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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


The Future of Distributed Generation

Rural Electric Magazine, Aug. 2016, by Reed Karaim.
http://remagazine.coop/future-of-distributed-generation/

"Electric cooperatives have a long history of integrating distributed generation (DG) sources. But if you want a glimpse of the future of DG, you’ll find it in the wooded hills and valleys of northern Vermont, where Vermont Electric Cooperative is already living with challenges many co-ops will eventually face."

State & Future of the Power Industry

Public Utilities Fortnightly & Navigant, June 2016.
http://www.navigant.com/~/media/WWW/Site/Insights/Energy/2016/State-and-future-of-the-power-industry.pdf

Special Report: "What is the state and future of the electric utility industry? That’s a broad topic, much discussed and debated. This special report takes a unique approach to getting a handle on our present and where we’re heading."

The CPUC Issues a Pivotal Ruling on Net Energy Metering

Solar Today, Spring 2016, by Jerry R. Bloom and Christine Kolosov.
http://solartoday.org/2016/05/the-cpuc-issues-a-pivotal-ruling-on-net-energy-metering/

"On February 5, 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its “Decision Adopting Successor to Net Energy Metering Tariff,” which preserves retail net metering in the service territories of California’s investor owned utilities (IOUs) and implements significant changes regarding eligible generation facility size, customer fees and rate structures."

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."
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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