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August 3rd, 2012

Solar PV: California PUC Dramatically Expands Net Metering Program

by Andrew Price, President & COO

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently voted 5-0 to dramatically increase the amount of solar PV projects allowable under the state’s net metering cap. State law limited the number of net metering projects by imposing a cap. The sum of the nameplate capacities of all net metering projects could not exceed 5% of utility “aggregate peak demand”.

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July 27th, 2012

Transmission Rates Increasing Across NEPOOL

by Andrew Price, President & COO

The two largest utilities in Maine significantly increased transmission rates for customers effectively July 1, 2012. Transmission rates for Central Maine Power (CMP) increased by almost 20% and for Bangor Hydro Electric (BHE) by 12%. Transmission costs make up a relatively small but rapidly growing portion of consumer’s electricity bills. The most recent rate hikes will certainly not be the last for CMP, BHE or other transmission and distribution utilities in New England

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July 20th, 2012

Sweet & Sour Crude

by Andrew Price, President & COO

A previous blog, US Crude Oil Benchmarks posted June 28th 2012, discussed the two primary crude oil benchmarks used around the world: 1) the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), and 2) the European Benchmark, Brent. That blog mentions that there are many other crude oil grades with unique prices and that prices can vary depending on the location of extraction, transportation costs to market, and the characteristics of the oil.

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July 12th, 2012

Coal Use Plummets For Power Generation

by Andrew Price, President & COO

The use of coal as a fuel for generating electricity dipped dramatically in April of this year. Coal was used to generate about 32% of all electricity produced in the US in April. This is the lowest level of coal use in the power sector since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) started tracking in January 1973.

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