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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 Fine Art of Making Energy Visible

Business Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Mark Scott Lavin.
http://www.distributedenergy.com/DE/Editorial/The_Fine_Art_of_Making_Energy_Visible_26497.aspx

"One of the boldest experiments in energy efficiency collaboration in the US is now well underway in Vermont, where cold winters and other factors drive some of the highest energy costs in the country. It’s spearheaded by a new kind of utility known as Efficiency Vermont and run by the non-profit Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC). This new utility is the first of its kind, though similar initiatives have emerged in Oregon, Washington DC, and the Ohio region. Efficiency Vermont provides electricity to stakeholders, not by building power plants, but by helping existing consumers use less energy and use it wisely."

Electrically Conductive Paste Provides Life Cycle Cost Savings for [Wind] Turbine Electrical Connections

Wind Systems Magazine, Aug. 2014, by Tom Gibson.
http://www.windsystemsmag.com/article/detail/706/electrically-conductive-paste-provides-life-cycle-cost-savings-for-turbine-electrical-connections

"...manufacturers are also standardizing wind turbine systems to make them similar to other electrical systems familiar to maintenance technicians, using established modular industrial connectors for plug-and-play convenience. Plug-in connectors are used when possible, eliminating the time required by traditional mechanical bolt-type connectors. But are the manufacturers and installers taking a serious look at protecting these electronics?

Perhaps the answers lie in looking at how electrical connections on other types of equipment around the world are protected from moisture and corrosion. They often benefit from the use of electrically conductive paste on connections, extending their life span, enhancing safety, and raising their electrical efficiency
."

SnoPUD Takes a Fresh Approach to Energy Storage

Northwest Public Power Association Bulletin, Aug. 2014, by Neil Neroutsos. [Open and Scroll/Jump to page 14 of the PDF.]
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=1859

"Later this year, Snohomish County Public Utility District plans to deploy an innovative energy storage system that aims to transform the marketplace and how utilities manage electric grid operations. The PUD, and its principal partner 1Energy Systems, will install the Modular Energy Storage architecture (MESA) at multiple utility substations. The system will provide a standard, non-proprietary, and scalable approach to energy storage."

Hawaii Energy Offers State’s First Energy Efficiency Auction

Air Conditioning/Heating/Refrigeration News, Sept. 11, 2014.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/127594-sept-11-2014-hawaii-energy-offers-states-first-energy-efficiency-auction

"Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program for Hawaii, Honolulu, and Maui counties, is launching the Hawaii Energy Efficiency Auction. The auction is an open call for contractors, developers, energy efficiency solution providers, energy service companies (ESCOs), energy vendors, and property managers to submit qualified energy efficiency projects to compete for up to $2.1 million in incentive funds to offset project costs."

Super-Efficient Manufactured Home [Bothell, WA]

BPA Journal, Sep. 2014. [Scroll to page 3.]
http://www.bpa.gov/news/pubs/Journal/Journal-201409-September-2014.pdf

"Puget Sound Energy, Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County and BPA recently hosted a tour of a new, high performance manufactured home in Bothell, just north of Seattle. The prototype home incorporates some of the latest energy-saving features and technologies, including a ductless heat pump, heat pump water heater, efficient lighting, triple-glazed windows, foam sheathing on exterior walls and added insulation."


Bright Future for Energy Storage

Power Magazine, Aug. 2014, by Patrick Ferguson.
http://www.powermag.com/bright-future-for-energy-storage/

"Many Americans will likely someday rely in part on battery systems to power their appliances and cars, store electricity generated by their solar PV panels, and help regulate the frequency and efficiency of the overall power grid. By setting aggressive targets, reducing the barriers to entry, and providing long-term funding, California has incentivized the development of battery storage systems. If these programs prove successful in California, other states could begin offering similar incentives in the coming years."

Backup Power for Water Utilities

Water Efficiency: The Journal for Water Resource Management, Jul/Aug 2014, by William Atkinson.
http://www.waterefficiency.net/WE/Articles/Backup_Power_for_Water_Utilities_26398.aspx

"The majority of the public considers water utilities and electric utilities to be “sisters”—and, in a lot of ways, they are. However, what very few members of the public consider is that both utilities depend heavily on each other. Electric utilities simply cannot function without water, and water utilities obviously cannot function without electricity.

Of course, there will be times when the power does go out, usually as a result of a major storm, but also for a host of other reasons. As such, it is incumbent on water utilities to arrange for backup power, because, while the public can survive without electricity for days, or even a few weeks, it can’t survive long without fresh water
."

AMI-Based Load Research

Rural Electric Magazine, Aug. 2014, by Reed Karaim.
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nreca/re0814/index.php?startid=38

"Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) project proves value of smart meters in load analysis."

This is the 2nd in a series of articles on the $68 million Smart Grid Demonstration Project, a U.S. Department of Energy initiative undertaken by NRECA's Cooperative Research Network and 23 electric cooperatives. The 1st article, Testing the Smart Grid, is at https://remagazine.cooperative.com/About/PastIssues/Jul2014/Pages/CRN.aspx

Understanding Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariffs

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Justin R. Boose & Samantha Leavitt. (Scroll to page 8.)
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/magazine/julaug_2014/index.html

"One promising approach to encouraging the production of renewable energy has been the implementation of feed-in-tariff (FIT) programs. A FIT is a mechanism whereby utilities make purchases from a generator--typically at fixed prices and under long-term contracts. Such programs help create a stable market for renewable energy investment by providing certainty regarding the terms and conditions for interconnection and the sale of power."

Improving the Smart Grid: By Using ACCC Conductor

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by D.C. Bryant.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/18221/improving-the-smart-grid-by-using-accc-conductor

"In the attempt to modernize transmission infrastructure, it’s important to re-consider the capacity, efficiency, and reliability of the conductors used in the Smart Grid. It’s worth recalling past experiences, and the lessons that underscore the significance of conductor sag, along with the limitations of computers and telemetry devices during peak demand periods, N-1 conditions, and other emergency conditions.
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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

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.

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