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Linemen News: May

News Highlights from the Electric Power Industry.

If 25% of US utilities downloaded the malicious SolarWinds software, could the grid go down Ukraine-style?

According to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), about 25% of its 1500 registered entities — comprised of users, owners, and operators of the bulk power system in North America — indicated that they downloaded the impacted version of the Orion SolarWinds platform. >> Read more

Equity, security and load: FERC conference considers the challenges and potential of electrification

The electrification of transportation, heating and other end uses necessary for the United States to meet its decarbonization goals will require the country to double its electricity load by 2050, panelists said Thursday at a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission technical conference. With that additional load will come opportunities, responsibilities and challenges, they said. >> Read more

Shortage of truckers, big freeze and other factors to cause higher gas prices this summer

Americans planning summer travel can expect to pay more at the pump, with gasoline prices potentially reaching $3.50 a gallon as people who have been stuck indoors due to the coronavirus pandemic take to the road, as reported by Reuters.

Motorists taking weekend trips have already helped boost U.S. gasoline demand, which is now at 9.1 million barrels per day, the highest since last August, according to the Energy Information Administration. >> Read more

Investment firm Starwood Energy Group on Friday proposed spending $8 billion to build 11 natural-gas fired power plants in Texas, the company said, a plan that would compete with a similar proposal from Berkshire Hathaway Inc, as reported by Reuters.

Starwood, in a letter to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), said its proposal would help solve reliability problems that came to a head after nearly half the state’s power generation was knocked out during a February freeze. >> Read more

NRC approves 80-year lifespans for Surry nuclear units 1 and 2

The Surry Units 1 and 2 nuclear power reactors will operate into the 2050s unless Dominion Energy pulls the plug for other reasons.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Tuesday it was approving the utility’s application on a 20-year renewal of its operating licenses for the Surry nuclear plant in Virginia. The renewed licenses authorize reactor lifetime operation from 60 to 80 years.

Surry generates 14.1 million MWh of carbon-free electricity annually, according to the company. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam applauded the NRC’s decision to renew the operating licenses. >> Read more

Be Prepared. Think Safety.