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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


How Targeted Demand Management Can Reduce the Need for New Investments in Transmission and Distribution Infrastructure

Comverge, Inc., 2016. 
http://www.comverge.com/comverge/media/pdf/Position%20Papers/Targeted-Demand-Management-Position-Paper.pdf

"Traditionally deployed across an electric utility’s entire service territory, demand response has most often been leveraged as a cost-effective substitute for peaking generation to ensure reliability when system demand is highest. Today, it is playing an expanded role in keeping rates low and lights on. Many utilities are beginning to look at geographically targeted demand response deployments as cost-effective alternatives to transmission and distribution infrastructure upgrades for local reliability. ...The model is called 'targeted demand management,' and it’s forging ahead in states such as New York and California."


How Are Distributed Energy Resources Affecting Transmission System Operators?

Power Magazine, May 2016, by Aaron Larson.
http://www.powermag.com/distributed-energy-resources-affecting-transmission-system-operators/

"Distributed energy resources (DERs) may be a competitive concern for traditional electric generators, but for independent system operators, DERs offer both benefits and challenges. Here’s what POWER learned about how system operators are responding to DERs."

Decoupling Spurs Energy Efficiency Investment

Intelligent Utility, Apr. 11, 2016.
http://www.intelligentutility.com/article/16/04/decoupling-spurs-energy-efficiency-investment

"This month in Electricity Journal, NRDC and Fresh Energy co-authored a paper that expands upon a credible and extensive body of research finding that, along with energy efficiency resource standards and performance incentives, decoupling elevates efficiency up the ladder of utility priorities. In reviewing data across five utilities in California, Idaho and Oregon, we identified a link between decoupling policies and elevated energy efficiency savings levels and program investment."

PG&E’s Newly Proposed Efficiency Program Is Simple. But It’s Based on a Revolutionary Concept

Greentech Media, Apr. 7, 2016, by Matt Golden.
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/PGEs-Newly-Proposed-Efficiency-Program-Is-Simple.-But-Its-Based-on-a-Rev

"In its proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), PG&E describes a residential pay-for-performance pilot that uses newly available and standardized energy and project data, combined with open-source standard methods to calculate savings, to enable a marketplace that pays for results measured at the meter, rather than upfront estimates."

Maximizing MWh: A Statistical Analysis of the Performance of Utility-Scale Photovoltaic Projects in the United States

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Mar. 2015.
https://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-1004374.pdf

"This paper presents the first known use of multi-variate regression techniques to statistically explore empirical variation in utility-scale PV project performance across the United States."

Why Rural Electric Cooperatives Are Opting for Community-Scale Solar

Rocky Mountain Institute Outlet, Mar. 31, 2016, by Kevin Brehm and Joseph Goodman.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_03_31
_why_rural_electric_cooperatives_are_opting_for_community_scale_solar


"The successful idea of the moment is community-scale solar. Rural electric cooperatives are spreading the word on how local clean power can save money, support communities, and diversify energy supplies. Community-scale solar is becoming an important tool for rural electric cooperatives as they begin their transition from a centralized fossil-fuel-based energy system to an increasingly distributed and renewable system."

Report: Energy Efficiency Still Less Expensive Than Building New Power Plants

Utility Dive, Apr. 5, 2016, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-energy-efficiency-still-less-expensive-than-building-new-power-plan/416852/

"No matter how you cut it, efficiency is cheaper than building a new power plant. That's the takeaway from a short paper on efficiency's costs put out by ACEEE. In it, the group indicates it has a forthcoming report which will peg the cost at 3.5 cents/kWh – less than half the cost used by the federal government, but slightly higher than other estimates."

How Utilities Can Boost Customer Savings by Marrying Efficiency and DR Programs

Utility Dive, Apr. 6, 2016, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-utilities-can-boost-customer-savings-by-marrying-efficiency-and-dr-prog/416766/

"A new report from Navigant Research examines the global market for integrated demand-side management (IDSM), focusing on energy efficiency and demand response (DR) programs, with market forecasts for spending, through 2025."

Big Savers: Experiences and Recent History of Program Administrators Achieving High Levels of Electric Savings

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, April 2016, by Brendon Baatz, Annie Gilleo, and Toyah Barigye.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1601.pdf

"Energy efficiency savings have grown substantially in the past ten years, and national leaders in program administration have emerged as savings levels have increased. This report reviews annual program performance for 14 leading energy efficiency program administrators, with a focus on costs, electricity savings, cost effectiveness, and portfolio design. We also interviewed program managers for insights on past and future challenges, keys to achieving and sustaining high levels of savings, and future large savings opportunities."  Includes Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Seattle City Light.

SEPA Report Details Key Drivers for Cutting Utility-Scale Solar LCOE

Smart Electric Power Alliance, Mar. 2016.
http://www.solarelectricpower.org/about-sepa/sepa-news/press-releases/sepa-report-details-key-drivers-for-cutting-utility-scale-solar-lcoe.aspx

"...a new report from the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) says, not all solar projects are created equal. Utilities looking to procure cost-competitive, high-value solar projects need to evaluate a range of factors, from regional solar resource intensity to local labor and permitting costs to system design issues, such as whether to use a fixed-tilt or single axis tracking system. The report was produced in partnership with solar project developer Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar."
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