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 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.
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From FoxNews – Smart thermostats have increased over the last decade as a residential internet of things (IoT) device with Wi-Fi enabled connectivity to home networks. Many home IoT devices have been exposed to cyber threats and vulnerabilities where the Bosch thermostats are the latest to be affected. This issue affected the Bosch thermostats “could allow hackers to access and manipulate the thermostat’s settings or even install malicious software.”
A recent NPR article warns that much of the nation’s power grid is vulnerable to the winter threat approaching with major winter storms that could cause power outages and power shortages potentially affecting over 60% of US and Canada.
“North America’s power grid is vulnerable…People living in Southwestern states are at particular risk.”
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.