Solar World: AEP Energy Partners seeks proposals for Ohio and ERCOT solar projects

Nov. 4 — For the ERCOT sited projects, the company is seeking renewable energy purchase agreements of 12 years or less for solar facilities that begin operation between 2021 and 2023. Proposals with alternative terms will be accepted. Accepted bids will be at AEPEP’s discretion.

— Solar World


Killeen Daily Herald: Oncor Reports Third Quarter 2020 Results

Nov. 5 — Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (“Oncor”) today reported three months ended September 30, 2020 net income of $258 million compared to net income of $263 million in the third quarter of 2019. The $5 million period over period decrease was primarily driven by unfavorable weather and increases in operating costs and expenses attributable to ongoing invested capital, including depreciation and amortization, interest expense and taxes other than income, partially offset by increases in revenues from rate updates to reflect greater invested capital.

— Killeen Daily Herald

Houston Chronicle: Oil and gas industry praises GOP’s hold on Railroad Commission

Nov. 5 — Texas’ oil and gas industry hailed Republican James Wright’s election to the Texas Railroad Commission while environmental groups lamented Democrat Chrysta Castañeda’s loss as a setback in efforts to combat climate change.

— Houston Chronicle


Houston Business Journal: NRG Energy plans hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of divestment

Nov. 5 — NRG Energy Inc. is expecting to draw at least $250 million from asset sales in the near term. That would be the net proceeds, after associated debt repayment, for divestments in the next six to 12 months, CEO Mauricio Gutierrez said during his company’s quarterly earnings conference call.

— Houston Business Journal


Dallas Morning News: Texas energy is going green, no matter who’s president

Nov. 6 — Solar and win power, along with storage batteries, account for 95 percent of the proposed projects on ERCOT, Texas’ electric grid.

— Dallas Morning News


Midland Reporter-Telegram: Vistra buys more retail power brands, expands reach

Nov. 5 — Vistra, one of the biggest sellers of electricity in Texas and best known for its TXU Energy brand, has been on a buying spree along with the other big retail electricity seller competitor NRG Energy. Together, the two companies have locked up about 75 percent of the retail electricity market in Texas.

— Midland Reporter-Telegram


Renewables Now: AEP Energy seeks long-term PPAs from new wind, solar

Nov. 5 — he retail electricity and gas supplier, a unit of US utility American Electric Power Company Inc (NYSE:AEP), on Wednesday launched a Requests for Proposals (RfP). Interested parties are invited to submit a notice of intent to bid by November 13, 2020. Full proposals are due by November 23, 2020.

— Renewables Now


San Antonio Express-News (Commentary): Pipelines essential to state’s recovery

Nov. 3 — It’s our economic lifeblood, contributing to virtually every good and service we produce. We cannot rebuild our industries, small businesses, services, cities and our lives without the heat, light and power that generate the jobs, homes, food and amenities that make our lives livable. Energy pipelines make that possible — nearly 470,000 miles of them that crisscross the Lone Star State and deliver affordable, reliable energy to Texas’ homes and businesses.

— San Antonio Express-News


Yahoo Finance: Was The Smart Money Wrong About NRG Energy?

Nov. 3 — Out of thousands of stocks that are currently traded on the market, it is difficult to identify those that will really generate strong returns. Hedge funds and institutional investors spend millions of dollars on analysts with MBAs and PhDs, who are industry experts and well connected to other industry and media insiders on top of that. Individual investors can piggyback the hedge funds employing these talents and can benefit from their vast resources and knowledge in that way. 

— Yahoo Finance


Energy Choice Matters: Vistra, Parent Of TXU, Acquiring Retail Electric Customers From Two Texas REPs

Nov. 4 — Vistra announced today an agreement to acquire the Texas retail electric customers of Infinite Energy and Veteran Energy at an estimated EV/EBITDA multiple of ~3.7 times, which the company said, “expand[s] Vistra’s retail footprint in the attractive Texas market with a gain of ~60,000 residential customer equivalents.”

— Energy Choice Matters


Fitch Ratings: Texas Utilities Face Regulatory Challenges

Nov. 3 — Utilities’ capital investments are mostly recovered through general rate cases in Texas and are based on historical test years with adjustments for known changes after the end of the test year. Transmission cost of service and distribution cost recovery factor are important interim rate adjustment mechanisms that mitigate regulatory lag between rate cases. Authorized ROEs in the last 10 years are largely in line or slightly better than the sector median at the time of the approval in the last five years. Equity capitalization ratios for electric utilities are lower than those for gas utilities and the industry median.

—  Fitch Ratings


EE News: Energy, environment in play as races near the finish

Nov. 2 — The 2020 presidential race between Trump and Joe Biden, the Democratic former vice president, is a referendum on many issues, including the president’s character and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that has thrown the world into disarray, killed more than 230,000 Americans and crashed the economy.

