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Author: Scott Choinski

Electrical Deregulation is good only if prices go down

Electrical Deregulation is good only if prices go down

As reported recently in the Washington Times, the District, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware have filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) against PJM Interconnect arguing that electricity auctions resulted in unreasonably inflated prices. The complaint relates to auctions held in 2007 and 2008 to set the price of electricity from June 2008 through May 2011. Regulators say the auctions were not competitive, enabling existing power generators to get unfairly Read more [...]
The Greens have another arrow in their quiver

The Greens have another arrow in their quiver

As reported in the Washington Times, The Bush administration yesterday (May 14) declared global warming a threat to polar bears but took steps to ensure that the long-awaited decision would not threaten businesses and oil drilling that environmentalists blame for the species' decline. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said the depletion of sea ice — the bears' habitat — puts the animal at risk of becoming endangered in the "foreseeable future," the standard for such designations Read more [...]
Transformer Core Steel A Problem in the Near Future

Transformer Core Steel A Problem in the Near Future

At an IEEE PES Transformer Committee meeting I attended recently, there was a discussion on the impact of the DOE transformer efficiency rule for Medium-Voltage Dry-Type and Liquid-Immersed distribution transformers on core steel.  It is expected that there will be an increase in demand in 2009 and price increases are likely in 2010 when the rules go into effect. It is not clear if the steel mills can meet the demand for the higher grade steels (M3 or better) that will be required.  A more Read more [...]
The Consequences of NIMBY: You Can’t Have it Both Ways

The Consequences of NIMBY: You Can’t Have it Both Ways

Loudoun County, Virginia has been one of the fastest growing counties in the nation.  Nothing gets the residents’ blood boiling more than installing electric power lines.  The demand for electricity has been growing, and the demand for power in western Loudoun County exceeds the current supply.  There is not enough excess power on the existing lines to reroute to customers if one of the lines goes down.  Dominion Virginia Power has been trying to get approval for a new 230 kV Read more [...]
An Environmentalist’s Dilemma

An Environmentalist’s Dilemma

A California couple was ordered by a judge to cut down two redwoods on their property.  The trees blocked sunlight to a neighbor’s backyard solar panels in violation of California’s Solar Shade Control Act.  The law requires homeowners to keep their trees or shrubs from shading more than 10 percent of a neighbor’s solar panels between 10 am and 2 pm.  Existing trees that cast shadows when the panels are installed are exempt, but new growth is subject to the law, which is the issue Read more [...]
Use Less Electricity and Pay More?

Use Less Electricity and Pay More?

According to the Albuquerque Journal, a bill was introduced in the New Mexico State Legislature to allow utilities to recover some of the profits they lose when customers buy less electricity because of energy efficiency programs.  Utilities have argued that they should be able to make up the reductions in earnings that occur when customers buy less energy - either because they are using energy more efficiently or generating their own with alternative sources.  One utility proposes Read more [...]
Is it OK to use a water-damaged transformer?

Is it OK to use a water-damaged transformer?

A “Google Alert” directed me to a website that had the following discussion thread:   Q:  I accidentally left a 220v transformer outside the house and somehow it flooded outside and left the transformer underwater, Would this thing still work if I let it under the sun for maybe 2-3 days and power it up again? any suggestions?   A:  Should be ok, the wire is coated so shouldn't have rusted.If it wasn't clean rainwater you might want to rinse out any sediment/dirt Read more [...]