electricity | KERA News

electricity

For the first time ever, wind has surpassed coal as an energy source in Texas. 

Data released this month by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas shows wind created 22 percent of the electricity used in the first half of the year, edging out coal by 1 percentage point.

This summer, there's a higher likelihood than ever that Texas might not have enough electricity to go around. If you turn on the AC and nothing happens, you’ll want to know why. It helps to remember legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

"If things happen and we have extreme weather or lots of forced outages or low wind or some combination of those, we may have to implement rotating outages," ERCOT's Dan Woodfin said.
Shutterstock

Electricity demand in Texas is expected to hit record levels this summer, and with a thin margin of reserve power, the operator of the state's grid says it may have to ask businesses and consumers to conserve.

The Fayette Power Project Plant, a coal-fired power plant near La Grange, in Fayette County, is one of 16 Texas coal plants targeted in a new report that claims plant waste pits are leaching pollution into groundwater.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

 

As the Trump administration considers weakening Obama-era safeguards for the disposal of toxic coal waste, a new report shows that groundwater near all of Texas’ 16 monitored coal-fired power plants is contaminated with pollutants — including known carcinogens — linked to so-called coal ash.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

California has established an ambitious goal of relying entirely on zero-emission energy sources for its electricity by the year 2045.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating the electricity target on Monday. He also issued an executive order calling for statewide carbon neutrality — meaning California "removes as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits" — by the same year.

Billionaire Warren Buffett has been outbid in his effort to buy Texas’ largest transmission utility.

From Texas Standard:

The nation's electrical grid is an interconnected system that powers homes and businesses across the country. But a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine indicates the grid is vulnerable and more needs to be done to protect the system from the growing threat of blackouts.

White House

Warren Buffet is making a play for Texas’ largest electric transmission utility.

The Texas Tribune

It’s now up to a bankruptcy court in Delaware to decide what becomes of Oncor. The judge in the case wants to sell the Dallas-based electric delivery company to pay off creditors of its parent company Energy Future Holdings. The Public Utility Commission last week rejected an $18 billion offer from NextEra Energy, but that part of the story isn’t over.

In the world of electric cars, there's a chicken-and-egg problem: More people might buy electric vehicles, or EVs, if they were confident there would always be a charger nearby. And businesses might install more chargers if there were more EVs on the road.

Poor Texans Left In Dark As State Electricity Aid Programs Ends

Jan 5, 2017
Cooper Neill for The Texas Tribune

North Texas was freezing during a three-day stretch last month, but Mary Garcia refused to turn on the heat in her cramped apartment. She feared that doing so would too quickly drain her pay-as-you-go account with Penstar Power, a Dallas-based electricity provider.

It’s called the Power to Choose website. Run by the Texas Public Utility Commission, millions of Texans use it to pick among dozens of electricity marketers offering what can seem like a zillion different rate plans.

Texas Tribune

State regulators have to decide whether control of Texas power lines can change hands. At issue is whether an investment group led by Dallas businessman Ray Hunt gets to buy Oncor. The company connects power plants with the companies you pay for electricity.

Texans Seem To Be Happier With Electric Companies

Oct 21, 2015
Todd Wiseman/Michael Kappel / Texas Tribune

Texans are griping less about their electricity providers, according to a consumer advocacy group's analysis released Wednesday.

Grant Wickes / flickr

American Airlines is sending layoff warning notices to more than 11,000 employees although it expects job losses to be closer to 4,400.

A state commission has approved a 50 percent increase in the wholesale electricity price cap in a move it hopes will spur construction of more power plants.

With summer temperatures soaring, the Texas Public Utility Commission is set to vote on raising the price cap on wholesale electricity rates by 50 percent.

The hope is that the lure of more profits will spur construction of power plants to help the state meet future energy demands.

But the state's large industrial users claim the increase could cost billions of dollars. Consumer groups worry a wholesale increase will trickle down to monthly household electric bills for most Texans.

State Farm / (cc) flickr

An insurance industry group estimates the tornadoes and hailstorms that caused scattered devastation in North Texas last week has prompted damage claims topping $300 million so far and could top $500 million.

First Lady Michelle Obama is in Fort Worth Thursday night, talking to parents about ways to combat obesity among children. It’s part of the First Lady’s national tour to mark the second anniversary of her Let’s Move program.

Andrew Morrell / flickr

Delta and Fort Worth-based TPG Capital are reportedly making separate bids for American Airlines' parent AMR Corporation.

Dallas, TX – The state's electric power grid operator says Texas needs more generating capacity if it's to avoid repeats of last February's rolling blackouts and the summer's power supply crises.

In statements issued Thursday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas says extreme conditions this winter could mean a worst-case of demand for 60,000 megawatts with generation dipping to about 57,000 megawatts.