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 CA’s EV standards and rising residential electricity costs.

Monopoly Area Monday

Here’s a snapshot of generation nationwide:

Natural gas continues to dominate, accounting for around 41% of total generation, which is higher compared to the previous years. This increase is likely driven by recent heatwaves across various states, leading to higher air conditioning usage. Wind and solar also contributed significantly, with wind making up about 10% and solar around 7% of the total generation.

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


The Carolinas saw a steady mix of natural gas and nuclear power. Mild weather conditions resulted in stable electricity demand, with solar energy providing peaks during sunny afternoons.

Tennessee (TVA)

Sierra Club and other environment groups are opposing a pipeline to help feed methane to power plants switching from coal to gas power. The opposition may slow refitting and cause temporary bumps in power prices.


Recent thunderstorms in the region may have impacted solar output intermittently, but overall, fossil fuels remained the backbone of electricity generation.


A heatwave with record-breaking temps led to significant reliance on natural gas for power to boost those overworked AC units. Solar energy provided noticeable boosts during peak sun at midday, helping to mitigate some of the demand.

Texas (ERCOT)

Demand for electricity subsided slightly despite most Houston residents having power restored. Texas experienced strong wind energy generation throughout the week, complemented by natural gas to meet the high demand during hot afternoons. Solar power also played a significant role during daylight hours.

Reports indicate that Texas (ERCOT) will likely see rolling blackouts as we approach the sweltering heat of August.


The regular ebbs and flows of a 3-headed renewable power generation mix continue to offer a healthy chunk of the Northwest’s electrical power on the back of sunny days and spring runoff. Oregon utilities report a record number of monthly disconnects in May, propelled by an ailing economy. With rising energy prices, the Northwest will continue to see economic challenges.


Despite concerns fueled by FERC’s assessment of the Southwest as an area of possible energy failures and some tornadic storms, the area was able to keep production up throughout the week. Sunny days allowed solar to offset more meager production from wind power.

Conversation Starters

US Residential Energy Costs at all-time High. Home energy costs for low-income families are projected to rise 7.9% this summer to an average of $719, the highest in a decade, due to increased temperatures and reduced federal assistance funding, leaving many without access to affordable cooling.

VA Says “No” to California EV Standards. Virginia has announced it will follow federal automotive standards instead of California’s stricter EV mandates starting next year, citing the unworkability and unpopularity of such regulations.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced $45 million in awards to six recipients... including Washington D.C. and five states, to facilitate energy efficiency projects through the Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grant program.