What Can a Regulated Electric Utility Learn from Moneyball?

February 12, 2013 15:21 by Bill Conway in Energy  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The use of non-traditional statistics and measurements has revolutionized the way certain major league baseball teams view the sport and draft and sign players. The similarities between baseball and utility business are significant, considering the growing influence of technology on utility operations. As a baseball fan and a participant in the utility world, this analytical approach has a role in both industries. [More]

Best to go Nuclear in the BRICs

February 12, 2013 15:08 by Bill Conway in Energy, Regulation  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Considering 44 of the 50 nuclear facilities under construction are being built in the BRICs, do we need to rethink the way we regulate new nuclear plants in America? Utility companies have long argued for the inclusion of construction related costs in rates, but this has been resisted in many jurisdictions. Duke Energy’s recent announcement that it will retire a nuclear power plant in Florida rather than pay the repair bill, casts doubt over the role of the nuclear power industry as we have know it in this country. [More]

Battery Storage = A Game Changer

January 24, 2013 14:28 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
The ability to store power in off-peak or low consumption periods in an efficient and cost effective manner could change the electric generation landscape. Battery storage can address the variability of renewable generation and how to more efficiently use renewable resources. [More]

Minnesota Electric Coop Offers Members Solar Power

January 18, 2013 15:09 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
For $869, members of Wright-Hennepin Electric Cooperative can purchase a solar panel, and the output from a solar array, to be built near the electric cooperative’s headquarters. This is an innovative means for residential electric consumers to purchase solar power without the installation requirements of retro-fitting each individual home, not to mention the challenge of evaluating optimal sun exposure. The community solar concept removes the implementation questions surrounding how residential consumers can participate in renewable power projects. [More]

VC Dollars Disappear in Clean Energy

January 17, 2013 09:54 by Bill Conway in Energy  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
Venture Capital’s presence in the clean energy space has vanished in recent years. Is it due to the expiration of incentives? The lack of exit opportunities? The high-profile bankruptcies? Or the lack of competitive products? Regardless, the clean energy market needs seed capital to exist. [More]

Politics, Power & Grid Investments

January 10, 2013 09:52 by Bill Conway in Energy, Engineering & Construction, Regulation  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
Modernizing the electric grid should be a top priority of our country, as much of the existing infrastructure is “past its prime” and is “stressed” in many areas. The effects of Super Storm Sandy highlighted weaknesses in the system that need to be addressed to ensure the continued flow of electricity. [More]

Wind Energy Incentives Blow for Another Year

January 3, 2013 14:22 by Bill Conway in Accounting & Tax, Energy  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
The extension of the production tax credits for wind energy will give clarity to the industry, but a long-term solution needs to be adopted to provide long-term stability for the manufacturers, developers, and users of wind power. The stage is now set for the industry and the politicians to develop a viable solution. [More]

U.S. Electricity Use on Wane

January 3, 2013 14:16 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
The good news for utilities is that consumers are plugging more things in. The bad news is energy efficiency and overall consumption patterns are driving electricity consumption down. The ability to deploy capital into regulated areas, specifically transmission assets is a bright spot for investor owned utilities. However, the impact on dividends has yet to be felt. [More]

City of Boulder, CO + Municipalization Efforts

December 10, 2012 11:22 by Bill Conway in Energy, Engineering & Construction, Financing  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
The outcome of these discussions could have a ripple effect on the age old “municipalization discussions” across the country.  Such transactions are complex undertakings, and require examination from multiple angles, but are perplexing considering the highest and best use of a municipalities limited resources.    To read the full story, click here.

Coal Transportation Rates to the Electric Power Sector

December 6, 2012 13:57 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Energy, Regulation  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
The transportation cost for coal from mines to generation facilities via rail  increased 46% from 2001-2010, or 4.3% annually, with the largest annual rate of increase in the southern Appalachian region.  However, increases in commodity costs outpaced transportation cost increases.  To read more, click here.  

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