Recent News

By Tag

See all

By Month

See all

RTO Insider: 2023 Elections Bring Billions for Texas Gas, Dem Wins in Virginia, NJ

RTO Insider reports on the results of 2023 notable state elections across the country. In the article, Kim Jemaine is quoted surrounding the outcome of the Virginia election, commenting on the motivation of Virginia voters to show out and vote against extremism in the state, flipping control of the House and maintaining a Democratic majority in the Senate.

Voters Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a nearly $10 billion fund for gas generation in Texas, while handing Democrats victories in legislative elections in New Jersey and Virginia that have implications for energy policy there. 

Texas’ Proposition 7 passed by a vote of 1,641,453-886,991, gathering nearly 65% of the votes. (See $10B Fund for Gas Plants on Texas Ballot.) 

The proposition sets up the Texas Energy Fund (TEF), a $7.2 billion low-interest loan program intended for the development of up to 10 GW of natural gas plants. Some $5 billion will be set aside for 20-year, 3% interest loans to build new generation with at least 100 MW of fully dispatchable capacity. Power plants that come online before June 2029 are eligible for bonus payments. 

Another $2.8 billion will be dedicated to grants for infrastructure improvements in non-ERCOT regions and to strengthen resiliency by setting up microgrids at hospitals, fire stations and other critical facilities. The Texas Public Utility Commission will oversee the TEF and provide the grants and loans to finance the construction, maintenance, modernization and operation of the state’s electric facilities. 

Democrats strengthened their hold on the New Jersey legislature in Tuesday’s elections, retaining control of both legislative houses despite Republican efforts to paint Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s clean energy program — especially its offshore wind (OSW) projects — as excessive and expensive. 

With final results still to be confirmed, Democrats are expected to hold at least 24 seats in the 40-seat Senate and 51 of the 80 seats in the Assembly, adding at least five seats to their current 46. The election came two years after voters re-elected Murphy by a much narrower margin than expected, prompting speculation that the result reflected voter disapproval of his aggressive clean energy strategy

Virginia Democrats won enough seats to flip control of the House of Delegates and maintain their majority in the Senate, two years after losing the lower chamber and the governor’s office to Republicans. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) will finish out the last two years of his term with slim majorities for the Democrats in both houses. Initial results have the Senate split 21-19 with the House of Delegates split 51-48, with the Republican candidate leading in one close race that had yet to be called late Wednesday. 

A big motivator for voters this fall was abortion, with Youngkin backing a plan to limit abortions to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, instead of the current law that allows abortion until the end of the second trimester. The majority of voters siding with Democrats on that issue showed they were rejecting extremism, said Advanced Energy United Policy Director Kim Jemaine. 

“I think you can essentially extrapolate from that, also, that voters are looking at some of the decisions made by Republicans in the General Assembly over the last couple of years and say that voters are also viewing climate denial and obstruction of clean energy policies in the bucket of extremism,” she added. 

She said she hoped Republicans will stop proposing bills curbing clean energy policies such as the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) of 2020, and the new Democratic majority can work with Youngkin on issues such as energy efficiency and expanding distributed generation. 

A Day 1 priority for the legislature should be filling the two empty seats on the three-person State Corporation Commission, which has operated with Chairman Jehmal Hudson as the only member for most of this year, Jemaine said. In Virginia, the General Assembly (both the Senate and the House of Delegates) elect the regulators for six-year terms with the governor only able to make temporary appointments if the legislature is out of session. 

“I think folks were waiting for the outcomes of their elections to move forward there,” Jemaine said. “And so, this presents an opportunity for Democrats to appoint judges that will hold [Dominion Energy] accountable and ensure that those decisions are in alignment with the VCEA.” 

Read the full article here .
Read More

Topics: State Policy, Virginia, United In The News, Texas, New Jersey

E&E News: Can Texas stave off its next grid emergency?

Posted by Jason Plautz on Sep 15, 2023

E&E News reports on the recent emergency sounded by Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to stop a potential blackout. The article quotes Matthew Boms of Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (Advanced Energy United's Texas state chapter) on the importance of incentivizing demand response programs to curb the ever-growing energy demand in Texas.

The Texas grid operator declared an emergency last week, but it didn’t end up cutting off residents’ lights and air conditioning as the state roasted.

Next time, everyone might not be so lucky.

A combination of a growing population, a booming economy and a heat wave pushed demand on the state’s main electric grid to previously unseen levels this summer, including 10 all-time records for demand. That record demand was accompanied by repeated requests for customers to conserve their own energy. 

