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This Week in Utilities: July 7

July 7, 2017

Every Friday, we round up the week’s best reads and most notable events occurring within the utilities and energy industries.

Here’s what you may have missed this week:

READ: IEEE – EU Developing Robot Badgers for Underground Excavation

These days, robots are capable of manufacturing goods, driving semi trucks and even roaming Mars. But a robot that is capable of boring underground tunnels autonomously, for the purpose of laying underground cables and pipes, is being sponsored by the European Union right now.

NEWSDelaware – Overheated underground cable causes roadway breakage in Wilmington

Investigators are blaming overheated underground cables for causing a pavement upheaval in Delaware late last week. Though the street was badly damaged, nobody was injured.

Some early investigations highlighted a nearby manhole cover incident to incite the event, but no conclusion to that effect has yet to be made.

TWEETMinnesota – Utility Lineman seriously burned during a post-storm cleanup, enjoys a well-wish in the hospital from the Minnesota Wild NHL team

NEWS: ABC7 – The world’s first Panda Power Plant is now operational in Datong, China

Black and white, and green all over. This brand new power plant in China can provide 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to homes over 25 years. That is equivalent to saving 1.056 million tons of coal, or reducing 2.74 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, per the Panda Green Energy.

READWall Street Journal – Coal, Nuclear on the Losing End of Power Shift

Nuclear and coal are in President Trump’s game plan, but since power demand is not rising in America, this will come at the detriment of natural gas and renewable sources. Utilities executives are reluctant to get on board, citing renewables and natural gas save their customers money, and our planet, too.

QUOTE: “For Minnesota Power, a mixture of a lot of wind, some solar, hydro power from Canadian dams and a state-of-the-art gas plant will make it easier to provide reliable electricity, even with the loss of so much coal.”

READEnergy Times – Eclipseocalypse – Electric Utilities Brace for Solar Darkness


“When the sun goes dark, California will lose the equivalent of five nuclear power plants of power.”

Electric utilities all have August 21, 2017 marked on their calendars, the day of our next major solar eclipse. Utilities providers in California are ready to tap 6,000MW of power from alternate sources that morning.

QUOTE: “The new vulnerability of the massive electric grid to a celestial marvel like an eclipse reflects a massive transformation of how energy is being created and used in America – something most consumers do not ordinarily think about.”


Thanks for catching up with us. See you next week!