Customer Opinion, Fossil Fuels Top EEI Conversations

Editor in Chief Teresa Hansen joined utility VIPs this summer in Las Vegas for the EEI Annual Convention. These are the most memorable quotes from the week.

“As we shift to natural gas and more renewables, we are offering our customers more volatility. The risk is going up. The more generation we move to natural gas and renewables, the more we need to balance with nuclear and coal for a sense of certainty.”
– Tom Fanning
Chairman, President and CEO, Southern Co.


“Public opinion about coal-fired power and greenhouse gas is formed. Utilities should embrace it. It’s happening. You have to be there when it (public opinion) is formed. You can’t change it once it’s formed.”
– Warren Buffett
Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway


“During the polar vortex, 89 percent of our coal that is slated to retire in mid- to late 2015 ran at more than 50 percent capacity. We didn’t have a prayer of getting enough natural gas because of pipeline infrastructure (constraints) and customer heating was the priority, and you can’t cut much customer demand in the winter.”
– Nick Akins
Chairman, President and CEO, American Electric Power


“The price of natural gas has reordered the stack. Distributed generation will have the second biggest impact (on generation).”
– Ted Craver
Chairman, Edison International

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