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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: Utilities

Utilities


NREL Highlights 2014 Utility Green Power Leaders

National Renewable Energy Laboratory New Release, May 2015.
http://apps3.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/news/news_template.shtml?id=2034

"The Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released its assessment of leading utility green power programs. Using information provided by utilities, NREL has developed "Top 10" rankings of utility green power programs for 2014 in the following categories: total sales of renewable energy to program participants, total number of customer participants, the percentage of customer participation, and green power sales as a percentage of total utility retail electricity sales."

Distributed Power’s Rising Importance for U.S. Electrical Infrastructure

Power Magazine, May 2015, by Devon Manz and others.
http://www.powermag.com/distributed-powers-rising-importance-for-u-s-electrical-infrastructure/?printmode=1

"Renewable generation may be the most talked-about form of distributed power these days. However, historically, engine- and turbine-based smaller-scale generation—strategically located where needed by loads or for grid support—has supplied valuable distributed power. For many reasons, the roles for distributed power provided by rotating and reciprocating equipment continue to increase."

How Utilities and Policymakers Can Maintain and Boost Renewable Energy's Value

Utility Dive, May 7, 2015, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-utilities-and-policymakers-can-maintain-and-boost-renewable-energys-va/394643/

"Grid operators have overcome the technical barriers to integrating 30% solar PV or 40% wind on their systems. Now only the economics stand in the way, as the value of renewables to utilities can change, and often declines, as their penetrations increase. But, new research shows that barrier could be ready to crumble as well."

Demand Response Pilot Launched [Energy Northwest & BPA]

BPA Journal, May 2015. -- scroll to page 3 of the PDF.
http://www.bpa.gov/news/pubs/Journal/Journal-201505-May-2015.pdf

"Energy Northwest and BPA have integrated an additional demand response resource into the Energy Northwest Aggregation Demonstration project that went live Feb. 9. The system, which is the first of its kind in the region, will help BPA test balancing loads on its Northwest transmission grid through industrial resource partners."

Batteries Are Carving Out Space on the Grid

Power Magazine, May 2015, by Thomas W. Overton.
http://www.powermag.com/batteries-are-carving-out-space-on-the-grid/?printmode=1

"Falling prices and technological improvements have brought battery storage systems into direct competition with traditional distributed generation, demand response, and peaking generation resources. But making one work efficiently and profitably is not just plug and play."

Centralized & Decentralized PV Power Plants: Vendor Perspectives

SolarPro, Mar/Apr 2015, by Joe Schwartz.
http://solarprofessional.com/articles/design-installation/centralized-decentralized-pv-power-plants-vendor-perspectives?v=disable_pagination

"As the capacity of utility-scale PV plants has increased in the US, so has the capacity of the centralized power-conditioning units used in these projects. Today, many plants utilize factory-integrated skids that combine inverters, medium-voltage transformers and switchgear into packages that range in capacity from 1 MW to 2.5 MW. These integrated systems offer project developers many advantages, including optimized component compatibility, as well as reduced installation time and expense."

Comprehensive Study Shows Decreasing Emissions from Local Natural Gas Distribution Systems

American Gas Association News Release, Mar. 31, 2015.
https://www.aga.org/news/news-releases/comprehensive-study-shows-decreasing-emissions-local-natural-gas-distribution

"A study published today in Environmental Science & Technology led by a team from Washington State University (WSU) found that emissions from local natural gas distribution systems in cities and towns throughout the U.S. have decreased in the past 20 years, to levels 36 to 70 percent lower than current estimates. This reduction reflects significant upgrades at metering and regulating stations, improvements in leak detection and maintenance activities and replacement of older pipeline materials."

Where is the U.S. Energy Storage Market Going?

Utility Dive, Mar. 10, 2015, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/where-is-the-us-energy-storage-market-going/373479/

"The 40% growth in yearly additions to U.S. energy storage capacity from 2013 to 2014 was big news but growth for 2015 is expected to more than triple to 220 MW."

Distribution and Substation Transformers: Design & Installation

Solar Pro, Mar./Apr. 2015, by Alexey Kondrashov and Tobin Booth.
http://solarprofessional.com/articles/design-installation/distribution-and-substation-transformers?v=disable_pagination

"In this article, we cover the fundamentals of transformer construction and operation. We discuss the general use of distribution and substation transformers in commercial and utility solar applications. We consider important transformer ratings and features. Finally, we summarize factory and field tests. If you do not take these considerations into account, the humble transformer can trip up your whole project. Our goal is to provide a definitive and practical guide that will help you select and specify pad-mounted distribution transformers for commercial and utility solar facilities."

EPRI Unveils Benefit-Cost Framework for an Integrated Grid

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Press Release, Feb. 16, 2015.
http://www.epri.com/Press-Releases/Pages/EPRI-Unveils-Benefit-Cost-Framework-for-an-Integrated-Grid.aspx

"The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released today a framework that all stakeholders in the electricity sector can use to assess benefits and costs of technologies and systems related to the integration of distributed energy resources (DER), such as solar, wind and micro-grids, into the planning and operations of the electric system. EPRI also identified a series of pilot projects in which the framework can be applied, potentially providing the electricity sector with technical and financial insights and a roadmap to support the deployment of what EPRI calls "The Integrated Grid," or one that makes best and fullest use of both central and distributed energy resources."
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The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at library@energy.wsu.edu