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.

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:

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.

UALR sign
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock unveiled a new power generation plant on campus Wednesday that university officials said will reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions significantly in the coming years.

During a ceremony at the campus, university officials and representatives of Little Rock-based energy firm TME demonstrated UALR’s top-of-the-line power plant, capable of powering the campus during outages or scheduled power grid interruptions.

Residents of Faulkner, Conway and Van Buren counties have filed a class action lawsuit against five energy companies claiming they made fictitious deductions and charges against royalty owners.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports that the 88 residents represented in the lawsuit are royalty owners of oil, gas and mineral interests in lands and wells located within the three counties.

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