Power Prices Slid on Blackout’s 10th Anniversary
Spot wholesale electricity across the nation dropped on the 10th anniversary of a blackout in the eastern U.S. and Canada that affected over 55 million people, as unusually mild weather reduced the need to run air conditioners. Spot power at benchmark hubs in the Eastern U.S. are hovering near record lows primarily because of limited cooling demand. The blackout in 2003 started in the Midwest left cities from Detroit to Toronto to New York in the dark. The primary cause was a software bug in the alarm system at a control room of the FirstEnergy Corporation in Ohio.
Nuclear Weapons Plant in Texas to Build 11.5 MW Wind Farm
Siemens AG has broken ground on an 11.5 MW wind farm at the U.S. Energy Department’s Pantex Plant in Amarillo, the main site for the nation’s nuclear weapons repository. The Pantex Plant will get around 65% of its power from five 2.3 MW Siemens turbines. The project is expected to generate about $2.8 million annually in energy savings, which will be used to fund its cost through an 18-year contract. The wind farm is slated to produce about 47 million kilowatt hours of energy, enough to power 3,500 homes.
GE Inaugurates Its First Wind Farm in Estonia
General Electric Co. has recently started its first wind farm in Estonia by installing 28 turbines with a generating capacity totaling 45MW. The farm is located in the northwestern part of the nation and was built for Eesti Energia AS and Nelja Energia AS. Eesti Energia currently operates four wind farms with a combined capacity of 111 MW. In 2011, Estonia became the first European Union member to exceed its 2020 renewable energy target by reaching 25.9%.
SolarCity to Acquire Direct-Marketing Unit for $120 Million
SolarCity Corporation agreed to acquire a solar direct-marketing company majority-owned by Guthy-Renker LLC for around $120 million in cash and stock in order to reach more customers. The purchase will help SolarCity trim costs associated with finding new customers for its rooftop solar systems as well as get closer to its goal of reaching 1 million customers by July 4, 2014. The acquisition will be paid for using $116.3 million in shares and the remainder in cash.