— EE News


CleanTechnica (Commentary): How Texas Can Lead The Global Electric Vehicle Transformation 

Nov. 2 — Texas has also become a magnet for global renewable energy firms, the UK’s EDF Energy being one good example. In the latest development on that score, last week the nation’s largest rural electric cooperative inked a deal with  

— CleanTechnica


Reuters (Analysis): Biden’s clean-energy ‘revolution’ faces challenge to match fossil-fuel jobs, pay

Oct. 30 — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, seeking to allay concerns that his plan to fight climate change would harm the economy, has promised a “clean energy revolution that creates millions of unionized middle-class jobs” if he’s elected.

— Reuters


Utility Dive: Hydrogen is having a moment, and power generation is leading the way

Nov. 2 — In fact, the transformation has already begun, according to Sean Ebnet, vice president of business development for Ørsted, an offshore wind company with headquarters in Denmark. Ebnet told ACORE members that many European nations have established goals to replace natural with 20% green hydrogen, and that Germany is aiming for as much as 60% replacement. Blending hydrogen with natural gas, he said, makes the transition to 100% renewable energy more cost effective because it allows industries to take advantage of existing infrastructure.

— Utility Dive


Utility Dive: Wind remains cheaper, but solar’s costs are falling faster, Lazard finds

Oct. 28 — Wind and solar generation continues to cost less each year, according to Lazard, making them increasingly attractive compared to more traditional resources, particularly as newer options like hydrogen are emerging to potentially address some of the challenges posed by renewables.

— Utility Dive


Utility Dive: Battery constraints preventing ramp up of electric truck production, Tesla says

Oct. 27 — Fleets will have at least three electric options in 2021 — if the manufacturers stay on schedule. Not only should Tesla’s offering be ready for delivery in 2021, but Volvo’s VNR Electric should be available for lease that year. Daimler Trucks’ Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul and Kenworth’s Class 8 T680E are slated to enter into production.

— Utility Dive


Texas Tribune: Texas Democrats think a seat on the oil and gas regulating board could be their best chance of winning statewide in two decades

Oct. 30 — With attention on Texas races up and down the ballot, a virtually unknown Republican candidate and big-time donations to the Democratic nominee, Democrats think they have a shot of winning a seat on the Railroad Commission.

— Texas Tribune


Dallas Morning News (Commentary): A transmission line and nature preserve can co-exist

Oct. 30 — This is a prediction from local environmentalists, and it’s the same prediction environmentalists made the last time the same electric utility clear-cut the same strip of land it owns for the transmission line, in 2000. By the time the utility’s bulldozers began to roll this year, the plants and trees had indeed grown into a thick habitatOct. 30 — After Oncor clear-cut and mulched a strip of land under a transmission line in White Rock Lake Park, the vegetation will likely take 10 or 15 years to grow back. That is, if Oncor allows it to.

— Dallas Morning News


Dallas Morning News: Why Texas’ top power company, Vistra, is embracing clean energy

Oct. 30 — Texas also is No. 1 in wind generation, and solar capacity is coming on fast. Here’s another sign of energy’s evolving times: Vistra Corp., the state’s largest electricity generator, is retiring coal plants and investing heavily in solar power and storage batteries.


— Dallas Morning News

Kilgore News Herald: City council seeks time to review SWEPCO hike

Oct. 31 — For a Texas residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, the request would result in an overall bill increase of approximately $15.71 per month, or 15 percent, the release read.

— Kilgore News Herald

Corsicana Daily Sun: Solar Center planned for Navarro County

Nov. 2 — According to its website, Armadillo Solar Center will use over 600,000 solar panels to generate more than 440,000 megawatt hours of energy annually, or enough energy to power almost 42,500 homes. The Armadillo Solar Center is designed to help meet the energy needs of the state by providing solar-powered electricity and a significant economic boost to the local community over the life of the project, including tens of millions in royalty payments to project landowners and new property tax revenue that benefits the Mildred ISD, Navarro County, Navarro College, and other taxing entities.

— Corsicana Daily Sun


Beaumont Enterprise (Commentary): Late fracking controversy might affect Texas races

Oct. 29 — The oil industry may be down in some ways but it is not out in Texas. That was proved last week in the final presidential debate. It didn’t affect the contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden that much, but it may have had a big impact on two important races in Texas.

— Beaumont Enterprise


Houston Chronicle: Harris County reaches agreement with CenterPoint for bike trails along utility easements

Oct. 29 — Harris County officials Tuesday approved an agreement between the county and CenterPoint Energy outlining the use of utility easements as hike and bike trails.

