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Europe’s Energy Crisis Worsens As Wind Stops Blowing

Energy prices have skyrocketed throughout Europe. The reopening of EU economies increased gas demand and resulted in a natural gas shortage. On top of that, lower wind power generation from unexpectedly mild weather caused the normal output of 24 GW to be less than 1 GW over several days. Coal plants had to be restarted to create enough electricity. The record high prices and low supply are a large concern especially with winter approaching.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. We offer Service Plans that will provide electric and natural gas at wholesale pricing direct to customers without any utility markup. Our Service Plans work with the local utility to provide seamless service and annual energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Europes-Energy-Crisis-Worsens-As-Wind-Stops-Blowing.html

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With energy bill in limbo, Ill. braces for nuclear closure

The shutdown of some of the USA’s largest coal plants in Illinois, Byron and Prairie State has been the subject of scrutiny. The discussion on the future of power plants surrounds a recently passed energy and climate bill.

Many supporting the legislation want the state to buckle down on ending fossil fuel usage by 2045. However, the bill didn’t include specifics on lessening emissions for electric generation until then. Amendments are underway regarding requirements of plants to reduce emissions by 2035 to transition toward the 2045 goal. Illinois’ Clean Jobs Coalition and Governor Pritzker support these revisions but, challenges lie in the finances and logistics.

Clean Jobs Illinois questions how to ensure jobs aren’t lost from closures and redirection into renewable energy positions. While the state has pledged to preserve jobs and decrease emissions, studies show phasing out locations would cause other plants to make up for lost production bringing about additional emissions. They also claim Illinois will not see renewable energy developments for years unless there is legislative action.

Advocates state we don’t have time to allow these plants to run for even 5 more years let alone the suggested 25 years. However, incentive funding from the Future Energy Jobs Act has already been depleted and new projects are down 90% compared to the last year. This bill needs to see both sides come to a compromise to reach our energy goals.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. We offer Service Plans that will provide electric and natural gas at wholesale pricing direct to customers without any utility markup. Our Service Plans work with the local utility to provide seamless service and annual energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://www.eenews.net/articles/with-energy-bill-in-limbo-ill-braces-for-nuclear-closure/

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Michigan Launches Inquest into Power Outages

Last week’s Michigan storms left over 1 million customers without power. Many were in the dark for over a week. Damage assessment and restoration are a priority as is planning and preparation for these disasters. Residents want to see improvement in all areas and the MPSC states “… we have more work to do, and we have to do it faster.”

Concerns aren’t limited to the Midwest and are voiced across the country since the increase in frequent, intense storms are apparent. We can’t rely solely on historical data to prepare for the ever-changing weather. The MPSC is pushing utilities to be more transparent around their efforts while encouraging customers to discuss impacts of outages, especially those that are more at risk.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. We offer Service Plans that will provide electric and natural gas at wholesale pricing direct to customers without any utility markup. Our Service Plans work with the local utility to provide seamless service and annual energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://thesuntimesnews.com/g/chelsea-mi/n/39406/state-launches-inquest-power-outages

 

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Vistra Accelerates Closure of Ohio Coal Plant

VISTRA Energy will accelerate the retirement of their 1,200 MW (enough power to provide energy to 1,400 homes) plant on or before May 2022.

What will replace it? Solar or wind energy with battery storage.

The reason? Money. The price of power that VISTRA could receive has declined by over 50%.

Only renewable energy is economical enough to generate power at the expected energy rates.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. We offer Service Plans that will provide electric and natural gas at wholesale pricing direct to customers without any utility markup. Our Service Plans work with the local utility to provide seamless service and annual energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: Vistra Accelerates Closure of Ohio Coal Plant to Mid-2022, Years Earlier Than Planned – Jul 19, 2021 (vistracorp.com)

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Illinois Shines

With the rise of solar usage, incentives are more available now and many are implemented through state programs. Illinois Shines was created by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) to support developments for distributed solar generation and community solar. Monitored in accordance with the Future Energy Jobs Act, the IPA purchases Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from community solar projects and sets costs through the Adjustable Block Program known as Illinois Shines.

