This doesn't really fit in any of the O&G categories but SWEPCO is requesting all its Louisiana customers to limit the use of electricity as much as possible today and tomorrow - they're saying there is a very real chance of brownouts because of the unusual demand.
If the situation worsens, they're also saying they may have to shutdown electricity to different areas for possibly 2-hour periods.
Right now the request is to raise A/C thermostats and be particularly conscious of extra lights being on, limit dryer use, etc.
Luckily AEP is currently building a 500MW addition to its Arsenal Hill Plant. This is good for three reasons:
1) adds 500MW of capacity, the current two units generate about 110MW
2) Uses a more efficient combined cycle generation, which will produce more power more effieciently.
3) will burn up to 200 mmcf/day at peak generation!!!!!
2) The number of persons per house has gotten smaller. Smaller families, kids growing up and getting their own houses, etc.
3) 1) + 2) plus other factors means more houses.
4) More gadgets, more people using air conditioning more of the time. More industrial processes running of the electric grid instead of using gas, oil, or coal power. (For instance, electric blast furnaces.)
5) Rising temperatures (Maybe)
6) NIMBY/BANANA attitudes preventing building of new power plants and power lines.
7) Environmental concerns (right or wrong) preventing building new Coal/gas fired power plants and power lines.
8) NIMBY/BANANA, environmental, political, and regulatory costs preventing building new Nuclear plants.
9) Electric utilities used to be worried about serving the customer. Now, they seem to be in thrall to Wall Street.
10) New power plants take a long time to construct, even without artificial obstacles. Wall Street Utilities don't want to wait for the money.
11) New power plants require a big investment that won't pay off for many years after completion.
12) Investors have somewhat lost appetite for slow but steady investments like utilities.
13) For similar reasons to what's above, the distribution network hasn't been keeping up with needs.
14) There were a lot of efforts to create an an open market in electricity sales where you as a consumer could buy power from multiple suppliers of electricity. This made electric utilities less "responsible." Instead of having one utility that's responsible for having electricity available to you, more of the system is tied to a quasi governmental ISO (Independent System Operator) . Many of the high power cross country distribution lines were not owned by the individual utilities, but ISO's.
ISO's make a lot of the decisions involved. Many people say they haven't been investing in distribution systems the way they should. It makes it confusing who's responsible for maintaining what. Some utilities have been reluctant to invest in some things like power lines because they're not sure whether they'll have to sell them to the ISO, or find that the ISO decides not to use the power line.
Utilities are much less in charge of their own destiny. They're less reluctant to invest in something that the ISO may screw up.
As an example, the 2000/2001 California power crisis was related to ISO's. Despite what everyone's been told, this was not entirely Enron's fault. Enron may have taken advantage of a bad situation, but it was a bad situation to begin with.
15) While it's part of what's mentioned above, global warning/climate change concerns have stopped construction of many large coal or gas fired plants.
16) Uncertainty about CO2 cap and trade processes have made investors reluctant to build new coal/gas power plants. Who wants to invest if you have a big carbon tax sword of Damocles hanging over your head?
17) There's lots of talk about solar or wind energy farms with government incentives. Who wants to build a power plant when the government is going to tax you and fund your competition and give it unfair advantages?
18) There's been less development of water power. Many of the good places have already been built. Land costs have gone up. There are already water shortages in many ares. There are lots of environmental concerns about new lakes and dams.
I've also been here forever and I cannot recall a real "brown out" but I think it means SWEPCO will have to pull the plug on certain residential areas and somewhere I either read or heard that they're talking 90-minute disruption of service right now.
I must have seen it on TV because someone said homeowners would be notified by phone in time to prepare and residential areas are targeted because often many residents are away from home working during the peak hours of the day. If they give everyone advanced warning, residents who will be away from home can hopefully disconnect or unplug equipment that could be damaged.
Thankfully, I believe we're fixing to be blessed with more moderate temperatures for the next week.
As exciting as this is, we know that we have a responsibility to do this thing correctly. After all, we want the farm to remain a place where the family can gather for another 80 years and beyond. This site was born out of these desires. Before we started this site, googling "shale' brought up little information. Certainly nothing that was useful as we negotiated a lease. Read More