— Houston Chronicle


Houston Chronicle (Commentary): Texas is already transitioning from oil and it is an opportunity, not a liability

Oct. 30 — Texas has been at the cutting edge of America’s clean energy revolution. We rank first in wind power, third in battery storage capacity and fifth in solar. We’re also a growing leader in electric vehicles. Tesla is currently building a manufacturing facility just outside of Austin to build their Cybertrucks.

— Houston Chronicle


Houston Chronicle (Commentary): Texas Railroad Commission should reinstate production limits

Oct. 30 — Texas was the birthplace of the modern oil industry. The Texas Railroad Commission fostered this global industry by coordinating American production limits and then faded to the background as world oil production shifted overseas. But now the United States is once more the center of global oil production — even with the current oil bust, America produces far more oil than any other nation. So, Texas must once again take a central role in stopping oil and gas waste. The Texas Railroad Commission can lead the United States toward smart production limits and data that preserve Texas’s natural resources.

— Houston Chronicle


Odessa-American: EDF Renewables and Pedernales Electric Coop Sign Wind Project Agreement

Oct. 29 — EDF Renewables North America and Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. (PEC), the largest distribution electric cooperative in the United States, today announced the signing of a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a 100 megawatt (MW) share of the King Creek 1 Wind Project. Located on ranch land in Throckmorton and Haskell Counties, Texas, the King Creek project expects to begin delivering clean electricity in Q4 2021.

— Odessa-American Online


Utility Dive: States accelerated renewables under Trump. Could a Biden win slow that?

Oct. 29 — The bipartisan push in favor of more renewable energy deployment at the state level could evaporate under a Biden administration that may lean toward federal mandates, experts say.

—  Utility Dive


E&E News: Tesla microgrids spread as U.S. grid ‘gets worse and worse’

Oct. 28 — A Tesla Inc. executive made a stir last week when he revealed that the company is operating more than 120 microgrids. The online comment by Michael Snyder, Tesla’s director of engineering and construction for energy projects, signaled that a company known for its cars and batteries is restlessly encroaching on other parts of the energy system.

— E&E News

Laredo Morning Times: Harris County’s upcoming hike and bike paths will give ‘power walk’ a new meaning

Oct. 28 — Get used to those sounds on your evening stroll. A new agreement between Harris County and CenterPoint Energy paved the way to construct hundreds of miles of hike and bike trails along grassy right-of-way that houses high-voltage power lines.

— Laredo Morning Times


Everything Lubbock: How to safely heat your home without breaking the bank

Oct. 28 — Energy experts said the thermostat is responsible for about half of heating and cooling costs in a residence, and for every degree the temperature goes above 70, bills go up too. So before you reach for the heat, they encourage homeowners to check for little things around the house that may be costing them money while letting the cold creep in.

— Everything Lubbock


Houston Chronicle: 60 percent of voters support transitioning away from oil, poll says

Oct. 28 — The poll by Politico and Morning Consult showed that 55 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents and 83 percent of Democrats support such a move, which President Donald Trump has criticized as likely to wreck the U.S. economy.

— Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle (Commentary): Biden’s fracking pullback could be good for Texas

Oct. 28 — The former vice president has been criticized for pledging to transition to renewable energy and to restrict drilling on federal lands, if elected. The American Petroleum Institute estimated that Biden’s drilling ban could lead to 120,000 job losses by 2022. S&P Global Platts, meanwhile, said the proposal would trim about 1.1 million barrels per day from U.S. oil production by the middle of the decade.

— Houston Chronicle


USA Today (Commentary):Texas is not all about oil and gas anymore

Oct. 28 — Oil and fracking have been making waves since they came up in the second and last presidential debate, and no wonder. The most contested states in the 2020 presidential election include the top two producers of natural gas in the country — the traditional political battleground of Pennsylvania and my newly competitive home state of Texas.

— USA Today


The Grist: Why is Michael Bloomberg giving $2.6 million to elect a railroad commissioner in Texas?

Oct. 28 — Oil and gas companies burn off billions of cubic feet of natural gas into the atmosphere every year in Texas alone. It’s both wasteful — the gas could be used to power the state’s populous cities many times over — and a major source of climate-warming pollution. Nevertheless, the Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that regulates the industry, has largely sanctioned the practice, rubber-stamping applications from companies that want to engage in unlimited flaring.

— The Grist


S&P Global: Rising Henry Hub prices to fuel seasonal decline in gas-fired power generation

Oct. 27 — On Oct. 26, benchmark Henry Hub gas climbed to a 19-month high at $3.08/MMBtu as a blast of winter-like temperatures swept the Rockies and the Midwest fueling a surge heating demand. On Oct. 27, cash prices at the Louisiana hub were down just 4 cents to $3.04/MMBtu, preliminary settlement data from S&P Global Platts showed.

