American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Future Shock

ERCOT load growth: patterns, possibilities, and second thoughts.

Data from ERCOT indicates that energy intensity is falling markedly, as measured in terms of kWh usage per number of nonfarm jobs. That suggests much less future load growth, yet EIA data based on nationwide scenarios do not seem to agree.

Georgia Power Completes $109 Million Smart Grid Improvement Project

Georgia Power completed a statewide smart grid improvement project conducted through a multiyear Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE). The $109 million project, which includes $52.5 million in funds from the DOE and $56.5 million from the company, is part of a larger $165 million agreement between Southern Company and the DOE under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Five Years Later

Wall Street is back in business. What’s next for utility finance?

When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in September 2008, it marked the beginning of a financial crisis. By most accounts, the utility industry has been a picture of stability through tumultuous times. The view from Wall Street remains bullish – despite some reasons for concern.

AMI Logjam

Market forces and fickle policies have delayed the smart meter revolution.

Low energy prices have weakened the business case for advanced metering. Regaining momentum might depend on innovation to strengthen the benefits.

SCE and GE to Upgrade UC-Irvine Campus Grid

Southern California Edison (SCE) and GE are collaborating to put the smart grid to work by upgrading and modernizing the utility’s infrastructure. The project will include electric-distribution infrastructure, substations, residential homes, cyber security systems, battery energy storage, and EV charging stations at the University of California-Irvine, and other products that affect the reliability of a modernized grid. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the demonstration project will launch on June 30, 2013.

Smart Grid at a Crossroads

Refining the business case for advanced  distribution investments.

As utilities plan their capital budgets for the next few years, investments in advanced distribution systems face an uncertain future. Customers question the value—and propriety—of some programs, while long-term strategic goals depend on seamless integration. What will be the path forward for smart grid technology?

What Price, GHGs?

Calculating the implied value of CO2 abatement in green energy policies.

Renewable portfolio standards and other green energy rules put a price on environmental benefits. Calculating this price can help clarify the social value of GHG reductions.

Last Call

Utilities are enjoying some of the best financing terms anybody’s ever seen. Is the party winding down?

Conditions are ideal for utility financing—but not forever. Although interest rates remain low, policy changes weigh on capital structures.

Renewable Spend & Tax (Credit)

For developers of renewable power projects, the regulatory landscape is always shifting. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, for example, added the option of a cash grant in lieu of an investment tax credit—a provision that was set to expire at the end of 2010, but that received an 11th hour extension during the lame duck Congressional session.

Vendor Neutral

(May 2012) Entergy Louisiana starts construction on gas-fired power project; Virginia Commonwealth University and Dominion partner on a test site for efficient energy technologies; Burlington Electric Department selects Siemens for meter data management platform; IKEA commissions four Blink electric vehicle charging stations; Edison Mission Energy, TIAA-CREF and Cook Inlet Region Inc. form partnership, and others.