Oncor_logoDuring the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) open meeting today, the commissioners unanimously approved, with no substantive discussion, a proposed order finding that the sale of Oncor Electric to NextEra Energy is not in the public interest.

On October 31, 2016, NextEra and Oncor had filed a Joint Report and Application with the PUCT seeking the regulatory approvals required for NextEra to acquire Oncor.  NextEra was hoping to acquire both the approximately 80% interest in Oncor indirectly held by Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH), which is currently in bankruptcy, and the 19.75% interest indirectly held by Texas Transmission Holdings Corporation.  In addition, Continue Reading NextEra Bid to Acquire Oncor Rejected by PUCT

2000px-Texas_flag_map.svgAt the start of today’s Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) open meeting, Chairman Donna Nelson announced that May 15, 2017 will be her final day at the commission.  This is a month before she was speculated to be leaving the commission.  In order to fill her vacant space, the Governor must appoint a replacement.

While the Texas Legislature is in session, the governor’s appointment must be approved by the legislature. However, the governor can choose to wait and appoint a replacement once the legislative session ends on May 29th in order to avoid confirmation of the appointment during the 2017 session.

This will likely mean that the PUCT will be presided over by two members in the interim, with the potential for the commission to reach split decisions in contested cases.

President-elect Trump made an array of energy-related campaign promises, and elevated several of those promises to priorities for his First 100 Days in office.  Many of the energy related priorities will require action by multiple Federal agencies, including the Department of Energy (DOE).  The Trump transition team has nominated Rick Perry for secretary of the DOE.  Among the energy-related priorities found in Trump’s First 100 Days agenda, two key policy items may fall within the purview of a DOE led by Perry, including: Continue Reading Rick Perry Nomination and Trump’s Energy Priorities

Part 4:  Lessons from Existing Storage Applications

2000px-Texas_flag_map.svgParts I, II and III of our examination of the Texas energy storage market review various operating technologies in the state, including compressed air energy storage, battery storage, thermal storage, and flywheels. Perhaps, more importantly, is the diverse range of applications of electric storage technology being illustrated at the utility, microgrid and community levels.

Texas has become a leading example of the economic value of storage through innovative applications such as Continue Reading The Texas Energy Storage Market: A Four-Part Examination

Part 3:  Other Innovative Storage Technologies2000px-Texas_flag_map.svg

Part 1 of this examination of the Texas energy storage market reviewed utility-scale applications in the state, while Part 2 highlighted several of the smaller-scale microgrid and community applications.  This post discusses the other innovative storage technologies being used throughout the state. Continue Reading The Texas Energy Storage Market: A Four-Part Examination

drillingThe Energy Information Agency (EIA) announced yesterday that oil production in the nation is expected to drop in November to about 4.43 million barrels a day.  Overall, the EIA expects production declines in both the Eagle Ford Shale of south Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana of roughly 35,000 and 21,000 barrels per day, respectively.

At the same time, however, analysts are seeing the decline in domestic oil production slowing, with the expectation that it will begin increasing sometime in 2017 and into 2018. Continue Reading U.S. Shale Oil Production – Different Basins, Different Stories

Part 2: Microgrid and Community Storage Applications

2000px-Texas_flag_map.svgPart 1 of our examination of the Texas energy storage market reviewed utility-scale applications.  This post highlights several of the smaller-scale microgrid and community applications operating in the state.

Lithium-Ion Battery Technologies

A number of utilities are utilizing lithium-ion battery technologies for these applications, including: Continue Reading The Texas Energy Storage Market: A Four-Part Examination

On the Horizon imageHusch Blackwell and the Texas Renewable Energies Industries Alliance have teamed up to produce a webinar series titled, On the Horizon, focused on the Texas solar industry.  The latest installment focused on solar leases and mineral right issues and is now available on-demand. The panelists discussed recommended provisions for solar leases including steps solar project developers can take to anticipate mineral estate operations and lessen the potential impact of right of access under the Texas’ Accommodation Doctrine.

Register here for the final two webinars of the year: Continue Reading Texas Solar Webinar Series

Part I: Texas assumes a leading role in defining the value of storage

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This first of four posts examining energy storage in Texas provides an introduction to storage technologies and describes the numerous utility-scale battery technologies currently operating in the state. The storage of electric energy is often called the “holy grail” of the future electric grid.  While Massachusetts, California and Oregon have led in storage development through mandates and financial incentives, Texas is assuming a lead role in the nation through its innovative application of storage that further defines the vital role storage can play in enhancing grid reliability and lowering rates. Continue Reading The Texas Energy Storage Market: A Four-Part Examination