Monopoly Area Monday

Welcome to Grid Brief! Today, we’re looking at power generation in America’s traditional monopoly areas with relevant news items.

Monopoly Area Monday

Here’s a snapshot of generation nation-wide:

Natural gas and nuclear were America’s top two workhorses over the week. Wind, coal, and solar scrapped for third. Notice in the blur of of letters just below “Other” the teal “Ba,” which, when more easily visible, spells out “Battery Storage.” This is a new data category from the EIA, which will give premium readers better insights into what’s happening in our weekly power market breakdown, What’s Keeping the Lights On. Keep an eye out for it on Wednesday.


Nuclear maintained its dominance as total generation grew in the Carolinas. The second and third spots were swapped by natural gas, coal, and solar.

Duke Energy is getting into rooftop solar and VPPs. “Duke Energy is implementing an incentive program called PowerPair for installing home solar generation with battery energy storage in the Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress service areas in North Carolina. The company received approval from the North Carolinas Utility Commission (NCUC) for the program on January 11, 2024,” reports Solar Power World. “The one-time incentive-based program, designed to help make a home solar plus battery system more affordable for customers, offers up to $9,000 in incentives for residential customers who install a solar and battery system. The total incentive is based on the type of solar array and battery installed.”


As in the Carolinas, total generation grew over the week in the TVA. Nuclear and natural gas were the two biggest generators while coal and hydro traded third.

The TVA is swapping out some coal generation for natural gas and renewables in the coming years. “The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has announced plans to retire the Kingston Fossil Plant and establish a new energy complex at Roane County in Tennessee, US, by the end of 2027,” reports GlobalData. “The Kingston Fossil Plant has nine coal-fired units capable of producing up to 1.39GW of electricity, enough to power 818,000 homes.”

Here’s what the TVA wants to replace Kingston with: 1.5GW of natural gas turbines, both combined cycle and dual-fuel aeroderivative, 100MW of battery storage, and 4MW of solar generation capacity.


Natural gas and nuclear kept the Southeast humming with coal in third.


Florida’s stable trio kept the lights on in the Sunshine State: natural gas, nuclear, and solar. Total generation ebbed.

Florida Power & Light is seeking approval for almost a dozen solar projects. “The 74.5-megawatt facilities in 11 counties are planned to go into operation in January. They are slated for Palm Beach, Okeechobee, Martin, DeSoto, Charlotte, Nassau, Brevard, Manatee, Walton, Calhoun and Miami-Dade counties,” reports the Tampa Free Press. “FPL said in the proposal Wednesday that a filing in September will provide testimony to support the ‘appropriate percentage increase in base rates’ to cover the projects. A document included with the proposal indicated that the facilities will have an average cost of about $119 million.”


The Northwest boasted its usual variety, though hydro, wind, and natural gas were the notables.

The Bonneville Power Administration has opted for Southwest Power Pool’s Markets+ day ahead markets over the California Independent System Operator’s, citing SPP’s preferable governance structure and carbon accounting.

“We stuck to our evaluation principles and are confident in the analysis and public process that led to the recommendation," BPA’s Director of Market Initiatives, Russ Mantifel, said in a press release. “Both markets we are considering honor those principles; however, ongoing concerns with governance and some superior features related to greenhouse gas accounting and resource adequacy among others led to staff's preference for Markets+."


The Southwest saw some decent variety in its top three generator spots, but the main thing to notice is the relationship between gas, solar, and total generation.

Salt River Project wants to build a lake in the desert outside Phoenix to generate hydropower battery.

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Conversation Starters

  • Ukraine’s energy system is up and running. “The Ukrainian energy system that was severely damaged by Russian missile attacks in recent weeks is now almost completely stabilised, and the energy ministry on Sunday said no major imports were expected,” reports Reuters. “Ukraine's electricity imports reached a record high at the end of March after a string of Russian missile strikes on critical infrastructure caused blackouts in many parts of the country.”

  • Saudis hike oil prices. “Saudi oil giant Aramco, the world’s top crude oil exporter, hiked on Friday the prices of most of its crude grades for May, as Middle Eastern benchmarks are strengthening in a market that looks increasingly tight,” reports “For a second consecutive month, Saudi Arabia raised the price of Arab Light, its flagship grade selling in Asia, by more than expected. Aramco set the official selling price (OSP) of Arab Light for Asia for May by $0.30 per barrel to a premium of $2.00 over the Oman/Dubai average, the benchmark off which Middle Eastern crude going to Asia is priced.”

  • Renewable groups sound alarm on trade war. “Renewable energy trade groups are bracing for more upheaval around US solar imports, including possible new trade probes that could lead to additional tariffs on foreign-made panels,” reports Bloomberg. “The caution comes amid escalating concern from US solar manufacturers that surging imports of cheap panels are undermining existing tariff protections and government efforts to boost domestic production. At least one planned US solar wafer factory already has been scrapped, with manufacturer CubicPV citing ‘a dramatic collapse in wafer prices’ for the decision.”

Crom’s Blessing

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