— S&P Global


Houston Business Journal: Texas comptroller approves Savion’s solar project incentive agreement

Oct. 27 — The incentives would save Savion millions of dollars in property taxes.

— Houston Business Journal

Texas Tribune: Texas Republicans highlight energy issues as a closing argument of campaign

Oct. 28 — Texas’ oil and gas industry has had a horrible year. As the recession persists and Election Day nears, Republicans have latched on to Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s debate exchange about the energy sector and the environment.

— Texas Tribune


Texas Tribune: Michael Bloomberg gives $2.6 million to Texas Democrat running for railroad commissioner

Oct. 26 — Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has made a late donation of $2.6 million to the Democratic nominee for railroad commissioner, Chrysta Castañeda, providing a massive fundraising boost in a race for the oil and gas regulatory board that usually does not see such big money — or attract much political interest outside Texas.

— Texas Tribune


Austin American-Statesman (Commentary): Modify Texas’ tax structure to reflect the energy transition

Oct. 27 — A great energy transition is underway in the U.S. and around the world. According to a new report from the International Energy Agency, the coronavirus pandemic is actually accelerating the move away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner energy sources. And a recent study from the OECD, a group of 37 economically advanced countries, concludes that “peak oil demand” has already occurred in the developed world. With solar and wind energy projects benefiting from falling costs and widespread government support, the IEA expects renewables to provide 80% of the growth in global electricity demand through 2030.

— Austin American-Statesman


Forbes: Renewable Energy Surges Even In Fossil Fuel Friendly Red States

Oct. 26 — The nation’s two largest coal-producing states, Wyoming and West Virginia, have emerged as leaders in renewable energy and energy storage, respectively, according to a new report.

— Forbes


Hays Free Press: Kinder Morgan says pipeline re-reoute is complete

Oct. 23 —  The route of Kinder Morgan’s Permian ˙Highway Pipeline is about 99 percent mechanically complete’ through the Texas Hill Country and is on track to be carrying natural gas from West Texas to near Houston early next year.

— Hays Free Press


Dallas Morning News (Commentary): Oncor carved out part of White Rock Lake’s heart. How does Dallas stop the next land massacre?

Oct. 23 — Our outrage over the sorry mess that the utility made in this nature preserve is justified, but we need real action to keep it from happening again.

— Dallas Morning News


Houston Business Journal: Texas comptroller approves incentives for ConnectGen solar project

Oct. 23 — The incentives would save the company millions of dollars in taxes over the 10-year life of the agreement.

— Houston Business Journal


KVUE: Texas candidates, experts react to Trump and Biden’s exchange on oil industry

Oct. 23 — In Thursday night’s presidential debate, presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden spoke about transitioning from the oil industry. At one point during the debate, President Donald Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry?” to which Biden said, “I’d have a transition from the oil industry, yes.”



Politico: Biden’s oil slip gives Trump campaign hope in Pa., Texas

Oct. 23 — Joe Biden’s plan to move to a clean energy economy isn’t new to those who’ve been paying attention: For months, he’s promised to put the country on a path to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

— Politico

Houston Chronicle (Commentary):  Oil and gas, environmental stewardship remain key to economic growth

Oct. 26 — As the Texas oil and natural gas industry slowly recovers from a historic decline in global demand brought on by COVID-19 and other market factors, policy leaders must think longterm when considering measures that could impact the future of domestic production and its unmatched contributions from an economic and geopolitical perspective. While challenges remain, no one should understate the resilience of this industry and its importance to our country for generations to come.

— Houston Chronicle

Forbes (Commentary): As Trump Dismisses Renewables, Energy Sector Doubles Down

Oct. 25 — Though the biggest energy headline coming out of last week’s U.S. presidential debate was whether a President Biden would end fracking, President Trump’s critical portrayal of renewable energy warrants more attention than it has gotten – and a closer look at the reality of growth in the sector.

— Forbes


Fox 7 — Atmos Energy to flare natural gas in Leander Oct. 26-30

Oct. 25 — From approximately 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Oct. 26-30, crews will flare natural gas west of Ronald Reagan Boulevard just south of the South Fork San Gabriel River.

— Fox 7 Austin


S&P Global: Rising water stress risk threatens US coal plants, largely clustered in 5 states

Oct. 22 — Based on an analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and the World Resources Institute, power generators in Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Wyoming and Michigan operate about 37.1 GW of coal-fired generation capacity in areas projected to face medium-high to extremely high water stress — when humanity’s competition for water exceeds nature’s ability to replenish it — due to climate change in 2030.

— S&P Global


KLTV: Two solar farms set to be constructed in East Texas

Oct. 22 — East Texas will soon be home to some new solar farms. It’s a part of an effort for more renewable energy by the Texas-based company Vistra, the parent company of Luminant Energy. The two solar farms are set to be constructed in the Forest Grove area of Henderson County, and northeast of the city of Henderson in Rusk County.



