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:

Total generation ebbed over the week with a lot of variety of in the top three—natural gas, nuclear, wind, coal, solar.


The data from the Carolinas looked bizarre, so we’ll forgo its generation profile this week.

Santee Cooper, a South Carolina public utility, celebrated its 90th anniversary last Friday. “The utility serves more than 2 million people through electric cooperatives, municipal customers, large industrial customers and more than 208,000 residential and business customers in Berkeley, Horry and Georgetown counties,” reports the Times and Democrat. “It also provides clean drinking water to more than 200,000 customers through its two water treatment plants.”

South Carolina is puzzling out its EV policy, trying to find balance between utilities, competition, and consumer benefit.


Total generation rose in the TVA’s footprint. Nuclear and natural gas were the top two generators, while coal and hydro dueled for third.

The EPA continues to hammer the TVA over its decision to transition the Kingston coal plant into a gas plant. The agency insists that the TVA is overlooking safer, cleaner, and cheaper solar power as a more adequate replacement from a strictly environmental standpoint. The EPA is not responsible in any way for power system management, nor is it obligated to consider issues like reliability when making assessments or decisions. Ten members of Congress have joined the EPA in its criticism of the TVA.


Natural gas, nuclear, and coal kept the Southeast humming.


Natural gas, solar, and nuclear were the big players in Florida, where total generation drew down.


Total generation in the Northwest took a big drop. Hydropower held the top spot for almost the entire week while a flurry of generators swapped second and third.


Natural gas, nuclear, and solar kept the Southwest’s lights on.

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Conversation Starters

  • India fires up more power plants. “India has asked companies to operate underutilised gas-based power plants in May and June, and extend operations of imported coal-based plants until Oct. 15 to meet anticipated high demand for electricity, according to two government orders. The South Asian nation registered an 8% rise in electricity consumption in the financial year that ended last month, and demand is expected to rise in the hot summer months,” reports Reuters. “In an order dated Friday, the government for the first time invoked an emergency clause mandating companies to operate underutilised gas-based power plants by importing the fuel. India has about 24 gigawatts of gas-based power plants that have been idling or underused for decades due to lack of fuel. Power stations will be informed two weeks in advance about the requirements so they can import gas, the order says.”

  • Poland curtails renewable energy. “Poland ordered record cuts for generation of renewable energy on Sunday due to electricity oversupply, highlighting growing challenges the nation’s grid faces from the wider use of green power,” reports Bloomberg. “Sunny and windy weather increased production from solar panels and wind turbines amid reduced weekend demand, triggering the need to balance the country’s power system, state grid operator Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne SA said on its website. It prompted the company once again to use special rules related to energy security threats.”

  • China locks down coal supplies. “China’s top economic planning body has finalized plans to create a reserve system for coal production by 2027 to avoid new shortages and ensure stable supply and prices. China aims to have 300 million metric tons of annual “dispatchable” coal production by 2030, according to the plan from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC),” reports “In 2021, when China was hit by blackouts, the world’s second-largest economy set a goal to have coal reserves stocked at mines, power plants, and ports equivalent to 15% of its annual production. Now China is looking to set up a new coal reserve system to have spare coal production capacity, with coal ready to be mined when and if needed.”

Crom’s Blessing

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