Tesla Motors’ plans for a $4-5 billion battery factory in the America Southwest, in which it would invest $2 billion together with unnamed partners, is a big, bold gamble. No doubt about it. The new factory, headed for Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or Nevada, is meant to drive down battery costs and to do so with production sufficient to power 500,000 electric vehicles annually by 2020.
People love to make fun of California – even those who live there. Some out-of-staters are jealous of its temperate weather. Others may be averse to living amidst every cutting edge trend that exists. And then there are the dangers and annoyances: fires and floods, smog and sprawl, earthquakes and jammed freeways.
Many electric utility professionals are happy not to be subject to Califo...
Scott Hempling’s monthly essay, “New Suppliers in the New Century: Will Incumbency Trump Merit?”, j
ust published on our website
, is a thoughtful response to the
of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Edison Electric Institute. The Joint Statement seeks to put to rest important questions as to how utility generation and transmission networks and the revenues they require c...
With the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission awaiting a new chairman – and who knows when that may come? – it seems a good time to kick over the coals of some of the commission’s more troublesome recent rulings.
A decision by the Third Circuit’s last week upholding FERC and two federal district courts makes this rumination especially timely. The decision blessed PJM Interconnection’s r...
What drives the evolution of an electric power resource? It’s progressive improvement in technology, operational efficiency, and economics. With coal-fired generation, for decades through the mid 20
Century, it was consistently better heat rates, larger unit sizes, and scores of operational improvements that drove down its real cost.
But, given the vagaries of the marketplace and of regulation, re...
A developing theme from last week’s winter meetings of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners – actually, a merging and a collision of themes – focused on the swirl of policies that influence development of intermittent resources –large, central station wind farms and rooftop solar installations – their value, and their sometimes unintended effects.