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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


Green Doesn’t Mean What it Used To in Today’s Utility Industry: How Utilities are Dealing with Legalized Marijuana

Northwest Public Power Association Bulletin, July 2015, by Lance Robertson. (Scroll of jump to page 26.)
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=2381

"Utilities are looking at a number of issues, concerns, and opportunities, from the amount of electricity the cannabis industry uses to ensuring that the added power demand won’t reduce the reliability or safety of localized electric distribution systems. Many public utilities also are concerned that increased demand for electricity will force them to raise electric rates for all customers, while a handful of utilities see the emerging commercial cannabis industry as an opportunity to boost revenues lost due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession in the Pacific Northwest."

Opportunities for Action on Energy Management Information Systems for Industrial Customers: A Report for Program Administrators

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), July 29, 2015, by Chad Gilless.
http://neea.org/docs/default-source/reports/opportunities-for-action-on-industrial-energy-management-information-systems.pdf?sfvrsn=6

"This report helps NEEA's funders and other program administrators determine how to move forward with energy management information systems (EMIS) with their industrial customers. It offers ideas for the future as well as immediate next steps for program administrators.

This publication builds on NEEA’s Inventory of Industrial Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS) for M&V Applications, and on two new guides - the
Guide to Selecting an EMIS and the Guide to Using an EMIS."

Landmark Northwest Study Reveals Smart Grid Pros and Cons

Public Power Daily, July 20, 2015, by Elisa Wood.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=44211

"A recently completed $178-million Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project led by Battelle demonstrated that smart grids are more efficient and resilient, according to a project report. The demonstration project was the largest of 16 smart grid demonstration projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The effort encompassed more than 60,000 metered customers, many of them served by public power utilities in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming."

Includes links to an Executive Summary and the full report.

New Program Preps Northwest College Students for Careers in Energy

Northwest Public Power Association Bulleting, June 2015, by Joel Scruggs. [Scroll to page 12.]
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=2352

"Attracting new talent is a key challenge facing the utility industry.... So the Bonneville Power Administration [BPA] has rolled out a new program designed to get more young people engaged. 'We’re giving students an opportunity to explore solutions to real-world technical challenges in the electric utility industry,' said BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer. The program, known as the Northwest Energy Experience (NW Energy XP), pairs teams of university students and faculty across various disciplines with BPA subject matter experts in special study projects."

Utilities and Customers are Embracing Community Solar -- Is Your Utility Next?

Northwest Public Power Association Bulletin, June 2015, by Joel Scruggs. [Scroll to page 26.]
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=2352

"A quick survey of our utility members showed that while NWPPA utilities in every state they represent have customers and members with solar projects/net-metering projects on their own property, not many have community solar projects. However,  ...the word is out about them and many utilities are weighing the pros and cons of community solar — several members have even built one or are starting the process."

Going Solar: Options Abound for Co-ops Committed to Harnessing the Sun

Rural Electric Magazine, June 2015, by Cathy Cash.
http://remagazine.coop/solving-the-solar-puzzle/

"Co-op creativity is on display in trail-blazing integrations of  PV systems."

How to Make the Utility of the Future an Energy-Efficient One: New ACEEE Report Series

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), June 10, 2015, by Maggie Molina. http://aceee.org/blog/2015/06/how-make-utility-future-energy "Utilities have traditionally earned profits by simply selling more energy and building more power plants and infrastructure, which put their financial motivations squarely at odds with the goal of greater energy efficiency. Luckily, that business model has started to change, which is good news for the nation’s economy, environment, and for consumers who want more options for saving energy in their homes and businesses. With the proper regulatory tools in place, utilities’ financial motivations can be aligned with energy efficiency outcomes. ACEEE has been researching this issue for years, and today we are releasing a series of three new reports on a range of topics related to utility business models and energy efficiency." 1) Policies Matter: Creating a Foundation for an Energy-Efficient Utility of the Future 2) Beyond Carrots for Utilities: A Nat ... Read the rest of entry »

Key Drivers for Energy Storage Adoption: Distributing Reliable, High-Quality Power With a Range of Resources

North American Clean Energy, May/June 2015, by Chris Thompson.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/magazine/mayjune_2015/index.html#p=8

"There is substantial buzz surrounding grid-tied energy storage. But what are the drivers for grid-tied storage today? There are key industry trends propelling the adoption of energy storage technology, including: increased renewables penetration, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders, battery prices, and state mandates. The overall benefits of storage have evolved over the past few years, and grid-tied energy storage will continue to be an important consideration for the future of the grid."

Seattle City Light to Test 'Self-Healing' Power Line

Public Power Weekly, May 4, 2015, by Jeannine Anderson.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/weekly/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=43771

"Starting this fall, Seattle City Light in Washington will begin testing automated switching technology that is designed to speed the restoration of service when a power line is damaged. A pilot project using these “self-healing” power lines is part of a larger effort to build a smarter and more resilient grid in Seattle. The equipment, which is being installed on two of the municipal utility’s feeder lines, is expected to be in operation before the Seattle storm season begins in September."

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."
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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