Electric power distribution
Electric power distribution is the final stage in the delivery of electric power. Distribution substations connect to the transmission system and lower the transmission voltage to medium voltage ranging between 2 kV and 35 kV with the use of transformers. Primary distribution lines carry this medium voltage power to distribution transformers located near the customer's premises. Distribution transformers again lower the voltage to the utilization voltage used by lighting, industrial equipment or household appliances. Several customers are supplied from one transformer through secondary distribution lines. Commercial and residential customers are connected to the secondary distribution lines through service drops. Customers demanding a much larger amount of power may be connected directly to the primary distribution level or the subtransmission level; the transition from transmission to distribution happens in a power substation, which has the following functions:Circuit breakers and switches enable the substation to be disconnected from the transmission grid or for distribution lines to be disconnected.
Transformers step down 35 kV or more, down to primary distribution voltages. These are medium voltage circuits 600-35,000 V. From the transformer, power goes to the busbar that can split the distribution power off in multiple directions; the bus distributes power to distribution lines. Urban distribution is underground, sometimes in common utility ducts. Rural distribution is above ground with utility poles, suburban distribution is a mix. Closer to the customer, a distribution transformer steps the primary distribution power down to a low-voltage secondary circuit 120/240 V in the US for residential customers; the power comes to the customer via an electricity meter. The final circuit in an urban system may be less than 50 feet, but may be over 300 feet feet for a rural customer. Electric power distribution became necessary only in the 1880s when electricity started being generated at power stations. Before that electricity was generated where it was used; the first power distribution systems installed in European and US cities were used to supply lighting: arc lighting running on high voltage alternating current or direct current, incandescent lighting running on low voltage direct current.
Both were supplanting gas lighting systems, with arc lighting taking over large area and street lighting, incandescent lighting replacing gas for business and residential lighting. Due to the high voltages used in arc lighting, a single generating station could supply a long string of lights, up to 7-mile long circuits; each doubling of the voltage would allow the same size cable to transmit the same amount of power four times the distance for a given power loss. Direct current indoor incandescent lighting systems, for example the first Edison Pearl Street Station installed in 1882, had difficulty supplying customers more than a mile away; this was due to the low 110 volt system being used throughout the system, from the generators to the final use. The Edison DC system needed thick copper conductor cables, the generating plants needed to be within about 1.5 miles of the farthest customer to avoid excessively large and expensive conductors. Transmitting electricity a long distance at high voltage and reducing it to a lower voltage for lighting became a recognized engineering roadblock to electric power distribution with many, not satisfactory, solutions tested by lighting companies.
The mid-1880s saw a breakthrough with the development of functional transformers that allowed the AC voltage to be "stepped up" to much higher transmission voltages and dropped down to a lower end user voltage. With much cheaper transmission costs and the greater economies of scale of having large generating plants supply whole cities and regions, the use of AC spread rapidly. In the US the competition between direct current and alternating current took a personal turn in the late 1880s in the form of a "War of Currents" when Thomas Edison started attacking George Westinghouse and his development of the first US AC transformer systems, pointing out all the deaths caused by high voltage AC systems over the years and claiming any AC system was inherently dangerous. Edison's propaganda campaign was short lived with his company switching over to AC in 1892. AC became the dominant form of transmission of power with innovations in Europe and the US in electric motor designs and the development of engineered universal systems allowing the large number of legacy systems to be connected to large AC grids.
