WASHINGTON (AP) — It's been lights out for several government buildings in Washington. Authorities were blaming a blown transformer and a construction mishap for the problem.
The State Department says a power line serving its headquarters was severed in a construction accident Monday morning. Emergency generators allowed some staff to keep working, but others were sent to work from different offices or home.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain.
In Santa Cruz, about an hour south of San Francisco, an elementary school student was trapped for about 15 minutes when an 80 foot tree fell on him, pinning his arm and shoulder until rescuers with chain saws cut it apart. He was taken to a hospital in good condition but likely a fractured arm, officials said.
Numbers from its Winter Reliability program tell ISO-New England that sufficient resources are in place to keep the power on through the cold season, Platts reports, adding that a spokeswoman says the program is also encouraging more operators to give their generators dual-fuel capacity.
Arkansas electricity regulator Colette Honorable appeared to sail through a Senate hearing Thursday on her nomination to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, with senators pledging to push for a confirmation vote before lawmakers complete work for the year.
Honorable, a Democrat who would fill the seat of former commissioner John Norris, entered the hearing as a non-controversial choice. She chairs her state's Public Service Commission and is the past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
"I hope it will be possible to confirm her nomination before the session is over," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who oversaw the hearing for chair Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who was campaigning in advance of her runoff election on Saturday.
Peak demand for the coming winter in New York should hit 24,737 megawatts, lower than last year’s spike during the polar vortex, according to the New York Independent System Operator, which says it has plenty of capacity to handle that or even a number much larger, Platts reports.
Having made changes after last winter’s bitter cold, grid operators like PJM Interconnection say they are confident they have enough resources for electricity generation this season, although a forecast in the Northeast for frigid temperatures in late January and early February could pose a challenge, E&E reports.
Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid hosts National Summit on Smart Grid & Climate Change. Through Wednesday. Tuesday speakers include FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur. Wednesday speakers include White House counselor John Podesta.
The California Independent System Operator will pay $6 million in penalties for its role in the 2011 Southwest blackout, under a settlement announced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday, Platts reports.
The U.S. should “consider the serious consequences” from its move to impose steep tariffs on Chinese solar panels, the country’s Commerce Ministry said Wednesday, but in a hint that Beijing might be interested in settling a long-running dispute over the issue, the statement urged the U.S. to “appropriately manage trade frictions,” The New York Times reports.
Response to President Barack Obama’s move to continue a ban on drilling in Bristol Bay was muted, but he may face much more serious opposition from oil companies if he moves to do anything similar in the Beaufort or Chuckchi Seas, National Journal reports.
Solar generation is poised to take off in Texas, NPR reports, noting that the state is unlikely to follow Spain’s example of heavily subsidizing the industry, and also is likely to use panels rather than the solar towers and mirrors of thermal technology.
Rather than make one recommendation for a course of action to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Bipartisan Policy Center has outlined in detail 40 different options it says can form the basis of discussion on changes that can improve the policy on biofuels, The Hill reports.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the legal basis for the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards limiting hazardous emissions in the air, including mercury, but depending on how the justices word their ruling, their decision could torpedo the grounds industry is using to fight EPA’s rule on carbon emissions, E&E reports.
Following a complaint filed from SolarWorld three years ago that triggered a long-running trade dispute, the Commerce Department has settled on tariffs for solar products from China: Up to 78 percent on solar panels made on the mainland, and up to 27 percent on solar cells made in Taiwan, The New York Times reports.
The AAA says lower gasoline prices are fueling its prediction that a record 98.6 million people will be driving over the Christmas and New Year holiday, an increase of 4 million from the period in 2013, FuelFix reports.
Signals from OPEC and Russia that they will hold production levels even in the face of sinking oil prices helped pile the pressure on early Wednesday. U.S. benchmark crude fell 85 cents to $55.08 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent dropped 55 cents to $59.46, Reuters reports.
CEO Jeff Immelt’s moves to focus General Electric more on its industrial base faces the new hurdle of plummeting oil prices, as he acknowledged to investors Tuesday that the situation will have an impact on the company’s profits in 2015, The Wall Street Journal reports.