Archive: Legal & Regulatory

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AEP’s $4.5B Wind Catcher Project Gets Louisiana’s Approval

American Electric Power’s (AEP’s) proposed $4.5 billion Wind Catcher Energy Connection project—the largest single-site wind project in the nation—has garnered approval from the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC).  The LPSC on June 20 approved a settlement agreement related to the project, which is proposed by AEP subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO). Under the proposal, […]

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FERC: There Is No Grid Emergency

President Trump wants to provide financial support to struggling coal and nuclear power plants. He’s told the Department of Energy (DOE) to make it happen. But a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, along with commissioners from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), made it clear June 12 they don’t support federal government intervention […]

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Xcel Will Retire Coal, Add Renewables in Latest Plan

Xcel Energy, citing “historically low” costs for wind and solar power, said it wants to double its generation from renewable sources. Colorado’s largest utility also said it will retire two coal-fired units representing 660 MW at its Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo at least 10 years ahead of schedule. The changes were outlined in a […]

FirstEnergy Corp. wants to deactivate the Pleasants Power Station, a 1.3-GW coal power plant near Belmont, West Virginia, by January 2019. The plant began operations in 1979. During construction of the plant, cooling tower #2 collapsed, killing 51 workers. The construction accident in April 1978 is still considered one of the worst in U.S. history. Courtesy: FirstEnergy

Swift (and Angry) Reaction to Trump Move to Save Coal, Nuclear Plants

Reactions from U.S. energy and legal and regulatory groups began pouring in minutes after the White House confirmed on June 1 that President Trump has directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to act immediately to stop the loss of uneconomic coal and nuclear plants.  White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a June 1 […]

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[UPDATED] Trump Administration to Force Purchases of Coal, Nuclear Power

A draft memo circulated by the Trump administration before the National Security Council urges federal action to force grid operators to buy power from uneconomic coal and nuclear plants. Bloomberg on May 31 first pointed to the existence of the 41-page memo, which is dated May 29 and distributed Thursday. The memo outlines plans for a […]

Ceramic clad. General Atomics says its silicon carbide ceramic technology greatly enhances nuclear fuel rod coping time under loss of core cooling and improves performance across normal operations. The company’s cladding design combines a tough composite layer with an impermeable monolithic layer. Courtesy: General Atomics

How General Atomics Developed Its Revolutionary Nuclear Fuel Solution

The U.S. is pouring funding into developing new fuel technology for advanced nuclear reactors in a bid to help the flagging industry. On April 27, it awarded General Atomics (GA) $3.2 million for two projects that the San Diego, California-based company is developing, including an accident tolerant fuel (ATF) solution that the company says is […]

Distributed photovoltaic generation, Germany, July 2014. Courtesy: Bentham Paulos

Renewable Growth Soars, Buoyed by Distributed Generation

Nameplate renewable capacity surged to more than 2,000 GW worldwide at the end of 2016, constituting more than 28% of total generating capacity (Figure 6). Most (56%) was hydropower, followed by wind (23%), and then solar, mostly from photovoltaic (PV) at about 15%. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) the expansion was fueled […]

December 2000—Milledgeville, Ga.: About 35,000 gallons of wastewater laden with coal ash is released from Georgia Power’s Plant Branch into Lake Sinclair when a mechanical failure of an isolation valve causes water from an ash pond to be siphoned back and discharged through the cooling water tunnel system into the lake. Plant Branch has since been retired to meet environmental rules, though the EPA continues to scrutinize three of its five coal ash ponds, which have received a significant or high hazard rating. Courtesy: Lake Sinclair Blog

Why the EPA’s Proposed Coal Ash Rule Is Concerning

Over the past decade, together with my students and colleagues at Duke University and other academic institutions, I have conducted scientific research and published 13 scientific articles on different aspects

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Power in Africa: Prospects for an Economic Foothold

To sustain unprecedented economic growth, lift hundreds of millions out of poverty, and attract investment, African countries are taking bold steps to expand electricity infrastructure. Are the continent’s

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5 Key Takeaways from FERC’s Recent Energy Storage Order

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) recent Order 841, “Electric Storage Participation in Markets Operated by Regional Transmission Organizations [RTOs] and Independent System Operators