In the first half of the 20th century, in many places the electric power industry was vertically integrated, meaning that one company did generation, distribution and billing. Starting in the 1970s and 1980s, nations began the process of deregulation and privatisation, leading to electricity markets; the distribution system would remain regulated, but generation and sometimes transmission systems were transformed into competitive markets. Electric power begins at a generating station, where the potential difference can be as high as 33,000 volts. AC is used. Users of large amounts of DC power such as some railway electrification systems, telephone exchanges and industrial processes such as aluminium smelting use rectifiers to derive DC from the public AC supply, or may have their own generation systems. High-voltage DC can be advantageous for isolating alternating-current systems or controlling the quantity of electricity transmitted. For example, Hydro-Québec has a direct-current line which g
NRG Energy, Inc. is a large American energy company, dual-headquartered in West Windsor Township, New Jersey, Houston, Texas. It was the wholesale arm of Xcel Energy, was spun off in bankruptcy in 2004; when the state of Texas deregulated the electricity market, Houston Industries, the parent company of Houston Lighting & Power was broken up. In 2003 Houston Industries was split into three companies; the power plants went to Texas Genco, CenterPoint Energy took over the distribution system, the retail and wholesale electricity business became Reliant Energy. In 2006, NRG Energy bought Texas Genco from a group of private equity firms for $5.9 billion. Afterwards, in May 2009, NRG Energy acquired the retail operations of Reliant Energy. With those two moves, NRG's holdings represented most of the former HL&P and today serve 1.6 million customers in Texas. The retail operations continue to operate under the Reliant Energy name while old Reliant's wholesale operations became RRI Energy. Following the acquisition of Reliant, NRG extended its retail footprint with the acquisition of Green Mountain Energy in November 2010.
In doing so, NRG became the largest retailer of green power in the nation, providing all of its Green Mountain and many of its Reliant customers with energy derived from 100% renewable resources. NRG Energy completed its acquisition of GenOn Energy in December 2012 for $1.7 billion in stock and cash. The GenOn name was retired in the merger, but the combined company retained GenOn's Houston headquarters to coordinate operations; that company, in turn, had been formed out of the merger of RRI Energy and Mirant Corporation in 2010. In August 2013, NRG acquired Energy Curtailment Specialists, a Buffalo, New York based Demand response company; the terms of the deal were not disclosed. In September 2014, NRG acquired a manufacturer of personal solar power products. In March 2018 NRG acquired Xoom Energy, a residential focused, retail energy supplier with 300,000 RCE customers; the sale price was $210 million. NRG Energy holds the naming rights to the NRG Park campus in Houston, home to the NRG Astrodome, NRG Stadium, NRG Arena and NRG Center.
NRG Energy holds the naming rights for a NRG Station, a rapid transit station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After the GenOn merger, NRG has 47,000 MW of total generation capacity, enough to power 40 million homes, its nearly 100 power plants are located in 18 states in the Northeast, Chicago area, Gulf Coast, Southwest and California. Generation facilities include fossil fuel power plants powered by natural gas and coal. NRG has a 44% ownership stake in the South Texas Nuclear Generating Station and a 37.5% stake in a coal power plant in Gladstone, Australia. Some facilities use cogeneration and the company owns 28 MW of solar distributed generation. NRG's Retail Power services provide electricity services to more than 2 million homes and businesses in Texas and the Northeast. Beginning in 2009, NRG began an initiative to become a green energy producer in the United States and started investing money in clean energy projects, they include onshore and offshore wind power, solar thermal energy and distributed solar power facilities, repowering of some of their traditional coal plants with biomass.
In late 2010, NRG launched the "EVgo" network, the first private public car charging station network for electric power vehicles. The company signed a two-year agreement beginning in January 2011 to provide 100% renewable energy for the Empire State Building. New York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas has been chair of a coalition to support the utility in their plan to replace its power plant in Astoria with a newer generator; the company stated its intention in 2012 to replace 31 older oil generators with new gas generators that will increase the megawatts of power while reducing emissions. As of 2018, of the 19 Astoria facilities listed in the 2018 NYISO Gold Book as being owned by NRG, 7 of the facilities are on the deactivated list, 12 of the facilities have each produced less than 15 GWh a year since 2011; this is equivalent to running at full capacity for less than 4% of the year. These 12 units still collect annual revenues from the NYISO's capacity market for not producing energy.
