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Ellen Vancko

About the author: Ellen Vancko is an expert on federal and state policies governing electricity markets, reliability, transmission systems, energy conservation, demand management, smart grid, and the integration of renewable energy into the electrical system. She holds a master of science degree in energy management and policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Buyer Beware: Midwest Utilities Experience Coal Plant Sticker Shock; Will New Nuclear Do the Same for the South?

Don’t you hate it when you’re quoted a price for a new car over the phone or online, but when you get to the dealership they inform you the price is actually hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars more than they said it would be? Imagine how you’d feel if the price was millions or even billions of dollars more. Read More

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Disputes and Rising Costs Spell Trouble for the Vogtle Nuclear Plant

On February 9, 2012, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the first-ever combined operating license that authorized the construction and operation of two new reactors: Vogtle 3 & 4 in Georgia, the first nuclear reactor project to commence construction in more than 30 years in the United States. But less than six months later, cost overruns are approaching one billion dollars while a dispute between the project’s developers and a consortium of contractors over these cost increases and associated schedule changes threatens to delay the project’s expected completion date. Read More

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UCS Files in Support of FERC’s Groundbreaking Transmission Rule

On June 25, UCS joined the Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council in filing a motion for leave to intervene in a court challenge by several utilities to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) groundbreaking Order No. 1000, Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation by Transmission Owning and Operating Public Utilities. Read More

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New Nuclear Construction: Deja Vu All Over Again?

The great Spanish-American writer and thinker George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This pairs rather nicely with the title for this post, which I borrowed from that great American author of malapropisms, Yogi Berra. Read More

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The Levy Nuclear Project: Boondoggle or Mirage?

The tortured saga of the proposed Levy 1&2 nuclear reactors in central Florida will continue, at least for now. As it stands, the project is closely tracking the sorry history of the first generation of nuclear reactors built in this country: vastly over budget and behind schedule. Read More

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Good News! Renewables Make Major Strides in 2011

Good News! State renewable energy policies combined with the federal production tax credit have borne measurable fruit. New EIA data show that non-hydroelectric renewables have made great strides across the United States in the past decade. This is particularly true in the western and central parts of the nation, where five states got more than 10 percent of their electricity from wind in 2011 while 13 states saw penetrations of more than 5 percent. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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