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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

Initiative Would Have Montana Buy Back Hydro

LCG, Sep. 4, 2002--An initiative to be on the Montana ballot later this year will ask whether the state should enter into a process by which it could buy twelve hydroelectric dams under private ownership, through negotiation or possibly by condemning them.

The reason given by campaigners for the initiative is that power prices have risen more than they would have under a regulated utility. Rates were previously relatively low compared to rates in other states. Deregulation was enacted in 1997, when the regulated utility, Montana Power, pushed for deregulation, and projected lower prices for customers following divestiture of its assets.

Residential rates were frozen until this summer, but have begun to rise. Montana Power has transformed itself into an internet service provider, Touch America, while its market capitalization is 10 percent of its former value. Surveys by the current owners of the dams in question, including PPL Corporation and Avista, have found that while residents are skeptical of the merits of deregulation, they are also wary of condemning private assets.
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