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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

Reliant Dedicates Seward Coal Plant

LCG, October 1, 2004--Yesterday Reliant Energy dedicated its new, 521-MW Seward Power Plant, which uses low-grade refuse from coal mines for fuel. The plant is located 80 miles east of Pittsburgh at the site of an 82-year old coal-fired power plant that Reliant retired last year. The plant is currently being tested and is expected to commence commercial operations shortly.

By burning refuse coal, the technologically advanced plant will provide for the clean-up of numerous waste-coal piles in the region. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through one of its agencies, provided tax-exempt financing for the project.

The Seward Power Plant is one solid, positive sign of the emergence of new, coal-fired stations. A common theme is adding capacity at existing coal stations, where much of the related infrastructure is in place and the incremental expansion is less dramatic to local neighbors. Recently, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) approved a new, 500 MW coal-fired unit proposed by Wisconsin Public Service Corp. at its Weston Power Plant near Wausau. The expansion at Weston, where there are three coal units currently operating, is the first project approved by the PSCW under a new law designed to simplify and streamline the approval process. Late last year, the PSCW approved the construction of We Energies' Oak Creek Project, which adds two, 615-MW, supercritical pulverized coal units at an existing coal station.

With respect to being the fuel supply of choice for new power plants, coal still has an image problem to overcome. In August, citizens in Springfield, Missouri voted down a proposal by City Utilities of Springfield to build a 300 MW, coal-fired power plant, and the mayor of Los Angeles instructed the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to withdraw from the expansion of the coal-fired, Intermountain Power Plant in Utah and to instead pursue cleaner, renewable energy sources.

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