FERC announces $16M settlement over Western blackout

The Hill

The Western Energy Coordinating Council has agreed to pay a $16 million penalty to FERC for its role in a 2011 power outage that left more than 5 million people in California, Arizona and Mexico without electricity, The Hill reports.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. president announces retirement

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The man who led Pacific Gas & Electric Company through a deadly 2010 pipeline explosion in the San Francisco area is retiring at the end of the year.

PG&E announced the retirement of Christopher P. Johns in a statement Tuesday, praising his leadership and service. PG&E Chairman and CEO Tony Earley said the board of directors is likely to discuss a replacement plan before Johns' last day December 31.

Duke to install batteries on Ohio site of retired coal plant

Dayton Daily News

An energy storage system based on batteries will be installed by Duke Energy at the site of a retired coal-fired plant in New Richmond, Ohio, to help regulate grid frequency for PJM Interconnection, the Dayton Daily News reports.

February spike pushes PJM's wholesale power costs higher


High demand and high energy costs in February in the PJM Interconnection pulled wholesale costs up for the first four months of the year, according to Platts.

ERCOT has adequate capacity for summer


The Electric Reliability Council of Texas says it has enough capacity to handle peak demand this summer, in particular because forecasters are predicting cooler and wetter weather, KXAN reports.

Akon says singing has given him a platform to assist Africa

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Akon says being a successful entertainer has given him a platform to pursue his dream of helping Africa grow and prosper.

The performer, songwriter and producer was born in the U.S. of Senegalese parents and reared in both countries. He started an initiative called "Akon Lighting Africa" two years ago with a goal of bringing electricity to a million homes by the end of 2014. He told a U.N. news conference Wednesday on promoting clean energy that the initiative not only achieved that but has spread to 14 African countries.

Xcel Energy to use drones after winning FAA OK


Xcel Energy says it will start using drones –- flying at low levels within sight of the operator --  to inspect power lines and some of its other facilities, now that it has won permission from the Federal Aviation Administration, the StarTribune reports.

Duke plans to build natural gas-fired plant in Asheville

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy says it will build a $750 million natural gas plant to replace its troubled coal-fired Asheville plant as the company turns to cleaner energy to generate electricity.

The Charlotte-based company also will build a solar farm on the site as part of its $1.1 billion plan to modernize its infrastructure.

PJM sounds warning despite lower 1Q power prices


First quarter energy prices may have been lower in the PJM Interconnection this year than they were last year, but the grid operator warns that some generators appear more interested in their finances than in ensuring reliability during times of extreme weather, Platts reports.

Guam utility works to restore power, water to residents

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — About 4,500 Guam residents are without water following the wind, rain and waves brought on by Typhoon Dolphin.

The Pacific Daily News reports Guam's water authority is working to restore services by Friday, and the island's power provider expects to bring the 2,000 customers that make up 4 percent of its total users back online by Tuesday night.


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