How Can Virtual Power Plants Benefit the Electric Power Grid? Jacquemin Jacquemin (Sally Jacquemin):
“When DERs and other devices are logically grouped or aggregated, they can form a virtual power plant, or VPP, providing load flexibility for grids that are reaching capacity or economic value with energy market participation, like a traditional power plant.” VPP’s can help prevent current and future plans for adding on new generation plants and can be considered as a method for shrinking future “greenhouse gas emissions.

As power demand increases beyond current power plant capacities and clean energy goals are accelerated, power generation sources of the future will start to look different. In fact, some of these new components—rooftop solar, battery energy storage, electric vehicles and distributed energy resources (DERs)—can already be found in millions of homes.”

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How Is the Major Heatwave Affecting the US Power Grid?


With the rising temperatures across most of the US and many cities experiencing over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, stresses the overall electric power grid. Power utilities are experiencing summer peaks in larger electric load demand by keeping up with consumers’ air conditioning units running around the clock.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), one of the nation’s largest utilities, provides electricity across a 7-state region (80,000 square miles) in the Southeast for over 10 million users. TVA has a total generation capacity of 32 gigawatts (GW) with the option to purchase and wheel additional GWs to customers from neighboring utilities. In the past, TVA has experienced winter peak load demands that created system disturbances that resulted in temporary and very short rolling blackouts in some cities/areas to maintain power grid reliability. Temporary load shedding outages were necessary for balancing the system generation capacity with the excessive peak load demand by ultimately protecting the integrity of its entire electric network. Continue Reading…

Moving forward, TVA has spent millions in power grid improvements and efficiency upgrades to support increases in future peak load demand. TVA’s integrated resource plan (IRP) will focus on continued grid improvements with plans to add up to 10 GWs of solar renewable power generation by 2035. Continue Reading…

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) released its “2024 Summer Reliability Assessment, “ May 2024, detailing and “identifying areas of concern” for the nations North American power grid during extreme summer conditions. NERC named power regions/entities that may experience power generation capacity shortages during summer peak load demands. Continue Reading…

XCEL Energy Is Saying “No More” to Fossil Fuel Generation by 2030!

XCEL-Energy-Coal-Pwr-Reduction / Wikimedia

By – 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.”

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American Electric Power (AEP) Announces Recent Layoffs

AEP-Power /

By / 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.”

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TVA Sees a New Record Winter Peak Load Demand in Early 2024!


By – 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.

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