The leaders of some of the nation’s largest investor-owned utilities have a message for President Trump and his Department of Energy: Stay out of our grid planning.
Utility executives convened this week in Boston for the annual conference of the Edison Electric Institute, the trade group for U.S. IOUs. During panel appearances and interviews, they expressed hope that the DOE’s pending review of baseload generation would reaffirm that changes to the U.S. power mix do not threaten reliability.
“We have one of the most reliable generation fleets in the world,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, CEO of PNM Resources and the incoming chair of EEI. “Hopefully the study takes into account good utility planning and … will show what we've known for a long time, which is that we know how to plan the grid.”
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Wind and solar produced 10 percent of the electricity generated in the United States for the first time in March, federal energy officials said Wednesday. The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) monthly power report for March found that wind produced 8 percent of the electricity produced in the U.S. that month, with solar producing 2 percent.
The two sources combined to have their best month ever in terms of percentage of overall electricity production, EIA said. The agency expects the two sources topped 10 percent again in April but forecasts that their generation will fall below that mark during the summer months.
President Trump has promised to revive the coal industry and double down on fossil fuels, creating “so many energy jobs,” but he has not focused on the increasingly important role of renewable power in America’s energy economy.
Last year, the solar industry employed many more Americans than coal, while wind power topped 100,000 jobs.
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