Community solar benefits areas that cannot install rooftop arrays due to limited space, high costs, and issues with zoning laws. Illinois Shines increases solar access for residents that may not easily receive green energy while also providing information and inspections for vendors to become approved.

Illinois Shines’ evaluation of Realgy Energy Service’s solar arrays at Ridgeland Recreation Complex recently concluded. They state Realgy’s project is in compliance with program guidelines. We are proud to serve the Illinois community and help the state meet its renewable energy goals.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. We offer Service Plans that will provide electric and natural gas at wholesale pricing direct to customers without any utility markup. Our Service Plans work with the local utility to provide seamless service and annual energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://illinoisshines.com/

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US Approves 1st Major Offshore Wind Energy Project

The United States joined the rest of the world and issued final permits allowing for the development of large-scale offshore wind projects.

Large scale: 62 turbines standing 90 stories above the water with underground cables bringing electricity onshore to 400,000 homes. The turbines will be located about a mile off the coast of Massachusetts.

Wind power is the least costly energy power to build and the new turbines from General Electric are the largest available.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. We offer Service Plans that will provide electric and natural gas at wholesale pricing direct to customers without any utility markup. Our Service Plans work with the local utility to provide seamless service and annual energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://www.npr.org/2021/05/11/995852356/biden-administration-approves-first-major-offshore-wind-energy-project

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DOE EIA Weekly Gas Storage Report

Working gas in storage was 1,784 Bcf as of Friday, April 2, 2021, according to EIA estimates.

This represents a net increase of 20 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 235 Bcf less than last year at this time and 24 Bcf below the five-year average of 1,808 Bcf. At 1,784 Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range.

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$8.3 Billion Proposal for Addressing Texas Blackouts

Berkshire Hathaway is a public company that owns several utilities. Their proposal illustrates the difference between a company taking risks versus a utility.

Berkshire is proposing the Texas Grid operator (utility oversight company) build a gas-fired power plant that would be weather normalized and fixed to support a large portion of Texas’ energy demands. Berkshire is proposing to spend $8.3 billion to build this plant.

The cost: Berkshire would earn what a Texas utility earns on investments which is 9.3%.

So, Berkshire like any utility in Texas that receives regulatory approval, earns a return regardless of whether what they build works.

Berkshire as a public company takes risks building and operating businesses such as Dairy Queen, Burlington Northern Railroad, or Sherwin-Williams. Any investment in these businesses comes with no guaranteed return.

EVERY utility makes money by spending money to provide service. The Texas Grid operator will undoubtedly not accept this proposal but, it does show the difference between private businesses and utilities.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. We offer Service Plans that will provide electric and natural gas at wholesale pricing direct to customers without any utility markup. Our Service Plans work with the local utility to provide seamless service and annual energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/buffett-s-berkshire-floats-8-3-billion-fix-for-texas-grid/ar-BB1eXRHl?ocid=spartan-ntp-feeds

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Gas and electric prices soar; billing impacts, utility pricing to increase, investigations begin

Weather always impacts energy markets. Massive weather changes impact National energy markets.

The latest Polar Vortex of February 2021 covered nearly 2/3 of North America. The result in the energy markets was immediate. Customers used more energy to stay warm. Utilities demanded more energy to meet demand. Pipelines and electric lines had massive draws.

Prices increased. However, electric generation could not respond as some weren’t winterized and couldn’t start. Gas pipelines originating from Texas and Oklahoma restricted gas supply leaving those states. This resulted in gas pipelines not delivering the request for more gas.

Prices soared, utilities and gas pipelines declared the results of the polar vortex as an unforeseeable circumstance or force majeure. THIS ALLOWED them to make demands and pass-through costs without restraint.

