Why Utilities Are Hating on Their Solar-Producing Customers

I have the privilege of talking to a lot of reporters about rooftop solar energy, and particularly about why utilities seem hell bent on stopping their customers from using their own money to add clean, renewable energy to the electric grid. If this seems confusing to you, too, here’s a quick primer with some key resources.

Daily Mail Runs My Rebuttal of AEP’s Fawcett

Today, the Charleston Daily Mail ran my rebuttal to Jim Fawcett’s March 17 op-ed which laid out AEP’s line of attack on the Legislature’s bungled HB2201.

Here’s the link to my op-ed.

Chinese Closing 4 Remaining Coal Burners Near Beijing

Here’s the story from Bloomberg:

Beijing, where pollution averaged more than twice China’s national standard last year, will close the last of its four major coal-fired power plants next year.

ISOs/RTOs Operate in Secret, Take Care of their Own

Larry Shapiro at IEEFA has an excellent new post on the secretive cartels that control who can connect to the US electrical grid, how much we pay for our electricity, and who gets energy and who doesn’t.  Readers of The Power Line know how I feel about PJM Interconnection.

Here’s what Mr. Shapiro says:

Rhode Island Standard Contracts Program Grows Distributed Generation

This is an invited guest post from Virginia Rutter of Eutectics.

By the end of 2019, Rhode Island has a goal to have 200 MW of distributed renewable energy generation in the state, most of it solar. The primary means by which Rhode Island means to meet this goal is through the use of standardized premium-rate contracts—a feed-in tariff—for electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

Did Charles Patton Really Say That?

I was just reading an article by Sarah Tincher in The State Journal about a meeting in Beckley earlier today where people got together to talk about compliance with EPA’s rule 111(d).

At the end of the article I read the following quotes from Appalachian Power CEO Charles Patton:

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – week of March 16, 2015

This week in Democratic Energy:

  • West Virginia governor signs bill slamming brakes on solar development
  • Wal-mart’s support of a new North Carolina law should give regulators pause
  • California could produce five times their energy needs from solar


Utility titan plays harder as industry evolves by Bill Loveless, USA Today

Solar Eclipse Not a Problem for German Grid Managers

For the last month, there has been a lot of hyper-ventilating about what would happen to Germany’s electric dispatch system with today’s eclipse of the sun.  Germany has the highest penetration of solar electrical generation in the world, and the media (more than a little of it “fossil-fueled”?) was touting Germany’s “vulnerability” to catastrophe.

So what happened?  As it turns out, not so vulnerable.

Here’s the real world from Reuters: