What's Keeping The Lights On?

Welcome to Grid Brief! Today, we’re looking at power generation in America’s major electricity markets.

What’s Keeping the Lights On?

Let’s take a look at power generation overall in America over the last week. All graphs are pulled from the Energy Information Administration.

Natural gas remains the all-star, but coal and wind saw generation rise over the course of the week.

ISO-New England

Natural gas in New England ramped up to meet demand as the heat ticked up over the course of the week. Nuclear saw a very slight dip and hydro leapt up on September 5.

New York ISO

Like New England, the Empire State saw natural gas generation increase along with hydro and a dip in nuclear.


PJM, America’s largest power market, saw a stable amount of nuclear generation (second place), a rise in natural gas output (first place), and an uptick in coal generation (third place).


In the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, wind had a lackluster start, but picked up to overtake nuclear for most of the week. Otherwise, natural gas and coal kept the middle of America running.


Natural gas remains the head honcho of Texas. Wind, like in MISO, had a mediocre start followed by a late-in-the-week swelling.


In the Southwest, natural gas and coal kept things humming. Once wind showed up, it oscillated until it overtook both fossil generators by week’s end.


Natural gas proved California’s workhorse at the opening of the week. As it went on, demand fell, which allowed solar to overtake the fast-acting fossil generator.

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  • Russian nuclear marches on amidst the Ukraine war. “The 340-tonne reactor vessel for the second unit at Kursk II is being shipped by AEM-Technology JSC, marking what Russia's nuclear corporation Rosatom says is a record for annual reactor production. Earlier this year reactor vessels and steam generators were shipped for units at the Tianwan and Xudapu nuclear power plants in China, and for Kudankulam nuclear power plant in India,” reports World Nuclear News. “Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev said: ‘This is the fourth reactor produced by Atommash this year. This means that our machine-building division is reaching a record pace of production of reactor equipment.’ He aded that it was ‘not a record for the sake of records’ but a reflection of an ‘ambitious programme for the construction of nuclear power plants’ in Russia and abroad.”

  • Australia is rethinking some coal retirements as it faces shortfalls in the next ten years. “Australia’s New South Wales state will hold talks with Origin Energy Ltd. over plans to shutter the nation’s largest coal-fired power station as soon as 2025 amid rising concerns about future energy supply,” reports Bloomberg. “Risks of delays to projects to add renewable generation capacity and energy storage, along with a need for additional transmission infrastructure, mean the state should seek a temporary extension to the operation of the Eraring plant, a report commissioned by the New South Wales government said Tuesday.”

  • The UK is easing up on wind energy permitting. “British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government said on Tuesday it would speed up the approval process for English onshore wind projects that are backed by local people, easing what has been seen as an effective ban,” reports Reuters. “The government said the changes, called for by some lawmakers and which come into effect immediately, involved streamlining planning rules and included broadening the ways that suitable locations can be identified and accelerating the process of allocating sites.”

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