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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Power Generation

Power Plants

Winning the Cooling Tower Trifecta: Controlling Corrosion, Scale, and Microbiological Fouling

Power Magazine, Sep. 2015, by David Daniels.

"In cooling water chemistry for power plants, it is not enough to control one or two of the major chemistry issues. Successful treatment requires simultaneous control of corrosion, scale, and microbiological fouling. These three are so strongly tied to each other that if one is allowed to go out of control, the other two soon will be."

2014 Wind Technologies Market Report

U.S. Department of Energy, August 2015.

"According to the 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report, total installed wind power capacity in the United States grew at a rate of eight percent in 2014, bringing the United States total installed capacity to nearly 66 gigawatts (GW), which ranks second in the world and meets 4.9 percent of U.S. end-use electricity demand in an average year. In total, 4,854 MW of new wind energy capacity were installed in the United States in 2014."

Blades & Rotors [Turbines]

Business Energy, Jul/Aug 2015, by Carol Brzozowski.{}

"Savings and reliability from turbines and microturbines."

Quantifying [Hydropower] Development Potential in the Pacific Northwest

Hydro Review, July 2015, by Jan Lee.

"According to a recently completed scoping study, the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. holds significant hydro development potential."

NASEO Releases Working Paper on Least Cost, Energy Efficiency Approaches to Address EPA's Clean Power Plan

National Association of  State Energy Officials (NASEO), July 31, 2015.

"On July 31, 2015, NASEO released its working paper “Energy Efficiency Strategies for Clean Power Plan Compliance: Approaches and Selected Case Studies” to support state consideration of “no regrets” and often least-cost energy efficiency strategies for prospective Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance.  While NASEO has not taken a position on the CPP, we are working to ensure states are given wide flexibility in addressing key reliability, affordability, and other state imperatives. Energy efficiency approaches offer among the most cost-effective means to meet both air quality and energy goals, while also supporting energy system reliability.

The NASEO paper discusses the case for energy efficiency and explores some high-level issues of state compliance strategy

Clean Power Plan Toolbox for States

Environmental Protection Agency, Aug. 4, 2015.

"Resources to help develop state plans: As co-regulators, states will develop plans to meet the guidelines in the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The federal resources below provide information on state plan development and can help states determine the most cost-effective approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. Please note that inclusion of a measure in the toolbox does not mean that a state plan must include that measure. In addition, inclusion of these measures does not necessarily imply the approvability of an approach or method for use in a state plan. States will need to demonstrate that any measure included in a state plan meets all relevant criteria and adequately addresses elements of the plan components."

EPA Releases Clean Power Plan

The National Law Review, Aug. 4, 2015., by Stephen L. Miller, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC.

"On August 3, 2015, President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy released the agency’s Clean Power Plan, regulations designed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from power plants, as well as promoting low-emitting power sources and energy efficiency. These sweeping new rules may revolutionize the nation’s power generation system, and will be challenged vigorously in federal court."

Includes links to the Plan, as well as other related fact sheets and key documents.

Riding Off into the Sunset: Nuclear Decontamination and Decommissioning Update

Power Magazine, July 2015, by Aaron Larson.

"The International Energy Agency predicts that nearly 200 reactors will be decommissioned during the next 25 years. Industry best practices and new technology can help make the process go more smoothly.

It may not come as a surprise, but the average age of operating reactors in the U.S. is greater than 35 years. There hasn’t been a new nuclear reactor brought online in the U.S. since 1996, but there have been five permanently removed from service in the past three years. Although many plants have had their original 40-year operating licenses extended an additional 20 years, that hasn’t stopped some plants from facing permanent shutdown due to economic and other reasons.

Understanding Cogeneration Systems

Pure Power (supplement to Consulting-Specifying Engineer), Summer 2015, by Jerry Schuett and David Cummingham.

"Cogeneration systems—also known as combined heat and power (CHP) systems—generate both electricity and usable thermal energy. These systems typically are used on campuses that have high heat load requirements." Describes three CHP system prime movers: back-pressure steam turbine, combustion turbine, and reciprocating engine.

Implementing Microgrids: Controlling Campus, Community Power Generation

Pure Power (supplement to Consulting-Specifying Engineer), Summer 2015, by Paul Barter and Edward T. Borer.

"Microgrids are subsets of the regional electrical grid that have the ability to operate independent, or “island,” from the local utility. Microgrids normally operate in parallel with the utility, but they can operate in an isolated mode when utility service is interrupted or providing poor power quality. The design and operation of microgrids are optimized around the needs of the specific end users they serve."
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