Texas Tribune: Donald Trump and Joe Biden sparred over Texas’ energy industry and global warming during final presidential debate

Oct. 22 — In debating a major Texas industry, Trump emphasized economic priorities while Biden advocated for alternate means of energy besides oil and gas.

— Texas Tribune


Reuters: Trump, Biden clash over climate, oil industry in final debate

Oct. 22 —  Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden clashed over the country’s response to climate change in their final presidential debate on Thursday, which included a stark disagreement over the future of the oil industry.

— Reuters


Utility Dive: Cities’ GHG emissions reduction efforts, by the numbers

Oct. 23 — The first half of 2020 saw an 8.8% decrease in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a scientific report recently published in Nature Communications. This reduction was “larger than any in history,” the authors wrote, yet governments — particularly U.S. cities — have plenty of work to do before they can hang up their hats.

— Utility Dive


12 News: What is the Texas Railroad Commission? A closer look at who’s running

Oct. 21 Dallas Democrat Chrysta Castañeda is running against Republican Jim Wright for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the oil and gas industry.

— 12 News

Vox:  Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout

Oct. 21 — After many years of failure to launch, new companies and technologies have brought geothermal out of its doldrums, to the point that it may finally be ready to scale up and become a major player in clean energy. In fact, if its more enthusiastic backers are correct, geothermal may hold the key to making 100 percent clean electricity available to everyone in the world. And as a bonus, it’s an opportunity for the struggling oil and gas industry to put its capital and skills to work on something that won’t degrade the planet.

— Vox

Utility Dive: NextEra wind, solar backlog passes 15 GW as it looks to replicate renewables strategy with hydrogen

Oct. 22 — The backlog of renewable energy projects that NextEra expects to construct over the next few years grew by about 1,450 MW in the third quarter and now exceeds 15 GW, more than the total current renewables portfolio of its wholesale generating subsidiary, NextEra Energy Resources, the company announced during its Q3 earnings call on Wednesday.

— Utility Dive


Houston Chronicle: ‘Frustrating as it can be’: CenterPoint’s frequent outages happen rain or shine, customers say

Oct. 22 — Persistent power outages that continue for years have become a liability for CenterPoint, angering homeowners and business customers who say their complaints fall on deaf ears. The outages — and particularly the utility’s response to complaints from grocer H-E-B — played a key role when CenterPoint’s request for a rate hike was slashed in January.

— Houston Chronicle


Denton Record-Chronicle: Council members ask for safety requirement for building around plugged gas wells

Oct. 21 — The Texas Railroad Commission, according to city documents, requires that wells be plugged no later than a year after they have been abandoned or are non-producing. State law allows municipalities no authority to regulate plugging.

— Denton Record-Chronicle


The Hill: Union organizer discusses support for Green New Deal-style provisions in Texas

Oct. 20 — Pollock went on to point to working conditions in the green energy sector as well as the opportunity to build union representation in renewable energy companies as a major selling point that has led to workers seeking employment in the renewable fuel industry.

— The Hill


The Hill: How to expand rural broadband, fast and affordably

Oct. 19 — The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified many problems in America, but with creative approaches, these problems can become opportunities. One of the most important, yet least discussed, issues is the continued lack of access to high-speed internet in rural areas — an issue that profoundly affects economic growth, education and daily life.

— The Hill


The Hill: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill

Oct. 20 — A new bill from House Democrats turns to the oceans as a way to fight climate change, proposing to expand offshore wind while barring drilling along America’s coasts.

— The Hill


Utility Dive: US corporate buyers will drive 44 GW to 72 GW of new renewables over next 10 years

Oct. 21 — Corporate-driven power purchase agreements (PPAs) could represent 20% of all utility scale renewable power additions from 2021 to 2030.

— Utility Dive


NewsWest 9 — Atmos Energy explains rate increase

Oct. 18 — Since March Atmos employees have been estimating reading meters. In the month of October, they have gone back out to reading meters in person.

— NewsWest 9


Houston Chronicle: Railroad Commission eyes change to flaring rules

Oct. 20 — Flaring opponents, however, say the proposed reporting changes don’t go far enough to curtail the practice. They instead demand that the commission look to its own history — to a time when it rigorously enforced state laws against the waste of hydrocarbon resources — and take steps to eliminate routine flaring within five years.

— Houston Chronicle


Dallas Observer: City Creates Committee To Clean Up Oncor’s Mess at White Rock Lake

Oct. 19 — For the second time in two decades, several acres of The Old Fish Hatchery at White Rock Lake were mowed down by local energy provider, this time Oncor, surprising Dallas residents used to exploring this little bit of nature in the Big D.

