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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


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."

AT&T, GE Team Up to Power Smart Energy Innovation

ZDNet, Feb. 2015, by Rachel King.
http://www.zdnet.com/article/at-t-ge-team-up-to-power-smart-energy-innovation/

"Building off of a previous partnership announced in 2013 as General Electric was launching its Industrial Internet cloud, AT&T and GE are fine tuning the focus here on smart grids with connected solutions that could be deployed across towns and cities. Among some of the initial innovations already in the pipeline include intelligent lighting that could be installed on streetlamps as well as a smart meter based off of GE's existing smart meters, but now embedded with AT&T cellular technology. The latter solution is already being piloted with two unnamed North American renewable energy companies."

Tesla Gears Up for Charge Into Home Battery Storage Market

PV Magazine, Feb. 13, 2015, by Giles Parkinson.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/tesla-gears-up-for-charge-into-home-battery-storage-market_100018218/#axzz3SEQ4COxc

"Tesla Motors, the electric vehicle company throwing down a major challenge to the global motor industry, says it is now looking to become a front-runner in energy storage in a major new challenge to the traditional electric utility business model."



Energy Efficiency as a T&D Resource

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), Jan. 2015, by Chris Neme & Jim Grevatt, of the Energy Futures Group.
http://www.neep.org/sites/default/files/products/EMV-Forum-Geo-Targeting_Final_2015-01-20.pdf

"This report focuses on the role efficiency can play in deferring utility transmission and distribution (T&D) system investments. In particular, it addresses the role that intentional targeting of efficiency programs to specific constrained geographies – either by itself or in concert with demand  response, distributed generation and/or other “non-wires alternatives” (NWAs)2 – can play in deferring such investments. The report focuses primarily on electric T&D deferral, since that is where efforts in this area have focused to date. However, the concepts should be equally applicable to natural gas delivery infrastructure."

Energy Smart Industrial: Five Years of Enormous Savings [BPA]

Bonneville Power Administration Newsroom, Feb. 5, 2015.
http://www.bpa.gov/news/newsroom/Pages/Energy-Smart-Industrial-five-years-of-enormous-savings.aspx

"The Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial program is helping companies better manage their energy use and reduce costs. Since 2009, BPA and Northwest publicly owned electric utilities have partnered with 473 industrial companies on projects that have collectively saved more than 647 million kilowatt-hours of electricity — enough energy to power nearly 60,000 homes for a year."

Lower Load Growth Expectations for 7th Plan Don’t Reduce Importance of Energy Efficiency

NW Energy Coalition, Feb. 6, 2015.
http://www.nwenergy.org/news/lower-load-growth-expectations-for-7th-plan-dont-reduce-importance-of-energy-efficiency/

"Northwest Power and Conservation Council [NPPC]staff expect significantly slower growth in energy demand over the next 20 years than was predicted in the sixth regional power plan five years ago. This preliminary projection marks a critical step in the Council’s development of the 7th Northwest Power and Conservation Plan."
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