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

Re-regulation of Energy Derivatives Encounters Opposition

LCG, Mar. 21, 2002--A measure in a bill sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that would bring energy derivatives back under regulatory supervision is being opposed by Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Tex. and other Republican senators.

Oversight of over-the-counter swaps and trading on electronic exchanges, such as Enron Online, ended with passage of the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000. Gramm, supported in his opposition by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, said that a connection between lack of oversight and the collapse of Enron was false. Swaps, often used to substitute fixed price purchases for floating price purchases, are typically used to manage and hedge risk. Trading in derivatives was a highly profitable activity for Enron.

Feinstein said in a Senate floor speech, "there is no transparency, no record-keeping and no oversight of trades...We do not know the price of terms for 90 per cent of the energy transactions that take place." She alleged that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission lacks oversight necessary to investigate fully what role derivatives trading might have played during the California power crisis.

A letter to Gramm from Greenspan and O'Neill said that reviving oversight of derivatives "could re-introduce legal uncertainties into off-exchange derivatives markets and other markets." They said that derivatives' contribution to risk-management would be harmed by regulation.

The Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000 was passed with strong assistance from Gramm, the former banking committee chairman. He and his wife, Wendy Gramm, had strong relationships with Enron officials. Mrs. Gramm served on the company audit committee.
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