Even utilities in our notoriously coal-dependent Southeast are getting in on the action. Duke Energy, one of the two biggest utilities in our region, in late April announced plans to increase its renewable energy capacity to 8,000 megawatts by 2020, up by one-third over previous targets. “We’re finding that it’s competitive” on a cost basis, Duke Energy company spokesman Randy Wheeless has said of renewables. “It makes good business sense.” The Atlanta-based Southern Company, parent company of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power, intends to exceed its previously announced renewables totals for 2017 and 2018 and just bought a North Carolina company, PowerSecure, that focuses on distributed generation—smaller-scale local power often provided by renewable sources—along with energy efficiency. NextEra Energy, based in Juno, Florida and the parent of that state’s largest utility, Florida Power & Light (FPL), is a national leader in wind power development. “We continue to believe that the fundamentals for the North American renewables business have never been stronger,” NextEra Executive Vice President of Finance and CFO John Ketchum said on an April 28th earnings call.
One wonders what it is going to take in order to get the Georgia Public Service Commissioners’ attention when it comes to the two under-construction nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle? As reported by Georgia Power in their 13th semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) report, the project is $1.4 billion over budget and at least 39-months [...]
Electric utility companies across the south are snapping up wind power contracts – and now a utility in Mississippi may jump on the wind rush bandwagon. South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA) recently released a request for proposals for up to 250 megawatts of wind power – a first for Mississippi. Depending on wind farm performance levels, 250 MW of wind power could represent about 8-9% of SMEPA’s power sales.
New wind speeds maps released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrate the greatly increased potential for wind turbine development in Mississippi with advanced turbines. As wind turbines increase in height, Mississippi’s wind energy resources become more available. The shading on the map above represents new available land for wind development with modern turbines with towers of 360 feet (110 meters) achieving a 35% capacity factor or greater. With these new wind turbines, over 43,000 megawatts (MW) of land-based wind potential currently exists in Mississippi. Developing just one gigawatt of wind energy capacity (1,000 MW) in Mississippi (one-forty-third of Mississippi’s potential) could power more than 255,500 homes a year!
Advanced turbine technology is a game changer for wind energy in the Southeast. In just five years, wind turbine technology has greatly evolved to be more suitable for lower wind speeds areas like the Southeast.
Home of the Delta blues and promising new requirements for utility-run energy efficiency programs, Mississippi went down to the crossroads and took a huge step forward toward a cleaner, more efficient energy future. On June 20, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) submitted comments to the Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC) on its recent approval (Order Numbers 2014-0006-330141 [...]
On June 2, the EPA released its proposed rules on existing coal fired power plants. In our press release, we discussed that the proposed standards call for reductions in carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent nationwide below 2005 levels by the year 2030. In the proposed rule, the best system of emissions [...]
In the first month of 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency appointed Heather McTeer Toney as the new Region 4 Administrator. The former Regional Administrator, Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, left to become chief of staff for EPA’s new chief administrator Gina McCarthy. Mrs. Toney, a private-sector attorney by trade, served as the first woman and first African-American mayor [...]
Where are the best spots to build solar power in the Tennessee Valley Authority? It turns out, many of them are in Mississippi! We recently obtained 16 years of simulated solar power production data from Clean Power Research for the Tennessee Valley Authority region, looking at 26 sites scattered from east to west, and north [...]
At today’s Board of Directors’ meeting in Oxford, MS, TVA announced that it will be retiring 3,308 MWs of coal capacity from 3 plants. SACE welcomes this announcement as it signals a real movement away from dirty, coal-fired energy and toward cleaner, renewable energy across the Tennessee Valley. It is increasingly clear that coal is [...]