— Dallas Observer


Energy News Network: Solar can hurt home values if it displaces scarce suburban greenspace

Oct. 20 — The analysis by University of Rhode Island researchers did not account for aesthetic treatments, and found no impact from arrays in rural areas.

— Energy News Network


E&E News: House races to watch on energy, environment

Oct. 19 — Despite an ongoing pandemic and economic uncertainty, energy and environmental issues remain significant factors in more than three dozen competitive House races that will likely help decide the size and makeup of the expected Democratic majority in the next Congress.

— E&E News


Utility Dive: DOE campaign drives $95M in building energy cost savings

Oct. 20 — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) just-completed Smart Energy Analytics Campaign, facilitated by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has reportedly created the world’s largest collection of building energy analytics, highlighting the benefits of energy management and information systems (EMIS) in commercial buildings like offices and retail spaces.

— Utility Dive


Utility Dive: 2019 US wholesale solar prices more than double wind, gas as renewables use reaches record levels

Oct. 20 — According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), last year the average U.S. wholesale price for solar electricity was $83/MWh — more than double the price paid to producers of electricity generated by wind, fossil fuels, or nuclear.

— Utility Dive


Dallas Business Journal: Oncor eyes Q1 2021 move-in date for 200K-SF relocation in downtown Fort Worth

Oct. 16 — About 600 employees will be making the move.

— Dallas Business Journal


Harker Heights Herald: Negotiated settlement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Corp., Mid-Tex Division

Oct. 16 — ASCS consultants concluded that the system-wide deficiency should be $111.5 million instead of the claimed $136.3 million, a difference of $24.8 million.

—  Harker Heights Herald


El Paso Herald-Post: EP Electric receives unanimous approval from PUCT for new power station

Oct. 16 — Late Friday afternoon, officials with El Paso Electric (EPE) announced that the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) unanimously approved their application for the construction of Newman Unit 6 power station.

— El Paso Herald-Post


ABC 8: What is the Texas Railroad Commission? A look at who’s running

Oct. 17 — Dallas Democrat Chrysta Castañeda is running against Republican Jim Wright for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the oil and gas industry.

— ABC 8


Fox4: Oncor clear-cuts three acres at White Rock Lake without city approval

Oct. 17 — The city of Dallas is in talks with Oncor after it clear-cut three acres of trees by White Rock Lake without notifying the city first.

— Fox4


Fox Business: Spread of electric cars sparks fights for control over charging

Oct. 17 —  The proposals are sparking concerns from consumer advocates about higher electric rates and oil companies about subsidizing rivals. They are also drawing opposition from startups that say the successors to gas stations should be open to private-sector competition, not controlled by monopoly utilities.

— Fox Business


Clean Techica: Texas Wind Power Growth 2010–2019 — 6% to 18% of Texas Electricity

Oct. 16 — In 2019, wind-powered generation contributed 84.4 thousand gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity in Texas, an 11% increase from the 75.7 thousand GWh generated in 2018. Substantial growth in wind capacity in the state was the primary reason for this increase. Texas wind capacity rose almost 17% in 2019, from 24.1 gigawatts (GW) in 2018 to 28.1 GW in 2019. Wind power accounted for 18% of the electricity generated in Texas in 2019, compared with 6% in 2010.

— Clean Technica


Plainview News: Council approves rate increase for Atmos Energy customers.

Oct. 14 — Starting Dec. 1, Atmos Energy both residential and commercial customers across the South Plains and up the Panhandle will notice the increase. For residential customers, the average bill should show an estimated $3.04 increase.

Plainview News


Renewables Now: Wind is a growing part of the electricity mix in Texas

Oct. 16 — Substantial growth in wind capacity in the state was the primary reason for the increase. Texas wind capacity rose almost 17% in 2019, from 24.1 GW in 2018 to 28.1 GW in 2019. Wind power accounted for 18% of the electricity generated in Texas in 2019, compared with 6% in 2010.

— Renewables Now


KLTV: SWEPCO proposes 15 percent rate change for Texas customers

Oct. 15 — Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, has submitted a request to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for a net annual increase of $90.2 million in the company’s non-fuel base rates. On a total customer bill basis, the net increase is approximately 15.6%.



Utility Dive: Lithium-ion dominates utility storage; could competing chemistries change that?

Oct. 15 — The industry is growing increasingly comfortable with lithium-ion, but its limitations open up a space for other technologies to compete in the storage mix.

— Utility Dive



Utility Dive: Cities push ahead on Energy Efficiency as a Service as private sector plays catch up

Oct. 5 — The proliferation of new technologies has transformed areas of mobility and software into comprehensive service offerings to bolster operations. Now, public sector entities are leading the charge on a tech-driven service offering that’s been bubbling under the surface for decades: Energy Efficiency as a Service (EEaaS).

