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News Roundup for June 14

By ECT Staff Published: June 14th, 2010

RATIONING ENDS

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez

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    Residents of Venezuela are getting some relief after months of electricity rationing. Citing the arrival of seasonal rains, officials announced Thursday that restrictions imposed earlier this year were being lifted. “We have overcome the serious electrical crisis,” said President Hugo Chavez, as he announced that output at the Guri hydroelectric dam had been restored. The facility supplies most of the country’s power.

    TV PICKUP

    It may not be the NFL’s Super Bowl, but England’s National Grid is warning the nation’s power distributors that a good run for England in World Cup competition could trigger a 3,000-megawatt spike in power demand. Officials said if England is in must-see matches late in the series now underway in South Africa, the predicted surge could beat the previous record for a television program. That record was set after England lost to West Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals.

    OIL REMOVAL

    Some Louisiana companies have a plan they say could be used to help remove more oil from the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Canal Energy, CETCO Oilfield Services and officials from several other companies have proposed a massive coastal skimming operation that could separate up to 50,000 barrels of oil per unit from seawater that would be returned to the Gulf. Officials who pitched the idea last week say they could begin operations within 10 days if granted the necessary approvals.

    SOLAR PREMIUM

    Oregon utility companies are going to pay top dollar for solar power. A pilot program that is said to be the first of its kind in the nation will have utilities paying premium rates to homeowners and businesses that install solar panels. The idea is to guarantee a long-term stream of income to cover the cost of putting in a solar system. Ratepayers of utilities that participate will fund the program through higher monthly bills. But some consumer advocates say they worry that could make electricity unaffordable.

    —Based on news and wire reports


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