Brooks McCabe Named WV PSC Commissioner

Last Friday, Gov. Tomblin announced that he had chosen former Kanawha County Sen. Brooks McCabe to replace Ryan Palmer on the WV PSC.  The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward offered a look at the appointment and a bit of McCabe’s record.

Are Utilities or States the Leaders in Renewable Energy and Efficiency?

A June 2014 study by Ceres highlighted the top electric utilities for renewable energy and efficiency. In an article discussing the findings, Utility Dive suggested that there are “wide disparities […] in the extent to which electric utilities currently deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

To find the source of these disparities, look no further than the state policies governing these “leaders.”

Possible Settlement Reached on FirstEnergy Base Rate Increase

On Monday, the WV PSC posted the description of the settlement in the FirstEnergy rate base case.  As Keryn over at StopPATH WV points out, quite a few of the descriptions of the settlement of specific issues in the document make no sense.  She speculates that Yoda now has a job with Jackson Kelly writing up settlement agreements.  Because of the nonsense in the settlement proposal, I was holding off on posting about it until the PSC issues its final order in the cas

Scott Hempling on Holding Company Mergers

Maryland utility attorney Scott Hempling has entered testimony at the DC PSC opposing the swallowing of regional distribution company PEPCo (owned by regional holding company PEPCo Holdings, Inc.) by multi-state holding company Exelon.  Here is a link to his testimony.

PJM Overreacting, Again

PJM Interconnection has again gone after a tack with a pile driver, in the words of reliability expert George Loehr.  In January 2014, PJM got caught short on capacity during a few cold snaps as coal piles froze and pipes burst at coal plants and natural gas providers broke contracts with gas power plants to sell on the higher profit heating markets.

Why Haven’t Cities Covered Their Buildings in Solar?

The city of Beaverton, OR, is getting a new solar array that will offset energy use at an underground reservoir, saving taxpayers $95,000 per year, with no upfront cost. Ventura County, CA, has a 1-megawatt solar array on its jail facility, that’s cash flow positive.

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – October 27, 2014

This week in democratic energy, ILSR received considerable coverage in several publications. Media reports also discussed the future of utilities, the Energy Department’s significant investment in solar, and a new study examining how peer influence affects who installs solar.

Denmark & the US

Why are Denmark’s energy policies so much smarter than those of the US?  More important, why are Danes so much better at actually transforming their country?

Some of the answers are cultural and some are geographic.

Let’s start with a list of some of the geographic differences:

Power Company/Solar Conflict

RTO Insider has a good look at how the conflict between dying power companies and the emerging solar power industry is playing out, with a close look at the fight in Wisconsin with WeEnergies’ new push for rate increases.