Bookmark and Share

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


Avista’s Aging Headquarters Gets Energy-Efficiency update

The Spokesman-Review, Dec. 12, 2014, by Becky Kramer.
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/dec/12/avistas-aging-headquarters-gets-energy-efficiency/

"When the heating-and-cooling system at the Spokane utility’s corporate headquarters passed the half-century mark a few years ago, officials decided it was time for replacement.

The new system is part of a $28 million energy-efficiency remodel that will eventually cut power costs at the utility’s headquarters on Mission Avenue by $275,000 per year. The updates will save about 2.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, or enough to power 233 homes."

Power Savings of Smart Meters Prove Slow to Materialize

New York Times, Dec. 5, 2014, by Matthew L. Wald.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/06/business/energy-environment/power-savings-of-smart-meters-prove-slow-to-materialize.html

"Although the goal is to shift consumption to off-peak hours when cheaper, cleaner electricity is available, experts say it is still many years away, despite billions in federal subsidies that have helped finance the switch to the so-called smart grid."

Utilities Face Significant Revenue Losses from Growth of Solar, Storage and Energy Efficiency, Accenture Research Shows

Accenture News Release, Dec. 8, 2014.
http://newsroom.accenture.com/news/utilities-face-significant-revenue-losses-from-growth-of-solar-storage-and-energy-efficiency-accenture-research-shows.htm

"Continued growth of distributed energy resources and energy efficiency measures could cause significant demand disruption and drive down utilities’ revenues by up to $48 billion a year in the United States and €61 billion a year in Europe by 2025, according to Accenture’s Digitally Enabled Grid research."

Almost All U.S. Nuclear Plants Require Life Extension Past 60 Years to Operate Beyond 2050

Energy Information Administration, Dec. 8, 2014.
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=19091

"When nuclear power plants are built, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has the authority to issue initial operating licenses for a period of 40 years. Beyond that, the reactors need license renewals, and the NRC has granted 20-year license renewals to 74 of the 100 operating reactors in the United States. These reactors may now operate for a total period of 60 years."

Northwest Public Utilities, BPA Top Five-Year Energy Savings Target

Bonneville Power Administration Newsroom, Nov. 25, 2014.
http://www.bpa.gov/news/newsroom/Pages/Northwest-public-utilities-BPA-top-five-year-energy-savings-target.aspx

"Since 2010, Northwest publicly owned electric utilities and the Bonneville Power Administration have saved at least 560 average megawatts of electricity, greatly surpassing the five-year goal of 504 aMW set by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Sixth Power Plan."

Could Reducing Peak Demand 5% Be As Simple As ... Asking?

Utility Dive, Nov. 4, 2014, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/could-reducing-peak-demand-5-be-as-simple-as-asking/329102/

"A pilot program completed over the summer turned up this: When utilities asked customers to turn down the thermostat, they did it. Power providers looking to leverage the benefits of demand response face a big challenge—only about 5% of U.S. households participate in demand response programs. There are a variety of reasons, ranging from the time and difficulty in studying and getting demand response programs approved to ratepayer confusion over dynamic pricing. And while more coordinated, price-oriented and opt-in programs will show deeper savings on a per-meter basis, demand response provider Opower's [Michigan] work in so-called "behavioral demand response" is challenging the traditional route to demand response savings."

The Fight Over Solar Moves from Net Metering to Rate Design

Utility Dive, Nov. 3, 2014, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/the-fight-over-solar-moves-from-net-metering-to-rate-design/327742/

"Fights over electricity rates are brewing all across the country. Utilities say new rate proposals will protect customers who haven’t moved to solar and energy efficiency. But those who have moved say the proposals only protect utilities." "There are two categories of rate restructuring and rate design changes bubbling up,” explained Environmental Law & Policy Center Sr. Attorney Brad Klein. “The first is to move cost recovery from the variable per-kilowatt-hour charge and increase the monthly fixed charge. The other is to impose a monthly dollars-per-kilowatt charge on owners of distributed generation.”

Preparing for Distributed Generation in the Northwest

Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Bulletin, Oct. 2014, by Charlie Black. (open PDF, then scroll or jump to page 26)
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=1928

"In recent years, electric utility customers have begun showing greater interest in distributed generation. Declining costs and expanding availability of on-site electric generating systems, such as roof-mounted solar photovoltaic equipment marketed and installed by third-party service providers, are causing residential and business customers to consider self-supply as an attractive alternative to relying exclusively on centrally generated power delivered via the utility grid."

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell': How Utilities are Powering the Marijuana Industry

Utility Dive, Oct. 23, 2014, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/dont-ask-dont-tell-how-utilities-are-powering-the-marijuana-industry/322565/

"Marijuana—legal or otherwise—requires a lot of power to produce. And in the Pacific Northwest, utilities are now facing the complicated task of efficiently meeting that demand while navigating a set of opposing laws."

Smart Grid Provides Power Bridge to Fox Island [WA]

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Newsroom, Oct. 8, 2014.
http://www.bpa.gov/news/newsroom/Pages/Smart-grid-fills-critical-need-on-Fox-Island.aspx

A PNW Smart Grid Demonstration Project success story:
"The goal of the demonstration project is to test how new technologies can integrate renewable energy and improve reliability for grid operators while lowering the costs of energy for consumers. Led by Battelle Northwest, the Department of Energy Recovery Act project involved 11 utilities, five technology partners and two universities across five states in the nation’s largest test to modernize the grid. DOE matched the funds of participants, including the Bonneville Power Administration’s $10 million contribution. PenLight [Penisnula Light Co.] invested $1.2 million in the $178 million cost-share project."
Pages: Prev1234567NextReturn Top

About

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.