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EIA Publishes Regional Electricity Supply and Pricing Forecasts Using UPLAN Model

LCG, August 13, 2019--The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that it is revising the presentation and modeling of its forecasts for electricity supply and market hub pricing to better reflect current electricity markets and system operations in the U.S. Beginning with the August 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the new forecasting approach models electricity markets using the UPLAN production cost optimization software developed by LCG Consulting. EIA uses the solution results provided by this proprietary model to develop the STEO forecasts of monthly electricity generation, fuel consumption, and wholesale prices.

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Dominion Energy Virginia Pursues 500 MW of Renewable Projects

LCG, August 8, 2019--Dominion Energy Virginia announced Monday that it is seeking bids for up to 500 MW of renewable capacity in both 2021 and 2022 to increase its clean energy resources. Dominion Energy stated that it is committed to having 3,000 MW of solar and wind in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022. This near-term step is part of an ultimate company commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 across the 18 states it serves.

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Industry News

Another Seattle Electric Rate Increase - More to Come

LCG, May 31, 2001Customers of Seattle City Light, the Washington city's municipal utility, will begin paying 9.3 percent more for electricity in July. The rate hike, the third so far this year, won't be the last, according to the Seattle Times, and also won't be the stiffest.

The paper said yesterday that this latest increase, like previous increases of 10 percent in January and 18 percent in March, is considered a temporary surcharge, expected to be removed in 2002 or 2003.

The rate increase is needed to pay for power at ever-increasing rates and to repay $250 million the utility has borrowed to pay higher than expected prices for power already purchased. City Light typically purchases between 10 percent and 15 percent of its power on the wholesale market, where a persistent drought in the hydroelectric-dependent Pacific Northwest has caused prices to increase 10- to 20-fold.

Even with the current rate increase, a residential customer in Seattle pays only 6 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity, but he's used to paying a lot less because of all the federal hydroelectric dams that dot the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The water flow this year is expected to be about 58 percent of normal, which means there will be only 58 percent of the usual amount of power.

Most of those dams are operated by the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency. Next month, City Light expects to learn how much the agency will charge for a new power contract.

According to Gary Zarker, City Light customers could face a 22 percent rate increase in October, and that's under a best-case scenario. If Bonneville fails to get its municipal utility customers to rein in power usage, and get several aluminum companies to halt production, the rate increase to Seattle customers could be much higher than 22 percent, he said.

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