Providing support in energy litigation, negotiation, and research to governments, industries, utilities, and First Nations peoples from California to Quebec.

 

Providing support in energy litigation, negotiation, and research to governments, industries, utilities, and aboriginal peoples from California to Quebec.

New Media

What regulators can do to improve utility systems

In the report that focused on Entergy, McCullough also noted that “many utilities wait until older equipment is destroyed rather than preemptively replacing equipment. There are understandable regulatory reasons for doing so: It is easier to recover the cost of storm damage than it is to argue for early retirement of existing assets.”

New Articles

One Tomb Raider Good: Two Tomb Raiders Better

The poorly drafted New York contract will probably face many of the same problems that the similarly drafted contract with Massachusetts has had in New Hampshire and Maine. The lack of transparency creates suspicions, the lack of co-operation creates enemies, and the lack of environmental substance creates opponents. All three problems are relatively easy to solve — however, I think we will find that if one tomb raider is good, two are better is the wrong model.

FERC’s MOPR Dissected

Public Utilities Fortnightly, Robert McCullough

The two leading renewable technologies are non-dispatchable intermittent resources. The unsubstantiated assumption that they will lower the value of capacity needs to be examined closely.

New Reports

The NERC/FERC Review of ERCOT’s February Rolling Blackouts

Last year North America experienced a great deal of extreme weather. It is clear that there are going to be even more extreme weather events – increasingly so with global cli-mate change. That we are unprepared is not news – Hurricane Ida put a million customers out of power across eight states. Wildfires along the west coast have decimated whole towns and imperiled the grid. A single cold snap in Texas cost hundreds of lives. What is news is that we haven’t started preparing to get prepared for 2022.

Reassessment of Site C Financial Viability Sept 28, 2021

Correcting – very conservatively – for the assumed zero costs in the last twenty months of the project, places Site C at $950 million dollars over budget. By all indications, February’s new budget was simply an approximation with traditional construction cost fore-casts scrambling to fit within the $16 billion target.

Engineering/Economic Issues with Entergy’s Response to Hurricane Ida

On August 29, 2021 all eight lines supplying electricity to the City of New Orleans were put out of service by Category 4 Hurricane Ida. The utility that serves the area, Entergy, has provided little substantive information about the scale of the disaster, but it appears that damages to the system are extensive and may extend beyond the conductors to the steel towers themselves.

As everyone is considering the extensive outages and the next steps, we feel it pertinent to consider the age of equipment and changes to regulatory standards for buildings and towers. Many of the major transmission lines in the region were built before an increase in the required MPH rating of the structures. This helps explain why there was such extensive damage.