— Utility Dive


Bloomberg: Permian site leaked gases uncontrollably for months, group says

Oct. 9 — An oil well site in the Permian Basin owned by a bankrupt shale producer has spewed polluting gases into the atmosphere for 10 months, despite being investigated by Texas regulators, according to an environmental group.

— Bloomberg


Houston Chronicle: As Trump deregulated environmental protections, society pushed back

Oct. 9 — President Donald Trump has undertaken a rollback of environmental regulations unlike anything in U.S. history, promising new manufacturing and industrial activity in the United States while drawing dire warnings from environmentalists.

— Houston Chronicle


Houston Chronicle: US oil and gas industry lost 107,000 jobs in the pandemic. Most will take years to return

Oct 9 — Texas, the nation’s top oil producing state, has borne the brunt of the industry’s layoffs. Drilling and oil-field services companies operating in Texas employed 162,350 workers in June, about half of the 297,100 workers at their peak of employment in December 2014, according to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.

— Houston Chronicle


KVUE: Election race for Texas railroad commissioner

Oct. 10 — It’s a title that could come off as a little misleading. That’s because the Texas Railroad Commission doesn’t regulate railroads anymore, but does still serve an important role in Texas. The Texas Railroad Commission is a state agency that regulates oil and gas production.



Houston Chronicle: Biden would be good for oil prices, Goldman Sachs says

Oct. 12 — But new analysis by Goldman Sachs says that compared with a second term of the Trump administration, a Biden presidency could be a positive for U.S. oil and gas drillers because tougher regulations on hydraulic fracturing would likely reduce production, raising crude prices.

— Houston Chronicle


Reform Austin: Texas Gets an ‘F’ on Teaching Kids About Climate Change

Oct. 12 — Thirty six states and the District of Columbia rely on the Next Generation Science Standards for developing course curriculum on climate change and global warming. Texas isn’t one of them. Instead, Texas is among six states that have chosen to write its own standards. That is the reason for the state’s F grade in the report.

— Reform Austin


ProPublica: Inside the Utility Company Lobbying Blitz That Will Hike Electric Bills

Oct. 9 — Democrats who campaigned against Virginia’s largest public utility, Dominion Energy, swept into office. Then the company’s lobbying efforts kicked into high gear. Here’s how it fought against legislation meant to lower residents’ electric bills.

— ProPublica


Dallas Morning News: ‘It looks like an atomic bomb went off’: Many express outrage over Oncor’s clear-cutting of White Rock nature area

Oct 9 — “They destroyed an ecological jewel,” said Kelly Cotten, a nearby resident of the area and longtime White Rock environmental activist, after Oncor contractors last month bulldozed and clear cut a wide swath of land that runs through a beloved, historic wildlife area close to lake.

— Dallas Morning News


Bloomberg: Permian site leaked gases uncontrollably for months, group says

Oct. 9 — An oil well site in the Permian Basin owned by a bankrupt shale producer has spewed polluting gases into the atmosphere for 10 months, despite being investigated by Texas regulators, according to an environmental group.

— Bloomberg


Culture Map Dallas: White Rock Lake clear-cutting leads this round of Dallas news

Oct. 9 — The Dallas City Council is considering the return of scooters on city streets, but only with the understanding that operators will hew to the rules, including verifying the age of users so that juveniles can’t use them; disabling the scooters at night; and keep them evenly distributed, no more than eight scooters per block. They’ll only allow two companies to operate. A public meeting is supposed to take place on October 15.

— Culture Map


D Magazine: Oncor’s Clear-Cut Lies and Prevarications at White Rock Lake

Oct. 9 — The company’s statements about its destruction of part of the Old Fish Hatchery don’t align with reality.

— D Magazine


Reform Austin News: Abandoned Oil Wells May Cost Texas Taxpayers $117B

Oct. 9 — About 783,000 unplugged oil wells across Texas have been abandoned by their owners, according to a new report by Carbon Tracker, a nonprofit think tank researching the impact of climate change on financial markets. That’s about 20% of the 3.8 million abandoned wells in the nation.

— Reform Austin News


Houston Chronicle: Texas residential power use is up as more people work, study at home

Oct. 7 — Consumers are using about 6 percent more power than they did a year ago, according to Innowatts, the Houston-based energy analytics company that collects data from 40 million electricity meters.

— Houston Chronicle


Houston Chronicle (Commentary): Crenshaw’s tired talking points on renewable energy no longer apply

Oct. 7 — For reasons I cannot fathom, conservatives such as Crenshaw like to mislead the public about the viability of wind and solar energy, limitless fuels that have kept electricity prices in Texas among the lowest in the nation. The only reason to dislike renewable energy is if your donors and supporters make their money from uncompetitive fossil fuels.

