Arkansas Energy

The state Public Service Commission on Tuesday heard hours of testimony offering near-unanimous support for a proposed deal to lower Entergy Arkansas Inc.’s pending rate request by some $43 million.

One by one, a long list of witnesses testified and entered thousands of pages of documents and exhibits into the public docket to support the proposed deal first announced in April 2015.

Angelsharum / Wikimedia

The Arkansas Public Service Commission will meet Tuesday to consider a settlement with Entergy Arkansas over a rate increase.

The agreement could result in an 8.3 percent increase to the monthly bills of the utility's customers. Entergy says the rate hike would allow it to improve its electrical infrastructure and purchase one-fourth of the Union Power Station natural gas plant near El Dorado. 

Little Rock-based Southwest Power Pool is one of the regional transmission organizations participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s ongoing Grid Modernization Initiative that’s central to the Obama Administration’s initiative to improve the resiliency, reliability and security of the nation’s electricity delivery system.

ADEQ Clean Power Plan ADEQ Director Becky Keogh and APSC Chairman Ted Thomas
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

State regulators on Tuesday hosted the fifth and final “stakeholder” meeting in Little Rock before a draft plan and comments are submitted to federal environmental officials on Jan. 21 to move Arkansas closer to complying with President Obama’s sweeping Clean Power Plan.

   

Entergy Arkansas says about 2,600 homes and businesses are without electricity because of severe storms crossing the state.

The utility says nearly half of those outages are in Pope County, while Yell County has an additional 770 outages. The storms were just approaching the Little Rock metropolitan area at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Entergy says power may not be restored to some affected areas until midnight. Forecasters say parts of eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi and western Tennessee are at a moderate risk for severe weather.

Natural Gas Drilling Mt. Vernon in Faulkner County
Arkansas Times

Southwestern Energy Corp. officials said Friday that the Houston-based oil and gas operator has shut down two drilling rigs in the Fayetteville Shale as the price of natural gas fell this week to its lowest level in more than 15 years.

Southwestern Energy spokeswoman Christina Fowler told Talk Business & Politics on Friday evening that the company’s Arkansas operating rigs will be mothballed for the foreseeable future, but did not include any loss of jobs.

Arkansas Nuclear One
www.entergy-nuclear.com

Arkansas Nuclear One near Russellville is in the process of restarting a reactor  after it was shut down on Tuesday. One of the plant's two reactors was manually shut down after Entergy found that part of a system that generates steam for its turbines was malfunctioning. Sarah Millard, a spokeswoman for Arkansas Nuclear One, said "feedwater oscillations" were the problem.

“After that shut down all the equipment required for safe shutdown of the plant operated exactly as it’s designed. And that allowed us to do some investigating…to understand the cause,” she said.

Power Lines
commons.wikimedia.org

Members of the Arkansas Congressional delegation, all Republicans, met Thursday with U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to discuss concerns about the proposed Plains and Eastern Clean Line Transmission Project.

The roughly 700 mile power grid would move wind energy from Oklahoma, through Arkansas to Tennessee.

In a statement, Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Representatives Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman said:

A stakeholder conference call held by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Wednesday indicates that consensus is building around a mass-based compliance with the federal Clean Power Plan. The Environmental Protection Agency rule calls for Arkansas to reduce power plant carbon emissions 36 percent by the year 2030. The nationwide target is a 32 percent reduction.

 

Arkansas' two Republican senators say they will place a hold on a confirmation vote for a U.S. Department of Energy nominee because of their concerns over a proposed wind-energy transmission line that would cross the state.

U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton said Wednesday they will place a hold on the confirmation vote for Victoria Wassmer, who is President Barack Obama's nominee for the department's undersecretary for management and performance.

A Senate committee advanced Wassmer's nomination last month.

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