For example, at 6.40, the 12 listed facilities would produce an annual capacity market revenue of $42.8 million for NRG. It is unclear. In July 2017, NRG filed a request with the New York State Public Service Commission to avoid Article 10 siting procedures for a proposed turbine replacement project which would represent a total proposed capacity of 579 MW; the turbine upgrades listed in the filing are new simple-cycle turbines. The filing states that since the proposed capacity is not 25 MW greater than the existing facility, Article 10 regulation is not required; as of November 2018, no ruling has been issued by the NYSPSC. GreenStreet New York energy law Official website Reliant Energy website EVgo Website
Hurricane Harvey of 2017 is tied with 2005's Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone on record, inflicting $125 billion in damage from catastrophic rainfall-triggered flooding in the Houston metropolitan area and Southeast Texas. It was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005, ending a record 12-year span in which no hurricanes made landfall at the intensity of a major hurricane throughout the country. In a four-day period, many areas received more than 40 inches of rain as the system meandered over eastern Texas and adjacent waters, causing unprecedented flooding. With peak accumulations of 60.58 in, in Nederland, Harvey was the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States. The resulting floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, which displaced more than 30,000 people and prompted more than 17,000 rescues; the eighth named storm, third hurricane, first major hurricane of the active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Harvey developed from a tropical wave to the east of the Lesser Antilles, reaching tropical storm status on August 17.
The storm crossed through the Windward Islands on the following day, making landfall on the southern end of Barbados and a second landfall on Saint Vincent. Upon entering the Caribbean Sea, Harvey began to weaken due to moderate wind shear, degenerated into a tropical wave north of Colombia, late on August 19; the remnants were monitored for regeneration as it continued west-northwestward across the Caribbean and the Yucatán Peninsula, before redeveloping over the Bay of Campeche on August 23. Harvey began to intensify on August 24, regaining tropical storm status and becoming a hurricane that day. While the storm moved northwest, Harvey's intensification phase stalled overnight from August 24–25. Hours Harvey made landfall at San José Island, Texas, at peak intensity, followed by another landfall at Holiday Beach at Category 3 intensity. Afterwards, rapid weakening ensued, Harvey had downgraded to a tropical storm as it stalled near the coastline, dropping torrential and unprecedented amounts of rainfall over Texas.
On August 28, it emerged back over the Gulf of Mexico, strengthening before making a fifth and final landfall in Louisiana on August 29. As Harvey drifted inland, it weakened again as it became extratropical on September 1, before dissipating two days later. Harvey caused at least 107 confirmed deaths: 1 in Guyana, 106 in the United States. Total damage from the hurricane is estimated at $125 billion, making it among the costliest natural disasters in the United States, comparable with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hurricane Harvey originated from a westward-moving tropical wave that emerged from Africa over the eastern Atlantic Ocean, on August 12, 2017. A surface circulation developed and convection consolidated around the low over the subsequent days. Maintaining its brisk westward motion, the system strengthened and became a tropical storm that day, at which time it was assigned the name Harvey. With maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, Harvey made landfalls in Barbados and St. Vincent on August 18 before entering the Caribbean Sea.
Hostile environmental conditions, namely wind shear, imparted weakening and caused Harvey to degenerate into a tropical wave by August 19. Though it lacked an organized surface low, the remnants of Harvey continued to produce significant convection as it traversed the Caribbean Sea and Yucatán Peninsula; the system reached the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico on August 23 and soon consolidated around a new surface low. Late on August 23, the remnants of Harvey regenerated into a tropical cyclone and reattained tropical storm intensity by 18:00 UTC. Initial reorganization was slow. After becoming a hurricane on August 24, Harvey continued to strengthen over the next day reaching peak intensity as a Category 4 hurricane. Around 03:00 UTC on August 26, the hurricane made landfall at peak intensity on San Jose Island, just east of Rockport, with winds of 130 mph and an atmospheric pressure of 937 mbar, it made a second landfall on the Texas mainland, at Rockport, three hours in a weakened state.
Harvey became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. After striking land, Harvey weakened as its speed slowed to a crawl, Harvey weakened to a tropical storm on August 26. For about two days the storm stalled just inland, dropping heavy rainfall and causing widespread flash flooding. Harvey's center drifted back towards the southeast re-emerging into the Gulf of Mexico on August 28. Once offshore, the poorly organized system struggled against strong wind shear. Deep convection persisted north of the cyclone's center near the Houston metropolitan area along a stationary front, resulting in several days of record-breaking rain. Early on August 30, the former hurricane made its fifth and final landfall just west of Cameron, Louisiana with winds of 45 mph. Associated convection with Harvey became focused north of the center and along a warm front on September 1 as it moved further inland, indicating that the system transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone by 06:00 UTC that day.
