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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


CLEAResult Guide to Smart Thermostats

CLEAResult, 2017.
https://www.clearesult.com/insights/whitepapers/guide-to-smart-thermostats/

"...this paper outlines available products and services and shares the collective expertise of CLEAResult’s energy analysts, building science consultants and program managers who have first-hand knowledge of how smart thermostats work and how they can help save energy."


Strategies for Peak Shaving and Power Security

Forester Daily News, Mar. 2017, by Ed Ritchie.
http://foresternetwork.com/daily/energy/strategies-for-peak-shaving-and-power-security/

"In Part 1 of a 5-part series, author Ed Ritchie takes readers through the process of understanding reliable energy strategies like peak shaving for business applications. Through this series, he explains the multifaceted components of commercial building energy systems that might include utilities analysis software, commercial generators, and other onsite technologies important in maintaining reliable power generation."

Legal-Weed Buzz Fades For Utilities

Bloomberg News, Mar. 30, 2017, by Chris Martin.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-30/a-buzzkill-for-utilities-high-on-hope-for-legal-weed-power-surge

"With local restrictions on marijuana easing across the U.S., power suppliers from California to Maine were expecting a little buzz of their own from newly legitimate pot farmers. After all, a 5,000-square-foot warehouse filled with hydroponic growing systems can draw five times the electricity of a typical industrial user. But after an initial jolt in electricity use, when western states began legalizing marijuana cultivation and sales, demand has fallen off in some areas, according to utilities and analysts."

Why Rate Design Matters for Energy Efficiency

ACEEE Blog, Mar. 22, 2017, by Brendon Baatz.
http://aceee.org/blog/2017/03/why-rate-design-matters-energy

"Today, most American households pay for electric service via a two-part electric rate. This typically consists of a small, fixed customer charge ($ per month) and an energy rate applied per unit of electricity ($ per kilowatt hour). There are some variations on this model, including energy rates that vary based on time of day or total monthly consumption, but the basic structure of residential rates hasn’t changed much over time. In recent years, utilities have proposed significant departures to this format to address the changing dynamics of the electric utility industry."

Preparing For More DG On the Grid: No Two-Way Power Flow About It?

Public Power, Mar/Apr 2017, by Laura D'Alessandro.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/magazine/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=47668

"Installing solar panels seems simple, according to all those companies selling them. Just sign up, invite someone onto your roof to install them, and boom, you’re in business — generating power even when the grid goes down. Right? Not exactly."

Microgrid Momentum: Building Efficient, Resilient Power

C2ES: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Mar. 2017, Doug Vine, et. al.
https://www.c2es.org/docUploads/microgrid-momentum-03-2017.pdf

"When Hurricane Sandy cut off power to millions of homes and businesses in the Northeast, a few areas, mostly parts of universities, kept the lights on using their own power generation systems. This ability to sustain electricity service during widespread natural disasters is one reason for the growing interest in microgrids. But they offer other important benefits as well. By increasing efficiency, integrating renewables, and helping manage energy supply and demand, microgrids can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ave energy. For utilities, microgrids can ensure power reliability in remote areas. Microgrids also appeal to those who want to disconnect from utility bills."

Oregon’s Largest Solar Project Begins Construction

PV Magazine, Feb. 27, 2017, by Christian Roselund.
https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2017/02/27/oregons-largest-solar-project-begins-construction/

"While SunPower continues to bleed red ink, the company is also breaking new ground for high-efficiency solar, in some cases literally. Today SunPower announced that construction firm Moss has begun work on a 56 MW solar PV project in Eastern Oregon, using its E-Series PV modules and its modular Oasis platform for utility-scale projects."

Should Utility Prepay Plans be Considered Energy Efficiency Programs?

ACEEE Blog, Feb. 28, 2017, by Ariel Drehobl.
http://aceee.org/blog/2017/02/should-utility-prepay-plans-be

"Utility proposals for customer prepayment plans are on the rise. These payment plans require customers to pay in advance for their utility services and, if they run out of prepaid credit, they are remotely disconnected from service until they top up their credit. While utilities can benefit from these plans because of reduced financial risks from overdue payments and other reduced service costs, many consumer advocates are concerned about these plans’ effects on health and safety, particularly for low-income participants. Some utilities and prepay advocates claim that prepayment influences customers to save energy. If this is true, should prepay plans be considered energy efficiency programs?"

SnoPUD Launches New Model of Battery Architecture

NWPPA Bulletin, Feb. 2017, by Neil Neroutsos. -- scroll to page 26 of the .pdf.
https://www.nwppa.org/wp-content/uploads/Bulletin_Feb_2017_WEB.pdf

"Later this winter, Snohomish County Public Utility District will bring online its second energy storage system at a substation in Everett, Wash. The battery storage systems aim to transform the marketplace and how utilities manage grid operations. They also are designed to improve reliability and the integration of renewable energy sources, which are rapidly growing in the Pacific Northwest. The projects were made possible in part by a $7.3 million investment from the Washington State Clean Energy Fund."

New Database for Hundreds of Test Reports [Wind Turbine Maintenance]

Wind Systems Magazine, Feb. 2017, by Thomas Arnold.
http://www.windsystemsmag.com/article/detail/1392/new-database-for-hundreds-of-test-reports

"Computer program summarizes test results from periodic turbine inspections."
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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