Energy news in brief

** Xcel Energy announced that Bob Frenzel has been appointed president and CEO of the company. Ben Fowke, the current chairman and CEO will remain at Xcel Energy as executive chairman of the Board of Directors. Tim O’Connor was also named executive vice president and chief operations officer.

** The US Energy Information Administration predicts a 2% increase in U.S. propane consumption from October through December compared with last year due to higher demand for propane as a petrochemical feedstock.

** Just before the start of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), Bloomberg reported that Schlumberger was pulling out of the event due to rising Covid-19 cases in the Houston area.

** The United States continued a trend of significant growth in large-scale battery storage capacity in 2020, when year-end U.S. battery power capacity reached 1,650 megawatts (MW). The USIA reported that battery power capacity grew by 35% in 2020 and has tripled in the last five years.

** The Offshore Technology Conference came to a close Thursday with organizers declining to release attendance figures for the first time in the convention’s 52-year history according to Fuel Fix.

** A former top Westinghouse Electric Co. executive is charged with 16 felony counts for allegedly helping cover up cost overruns and delays that doomed the construction of two South Carolina nuclear reactors.

** Protesters rallied outside of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s board meeting Wednesday, criticizing the utility’s handling of coal ash cleanup and calling for more rapid decarbonization.

** Louisiana’s environmental department awards $1.7 million in Volkswagen settlement money to communities to build 82 electric vehicle charging stations.

** The number of rooftop solar installations in Illinois has plummeted as state incentives run out, down to 313 this past spring compared to 2,908 during the same period the year before.

**  Europe is facing a potentially tough winter with natural gas supply nowhere near enough to meet heightened seasonal demand, Bloomberg has reported, citing storage data and industry insiders. LNG deliveries in July were at the lowest for that month in three years, the report noted, and this month things look even worse, with only one cargo set to arrive in the UK.

** There are only 15 km (9 miles) left to finish the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany that bypasses Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

** The federal Bureau of Land Management is taking comments on a 1,000-MW wind-power project proposed for public lands in south-central Idaho that would double the state’s wind generating capacity.


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