— Houston Chronicle


Utility Dive: How Austin Energy simultaneously managed COVID-19 and a new carbon price adder

Oct. 8 — In a bid to slash emissions, Austin Energy was just beginning to utilize a new carbon price adder when COVID-19 hit. The mechanism would limit coal dispatch and eliminate thousands of tons of carbon emissions. Despite a pandemic that has upended traditional ways of doing business and forced the utility to turn its focus from energy to employee and customer health, the clean energy strategy has worked.

— Utility Dive


Houston Chronicle:  CenterPoint Energy failed to disclose New York hedge fund’s $1.3B investment, according to complaint

Oct. 7 — Two consumer advocacy groups filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week against CenterPoint Energy of Houston for allegedly failing to disclose its recent financial ties to a New York hedge fund.

— Houston Chronicle


Dallas Morning News (Commentary):  Regulators can support the Texas economy by knocking down hurdles to build pipelines

Oct. 7 — The best way to ensure our nation’s energy future and stability is by fostering a regulatory environment that is conducive to large-scale infrastructure investment.

— Dallas Morning News


Utility Dive: The value of solar in Texas has surged even more than its growth

Oct. 6 — Bucking popular wisdom, the relative value of solar-weighted generation in Texas’ main power market, ERCOT, reached an extremely high value in 2019 – well above recent levels for anywhere in the US. They remain relatively high in 2020, despite a much calmer ERCOT market. What’s more, ERCOT futures pricing now indicate solar-weighted power value may stay elevated for years to come.

— Utility Dive


D Magazine: Oncor Lays Waste to Swath of Land at White Rock Lake

Oct. 6 —  Oncor came through with some heavy machinery and turned about 15 percent of the area into mulch. I cycled over there yesterday afternoon to have a look. From the hike and bike trail, you can’t see the destruction.

– D Magazine


KPRC-TV: Is gas line protection pitched from Centerpoint necessary?

Oct. 5 — Does Centerpoint get a cut of the premiums? Consumer expert Amy Davis asked Plummer that question. He said Centerpoint is making money from the program.



Houston Chronicle: Will electricity merger provide power for wholesale market?

Oct. 5 — The expansion, Octopus officials say, is tied to growth in electrification demand that will make consumers more focused on electricity prices. The power industry in competitive areas — such as Houston and Dallas — is ripe for disruption, much like the airline industry was years ago when discount airlines challenged the legacy carriers.

— Houston Chronicle


Solar Power World: U.S. solar generation grows 22.2% even through coronavirus pandemic

Sept. 28 — For the period January-July, solar-generated electricity expanded by 22.2% (compared to the same period in 2019) and provided nearly 3.4% of the nation’s total. Wind grew by 13.0% and accounted for almost 8.5% of total generation. Combined, net electrical generation by wind and solar is 15.5% greater than one year ago. Together with hydropower, biomass and geothermal, renewables provided 21.2% of total electrical output — up from 19.2% a year earlier.

— Solar Power World


Utility Dive: FERC has legal authority to implement a carbon price, experts tell commissioners

Oct. 1 — Under sections 206 and 205 of the Federal Power Act, FERC has the authority to actualize such a policy through the regional transmission operators (RTO) and independent system operators (ISO), six panelists spanning academia and industry law told commissioners. But a slightly murkier question is whether the commission has the power to implement such a tariff unilaterally — an issue Commissioner James Danly was particularly interested in.

— Utility Dive


Clean Technica: Rocky Mountain Institute Study Shows Renewables Are Kicking Natural Gas To The Curb

Oct. 3 — After analyzing the most recent data from two of America’s largest electricity markets — ERCOT in Texas and PJM in the Northeast — the Rocky Mountain Institute has come to a startling conclusion. Renewables are muscling in on natural gas as the preferred choice for new electricity generation. In fact, according to RMI, what happened to coal is now happening to gas. What is needed, the organization argues, is a move away from the monopoly markets that have been the norm in the utility industry for more than 100 years and toward more open competition. Because when renewables compete head to head with thermal generation, they win hands down 95% of the time.

— Clean Technica


The Houston Chronicle: Disconnected? There may be another way to pay power bills

Oct. 2 — The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that Congress passed in March provides an extra $94 million to help eligible low-income Texans affected by the coronavirus pandemic pay their utility bills, according to the Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute, an Austin based research group that focuses on energy and fuel poverty in Texas.

— Houston Chronicle


Plainview Herald: Increase in natural gas costs could mean higher electric bills for Xcel Energy customers

Oct. 2 — Xcel Energy is awaiting approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas to revise the monthly fuel cost factor that collects for natural gas and coal that fuel area power plans and the cost of electricity purchased from other suppliers, according to the news released. Approval could mean an increase of 6% or $6.29 more per month starting Nov. 1 for bills of 1,000 kilowatt-hours.

— Plainview Herald