State faces electricity shortage today

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,

Castro aims to learn much from Israel

Mayor Julián Castro is expected to arrive in Israel this morning, leading a delegation of San Antonio business, utility and Jewish community leaders on his first trip to the Holy Land.

Science Friday ponders San Antonio’s energy future

Turning San Antonio into a renewable energy and sustainable development hub has been on Mayor Julián Castro’s agenda since 2001, and Friday, he and local industry leaders gave the nation a glimpse of how the city is adopting sustainable energy while witnessing a boom in conventional fuel exploration in the nearby Eagle Ford shale.

EPA’s tough new rules irritate officials in Texas

New federal regulations will force coal-fired power plants in Texas to clamp down on pollution that fouls the air of neighboring states. The Obama administration finalized the rule Thursday in an effort to reduce the amount of unhealthy smog and soot in areas around and downwind of the dirtiest power plants.

CPS Energy ratchets up investment in solar

The utility last week notified all of the bidders for that project that they have until July 16 to resubmit their proposals — but this time for up to 400 megawatts, in large part because the price of solar continues to drop.

Consumers urged to cut electrical use

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas canceled its earlier energy emergency alert at 4:55 p.m. but a “watch” remains in effect until reserves reach a comfortable threshold.

Chamber to hold energy conference

CPS Energy President and CEO Doyle Beneby and Federal Reserve Senior Economist Keith Phillips will be among the speakers for the Texas-Asia Energy Forum to be staged Tuesday by the Alamo Asian American Chamber of Commerce. The conference will focus on the Texas economy, global renewable energy sector trends, best practices in Asia, global growth in the oil-and-gas industry and developments in the Eagle Ford shale area.

Clean tech not just goal for S.A.

With the announcement that four clean-energy companies will bring hundreds of jobs and substantial research and educational investments to town, Mayor Julián Castro has hailed the moment as a transformative one for San Antonio.

Green companies will bring jobs to S.A.

In elaborate fashion before an overflow audience, CPS Energy CEO Doyle Beneby and Mayor Julián Castro introduced five clean-technology companies that will bring hundreds of jobs, and some headquarters, to San Antonio.

S.A. wins new jobs in clean energy

CPS Energy CEO Doyle Beneby is expected to announce Monday the relocation of several clean-energy-related companies to San Antonio, bringing hundreds of good-paying jobs and establishing a firm toehold in the “new energy economy” that Mayor Julián Castro has been pushing since he was first elected.

Administration gives a boost to offshore drilling

In an effort to show that it’s committed to domestic oil and gas development, the Obama administration announced plans Thursday to extend offshore leases affected by last year’s ban on deep-water exploration and to sell drilling rights in Alaska this year.

Bill meant to ease fears over fracking

Presuming Gov. Rick Perry signs HB 3328, which is sitting on his desk, the Railroad Commission will begin writing the rules industry must follow when identifying the many chemicals used to unlock hydrocarbons in deep shale formations such as Eagle Ford.

Solar program’s profile dimmer

A year ago, CPS Energy launched Solartricity, a pilot distributed energy program so eagerly anticipated that the race to sign up included sprinting, shoving, and a few choice curse words.

Industry takes issue with ‘fracking’ acts

HOUSTON — Anyone scoring the debate over hydraulic fracturing would notice that critics of the controversial oil and natural gas extraction process have lately put a few points on the board.

In hydraulic fracturing, millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are injected into a well at high pressure to create multiple fractures in the rock and free trapped gas or oil.

In April, a paper by scientists at Cornell University argued that shale gas, touted as a cleaner alternative to coal, could actually be a worse contributor to climate change because of methane that leaks into the air during fracturing.

The latter recalled hotly debated scenes from the Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland, which showed homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming igniting tap water they said contained natural gas that seeped into aquifers after hydraulic fracturing.

CPS Energy to test warning system

CPS Energy today will test its new emergency alert system, which in the future will notify customers of major power outages or energy emergencies. The system follows criticism the utility did not alert customers quickly enough or thoroughly about the statewide power outages Feb. 2 during the unusual freezing weather. CPS had been working to create an emergency alert system since last summer’s storms knocked out power to thousands of homes, and the effort was fast-tracked after the freeze.