Read More

Topics: United In The News, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, Texas, Matthew Boms

The Weather Channel: Extreme Heat and Grid Demand in Texas

Posted by Jordan Steele & Felicia Combs on Sep 12, 2023

In a video interview with The Pattrn Show on The Weather Channel, Matthew Boms of Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance - Advanced Energy United's Texas state chapter - emphasizes that wind, solar, and storage have played a pivotal role in ensuring Texans have reliable power this summer, consistently contributing over 30-40% of the state's total generation. Spotlighting Texas as a leader in advanced energy generation, Boms underlines that renewable energy technologies are mature, cost-effective, scalable, and critical for Texas’ energy future.

Read More

Topics: United In The News, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, Texas, Matthew Boms

New Report Identifies Economic Savings for Texans, Optimal Approach for Modernizing the Texas Electric Grid

Posted by Adam Winer on Jul 17, 2023

1,350 more miles of electric transmission lines needed to meet Texas’ growing energy needs

AUSTIN, TXA new report by Texas-based energy analysis group IdeaSmiths LLC has modeled the most cost-effective path for the Texas electric grid to meet the state’s growing electricity needs by 2040, aiming to more effectively guarantee lower pricing for consumers. According to the report, keeping up with the demand for electricity will require the construction of approximately 1,350 miles of new transmission lines.

"The report lays out a clear, actionable roadmap for the ERCOT grid," says Matt Boms, Executive Director of the Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA), which co-funded the report with national business association Advanced Energy United. "Our findings underscore the urgent need for modernizing Texas’s electricity infrastructure. Adopting this roadmap will lower electricity bills for millions of Texans, bolster grid reliability and create thousands of jobs in the Lone Star State." 

Read More

Topics: Press Releases, Texas, Transmission

Spectrum News 13: Texas, California, Missouri among states receiving $207M to modernize power grid

Posted by Reena Diamante on Jul 13, 2023

Spectrum News 13 reports on a hefty federal grant that will be dispersed across nine states and three tribal nations to improve grid resiliency, quoting Matthew Boms' hopes that this be a catalyst for more forward-thinking plans toward advanced clean energy technologies in Texas.

The triple-digit heat baking Texas is pushing demand for electricity to record levels, and to keep the power flowing during extreme weather, the Biden administration is providing tens of millions of dollars to the state — part of a $207 million total grant across nine states and three tribal nations — to improve the resiliency of the state’s beleaguered electric grid.

Operators of the Texas power grid say there is enough capacity to meet the expected demand for electricity during the brutal heat wave that's currently sweeping across the southern half of the United States. But the devastating power outages that struck during the 2021 winter storm, which caused a state-reported 246 deaths, continue to raise questions about the grid’s ability to withstand extreme weather.

Read More

Topics: United In The News, Texas, Matthew Boms

Canary Media: Clean energy dodges a bullet in the Texas legislature

Posted by Jeff St. John on May 31, 2023

Canary Media reports on the outcome of the recently concluded Texas legislative session, quoting Matthew Boms on how the legislature avoided passing bills that would have derailed the state's clean energy industry's efforts.

The best thing that Doug Lewin, president of Texas-based energy consultancy Stoic Energy, can say about the just-concluded Texas legislative session is that it could have been much, much worse. 

Lawmakers failed to pass bills that would have helped stabilize and clean up the Texas grid, but at least they also, at the last minute, avoided passing bills that would have crushed the state’s clean energy industry.

Read More

Topics: United In The News, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, Texas, Matthew Boms

Utility Dive: The power grid faced heat waves, record demand and tight conditions in 2022. What happens next?

Posted by Kavya Balaraman on Nov 22, 2022

Utility Dive examined grid reliability issues popping up across the U.S., quoting Amisha Rai and Caitlin Marquis on regional and national solutions. Read snippets below and the full article here.

Power systems across the U.S. faced challenging grid reliability conditions over the past year, but managed to avoid the worst-case scenario of prolonged outages thanks to a combination of policy measures implemented over the last couple of years and luck, experts say.

Read More

Topics: California Engagement, 21st Century Electricity System, Wholesale Markets, United In The News, Texas, Caitlin Marquis, Amisha Rai

Spectrum News1: Texas mulling decision to apply for federal funds to bolster power grid

Posted by Reena Diamante on Jul 26, 2022

Spectrum News1 explored the future of the Texas power grid in the wake of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, quoting AEE's Ignacio Guajardo on the best solutions for a clean grid. Read snippets below and the full article here.

The State of Texas faces a decision whether to seek some federal funding under the bipartisan infrastructure bill President Joe Biden pushed through Congress to help strengthen the state’s power grid. After a deadly winter storm left millions of Texans freezing and in the dark, all eyes are on the state’s power grid amid this summer’s extreme heat. 

Read More

Topics: Federal Policy, 21st Century Electricity System, United In The News, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, Texas