Welcome to Power Plays, a podcast series dedicated to the U.S. power and energy sector. Hosted by Teri Viswanath, lead energy economist with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division, Power Plays connects you with top energy and environmental innovators, policy makers and rural electric cooperative executives for timely insights and in-depth market analysis.
Power Plays S1E5: Texas and the State of Deregulation
There is plenty of blame to go around for the Texas power outages this past winter. But what role, if any, did deregulation have? In this episode of Power Plays, CoBank’s Teri Viswanath and Tamra Reynolds visit with two leading policy experts for their insights: Dr. Michael E. Webber, chief science and technology officer at ENGIE and Josey Centennial Professor of Energy Resources at The University of Texas, and Paul Griffin, executive director of Energy Fairness and former senior government affairs advisor for Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association
Power Plays S1E4: What Will Drive the Next Decade of Cost Declines for Solar Power?
Over the last decade, the solar industry has benefitted from the fastest pace of technology innovation and cost declines within the energy sector. Solar technology costs have dropped roughly 90%, fueling nearly ten-fold growth globally. In this episode of Power Plays, CoBank’s Teri Viswanath takes a deep dive into solar technology innovation with Simon Price, CEO of UK-based Exawatt. Price is respected globally for his understanding of the PV value chain, from materials supply to downstream project development.
Power Plays S1E3: The Race Is On to Build the Biggest Batteries in Texas
Battery storage developers have largely steered clear of the ERCOT market in recent years. Instead, they’ve focused on California and other places that offer long-term offtake agreements with utilities. But Texas offers benefits the wind industry has long appreciated: relatively easy land acquisition and permitting, and a market that batteries can enter without waiting for major policy changes. In this episode of Power Plays, CoBank’s Teri Viswanath visits with Steve Vavrik, CEO of Broad Reach Power, an independent producer at the forefront of battery storage development in the Lone Star State.
Power Plays S1E2: The Next Big Thing: Grid-Tied Batteries
Battery storage is entering the electricity scene at an extraordinary pace. The energy industry is looking closely at the technologies and economics of stand-alone storage options and renewable energy pairing opportunities. In this episode of Power Plays, CoBank’s Teri Viswanath visits with Dr. Gary Dorris, CEO of Ascend Analytics to examine four “S” factors critical to battery profitability: siting, sizing, stacking, and (bid) strategy. Then, Christian Powell, energy regulatory affairs director at Pedernales Electric Cooperative, joins the podcast to offer specific insights for electric cooperatives.
Power Plays S1E1: U.S. Companies Poised to Accelerate the Renewables Boom
The United States continues to be the largest market for corporate driven renewable power purchase agreements. IHS Markit's most recent estimate anticipates the corporate sector will account for approximately 20% of its utility scale renewable additions in the U.S. in the next decade. In this inaugural episode of Power Plays recorded in December, CoBank’s Teri Viswanath visits with Anna Shpitsberg, research and analysis director, IHS Markit, to understand what's motivating companies to voluntarily invest billions of dollars in new wind and solar projects.