Monopoly Area Monday

Welcome to Grid Brief! Today we’re looking at power generation in America’s monopoly utility areas.

Monopoly Area Monday

Here’s a look at power generation nation-wide:

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


Coal, nuclear, and gas kept the lights on in the Carolinas.


Natural gas and nuclear were the top generators in America’s largest public power entity. Coal and hydro dueled for third place.

Despite its relatively clean grid and its resilience in the face of withering cold this month, the TVA was excoriated for not investing more in renewable energy.

“U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, said TVA's approach to planning its long-range power future ‘is clearly inadequate’ and doesn't do enough to allow for meaningful pubic input on TVA's plans for the future, including a faster move away from fossil fuels,” reports the Chattanooga Times Press. “Cohen announced Thursday he plans to introduce legislation in Congress to require TVA to do more for public involvement in its power plans under what he calls the TVA Increased Rate of Participation Act for meaningful public participation.”


Natural gas, coal, and nuclear were the stars of the Southeast.


Natural gas, “other” (a catch-all category of generators who don’t disclose their type to the EIA), and nuclear were the kingpins of the Sunshine State.


Natural gas, hydro, and coal were the biggest generators in the Northwest, but solar and wind had their moments on the 27th.

A group of attorneys have filed a suit against Northwestern utilities.

“In a roughly 200-page complaint filed with Oregon’s U.S. District Court on Jan. 16, the attorneys alleged that Bonneville Power Administration failed to properly inspect and monitor its power line in the area where the fire occurred, as well as not properly ensuring that trees wouldn’t fall against or contact the line during a high wind and ‘red flag’ event,” reports Oregon Public Broadcasting. “Other allegations include failing to remove so-called danger trees from where power lines stood, and not de-energizing BPA lines that provided power to The Eugene Water & Electric Board’s and Lane Electric’s lines that day.”

The suit seeks damages of $232 million.


Natural gas, nuclear, and coal were the big three in the Southwest, though solar jumped up into second place on the 25th.

More space is being mined for nuclear waste at a repository in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

The Arizona Corporation Commission is to consider a 9.55% rate hike for APS—lower than what the utility hoped to receive.

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Conversation Starters

  • New Jersey doubles down on offshore wind. “The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities announced Wednesday that it has awarded 2.4 GW of capacity to the Leading Light Wind project and around 1.3 GW of capacity to Attentive Energy Two as part of the state’s third offshore wind solicitation,” reports Utility Dive. “Leading Light Wind is being developed by Invenergy and energyRe, and Attentive Energy Two is a joint venture of TotalEnergies and Corio Generation. Both have an estimated completion year of 2031. The announcement puts New Jersey’s offshore wind commitments back on track after the state lost a potential 2.2 GW in November, when Ørsted canceled two projects along the coast.”

  • Houthi hit on Russian gas tanker triggers risk re-assessment. “A missile attack on Friday on a tanker taking Russian fuel through the Gulf of Aden may prove to be a defining moment for an oil market that had previously been somewhat immune to months of Houthi militants’ attacks on merchant trade,” reports Bloomberg. “Why the calm? Because much of the oil flowing through the Red Sea and Suez Canal came from Russia and — so the theory went — it might be safe. The Houthis themselves signaled Russian ships had nothing to fear, and Moscow is an ally of their sponsor Iran. Oil tankers generally had been largely spared. But Friday’s attack made one thing clear: whatever assurances Yemen’s Houthis offer, they don’t extend to a ship’s cargo if the vessel itself has even a tenuous link to the US, UK or Israel. The Houthis had said they were targeting Israeli assets because of the war in Gaza, and then extended their reach to US and UK vessels after those countries launched airstrikes in Yemen.”

  • North Dakota oil production is bouncing back. “Crude oil production in the Peace Garden State is now down by between 30,000 and 80,000 bpd after extreme cold led to operational challenges. Associated natural gas production—the natural gas produced as a byproduct of crude oil production—was estimated to be down 0.10 and .22 Bcfd,” reports “Extreme weather cut crude oil production in North Dakota by hundreds of thousands of barrels. At the peak of the production outages due to the cold temperatures, 650,000 bpd—roughly half of what North Dakota typically produces—was taken offline. Just a week ago, the North Dakota Pipeline Authority said that production had clawed back to settle at just 350,000 – 400,000 bpd, but cautioned that it could be another month before its production returned to normal.”

Crom’s Blessing

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