Jeremiah D. Lambert, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., has served PJM and other clients in the electric utility industry and has written extensively on energy-related topics.
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) energized and brought into service a new 500-kV transmission line in southeastern Washington. The 38-mile, single-circuit line connects BPA's Central Ferry Substation near the Port of Central Ferry in Garfield County, Wash., to BPA's Lower Monumental Substation in Walla Walla County. The line increases the electrical capacity of BPA's transmission system in response to requests for transmission service in this area.
The view from Oregon and Portland General Electric.
NSTAR appoints new president; Southern Company names new financial management team; BPA gets new administrator; plus management changes at AEP, Duke, ITC, ConEdison, GDF Suez, ERCOT, MISO, NARUC, and others.
ABB won an order worth around $260 million from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to upgrade the existing Celilo HVDC (high-voltage direct current) converter station in Oregon. This station is part of the electricity link between the Pacific Northwest and Southern California commissioned in 1970. The Celilo converter station is located at the north end of the Pacific DC Intertie, also known as Path 65, which has a capacity of 3,100 MW, and originates near the Columbia River. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Constellation completes 16.1 MW PV project in Maryland; Ikea commissions 31st solar project, reaching 38 MW installed; IPL and MidAmerican install $545 million scrubber in Iowa; DTE partners with Enbridge and Spectra on pipeline for Utica shale gas; plus contracts and announcements from Dominion, Sempra, Southern Company, AEP, EPRI, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Opower and others.
Unforeseen consequences of dedicated renewable energy transmission.
Achieving aggressive renewable energy goals will require building thousands of miles of new transmission lines, and these so-called “green-power superhighways” could bring major new sources of low-cost electricity into the market. But will those sources be renewables? Analysts Roger Bezdek and Robert Wendling argue that with new access to distant wholesale markets, coal-fired generation would become more competitive than ever.
Discerning what utility employees consider important.
Despite high unemployment rates in many industries, utilities are finding T&D technicians and engineers are in short supply. This situation is likely to deteriorate as Baby Boom-era workers continue retiring. Attracting and retaining qualified professionals depends on understanding what motivates—and de-motivates—employees on the front lines of the smart grid revolution.
In the Pacific Northwest, you either spill water or spill wind.
The wind power industry has been up in arms ever since the Bonneville Power Administration earlier this year announced its Interim Environmental Redispatch and Negative Pricing Policy. That policy, applicable during periods of high spring runoff and heavy water flow volumes on the Federal Columbia River Power System, calls for BPA to redispatch and curtail access to transmission for wind power generating turbines, and to replace that resource with hydroelectric power generated via BOA hydroelectric dams, in order to avoid having to divert water through dam spillways, which could threaten fish and wildlife by creating excess levels of Total Dissolved Gas (TDG), which can cause Gas Bubble Trauma. Yet the legal issue remains unclear: Does this practice imply discrimination in the provision of transmission service, or is it simply a matter of system balancing and generation dispatch? In fact, the FERC may lack jurisdiction over the dispute, as it pertains to the fulfillment of BPA’s statutory mandates.