Puerto Rico is going to blow up U.S. power grid reliability metric

The electricity industry spends a gargantuan amount of time and money trying to improve system reliability.  There are myriad conferences, studies and reports that delve into the uptime of the U.S. electricity system, slicing data in a hundred different ways. Entire careers are spent trying to decrease power outage frequencies from 0.04% to 0.03%.

But recent hurricanes put things in perspective. Puerto Ricans are likely to be without power for months, according to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

Continue reading Puerto Rico is going to blow up U.S. power grid reliability metric

Rick Perry’s grid study puts Republicans & mainstream environmental groups in an awkward position

When Energy Secretary Rick Perry – who famously said he would abolish the Department of Energy, only to forget the name of the agency of which he’s now in charge – asked DOE to study how regulations are distorting electricity markets, the pro-renewables community expected the worst. Now that the study is out, it throws cold water on the claims made by both Republican leaders and mainstream environmental groups that Obama’s clean air policies have hurt dirty power plants. Continue reading Rick Perry’s grid study puts Republicans & mainstream environmental groups in an awkward position

Smartphone app for NARUC conference wouldn’t comply with state regulators’ own privacy rules

The following is an article I wrote for Mission:data Coalition. It was published at RTO Insider.

At this week’s National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Summer Policy Summit in San Diego, attendees were encouraged to download a NARUC app to facilitate in-person meetings. There’s just one problem:  The smartphone app would violate the privacy rules adopted by commissions in several states.

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Endearing crazies on Seattle’s ballot: Just a good laugh, or a sign of healthy democracy?

King County, Washington has a primary election August 1st. Each time I receive the Voter Guide in the mail, I have a good laugh at the bizarre and kooky candidates who somehow made it on the ballot. Is the Voter Guide an April Fool’s joke, I wonder?    Keep reading…