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Drive The Dream Accelerates Largest Public-Private Sector Commitment to PEVs Globally

September 16, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV Campaigns, EV News, Politics, San Francisco

CA PEV Collaborative, Governor Jerry Brown and CA Company Executives Announce Expansion of California’s Global Leadership in PEVs

Governor Brown at Pier 15 in San Francisco (Drive The Dream event) with supporters of the EV movement awaiting him on stage.   Gov. Brown admired the "fancy" all-electric Model S and hungered after eyeing the all-electric LEAF (Karas Cupcakes, below).   He made a rousing speech on the arrival of the EV movement as he looked out over an array of EVs on Pier 15.

Governor Brown at Pier 15 in San Francisco (Drive The Dream event) with supporters of the EV movement awaiting him on stage.
He made a rousing speech on the California EV movement as he looked out over an array of EVs on Pier 15.

SAN FRANCISCO, September 16, 2013 –Today, after three years of focused effort, the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative, Governor Jerry Brown and a diverse group of California corporate leaders met at DRIVE THE DREAM, to announce acceleration in the adoption of electric vehicles and workplace charging in California. This unprecedented cooperation of industry and government working together ensures continued global leadership well into the future.

At DRIVE THE DREAM, over 50 corporate executives joined Governor Brown to discuss opportunities and obstacles to continued market growth, in addition to announcing new corporate commitments to workplace charging, fleet vehicles and incentives to employees. Under Governor Brown, the State of California has set the most aggressive clean transportation goals in the country including creating a charging network to handle 1 million electric vehicles by 2020. Companies are joining the call in new, innovative ways and companies are choosing California as their test market for new initiatives due to its friendly PEV environment.

“DRIVE THE DREAM participants are working towards a plug-in electric vehicle future,” said Christine Kehoe, Executive Director, California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative, “participating corporations have made substantial commitments to plug-in electric vehicles through workplace charging, corporate fleet purchases and employee incentives. We are very pleased to share several corporate announcements today and to learn about renewed commitments from 40 companies participating today, along with our PEV Collaborative members representing the automotive industry, the electric utilities, electric vehicle service providers and other member organizations.”

Among the new announcements made today:AT&T announced they will replace by September 2014, 10% (55) of their fleet passenger vehicles with PEVs.

DRIVE THE DREAM features 8 leading auto-manufacturers showcasing 16 new cars, demonstrating that electric vehicles are now available in all sizes and price points. Cars showcased at DRIVE THE DREAM include the recently launched BMW i3 and GM’s Cadillac ELR which go on sale in California in early 2014. Other popular cars at the event include: the Nissan LEAF, GM’s Chevy Volt and Chevy Spark EV, the Tesla Model S, Honda’s Fit EV and Plug-In Accord, Daimler Smart EV, Ford Focus EV and Fusion Energi, Toyota’s RAV4 EV, Prius Plug-In and iQ EV, and BMW’s ActiveE.

ABOUT the CALIFORNIA PLUG-IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE COLLABORATIVE

The California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative (Collaborative), a multi-stakeholder public-private partnership, is working to ensure a strong and enduring transition to PEVs in California. The Collaborative members include key California PEV stakeholders such as elected and appointed officials, automakers, utilities, infrastructure providers, environmental organizations, research institutions and other.

Under the guidance of a multi-stakeholder executive membership, the Collaborative facilitates the deployment of PEVs in California to meet economic, energy and environmental goals. Using the broad and diverse expertise of each member, the Collaborative convenes, communicates and collaborates on emerging PEV market trends and works to address challenges. The Collaborative seeks to broaden and communicate existing PEV stakeholder activities to enable PEV market growth.