The remnants continued northeastwards, before being absorbed into another extr
Electric power transmission
Electric power transmission is the bulk movement of electrical energy from a generating site, such as a power plant, to an electrical substation. The interconnected lines which facilitate this movement are known as a transmission network; this is distinct from the local wiring between high-voltage substations and customers, referred to as electric power distribution. The combined transmission and distribution network is known as the "power grid" in North America, or just "the grid". In the United Kingdom, Myanmar and New Zealand, the network is known as the "National Grid". A wide area synchronous grid known as an "interconnection" in North America, directly connects a large number of generators delivering AC power with the same relative frequency to a large number of consumers. For example, there are four major interconnections in North America. In Europe one large grid connects most of continental Europe. Transmission and distribution lines were owned by the same company, but starting in the 1990s, many countries have liberalized the regulation of the electricity market in ways that have led to the separation of the electricity transmission business from the distribution business.
Most transmission lines are high-voltage three-phase alternating current, although single phase AC is sometimes used in railway electrification systems. High-voltage direct-current technology is used for greater efficiency over long distances. HVDC technology is used in submarine power cables, in the interchange of power between grids that are not mutually synchronized. HVDC links are used to stabilize large power distribution networks where sudden new loads, or blackouts, in one part of a network can result in synchronization problems and cascading failures. Electricity is transmitted at high voltages to reduce the energy loss which occurs in long-distance transmission. Power is transmitted through overhead power lines. Underground power transmission has a higher installation cost and greater operational limitations, but reduced maintenance costs. Underground transmission is sometimes used in environmentally sensitive locations. A lack of electrical energy storage facilities in transmission systems leads to a key limitation.
Electrical energy must be generated at the same rate. A sophisticated control system is required to ensure that the power generation closely matches the demand. If the demand for power exceeds supply, the imbalance can cause generation plant and transmission equipment to automatically disconnect or shut down to prevent damage. In the worst case, this may lead to a cascading series of a major regional blackout. Examples include the US Northeast blackouts of 1965, 1977, 2003, major blackouts in other US regions in 1996 and 2011. Electric transmission networks are interconnected into regional and continent wide networks to reduce the risk of such a failure by providing multiple redundant, alternative routes for power to flow should such shut downs occur. Transmission companies determine the maximum reliable capacity of each line to ensure that spare capacity is available in the event of a failure in another part of the network. High-voltage overhead conductors are not covered by insulation; the conductor material is nearly always an aluminum alloy, made into several strands and reinforced with steel strands.
Copper was sometimes used for overhead transmission, but aluminum is lighter, yields only marginally reduced performance and costs much less. Overhead conductors are a commodity supplied by several companies worldwide. Improved conductor material and shapes are used to allow increased capacity and modernize transmission circuits. Conductor sizes range from 12 mm2 with varying resistance and current-carrying capacity. For normal AC lines thicker wires would lead to a small increase in capacity due to the skin effect; because of this current limitation, multiple parallel cables are used when higher capacity is needed. Bundle conductors are used at high voltages to reduce energy loss caused by corona discharge. Today, transmission-level voltages are considered to be 110 kV and above. Lower voltages, such as 66 kV and 33 kV, are considered subtransmission voltages, but are used on long lines with light loads. Voltages less than 33 kV are used for distribution. Voltages above 765 kV are considered extra high voltage and require different designs compared to equipment used at lower voltages.
