Attend Solar Tour on Saturday, October 1st to see how you can solar power your home or business. This event is free and open to the public. • Meet local solar installers one-on-one • Get answers to your questions from … Continue reading
Southwest Research Institute has been awarded almost $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop new and cheaper ways of processing the carbon dioxide removed from power plant emissions, to keep it from polluting the air. Along with sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide is a pollution-causing byproduct of burning fossil fuel, and power plants are a major source of those emissions.
A prolonged drought, looming environmental rules and shortcomings in the incentives for building new power plants could cause even more problems with Texas’ electric grid in the next year. A number of Texas power plants may need to cut back operations or shut down completely if the state’s severe drought continues into the fall, as water levels in many plant cooling reservoirs continue to drop, said Kent Saathoff, vice president of system planning and operations for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Although a municipal utility provides electricity in San Antonio, it is part of ERCOT, so high power demand, conservation advisories and potential rolling blackouts affect its electric customers along with others in the state. In July the Environmental Protection Agency issued the final version of its Cross-State Air Pollution Rules, which require reductions in nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions that cross state lines and contribute to ground-level ozone. The Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees lignite mining operations in Texas, on Tuesday asked Attorney General Greg Abbott to sue the EPA over the rule, saying it fails to take into account economic effects and could harm both the lignite coal industry and power grid reliability.
Grid operator hopes to avoid rolling power outages by reducing energy consumption.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which controls most of the state’s power grid, declared an emergency again Tuesday but has avoided rolling outages.
ERCOT had warned that demand could exceed supply this week as schools and universities reopened and temperatures remain high across the state.
warned this week could be tight as schools reopen.
ERCOT is urging businesses, school districts, government agencies and individuals to watch their power use between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays.
By any measure, Waste Management is a giant in the U.S. garbage collection and recycling business, but its future might lie in a different service: turning trash into energy. If we lose the waste, we’ve certainly lost the business, said Carl Rush, vice president of the company’s organic growth group, the chief vehicle for its energy investments. The shift in thinking comes at a time when U.S. landfill collections are hitting a plateau as Americans recycle more, consumer products makers reduce packaging and many large corporations adopt “zero waste” goals. Demand for renewable energy and fuels also is increasing, in response both to regulations requiring them and to public concerns about the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and their environmental impact. Waste Management also has its own pilot plant in Oklahoma that converts landfill gas to diesel fuel for its trash collection trucks. […] it’s in a joint venture with Linde in an Altamont, Calif., plant that turns landfill gas into liquefied natural gas and powers 1,000 garbage trucks there. The company now has a portfolio of nearly 30 acquisitions, joint ventures and investment projects at various stages of development.
Demand response, which is aimed at large commercial and institutional customers, together with CPS’ Peak Saver thermostat program for residential customers, save the utility between 80 and 90 megawatts a day on the hottest days of the summer — enough power for more than 16,000 households.
The Alamo Area Council of Governments’ weatherization program last week was granted a funding extension through Dec. 31 — allowing AACOG to keep and expend federal stimulus funds that just a month ago were thought to be in jeopardy.
The 40,000 CPS Energy customers who’ve had “smart meters” installed now can check their energy use in near real-time on CPS’ website.
Highest energy use is historically the first day of school, which is Aug. 22.
Castro, accompanied by his chief of staff, Robbie Greenblum, Deputy City Manager A.J. Rodriguez and others, visited Monday with the ministry’s undersecretary for energy planning and technological development, Sergio Alcocer. Castro briefed Alcocer on CPS Energy’s new thrust to combine alternative energy investments with job creation. Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission, known as CFE, is experimenting with solar but, as with nearly everywhere else, the challenge of wide deployment of residential rooftop solar panels persists because of upfront costs. For energy efficiency, Mexico already has advanced consumer programs in place, including replacing lighting, or bulbs, in houses and small businesses and the replacement of electricity-gobbling refrigerators. Mexico’s desert state of Sonora, with its large solar potential, is setting up a national research laboratory jointly with the University of Arizona.
CPS Energy will buy 200 megawatts of wind power near the Gulf Coast from Duke Energy Renewables for the next 25 years, the utility announced Monday.
Rolling blackouts are “a possibility” throughout the week, as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas could cut off power for 15 to 45 minutes at a time in different areas to avoid full-on blackouts, said CPS Energy spokesman Victor Robledo.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the high voltage distribution system for about 85 percent of the state, has started to pull in power from neighboring grids and is asking for conservation until 7 p.m. Friday. Thursday about 5,000 megawatts of power plant capacity were offline, more than 7 percent of the state’s total capacity, pushing the state to the verge of rolling blackouts.More mechanical breakdowns occur during prolonged periods of hot weather, according to power plant operators, as units tend to run for longer hours.
Yet if the scorching weather should prompt ERCOT to call for wider rolling blackouts in the coming days, CPS and other utilities connected to the grid would be required to comply — and within 15 minutes, CPS spokeswoman Christine Patmon said.
CPS would not cut power to critical customers, such as hospitals and emergency services handled by the fire and police departments, she said, but residential customers would be affected.
Every degree a person lowers the thermostat below 78 adds an additional 7 to 10 percent to their electric bill as well as additional stress to the power grid.
City and utility had challenged PUC’s decision to build along I-10.
Tuesday likely set a state record for electricity usage, a record that could be broken later this week.
Robert Rivard: We remain a city noted more for its new energy aspirations than accomplishments.
Texas is in danger of running short of electricity today and is asking residents and businesses to cut their power use from 3 to 7 p.m., the peak hours for demand. “We are expecting the statewide power supplies to be very tight over peak today, primarily due to the forecast for continued temperature extremes which causes higher than normal electricity use, and because of unexpected unit outages,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of grid operations and system planning for ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Shut off all unnecessary lights, appliances and electronic equipment, such as cable boxes and computers,
Long waits for service often aggravate clients, but the results can be satisfying.