Monopoly Area Monday

Monopoly Area Monday

Welcome to Grid Brief! Today, we’re looking at power generation in America’s traditional monopoly areas with relevant news items. Scroll to the end for great conversation starters about FBI worries about cybersecurity in microgrids, and both a podcast and BoA report about the impacts of onshoring on our energy grids.

We’ll take it back to 1776 to wrap up July 4th week, with a look at how our energy demands and supplies have changed over the course of our nation’s history. Today, still well over 80% of our demand is furnished by traditional power generators, but a change in guard has natural gas soon taking over the #1 spot from petroleum.

And here’s a map to orient you as we move through the areas:


Demand for electricity grew week-on-week and peaked post-holiday this weekend. A few new large-scale wind projects have been approved to help drive more renewables into a natural gas-heavy power mix in the northeast.


The Carolinas saw a drop down from the well-over 40,000 megawatthour draw of late last week to barely eclipsing 40,000 this week despite high temperatures remaining throughout the holiday week.

Tennessee (TVA)

TVA continued to hover at just below 30,000 megawatthours during peek daytime usage without any major shifts or changes.


The Southeast saw electricity demand remaining steady as the heat continues to sweep through the areas. The demand was met predominantly by natural gas and nuclear power.


As Hurricane Beryl crushes the Texas coast, the indirect effects on Florida are far less severe than most worried. Scattered rainfall may impact solar fields slightly. The rain isn’t bringing high temps down to decrease demand which will likely mean another similar week ahead.

Texas (ERCOT)

As awful as it is to report, Hurricane Beryl’s landfall has meant lower temps across much of coastal Texas and a sizable decrease in peak demand. While clouds and rain may likely impact solar generation, the decreased temps will more than cover that lost production.


Northwest power draw remained quite high, peaking at nearly 60,000 megawatthours on almost every day of the holiday week.


Demand climbed this past week slowly, pushing near to 25,000 megawatthours.

Conversation Starters

Keeping the Lights on in the Southwest. AEI has released a short podcast examining the power demands of the American Southwest. Dallas Fed economists Kunal Patel and Pia Orrenius have a brief discussion of the economic philosophy changes that undergird our power demands in the next decade or so.

Electricity demand from AI and onshoring is surging, raising questions about future utility bills. A BoA study shows that consumers have seen a slight dip in utility costs recently, but increased demand from industrial onshoring and AI could push prices higher. Significant investment in new generation and distribution infrastructure is likely needed, presenting a potential headwind for consumers' utility bills in the foreseeable future.

The FBI warns about microgrid vulnerability to cyberattacks. While attacks on residential solar systems are rare, larger targets like microgrids and solar farm inverters are at risk. Current defenses often lag behind, leaving critical gaps. Experts emphasize that basic cybersecurity practices, such as regular system updates and network segmentation, are crucial to protecting these infrastructures. The FBI highlights the need for industry-wide vigilance and improved security measures as renewable energy becomes a larger part of the power grid.