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US consumer prices tick up just 0.1 percent, lower energy offsets higher food

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheaper energy kept U.S. consumer prices in check last month, despite a big rise in the cost of food, the latest sign that inflation is tame.

The consumer price index rose 0.1 percent in February, matching January's increase, the Labor Department said Tuesday. In the past 12 months, prices have risen just 1.1 percent, down from 1.6 percent in January and the smallest yearly gain in five months.

Insufficient pipelines boosting natural gas price in New England

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A lack of pipelines into New England is making natural gas costlier, pushing up wholesale electricity prices in the region by 55 percent last year, the region's electric grid operator said Tuesday.

The average price of wholesale electric energy rose to $56.06 per megawatt hour, up from a historic low of $36.09 in 2012, ISO-New England said.

ICF International breakfast forum on state utility regulators

Washington, March 20, 2014, 8:00 am

ICF International monthly breakfast forum, "Regulators at the Nexus of Change."  Maryland Public Service Commission member Kelly Speakes-Backman to speak.

BLM seeks comments on energy connect project linking NM, Colorado

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A regional electric provider is planning to build a new transmission line and other infrastructure between New Mexico and Colorado to meet growing demand throughout the San Juan Basin.

The transmission line being planned by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association would stretch 65 miles from Waterflow to Ignacio, Colo.

The utility says the line would also boost reliability of the region's electricity system.

NJ tracking routine power outages

Source: 
The Record

New Jersey's Board of Public Utilities is keeping track of all power outages in a central database, finding there were 9,000 routine instances of lost electricity during a six-month period last year, The Record reports.

Wind power line proposal irks some Midwest farmers

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The windy plains of Kansas could be a treasure trove in the nation's effort to harness clean energy, but a major proposal to move wind-generated electricity eastward is running into a roadblock: Farmers who don't want high-power transmission lines on their land.

Clean Line Energy Partners wants to spend $2.2 billion to build a 750-mile-long high-voltage overhead transmission line. Towers 110 to 150 feet tall, 4-6 per mile, would carry lines with power generated by Kansas' modernistic windmill turbines through sparsely populated northern Missouri, through the cornfields of Illinois and to a substation in Sullivan, Ind. The exact route has not been finalized.

Kansas regulators OK Westar rate hike to pay for transmission improvements

Source: 
The Wichita Eagle

Westar Energy customers are facing higher electricity bills after state regulators granted the utility a $43.6 million rate hike to cover the cost of new transmission lines, which will bring wind power onto the grid and improve reliability, The Wichita Eagle reports.

Vt. Senate backs bill to expand home-grown energy by raising net metering cap

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The amount of power utilities could buy from customers with solar or other renewable energy systems would nearly quadruple under a measure given preliminary approval Thursday by the Vermont Senate.

Vermont caps the amount of power utilities can take through what's called net metering, when the owners of rooftop solar installations or similar projects put excess power onto the grid. The current cap says each utility can take up to 4 percent of the peak load on its system from net-metering projects. The bill increases that to 15 percent.

Electric grid company MISO to break ground for new HQ in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A company that manages part of the nation's electric grid is to break ground on a regional headquarters in Little Rock, where about 50 employees will earn an average annual salary of $85,000.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator, known as MISO, has scheduled a Friday ceremony to mark the start of construction.

Office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Murkowski, LaFleur, electric groups condemn leak of FERC blackout study

The ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee joined electric industry groups Thursday in defending actions by power generators to secure critical facilities, following the leak of a government study that highlighted the grid's vulnerability to sabotage.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska issued a statement on the report by the Wall Street Journal, which revealed details of an unreleased grid vulnerability study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Murkowski said the story "seriously undermined" efforts by the industry to maintain reliable electrical service.

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