphasizes natural gas exports, said Energy Secretary Rick Perry at the World Gas Conference this week in Washington D.C. In a keynote speech on June 26, Perry described the shale gas […]

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Bill Codifying Federal Role in ICS Cybersecurity Clears House

A bill codifying the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) role in addressing industrial control systems (ICS) cybersecurity has cleared the U.S. House of Representatives. While H.R. 5733, “DHS Industrial Control Systems Capabilities Enhancement Act,” contains no mandates for the private sector, it directs the DHS’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) to develop and maintain […]

Comparison of lights at night in Puerto Rico before (top) and after (bottom) Hurricane Maria. Note: Lower image date should read "September 25, 2017". Source: NOAA

Puerto Rico’s Grid Needs Resiliency. Here’s Why It Won’t Be Easy.

Puerto Rico’s energy infrastructure must be redesigned and rebuilt with an emphasis on resilience—and that will require wide-ranging, long-term efforts, the Department of Energy (DOE) says in a new report. In its June 20 report, “Energy Resilience Solutions for the Puerto Rico Grid,” the agency lists a number of recommendations for the government of the […]