Since overhead transmission wires depend on air for insulation, the design of these lines requires minimum clearances to be observed to maintain safety. Adverse weather conditions, such as high wind and low temperatures, can lead to power outages. Wind speeds as low as 23 knots can permit conductors to encroach operating clearances, resulting in a flashover and loss of supply. Oscillatory motion of the physical line can be termed gallop or flutter depending on the frequency and amplitude of oscillation. Electric power can be transmitted by underground power cables instead of overhead power lines. Underground cables take up less right-of-way than overhead lines, have lower visibility, are less affected by bad weather. However, costs of insulated cable and excavation are much higher
Direct Energy is a North American retailer of energy and energy services. The company was founded in 1986 and has more than four million customers in Canada and the United States. Direct Energy is a subsidiary of UK-based utility company Centrica. Direct Energy was founded in Toronto as a competitive energy retailer. In 2000, the company was acquired by Centrica, the UK-based parent of British energy retailer British Gas. In 2010, Direct Energy acquired Clockwork Home Services making Direct Energy the largest energy and home services retailer in North America. Clockwork has three brands: One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and Mister Sparky, which specialize in plumbing and air-conditioning and heating and services, all of which have earned the Diamond Certified Award for excellent service. Direct Energy acquired a number of upstream assets, including gas reserves and power generation facilities; these include: Quintana Minerals Resources, Bastrop Energy Center, Frontera Energy Center, Paris Energy Center, Rockyview Energy Inc.
Direct Energy has entered into long-term power purchase agreements for 813 MW of electricity from five wind farms in Texas. Direct Energy owns and operates 4,600 natural gas wells in Alberta, most acquiring natural gas assets from Suncor Energy and Shell Canada; the company ’s new strategy calls for increased investment in North America to grow its upstream asset cover to 35-40%. Chris Weston became President & CEO of Direct Energy on July 1, 2009 following the retirement of Deryk King. Direct Energy announced in January 2012 that it will move its corporate headquarters from Toronto to Houston within the next 12 to 18 months; the headquarters will be in the Greenway Plaza location where the company's residential energy and upstream business are now based. In 2012, Iberdrola USA sold its energy services companies, Energetix and NYSEG Solutions, to Direct Energy. In early 2014, Direct Energy partnered with Nest Labs to create a plan that would include a smart thermostat; the Nest smart thermostat will increase home owners and renters ability to monitor the temperature of their homes for increased energy efficiency.
In August 2014, Direct Energy increased their ability to provide services that increase the efficiency of the American and Canadian home when its announced its partnership with SmartThings. A SmartThing's Hub allows the user to connect with smart device, secure the home with sensors, control certain electrical devices. In November 2015, the company acquired Israeli startup Panoramic Power, a manufacturer of circuit level wireless sensors that collect energy information, for $60M. Direct Energy’s U. S. operations span 46 states and the District of Columbia including Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Indiana, Alabama and Virginia. While not providing services to residential customers and businesses in Oklahoma, Direct Energy has established an Operations Center in Tulsa. In Canada, Direct Energy has operations in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador.
For residential customers and small business, Direct Energy offers fixed price electricity and gas plans, as an alternative to the local utility or in competition with the local competitive energy providers. In Texas, Direct Energy offers Power-To-Go. In Ontario, Direct Energy rents water heaters to around 600,000 residential homeowners. Through its services division, Direct Energy installs and services heating and air conditioning equipment, it can perform energy retrofits and other energy management projects at larger facilities. Direct Energy’s Home and Business Services division employs over 1,400 technicians providing residential customers with heating and air conditioner, home improvements, water heater and electrical appliance services. Direct Energy is a regulated gas and electricity provider in Alberta, operating under the Direct Energy Regulated Services brand, it offers deregulated service in the Province, operating as Direct Energy. In South Texas, Direct Energy operates as CPL Retail CPL Business.
In West Texas, Direct Energy operates as WTU Retail WTU Business. In Texas, additional brands of Direct Energy are Bounce Energy. Direct Energy encourages volunteerism within their organization through internal company policies, award programs, grants. Direct Energy encourages their employees to take their first step into community involvement by offering one paid volunteer day a year. Interested employees can choose a organization to lend their expertise. Volunteer Citizen of the YearThe Volunteer Citizen of the Year award program allows citizens to nominate individuals or organizations who have through volunteer work made their community better; the winner can choose a charity to receive $5000. Last year, the award went to Paul Garrett for his efforts towards cleaning his community and encouraging sustainable practices. Garret chose to give the donation to the Mechanicsburg Area School District's Trails and Trees Environmental Center. Reduce Your Use For GoodThe Reduce Your Use For Good grant program was created to help organizations increase the energy efficiency of their program or products.
