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 the top two generators in America, with wind and coal dueling for third. Total generation ebbed over the week.

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


The Carolinas saw their total generation drop. Nuclear, natural gas, and coal kept them humming, though solar peaked above coal thrice.


Nuclear, natural gas, hydro, and coal were the top generators in America’s largest public utility.

The TVA, along with other utilities, is pushing back against the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to tighten annual soot standards for coal plants, disputing the new rule as unscientific.


Natural gas, nuclear, and coal kept the lights on in the Southeast.


Natural gas revved up and down with demand in the Sunshine state. Solar and nuclear swapped the second and third place.

Florida is considering stripping climate change language from its energy policy via House Bill 1645. “In the process, the bill would delete eight times the phrase “climate change” is mentioned in current law (compared to seven instances where it would be left untouched). Sometimes, the phrase is deleted from sentences that are otherwise left mostly intact. In other cases, the bill would repeal entire sections of law that mention climate change, such as a grant program that helps local governments and school districts reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” reports the Tampa Bay Times. “The bill would also reduce certain regulations on natural gas pipelines, preempt local governments’ control over the location of natural gas storage facilities and make it so state agencies and local governments no longer have to consider fuel efficiency when buying vehicles, among other changes.”


Hydro, natural gas, and coal were the stars of the Northwest, though wind picked up at mid-week.

The agreement to breach four hydropower dams along the Snake River in the Pacific Northwest is meeting resistance in the courts. “A petition for the court to review the agreement was filed by the Public Power Council, which represents consumer-owned electric utilities relying on Columbia and Snake River hydropower. Those include the Benton and Franklin PUDs and the Benton REA,” reports the Tri-City Herald. “The agreement signed Dec. 13 includes measures to restore Columbia and Snake River salmon and steelhood and includes funding to study or replace the energy, transportation, irrigation and recreation services provided by the four lower Snake River dams, paving the way for dam breaching. The power council is concerned that the memorandum of understanding signed by BPA Administrator John Hairston has the potential to result in cost increases or grid reliability issues.”


Natural gas and nuclear did the lion’s share in the Southwest, while coal, wind, and solar scrummed for third.

Arizona has repealed its renewable energy mandates. “The Arizona Corporation Commission on Tuesday voted to instruct its staff to draft rules that would repeal the state’s Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff, which was adopted in 2006 and requires state-regulated electric utilities including Tucson Electric Power to generate 15% of their energy from renewable resources by 2025,” reports the Arizona Daily Star. “Along a 4-1 party line vote, the measure approved by the commission’s Republican majority also would move toward repealing energy-efficiency rules adopted in 2010 that require electric and gas utilities to achieve 22% energy savings by 2020.”

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Conversation Starters

  • France’s Chinon plant shuts down two reactors after fires. "Nuclear energy operator EDF has shut down two reactors at Chinon in western France after a fire in a non-nuclear sector of the plant in the early hours of Saturday, the company said. The fire has been extinguished, it said,” reports Reuters. "‘Production unit number 3 at the Chinon nuclear power plant has shut down automatically, in accordance with the reactor's safety and protection systems,’ EDF said in a statement, adding it also shut down reactor number 4, which is coupled to number 3.”

  • Ukrainian drones hit two Russian refineries. “Ukrainian drones attacked two oil refineries in southern Russia's Krasnodar region on Friday, causing a large fire at the Ilsky refinery during operations conducted by the SBU security service, a Ukrainian source told Reuters,” reports Reuters. “Regional authorities in Russia said earlier that a fire had broken out at the Ilsky refinery and been extinguished in around two hours. It gave no details of what caused the fire or its impact on the refinery's output. The Ukrainian source who declined to be identified said the attack hit the refinery's primary processing unit.”

  • Kazakhstan inks water management pact with Uzbekistan and China. “Water resource management is emerging as a top regional policy issue for Kazakhstan. In just one sign of the government’s growing concern, the Ministry for Water Resources and Irrigation is pushing for a ‘contractual framework’ with China and Uzbekistan to regulate usage of transboundary rivers,” reports “A resource-management blueprint covering 2024-2030 is currently being negotiated, according to a report published by the news outlet. The framework agreement would establish a system for joint management of river traffic and water flows between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, as well as fix volumes for water allocation for agricultural and other purposes by China and Kazakhstan. Water Resources Minister Nurzhan Nurzhigitov described the promotion of interstate cooperation on transboundary rivers as a top governmental priority.“

Crom’s Blessing

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