The first winter storm of the season is wrapping up here in New England. As we gather our shovels, ice scrapers, salt, and other winter gear out of the closet, we embark on another journey and battle against mother nature. Skiers and snowboarders rejoice as the fresh snow evokes dreams of carving down the mountain. Others are less enthusiastic about having to deal with another 4-5 months of scraping, shoveling and shivering.
Murray Energy, the largest privately held coal company in the United States recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This continues to be a trend for coal companies over the last couple of years. As renewables like solar and wind become more cost effective, they are beginning to move coal fired power plants out of the picture. Unfortunately, the effects of this bankruptcy will harm only the most vulnerable. It will lead to workers and coal miners getting the short end of the stick, and top executives at Murray Energy getting off scot-free. “It (Murray Energy) will seek to be relieved of its obligations to retirees, their dependents and widows. We have seen this sad act too many times before.” (Source)
A recent report by the state’s grid operator shows that solar and wind helped to meet peak demand on days of peak power demand in August, including the scorching afternoon that set a new all-time record.
What Is Peak Demand?
Peak Demand is when electrical power demand is the highest. A likely time for Peak Demand to come is during a heatwave, when households and businesses across the nation turn on their air conditioning to stay cool. When peak demand occurs, utilities fire up peaker plants, which are able to meet the increased demand for electricity.