Associated Press: White supremacists plotted to attack US electric grid by shooting into power stations, FBI says

Dec. 22 — The teen was in a text group with more than a dozen people in the fall of 2019 when he introduced the idea of saving money to buy a ranch where they could participate in militant training, according to the affidavit, which was filed under seal along with a search warrant application in Wisconsin’s Eastern U.S. District Court in March. The documents were inadvertently unsealed last week before the mistake was discovered and they were quickly sealed again.

— AP

S&P Global: The Growing Importance of Data Centers for European & U.S. Renewable Projects

Dec. 21 — The market for high growth power demand areas in Europe and the U.S. is tight. Data center growth in a region can justify demand growth assumptions and ensure a renewable project has the right economics to succeed. This opportunity arises as more data centers look to reduce their corporate carbon footprints and seek clean/renewable energy sources to power their facilities.

— S&P Global

E&E News: Biden is eyeing renewable energy. So are hackers

Dec. 22 — Biden’s push to zero out electricity-sector carbon emissions by 2035 could force the administration to contend with a rising cybersecurity threat from nation-states and criminal hackers while protecting new technologies in the grid that are heavily reliant on internet-connected devices. While hacking clean energy networks poses little risk of a blackout now, that could change as thousands of megawatts of new wind, solar and battery storage resources link up to the grid.

— E&E News

Utility Dive: FERC proposes incentives for voluntary cybersecurity investments, in race to secure nation’s electric grid

Dec. 22 — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is proposing two types of incentives for utilities making voluntary security investments: a 200 basis-point adder to the rate of return on equity (ROE) for the upgrades, and deferred cost recovery for certain cybersecurity-related expenses.

— Utility Dive

Utility Dive: Federal stimulus includes wind, solar tax credit extensions, adds first US offshore wind tax credit

Dec. 22 — Democrats as early as March urged Congress to include renewable energy relief that would extend tax credits for wind and solar or convert the credits to direct pay. Though none of those provisions were included in the first round of stimulus, following opposition from President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, support for clean energy inclusion has been building.

— Utility Dive

Fox44: Reliant warns customers of spam calls

Dec. 20 — As the holidays approach and the pandemic continues; customers are being targeted by scammers, threatening to disconnect their electricity.

— Fox44

S&P Global: US solar sales rise 21.6% on year in Q3 on new facilities, more sellers

Dec. 21 — The increase is largely the result of newly installed generation over the past year in markets such as the Western Electricity Coordinating Council and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

— S&P Global

S&P Global: US renewable generation growth sees new leaders rising to the occasion

Dec. 21 — All regions expect increasing renewable capacity in 2021, even if the growth is not as strong as in 2020, said Manan Ahuja, North American power analytics manager at S&P Global Platts Analytics. The year-end stimulus bill is expected to extend federal tax credits, which could lead to even more renewables in the next year or two.

— S&P Global

Politifact: Christi Craddick says that the oil and gas industry comprises 35% of the Texas economy

Dec. 22 — Texas’ oil and gas sector took a tumble in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic was compounded by a Saudi Arabia-Russia price war that further devastated the global oil market.

— Politifact

S&P Global: CAISO and ERCOT Power Forecasts by the Hour

Dec. 21 — Our Power Forecast solution projects 2,090 MW of wind and 12,450 MW of solar generation in CAISO by 2025, in addition to the 3.8 GW of behind-the-meter solar in CAISO’s queue. In Texas, we project 1,540 MW of wind, 3,390 MW of solar and 8,380 MW of gas-fired generation, both combined cycle and peaking, mostly from the development pipeline through 2025.

— S&P Global

Utility Dive: Energy executives call for dramatic increase in federal funds for hydrogen, carbon capture research

Dec. 21 — Citing the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine, Chad Holliday, chair of the board of Royal Dutch Shell, said the past year has proven what could be accomplished “if we really put our minds to” decarbonizing the economy. “We’ve been talking about this for decades,” he said. “Somehow we need to get together and make that happen.”

— Utility Dive

Politico: Biden says his climate team has ‘no time to waste’

Dec. 19 — President-elect Joe Biden formally unveiled his team of White House and Cabinet officials on Saturday who he promised “are committed to facing climate change by delivering environmental justice” as they put the country on a path to eliminating greenhouse gases by mid-century.

— Politico

Forbes (Commentary): Can Artificial Intelligence Save EVs From Overwhelming The Utility Grid?

Dec. 21 — The shape of today’s electricity grid is changing dramatically as efforts to decarbonize the global economy materialize. As a whole, society has become more environmentally conscious, with more than 75% of U.S. adults prioritizing alternative energy over the increase of fossil fuels. This paradigm shift, coupled with decreased costs of solar PV and general advancements in technology, has made renewable energy the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S.

— Forbes

Fox4: Changes made after numerous trees at White Rock Lake chopped down

Dec. 19 — In October, Oncor clear-cut trees to protect power lines on three acres of land called the Old Fish Hatchery.

— Fox4

Midland Reporter-Telegram: Midland region dominates completions, according to Railroad Commission

Dec. 18 — The commission said the 139 drilling permits from the Midland region was 43.3 percent of the 321 from across the state. The next closest region was the San Angelo area with 47. The Railroad Commission reported a total of 382 total drilling permits – which also include permits to re-enter plugged well bores and permits for re-completions of existing well bores) in November compared to 958 in November 2019.

— Midland Reporter-Telegram


Houston Chronicle: New director for PUC named

Dec. 18 — The Public Utility Commission, the agency that regulates the state’s electric, telecommunication, water and sewer utilities, promoted longtime employee Thomas Gleeson to executive director.

— Houston Chronicle