The future of the energy sector and environment is at stake.
Public utility regulation has a role to play in stimulating R&D by energy utilities. Studies have confirmed that social returns on R&D are much greater than private returns, evidence supporting government involvement (e.g., via funding or performance) in R&D.
American Transmission Co. (ATC) contracted with HAZON Solutions to conduct a pilot program to evaluate using drones to inspect transmission lines on its system. The drone used by HAZON is approximately 25 pounds, 2.5 feet in diameter, has eight rotors and is equipped with a high-resolution camera. Drones are increasingly being used by utilities across the nation for inspection purposes.
Clearly, one of the most significant issues we face today is aging infrastructure. It’s akin to a marathon – a race we absolutely have to finish. Since 1990 we’ve replaced more than 65,000 miles of cast iron and bare steel pipe, but we still have a long way to go.
Being in the “energy” business as a commissioner, staff, lobbyist or industry leader is hard enough without social media, right? When you add Twitter and Facebook to the mix, it is enough to drive one crazy. Who needs it? Well, we all do, really.
Chris Nelson, vice-chairman, South Dakota Pub. Utils. Comm’n
2015 Regulators Forum
Seventy-three percent of our generation is carbon-free, yet the EPA’s 111(d) rules require a 48 percent reduction in our CO2 emission rate. That steep reduction will be very difficult to achieve and will be costly for our electric customers. The commission’s chief concern is keeping a lid on consumer prices, especially given the pressure exerted by EPA.
States that have coal-dependent economies will likely have more difficulty complying with the Clean Power Plan than states like Oregon. There will be rate impacts to be sure. The trick will be compliance at the most reasonable cost that that can be assured.
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