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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

Bush Admin to Release Pollution Rules Regarding Old. Plants

LCG, August 22, 2003The U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency is poised to release rules onpollution that will make it easier for older plants tobe renovated without pollution controlmechanisms having to be constructed.

According to the New York Times and the NaturalResources Defense Council, the Bush Administrationwill release a rule some time next week allowing olderpower plants and oil refineries to upgrade facilitieswithout installing equipment that would decreasepollution .

In 1977, according to the Clean Air Act, Congressmade provisions for aging power plants to avoid newerpollution laws unless new construction or renovationwas undertaken. The allowance was made in order that alarge number of coal plants would not have to be shutdown immediately after tighter pollution laws wereinstated. Since that time owners of older, "dirtier"industrial plants have walked a fine line betweenroutine maintenance and renovation.

While the acting head of the EPA might validatethe law as early as next week, White Housespokesperson Scott McClellan would not verify anyaction on the new rule.

Those opposed to the rule are upset that theAdministration is acting while Congress is in recessand before the EPAs likely new head, Utah Governor MichaelLeavitt, has been confirmed. Utahs director of airquality under Leavitt is strongly against the morelenient rule.

Senators John Kerry and James Jeffords havealready taken advantage of the possible rule in orderto denounce the Administrations actions asenvironmentally harmful and tailored to specialinterest groups. Environmentalists have noted statistics onpremature death and asthma rates related to contaminants andparticulates in the air from plants, alleging thousandswill die earlier than expected and tens of thousandswill suffer lung troubles if the rule is instated.

Owners of older plants support the rule and saythat the current laws prevent their plants frombecoming more efficient and reliable. Some insist thecost of bringing plants to current pollution limits istoo high on top of renovation costs, causing plantowners to leave older plants in their current,dilapidated state far too long.

According to some sources, the new rule would allow plant owners to replaceor upgrade equipment without complying with pollutionrules if the cost of the upgrade is 20 percent or less of an amount the EPA dubs a "process unit," which refers to the key plant components already in place.

While most new installations are fueled by natural gas, and are cleaner and moreefficient than older units, about half of allelectricity in the United States is still generated bycoal-fired plants.

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