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New England Heat // Duke and Big Tech // Graphite from Methane

Welcome to Grid Brief! Here’s what we’re looking at today: ISO New England struggles with heat, Duke Energy courts Big Tech, and methane is used to create graphite.

New England Power Grid Struggles with High Temperatures

On Tuesday, ISO New England issued an ‘abnormal conditions’ alert and declared a Power Caution for the region for several hours of peak demand in the evening. The operator cited an “unexpected loss of generation over the evening peak.”

New England was one of the regions that the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) identified as having an elevated risk of blackouts this summer in its 2024 Summer Reliability Assessment. The retirement of two natural gas-fired generators at Mystic Generating Station in May of 2024 will lead to less generation capacity for ISO New England, according to NERC.

Duke Energy Wants to Provide 24/7 Power to Big Tech

With tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, searching for abundant and clean energy to power their data centers, Duke Energy is stepping up. The utility that services most of the Carolinas, has developed a plan to let large corporations purchase higher levels of energy than previously available.

Julian Spector of Canary Media reports:

“Essentially, willing corporations could bankroll Duke’s construction of advanced clean energy technologies to deliver on their advanced climate or 24/7 commitments. For instance, the structure could fund early deployments of long-duration energy storage, like the iron-air battery that Form Energy is commercializing for multiday storage. The mechanism could even deploy small modular nuclear reactors, if that long-simmering technology class manages to clear regulatory approvals and produce a viable commercial product.”

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