LOS ANGELES (AP) — Power was being restored Sunday to tens of thousands of people who lost electricity in Southern California after fierce Santa Ana winds gusting as much as 89 mph toppled trees and power poles.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said Saturday's outages affected more than 54,000 customers — mostly in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.
Demand response programs, which cut peak electricity use, helped the Northeast get through the "polar vortex" cold wave last winter without blackouts, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reported Tuesday.
"Demand response resources made significant contributions to balancing supply and demand during the late 2013 and early 2014 extreme cold weather events and helped preserve Eastern RTO and ISO reserve levels," FERC staff said in an annual report to Congress on the programs and the prevalence of smart meters.
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.
The sharp decline in oil prices is starting to take a toll on U.S. oil boom towns, forcing energy companies to cut staff and benefits, pressing businesses to temper plans for growth and limiting royalty payments for landowners, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Though 50 million smart meters have been installed in homes nationwide, U.S. energy consumers aren't moving to change consumption habits, a phenomenon The Washington Post suggests is linked to a lack of real-time access to data related to energy efficiency and financial savings.
A new study published in the British journal "Nature Climate Change" suggests that increases in global temperatures will result in more frequent and intense La Niña climate patterns, a development that could lead to more hurricanes in the Atlantic and droughts in the Southwest United States, USA Today reports.
Data from American Wind Energy Association show that wind energy developersadded 4,850 megawatts in new capacity last year, a strong increase from new 2013 installations, bringing total wind generation capacity to 65,875 MW, Platts reports
Saudi Arabia's new King Salman bin Abdulaziz has already made several changes to his government, shuffling his cabinet and cutting some government bodies, but he has retained Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, a central figure in OPEC's decision to maintain production targets, Dow Jones Business News reports.
Venezuela, reliant on oil sales to generate enough income to import necessary supplies, is experiencing stricter rationing than usual, with falling oil prices building on high inflation and recession to make basic goods even more scarce, The New York Times reports.
Offshore wind energy development on the Eastern Seaboard is struggling as energy companies appear unwilling to invest, evidenced by Thursday's federal auction of leases off the coast of Massachusetts that drew just two bidders at around $1.50 an acre, The New York Times reports.
Assisted by improved relations with the Kurdish regional government, Iraq passed a $105 billion budget based on a $56 per barrel oil price, a move Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sees as a sign of good will as Baghdad and Kurdish forces continue to fight the Islamic State group, Reuters reports.
The Department of Energy would manage if Congress were to impose a time limit on its reviews of LNG export applications, Assistant Secretary Christopher Smith told Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, at a hearing Thursday, The Hill reports.
Calling the proposal unrealistic and asking that its implementation be delayed, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. and chair of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, warned that Obama administration moves targeting DOT-111 tank cars have the potential to disrupt the U.S. rail network, USA Today reports.