Realgy DOES NOT benefit from any of these events. OUR COSTS to pipelines and utilities went up nearly 10 times. These costs are just passed through. IT’S PAINFUL for us and you, we understand that.

So, energy suppliers feel the costs first. Realgy has to pay our pipeline and supplier for February 2021 gas and delivery already. It’s 10 times what we planned, we had to borrow money to pay these energy costs.

Utilities have seen these costs and will pass them through to their utility supply (gas and electric) over the coming months.

The impact of the February 2021 Polar Vortex:

Yes, every energy supplier marketer/utility suffered higher costs. Yes, every marketer/utility will recover these costs. Yes, utility rates will go up to collect these purchases.

Realgy is doing everything possible to recover only the costs associated with the pipelines and utilities declaring the force majeure. We will offer relief to our customers to help.

Here is a typical reply from utilities:

“Over the last two weeks due to the extreme cold and the incredible demand on the system due to the wintry weather across the nation including Texas, we had to go to market to meet demand above our base plan and we did see higher prices due to the extreme cold that extended into Texas and impacted gas supply.” Sandstrom added he does not know yet what the customer billing impact is going to be but will be working with their regulators to help mitigate impacts to customers. “I also want to clarify that we don’t profit from higher natural gas prices, we are just a distributor and our commodity costs essentially get passed through to our customers. We definitely saw a price spike in the commodity costs for a few days, but bills will tend to be higher regardless as customers used more gas to heat their homes during the polar vortex.”

The investigations are beginning:

State level:

In a letter sent Saturday to federal regulators, Smith said the price spikes will not harm just consumers but, could “threaten the financial stability of some utilities that do not have sufficient cash reserves to cover their short-term costs in this extraordinary event.” The letter was sent to the Energy Department, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced today that its Office of Enforcement is examining wholesale natural gas and electricity market activity during last week’s extreme cold weather to determine if any market participants engaged in market manipulation or other violations.

If the Office of Enforcement finds any potential wrongdoing that can be addressed under FERC’s statutory authority, it will pursue those matters as non-public investigations.

Federal level:

FERC explained that this examination will take place as part of the Division of Analytics and Surveillance’s (DAS) ongoing surveillance of market participant behavior in the wholesale natural gas and electricity markets. The Division uses market participant-level trading data and data from the financial markets to screen daily and monthly trading at the majority of physical and financial natural gas trading hubs in the US and the organized and bilateral wholesale electricity markets. DAS closely identifies and scrutinizes any potentially anticompetitive or manipulative behavior to determine if an investigation is appropriate.

Realgy Energy Services is a registered Retail Energy Marketer in the states of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. We offer Service Plans that will provide electric and natural gas at wholesale pricing direct to customers without any utility markup. Our Service Plans work with the local utility to provide seamless service and annual energy savings. Service Plans include Guaranteed SavingsTM, ManagedPriceTM, ManagedGreenTM Index, Fixed and PriceAssuranceTM.

Realgy owns and operates 7 solar plants in Illinois and is looking to invest in additional locations.

Additional Information:

https://www.wdio.com/duluth-minnesota-news/natural-gas-utlities-price-spike-impact/6022819/

https://www.myjournalcourier.com/insider/article/Cold-snap-wanes-but-massive-bills-in-offing-for-15974019.php

https://www.fox9.com/news/concern-grows-for-possible-high-energy-bills-after-spike-in-natural-gas-prices

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/senator-seeks-probe-of-natural-gas-price-spikes-during-storm/ar-BB1dRvPl?ocid=uxbndlbing

https://www.ferc.gov/news-events/news/ferc-examine-potential-wrongdoing-markets-during-recent-cold-snap

https://news.wttw.com/2021/02/20/senator-seeks-probe-natural-gas-price-spikes-during-storm

https://wgem.com/2021/03/03/illinois-congressmen-seeking-investigation-federal-relief-for-surging-natural-gas-prices/

 

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