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FOX 4: Atmos could have prevented explosion that killed Dallas girl

 Jan. 12 — Investigators believe Atmos Energy should have done more to prevent the natural gas explosion that killed a 12-year-old Dallas girl. They unanimously agreed that Atmos is to blame for the 2018 blast.

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Catholic Charities of Central Texas, Atmos Energy to provide financial assistance for natural gas bills this winter

Jan. 12 —  Catholic Charities of Central Texas has received a $20,000 grant from the Atmos Energy Sharing the Warmth Program. This program is designed to assist individuals and families in financial distress with payment of their natural gas bill from Atmos Energy.

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Financial Times: Wind power overtakes coal in Texas electricity generation

Jan. 11 — Texas has been at the forefront of a surge in wind power construction across the US, pulling in tens of billions of dollars in capital investment over the past decade and rapidly expanding electricity generation from the fuel. Surging investment and job creation has helped the renewables sector win political backing in the state despite it being home to the country’s oil and gas sector.

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Houston Chronicle: Record number of nuclear power plants set to close in 2021

Jan. 12 —  About 9.1 gigawatts of electric generating capacity will retire this year, with about half coming from retired nuclear power plants and a third coming from retired coal plants, according to the Department of Energy.

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Houston Chronicle: Former PUC executive joins trade group

Jan. 11 — The Association of Electric Companies of Texas said in a tweet on Dec. 28 that John Paul Urban III would become its acting CEO and senior vice president in January.

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Associated Press: Deadly Dallas house explosion ‘could have been prevented

Jan. 12 — A natural gas explosion at a Dallas home that killed a 12-year-old girl came after an energy company failed to find a damaged line despite two nearby homes being destroyed in gas-related fires on the two previous days, federal officials said Tuesday.

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UTILITY DIVE: New transmission approaches can cut billions in decarbonization costs: MIT, clean energy coalition

Jan. 13– According to the MIT paper, a full decarbonization of the United States’ power sector does not hinge on new breakthroughs and emerging technologies, but instead can be accomplished with a full embrace of resources that already exist and are widely used today, including solar, wind, lithium-ion batteries and transmission capacity. 

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UTILITY DIVE: The future of electric vehicle charging is bidirectional — but the future isn’t here yet

Jan. 12 — As more EVs hit the road, there are growing questions about how utilities will manage their charging needs. Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has estimated that electrifying all of the roughly 251 million light duty vehicles on U.S roads today would increase annual electricity demand by about 25% — and that doesn’t include medium and heavy-duty applications like freight and public transit along with a host of other applications.

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Utility Dive: Wind, solar to make up 70% of new US generation in 2021 while batteries gain momentum

Jan. 13 — According to EIA, the U.S. is set to bring 39.7 GW of new capacity online by the end of 2021. Natural gas generation will represent just over 16% of this new capacity, according to EIA, with 6.6 GW scheduled to come online this year. Wind generation is expected to grow 12.2 GW — down from 21 GW in 2020.

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Utility Dive: 10 power sector trends to watch

Jan. 13 — A new administration under a new party is one sign that 2021 will look different for policymakers, utilities and other stakeholders, but the continuation of some older trends is expected as well.

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San Antonio Business Journal: 5G, social issues and energy are top of mind for leaders at Texas Legislature in 2021

Jan. 12 — As Texas lawmakers meet for their biennial session, some of the key issues being discussed by technology leaders are 5G and civic engagement, leaving oil and gas advocacy groups calls for tax reform behind.

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S&P Global: Texas well-suited to become leading US producer of low-cost hydrogen

Jan. 12 — Texas is well-suited to become the leading producer of low-cost hydrogen in the US due to its existing hydrogen infrastructure and proximity to renewables, natural gas and storage resources, according to several people speaking Jan. 12 on a webinar sponsored by the University of Texas.

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Houston Chronicle: Harris County turns to renewable energy to power its buildings

Jan. 12 — Environmental advocates have called for the county to shift toward buying only renewable energy in its power contract, arguing in a letter a year ago that it would make communities healthier and safer. They called for the county also to install solar panels and battery storage at its buildings.

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US EIA: Wholesale U.S. electricity prices were generally lower and less volatile in 2020 than 2019

Jan. 8 — During 2020, wholesale electricity prices at major trading hubs in the United States were generally lower than in 2019, although prices in the western states trended higher in the last half of the year. Compared with 2019 prices, these wholesale hub prices in 2020 ranged from 5% lower in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) market to 45% lower in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market. Monthly wholesale electricity prices were also generally less volatile in 2020 than in 2019.

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Utility Dive: The DER boom continues, driving a ‘reimagining’ of the distribution system 

Jan. 12 — As new customer-owned resources grow, the old way of delivering them will evolve to make load more flexible.

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Houston Business Journal: NRG Energy to add more Texas generation to balance Direct Energy deal

 Jan. 10 — The company will have to add power generation to match its new retail weight in the Lone Star State. In Texas, that probably means more renewable power.

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