In the past the grant has allowed various organization to increase efficiency. In the past the grant was awarded to a Pittsburgh community food bank, Medina Creative Housing, Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley. For
Houston is the most populous city in the U. S. state of Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated population of 2.312 million in 2017. It is the most populous city in the Southern United States and on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. With a total area of 627 square miles, Houston is the eighth most expansive city in the United States, it is the largest city in the United States by total area, whose government is not consolidated with that of a county or borough. Though in Harris County, small portions of the city extend into Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. Houston was founded by land speculators on August 30, 1836, at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837.
The city is named after former General Sam Houston, president of the Republic of Texas and had won Texas' independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles east of Allen's Landing. After serving as the capital of the Texas Republic in the late 1830s, Houston grew into a regional trading center for the remainder of the 19th century; the arrival of the 20th century saw a convergence of economic factors which fueled rapid growth in Houston, including a burgeoning port and railroad industry, the decline of Galveston as Texas' primary port following a devastating 1900 hurricane, the subsequent construction of the Houston Ship Channel, the Texas oil boom. In the mid-20th century, Houston's economy diversified as it became home to the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located. Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing and transportation.
Leading in healthcare sectors and building oilfield equipment, Houston has the second most Fortune 500 headquarters of any U. S. municipality within its city limits. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. Nicknamed the "Space City", Houston is a global city, with strengths in culture and research; the city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse metropolitan area in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the U. S, it is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts; the Allen brothers—Augustus Chapman and John Kirby—explored town sites on Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay.
According to historian David McComb, "he brothers, on August 26, 1836, bought from Elizabeth E. Parrott, wife of T. F. L. Parrott and widow of John Austin, the south half of the lower league granted to her by her late husband, they paid $5,000 total, but only $1,000 of this in cash. They lobbied the Republic of Texas Congress to designate Houston as the temporary capital, agreeing to provide the new government with a capital building. About a dozen persons resided in the town at the beginning of 1837, but that number grew to about 1,500 by the time the Texas Congress convened in Houston for the first time that May. Houston was granted incorporation with James S. Holman becoming its first mayor. In the same year, Houston became the county seat of Harrisburg County. In 1839, the Republic of Texas relocated its capital to Austin; the town suffered another setback that year when a yellow fever epidemic claimed about one life out of every eight residents. Yet it persisted as a commercial center, forming a symbiosis with Galveston.
Landlocked farmers brought their produce to Houston, using Buffalo Bayou to gain access to Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico. Houston merchants profited from selling staples to farmers and shipping the farmers' produce to Galveston; the great majority of slaves in Texas came with their owners from the older slave states. Sizable numbers, came through the domestic slave trade. New Orleans was the center of this trade in the Deep South. Thousands of enslaved blacks lived near the city before the American Civil War. Many of them near the city worked on sugar and cotton plantations, while most of those in the city limits had domestic and artisan jobs. In 1840, the community established a chamber of commerce in part to promote shipping and navigation at the newly created port on Buffalo Bayou. By 1860, Houston had emerged as a commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton. Railroad spurs from the Texas inland converged in Houston, where they met rail lines to the ports of Galveston and Beaumont.
During the American Civil War, Houston served as a headquarters for General John Magruder, who used the city as an organization point for the Battle of Galveston. After the Civil War, Houston businessmen initia
GenOn Energy, Inc. based in Houston, United States, was an energy company that provided electricity to wholesale customers in the United States. The company was one of the largest independent power producers in the nation with more than 14,000 megawatts of power generation capacity across the United States using natural gas, fuel oil and coal. GenOn Energy is headquartered in the Reliant Energy Plaza in Downtown Houston; the company known as RRI Energy, acquired Mirant on December 3, 2010. The corporate names and logos of both RRI Energy and Mirant were retired. NRG Energy completed its acquisition of GenOn Energy in December 2012 for $1.7 billion. GenOn's stock was exchanged for NRG stock; the company was known as Houston Industries, Houston Lighting & Power was its subsidiary. In August 1996 HI closed on a merger with a natural gas utility; the combined company, as of 1997, had annual revenues of about $9 billion. By November 1997 there was a published report stating that the company wished to acquire Central & South West Corp.
