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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

Legal Action Could Prevent Utah Gas Drilling

LCG, Aug. 26, 2003--Efforts by a prominent gas extraction company to tap resources in Utah are being challenged by environmental interests who want to preserve centuries-old rock carvings in the Nine-Mile Canyon.

The Bill Barrett Corp. purchased a lease from the federal government covering 53,000 acres, and developed plans to drill seven wells and conduct seismic testing within an area of 80 square miles. It did so within the context of falling gas production in most areas of the United States, and an average drilling permitting time that has nearly doubled to six months, from about three months in 2001.

The Nine-Mile Canyon is part of an area that is now home mostly to elk. Although the Bureau of Land Management was nearly ready to approve drilling within the canyon in May, the substance of an environmental assessment that had been paid for by Bill Barrett Corp. was found by an attorney for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Stephen Bloch, to have left out some requirements concerning notification of Hopi and Navajo tribes. Bloch indicated he would be willing to take legal action if certain oversights were not corrected.

As a result, drilling would start in 2004 if not later. The company has made it clear that it believes the magnitude of the resources that could be extracted would provide for several thousand residences for at least two decades, and is holding on to its objective of conducting seismic tests in the area as well as drilling. As the Bureau of Land Management waits for a revised environmental assessment, the SUWA is also adamant in contending that the sight of the rock carvings should not be spoiled by well pads or heavy traffic. As most new power plants are fueled by natural gas, and production from existing gas wells in easily accessible areas is declining, such legal battles are likely to continue.
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