May
08
2018

TVA Generation Mix: Celebrating Wins for Consumers

This past weekend, the Chattanooga Times Free-Press published an article updating readers on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s multi-year program to transition its generation mix. Nearly a decade ago, in 2011, a lawsuit by environmental groups led to a settlement agreement. TVA has lived up to the agreement by taking sweeping actions to reduce emissions while providing affordable and reliable power to a growing population.

To be sure, TVA looks different today than it did in 2011. Over the past seven years, the utility has shut down 33 coal units and updated other coal units to reduce emissions. It has also

Apr
20
2018

Springtime in D.C. - Cold, Sunny, Chance of Hearings and Orders

PACE got a taste of warm weather, sunshine and BBQ last week, visiting with Cobb EMC, a progressive urban/suburban electric cooperative just outside Atlanta that serves over 200,000 meters. Cobb’s board and leadership team are responding adeptly to consumer demand for renewable energy by making significant investments in utility-scale solar. PACE also visited the Southern States Energy Board (we joined SSEB earlier this year) to discuss energy and environmental issues that are top-of mind to the elected officials in SSEB’s sixteen state, two territory membership.

Returning to D.C., I found that with Easter recess in the rearview mirror, the springtime

Jan
09
2018

Baby, It's Cold Outside

The great majority of U.S. citizens east of the Mississippi have engaged in popular January 2018 conversations – first, “it is so, so [insert profanity of choice] cold outside.” In the greater D.C. metropolitan area, that is quickly followed by “why are the [choose another profanity] schools closed AGAIN?” Involuntary confinement to home offices has allowed energy policy observers to freely opine on the impacts of winter storms and the deep-freeze. Articles and blogs are piling up like …

While “Deep Freeze 2018” (there isn’t yet a catchy “Polar Vortex” phrase for this event, and “snow bomb” doesn’t apply

Nov
23
2017

PACE is Thankful for Progress in 2017

Borrowing from David Letterman, PACE has assembled a Top 10 list of energy policy developments, people and institutions that energy consumers can give thanks for this year. In no particular order:

Renewed efforts to (safely and in an environmentally friendly manner) explore, map and perhaps one day develop our country’s abundant natural resources. Rollback of WOTUS and the Clean Power Plan. Introduction of multiple model lines of affordable, versatile electric vehicles for commuters and commercial uses. The open and vigorous discussions of reliability/resilience, how America’s power mix is changing, and what it should look like in the future. “Energy Dominance”

Oct
17
2017

October 2017:

Although October hasn’t been officially named “Reliability Month,” it might as well have been, owing to all the recent news bearing on how our country will generate power in the future.

In Texas, a merchant power company announced the closure of two large coal-fired plants, totaling over 2300 MW of capacity across 4 units, along with a mine that supports one of the plants. The company said that the plants fell victim to “an oversupplied renewable generation market, and low natural gas prices.”

Beltway coverage focused on Texas’ lost capacity and laudatory comments from the

Oct
10
2017

D.C. Energy News, Inside and Out

During Columbus Day week, the U.S. House of Representatives will be in session, although the Senate is on recess. With very few legislative days left in this first session of the current Congress, the most significant activity on energy will take the form of nominations and hearings looking ahead at 2018 issues. I’ve been lucky to split time the last 4 weeks (commercial flights only!) between D.C. and states far outside the beltway, getting a small glimpse of how D.C. news plays in the real world.

The constant meme about the lack of key figures in the

Oct
03
2017

Lessons on America's Power Supply Formula

The utility industry, the federal government and numerous NGOs are on the ground helping our 3.4 million fellow citizens in Puerto Rico. The Salvation Army is on the front lines and collecting much-needed donations. Our concern also extends to the victims and families impacted by the terrible events in Las Vegas.

In the wake of the hurricane trifecta of Irma, Harvey, and Maria, more Americans than usual may be thinking about power supply. Luckily, so are leading voices in Washington, D.C. and around state capitols. An already healthy debate about what sources our country uses to generate electricity, and