HI declined to comment. In 1999, Houston Industries changed its name to Reliant Energy and its new NYSE symbol was REI, it was scheduled to begin trading under REI on February 8, 1999. In 2002, Texas deregulated the electricity market and Reliant competed against other energy companies like Direct Energy and TXU Energy. At this time, Reliant Energy separated into two publicly traded companies: Reliant Resources, Inc. and CenterPoint Energy, Inc.. When the state of Texas deregulated the electricity market, the former HL&P was split into several companies. In 2003 HL&P was split into Reliant Energy, Texas Genco, CenterPoint Energy. CenterPoint Energy was created when Reliant Energy merged with an indirect subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy, Inc; as a result of the merger, Reliant Energy shareholders received one share of CenterPoint common stock in exchange for each share of RRI common stock they held before the merger. A regulated utility, CenterPoint Energy became one of the largest U. S. energy delivery companies, serving 4.7 million metered customers.
In late 2002, CenterPoint distributed the stock of Reliant Resources, Inc. to CenterPoint shareholders. This spin-off created Reliant Resources with a strategy to provide competitive wholesale and retail energy service under the Reliant Energy brand, its businesses included power generation and retail energy services in Texas newly deregulated electricity market. On the wholesale side, Reliant owned, had an interest in, or leased 37 operating power generation facilities serving five regions of the United States. In January 2007, the Texas electricity market became deregulated, Reliant began to offer an array of products, flexible service options, pricing arrangements to a variety of customers. At this time, Reliant was the second largest mass market electricity provider in the state of Texas, with an annual revenue of $10.9 billion and more than 3,500 employees. In February 2007, Reliant Energy announced plans for Mark Jacobs, current chief financial operator, to succeed Joel Staff as chief executive officer and for Brian Landrum to become chief operating officer.
On May 1, 2009, Reliant Energy's retail electricity business was purchased by NRG Energy. The retail group retained the name Reliant Energy and the surviving wholesale business was renamed RRI Energy, Inc. On June 15, 2017, unable to meet debt obligations, GenOn Energy and GenOn Americas Generation file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. On April 11, 2010, RRI Energy and Atlanta-based Mirant Corp. announced an agreement to merge in a $1.6 billion all-stock deal, which created one of the largest independent power plant operators in the country. The new company, named GenOn Energy, would be based in Houston but led by Mirant's Chairman and CEO Edward Muller until 2013. At that time, Muller would retire and Mark Jacobs, the president and COO of RRI Energy, would become CEO of GenOn; the new company had a market capitalization of about $3 billion, owning or operating 47 plants in 12 states capable of generating more than 24,650 megawatts of power. The merger was completed on December 3, 2010. In March 2004, a grand jury returned a six-count indictment against Reliant Energy Services, Inc. and four of its officers—Jackie Thomas, a former vice president of Reliant's Power Trading Division.
All of the defendants are residents of Texas. The defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and commodities manipulation and wire fraud, as well as manipulation and attempted manipulation of the price of a commodity in interstate commerce; the indictments were filed on April 8, 2004. On August 15, 2005, Reliant announced that it had reached a $445 million settlement with the states of California and Washington, resolving civil litigation claims against the company related to the sale of electricity in the California electricity crisis of 2000 and 2001. In March 2007, Reliant agreed to pay a $22.2 million penalty in addition to a $13.8 million credit provided in a previous settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have identified Reliant Energy as the 36th-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with 34 million pounds of toxic chemicals released into the air every year. Major pollutants indicated by the study include sulfuric and hydrochloric acid as well as manganese and nickel compounds.
In December 2007, the US state of New Jersey sued Re