Collaborative members include: AeroVironment, American Lung Association in California, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, BMW, California Air Resources Board, California Center for Sustainable Energy, California Electric Transportation Coalition, California Energy Commission, California State Assembly, California State Senate, California Public Utilities Commission, CALSTART, Center For Energy Efficiency And Renewable Technologies, ChargePoint, Clean Fuel Connection, Inc., Daimler, ECOtality, Electric Power Research Institute, Ford, General Motors, Greenlots, Honda, Institute of Transportation Studies UC Davis, International Council on Clean Transportation, Kia.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nissan, Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District, NRG Energy, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Plug In America, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, San Diego Gas and Electric, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Southern California Edison, Tesla, Toyota and Union of Concerned Scientists.

For more information on the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative please visit: http://www.pevcollaborative.org

This article is a repost, credit: Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative, http://www.pevcollaborative.org/.

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Lower power prices and high repair costs drive nuclear retirements

July 2, 2013 in EIA, Environment

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Generator Report (Form EIA-860) Note: One additional retirement (slated for 2019) was announced in 2010 for Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (614 megawatts) in New Jersey.  Courtesy of EIA

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Generator Report (Form EIA-860)
Note: One additional retirement (slated for 2019) was announced in 2010 for Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (614 megawatts) in New Jersey.
Courtesy of EIA

Since October 2012, electric power companies have announced the retirement of four nuclear reactors at three power plants. The four reactors have a combined capacity of nearly 3,600 megawatts (MW). The recent retirements are the first since 1998. Decisions to retire the units involved concerns over maintenance and repair costs and declining profitability.

The recent reactor retirements will decrease the total number of operating nuclear reactors to 100 and will reduce total U.S nuclear net summer capacity by 3%. Specific information on each retirement is included below.

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), Units 2 and 3 (2,150 MW total)

The most recent retirement announcement was issued by Southern California Edison (SCE) on June 7. SCE decided to permanently retire SONGS units 2 and 3 near San Diego. New steam generators were installed in Unit 2 in 2009 and in Unit 3 in 2010. In January 2012, a small leak was discovered inside a steam generator in Unit 3, and both units were shut down to evaluate the cause of the leakage and to make repairs. Both units have remained shutdown since then. SCE had submitted plans to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to restart Unit 2 at reduced power, and the NRC was reviewing the restart plans. However, concerns over the length of the review process and the high costs associated with steam generator repairs led SCE to retire both reactors. The potential effects of these units’ continued outage was explored in a previous TIE article.

Kewaunee Power Station (556 MW)

In early May, Dominion Resources retired the Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin because of lower wholesale power prices in the region. Kewaunee, a merchant plant no longer associated with a state-regulated utility, was licensed to operate through 2033. Many of the power purchase agreements that the plant held with load serving entities in the region were expiring, and declining profits led Dominion to retire the plant.

Crystal River Nuclear Generating Plant, Unit 3 (860 MW)

On February 5, Duke Energy announced plans to retire Crystal River Unit 3 in Florida. This was shortly after Duke had acquired Progress Energy, which had owned Crystal River. Crystal River Unit 3 was licensed to operate through 2016, and an application to extend the operating life of the unit to 2036 was under review by the NRC. Crystal River Unit 3 was shut down in September 2009 to refuel and to replace its steam generators. During the shutdown, workers discovered damage to the concrete wall of the containment building, and additional damage occurred during subsequent repairs in 2011. Although a 2012 report indicated that the damage could be repaired and the plant restored to service, the uncertainty surrounding the cost and timing of repairs ultimately led Duke Energy to retire Crystal River Unit 3. The coal-fired units at Crystal River will continue to operate.

New nuclear capacity

The loss of nuclear capacity from retirements is expected to be offset by the construction of five nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of more than 5,600 MW. The completion of construction at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 2 in 2015 is expected to add almost 1,200 megawatts of new nuclear capacity. During 2012, the NRC issued combined operating licenses for four new nuclear reactors at two plants: Vogtle, units 3 and 4 in Georgia, and Virgil C. Summer, units 2 and 3 in South Carolina. The four reactors have a total capacity of almost 4,500 megawatts and are now under construction, with target dates for completion between 2016 and 2018. There are also plans for capacity uprates at existing reactors. These plans include approximately 1,000 MW of uprate capacity currently under review by the NRC. However, Exelon Nuclear, which operates 17 reactors, recently announced that uprates previously approved by NRC, at LaSalle units 1 and 2 as well as Limerick units 1 and 2, will be delayed.

