This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 24, 2006

Electric Reliability Council Expects Tight Power Supplies This Summer

Electricity supplies are failing to keep pace with growing demand in many parts of the United States, causing shrinking reserves of generating capacity needed to meet unexpected power needs, according to the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC). Regional capacity margins are lowest in the Northeast, northern Midwest, and the Tennessee Valley. As in previous years, NERC's 2006 Summer Assessment warns of particularly tight electricity supplies in southern California and southwestern Connecticut, but this year NERC is also concerned about utilities that depend on coal deliveries from the Powder River Basin in north-central Wyoming and southeast Montana. In 2005, flooding and derailments caused railroad track damage that limited coal deliveries to a number of power plants. Although deliveries are now increasing and the track is being repaired, coal inventories are still low in the area. See the NERC press release (PDF 48 KB) or go directly to the full report (PDF 1.1 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

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