By UtilityDive.com – Will the power utility, XCEL Energy, have enough power generation capacity by 2030 in time to abolish all of its coal-fired generating plants? Energy regulators are very doubtful that XCEL Energy can achieve this vigorous goal in replenishing enough clean power to offset their reduction in carbon emissions. The fear is: will XCEL approach a power generation shortfall over the next decade to its electric load demand?
“The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission on Jan. 4 asked Xcel Energy to reconsider shuttering its Sherco and King coal-fired power plants, writing that their premature closure adds to the uncertainty of electric generation resource adequacy in the upper Midwest.”
By Msn.com / Columbus Dispatch – AEP just announced that it will cutting back on staff which is nearly 2-percent of its workforce and spread-out over multiple states “from Michigan to Texas (AEP’s 11-state region).” The utility “is laying off 270 workers including 170 in Ohio affecting various operations.” The staff reductions will be implemented next month.
AEP stated that the “staff reduction is necessary as we look at the roles needed to best meet the expectations of our customers in the face of higher costs of providing reliable service.”
By PowerMag.com – On Wednesday, January 17, 2024, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), one of the nation’s largest power generation and transmission utilities in the southeast, reached an all-time record-breaking winter “peak power demand of 34,526 MW,” while the average temperature across the Tennessee valley region (7 state territory) was at “4 degrees F.”
TVA’s previous peak power demand record was set in August 2007 reaching a summer peak power “demand of 33,482 MW.” TVA also set another previous “winter peak power demand record at the end of 2023 (December 23, 2022) during the Winter Storm Elliott with a demand of 33,400 MW,” which spiraled into power generation shortages resulting in a series of rolling blackouts across the region.
With the higher peak power demand forecasted in early 2024, “TVA urged its 10 million customers to be aware of their power consumption” and to cut back on energy usage during the early morning hours. At this time, all of TVA’s generating units were operating adequately while maintaining a stable electric power grid. “TVA had invested $123 million over the past few months” in better preparation for this winter compared to the winter just a year ago.
TVA’s load growth demand forecasted is expecting over a 30% increase in power demand within the next decade. Like other utilities trending away from fossil fuel power generation due to stringent carbon emission regulations, TVA is retiring their coal-powered plants and replacing with cleaner energy generation and renewable resources.
The trend of moving away from older fossil fuel technology to cleaner generation systems is very costly. TVA recognizes this and has approved moving forward with capital expenditures of $15 billion that it will invest over the next 3 years by performing system reliability upgrades and transition into cleaner energy supply.
As coal power and other fossil fuels continue to decline as the nation’s leading power generation source, more power utilities are increasing renewable energy sources such as solar power.
Pennsylvania is replacing their planned fossil fuel generation retirements with clean solar power. The state is helping promote more jobs and job transitions for the green switch from traditional carbon emission type power generation into renewable energy resources.
“Two Chinese companies announced production of the largest offshore wind turbine built to date, a 16-MW unit developed by China Three Gorges (CTG) and Goldwind.
The groups on Nov. 24 showed off the turbine at a factory in Fujian province. The turbine has a 252-meter rotor diameter, with a 50,000-meter sweep area. The hub height is 146 meters.
Lei Mingshan, chairman of CTG, in a statement said, ‘the successful rollout of the 16-MW unit marks that my country’s wind power equipment industry has achieved a historic leap from ‘following’ to ‘running alongside’ and then to ‘leading’, creating the latest benchmark for the development of global offshore wind power equipment.’ ”