This article is a repost, credit: Energy Information Administration, Today In Energy, http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=11931.

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New generators help California meet summer challenges to electric reliability, Source: EIA

June 7, 2013 in Environment, EV News

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on the California Independent System Operator's 2013 Summer Loads and Resources Assessment.  Note: Capacity values are derated, or adjusted, for resource constraints typical of summer weather patterns. This includes derates for intermittent resources like hydroelectric, wind, and solar capacity.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on the California Independent System Operator’s 2013 Summer Loads and Resources Assessment.
Note: Capacity values are derated, or adjusted, for resource constraints typical of summer weather patterns. This includes derates for intermittent resources like hydroelectric, wind, and solar capacity.

Southern Califorina’s electric power system is facing a number of challenges heading into the summer peak demand season, largely because of the prolonged outage of the two units at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), which have been offline since January 2012. A combination of recent capacity additions and electric system upgrades made since June 2012 will help meet peak electric demand this summer.

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the grid operator for most of the state, noted in its Summer Loads and Resources Assessment that 2,502 megawatts (MW) of capacity (capacity adjusted for planning purposes) have been added since June 2012, with an additional 891 MW slated to come online by June 1, 2013. The two off-line SONGS units, in comparison, total 2,246 MW.

This new capacity will help make up for the loss of the generation from SONGS, but the reliability issue is more complicated than simply providing replacement generation. Geographically, SONGS is in a localized pocket of electric power demand near San Diego and Los Angeles. Given the characteristics of the electric transmission system, the loss of SONGS limits the amount of power that can be brought into the area over the transmission grid—rather than generated locally—under some conditions. Much of the new capacity lies outside of the San Diego-Los Angeles area, meaning that additional transmission upgrades are needed to supply that area.

The local grid will be bolstered at strategic locations in the Los Angeles basin and northern San Diego County. Southern California Edison also plans to reconfigure the existing 220-kilovolt Barre-Ellis transmission line from two circuits to four by June 15, increasing the amount of electricity that transmission path can move. However, the region also needs local sources of reactive power (a portion of generated electricity which is lost in large quantities when transmitting power over long distances, i.e. importing power from some of the new generating capacity to Southern California). Capacitors will be added to several substations (see map above) by June 1, and two natural gas-fired generators at the Huntington Beach facility will be converted to synchronous condensers by June 28. Capacitors and synchronous condensers are commonly used to provide voltage support in the form of reactive power to the transmission grid. All of these system upgrades are designed to allow the system to bring more power into the region.

The two units at SONGS have been offline since January 31, 2012 as a result of mechanical problems currently being evaluated by Southern California Edison and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Replacing the power from a low-cost source of generation like SONGS already has changed wholesale electricity prices in the state. Rising natural gas prices are likely to increase that effect in 2013. In its annual report, CAISO noted that 2012 wholesale power prices were higher than prices in the previous three years even when adjusted for the lower 2012 natural gas prices. In addition, the unusually large spread in wholesale electricity prices between the northern and southern portions of the state indicates system congestion.

Why do grid planners adjust capacity?

Generation capacity is counted differently for planning purposes (like CAISO’s summer reliability assessment) than for operational purposes. Planners use an adjusted capacity number to represent how much of a particular generator’s capacity may be available to meet peak demand for electricity, based on historic or projected availability. This number will differ from the generator’s tested capacity, especially if the fuel–like wind, solar, or hydro–is intermittent or the generator is not fully dispatchable by the power system operator.

This article is a repost, credit: US Energy Information Administration, Today In Energy, http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=11591.