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 maintained their dominance while wind, solar, and coal scrummed for third.

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


Nuclear was the top generator in the Carolinas, while gas, nuclear, and solar all traded the second and third spots.

North Carolina utilities went into high alert last week after receiving threats from international hackers. “The White House and U.S. Intelligence Agencies said foreign hackers are threatening to disrupt the networks of water systems in the United States,” reports CBS 17. “[Harry Coker, Jr., the Director of National Cyber at the White House], said the White House sent a letter to governors about the threats. The letter links both the Iranian Government Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and The People’s Republic of China to the threats.” 


Nuclear was dominant in the TVA except when gas ramped up during a demand spike.

A bill before the Tennessee Congress could give the state’s residents more of a say in the TVA’s decisions. “The ‘TVA Increase Rate of Participation Act,’ would require a more open decision-making process for the utility,” reports Public News Service. “Brianna Knisley, director of public power campaigns for Appalachian Voices, said the TVA is currently developing its new Integrated Resource Plan to meet future energy demands. The bill would require more public participation in the plan's proceedings.”


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


Natural gas, nuclear, and solar were the top three generators in the Sunshine state.

The Florida Public Service Commission is considering a proposed rate cut for Florida Power and Light customers due to lower than expected fuel costs. “FPL last week filed the proposal, which would save customers about $662 million. If the proposal is approved, the savings would start showing up in customer bills in May and continue through December. The commission is scheduled to take up the issue during an April 2 meeting,” reports WFTV 9.


Hydro, natural gas, wind, solar, and coal all spent time in the Northwest’s top three.

Portland Gas and Electric plans to join the California Independent System Operator. “Portland General Electric announced plans to join the California Independent System Operator's (CAISO) Extended Day-Ahead Market (EDAM) to help provide Portland General Electric (PGE) and the customers it serves with access to more affordable, reliable and clean energy,” reports PR Newswire. "‘Joining the CAISO Extended Day-Ahead Market is a significant next step toward an integrated regional system that will deliver cost savings and enhanced reliability for PGE customers,’ said Maria Pope, PGE president and CEO. ‘Together with CAISO and multiple stakeholders, PGE worked extensively to help develop this market to lower power costs, increase resilience and access more clean energy sources across the West.’"


Natural gas, nuclear, and solar were stars of the Southwest.

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Conversation Starters

  • German government to fund offshore wind terminal. “The German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation said the government's decision to help fund the expansion of an offshore terminal is important to achieve expansion goals for wind energy at sea. In a statement late Friday, the foundation said it welcomed a government move to contribute to the costs of expanding the terminal at the port of Cuxhaven, on the North Sea coast,” reports Reuters. “The government has agreed to finance the 30-hectare (74 acres) expansion of the offshore terminal, together with the state of Lower Saxony and the private port industry, at a cost of around 300 million euros ($324.15 million), a government spokesperson said on Saturday. ‘The expansion of the Cuxhaven port is a central project for the expansion of renewable energies,’ said Stefan Wenzel, parliamentary state secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.”

  • Engie CEO skeptical of EU green hydrogen goals. “The European Union will miss its 2030 target for green hydrogen production as building facilities for the clean fuel faces technical, regulatory and financial challenges, the head of French utility Engie SA said,” reports Bloomberg. “‘I don’t believe’ the EU can install 40 gigawatts of electrolyzers powered by low-carbon electricity by the end of the decade, Chief Executive Officer Catherine MacGregor told journalists at the company’s headquarters near Paris on Friday. ‘We have an issue with the regulation, with the economics, and an issue in terms of reliability when it comes to building electrolyzers at scale.’”

  • South Africa faces water supply issues. “South Africa’s long-foretold water supply debacle has arrived. And, at an unfortunate time for its ruling party — two months ahead of elections. A large swath of Johannesburg, the biggest city, was this month left without water for close to two weeks. The regional bulk supplier warned three metropolitan areas with a combined population of more than 13 million and much of the country’s manufacturing capacity that its systems are close to collapse,” reports Bloomberg. “The crisis has brought home to South Africa’s urban elite that water shortages are now at their doorstep and not just a problem for remote rural towns.”

Crom’s Blessing

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