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, wind, nuclear, and coal all spent time as one of America’s top three generators.


Nuclear, natural gas, and coal maintained their reign in the Carolinas except for when solar leap-frogged the fossil generators at the open and close of the week.

The DOE is helping the Carolinas streamline solar permitting. “As developers eye the Carolinas for several large, utility solar projects, the Department of Energy has awarded both states $2 million to help streamline the permitting process by making community engagement easier,” reports WSOC Charlotte. “Part of the Renewable Energy Siting through Technical Engagement and Planning program, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center will collaborate with local stakeholders, developers, utilities, landowners and governments to create an online assistance and education hub.”


Nuclear and natural gas were the top two generators in the TVA, with hydro and coal swapping third. Total generation dropped over the course of the week.

The Environmental Protection Agency has asked the TVA to revise an environmental impact statement on a coal plant closure. “EPA says an environmental review prepared by the Tennessee Valley Authority for the retirement and replacement of a major coal-fired power plant is inadequate. In a letter this week, the regulator took issue with a final environmental impact statement issued by TVA last month around the demolition and replacement of the Kingston Fossil Plant — located about 40 miles west of downtown Knoxville, Tennessee,” reports E&E News. “EPA called for portions of the final review to be revised and be made available for public comment in a supplemental EIS. Addressing deficiencies would ‘strengthen the defensibility’ of the review, EPA said, and ‘ensure that TVA’s final decision is fully informed.’”


Natural gas and nuclear were the two top in the Southeast. Coal and hydro traded third, but with less frequency and intensity than in the TVA.

Southern’s CEO Chris Womack is bullish on nuclear and wants the industry to follow Southern’s lead after its completion of the Vogtle nuclear plant.


Florida’s natural gas generation cleft close to total generation throughout the week. This has been a persistent trend over the last few weeks. Solar and nuclear swapped third place.

The Florida Power and Light Company is on the hook for nuclear plant outages. “The Florida Public Service Commission approved a settlement Tuesday that will allow Florida Power & Light to provide its customers with a reimbursement. FPL will reimburse its customers $5 million after they were charged ‘replacement’ power costs when the Turkey Point and St. Lucie nuclear plants experienced outages between 2020 and 2022,” reports Florida. “According to PSC filings, the $5 million credit, including interest, would be included in the calculation of FPL's fuel factors the next time the company resets them. In February, state regulators recommended that the PSC refund over $11 million due to an agency audit that cited mismanagement as the reason for more than 40 shutdowns at both power plants.”


The Northwest exhibited its usual menagerie of generators in the top three with hydro, for the most part, firmly in first place.


Natural gas, solar, and nuclear traded the top two spots in the Southwest with a general scrum for third.

New Mexico has approved a big EV plan. “New Mexico regulators on Thursday approved El Paso Electric’s most recent 3-year transportation electrification plan, including $4,000 rebates for low income customers to purchase an electric vehicle,” reports Utility Dive. “The approximately $11 million plan also includes support for residential and commercial customers making the shift to EVs through smart charging programs and rebates for charging equipment. There is also a focus on ensuring new construction results in EV-ready homes.” 

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Conversation Starters

  • Canada steps away from helping LNG industry. “Canada is not interested in subsidizing future liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, including electrification of projects currently in the works, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in a television interview on Sunday,” reports Reuters. “Countries including Greece, Germany and Japan have expressed interest in purchasing Canada's LNG while the United States has paused expansion of American LNG exports. ‘The government is opposed to using government money to fund inefficient fossil fuel subsidies... We are not interested in investing in LNG facilities,’ Wilkinson said on CTV. ‘That's the role of the private sector. They need to assess the business case and make the investments.’”

  • India to re-impose solar tariffs to support domestic manufacturers. “The eased rules will end on March 31 and an approved list of domestic models and manufacturers will come back into effect the next day, the renewable energy ministry said in a statement on its website. The list bars imported modules from being used in the country,” reports Bloomberg. “The curbs are part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effort to gain self-dependence in energy by encouraging local solar panel output. In addition to mandating government approval for module suppliers, the country has imposed import taxes on solar power hardware. India temporarily relaxed the ‘approved list’ rules after the government realized domestic capacity couldn’t meet demand, resulting in a yearlong hiatus that drove a flood of imports from China and Vietnam.”

  • Japanese high court okays more nuclear plant restarts. “A Japanese district court on Friday rejected petitions from residents and allowed five ageing nuclear reactors in central Japan to continue operations. The five reactors at the plants, operated by Kansai Electric Power Co in the Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast, began commercial operations between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s,” reports “Local residents had asked the Fukui District Court to grant injunctions for the operations of one reactor at the Mihama nuclear plant and four reactors at the Takahama power plant, citing inadequate safety measures. The court, however, denied the injunctions, thus allowing the five reactors to continue operations. ” 

Crom’s Blessing

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