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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


What Are Transient Loads, and How Do I Reduce the Effect On My Turbines?

Wind Systems, Oct. 2015, by Doug Herr.

"In the wind industry today, there is more discussion than ever on loads in the drivetrain of turbines. A significant amount of work has been done over the past few years to show that transient loads, particularly transient torque reversal loads, are occurring more often than expected. NREL’s Gearbox Reliability Collaborative has discussed transients and developed test cells to better understand the dynamics within the drivetrain."

Pot Power: How Utilities and Regulators are Dealing with the Budding Marijuana Industry

Utility Dive, Nov. 13, 2015, by Gavin Bade.

"Marijuana growing is becoming so mainstream — and is consuming so much energy — that electric utilities and their regulators from coast to coast are sitting up and taking notice."

Marijuana Grow Houses Trigger 7 Summer Outages for Pacific Power

Utility Dive, Nov. 6, 2015, by Robert Walton.

"Pacific Power is urging would-be home growers to consult with the utility before starting up their marijuana operations, same as they should any time a customer intends to significantly increase their power load."

Building Internet of Things and Automated Demand Response

Building Operating Management, Oct. 2015, by Rita Tatum.

An article in 3-parts: Explores impact of the Internet of Things on how facilities communicate with electric utilities.
1) How Internet of Things Is Automating Demand Response Programs
2) How Automated Demand Response (ADR) Works in Power Utilization
3) How OpenADR Standard Aims to Help with Automated Demand Response

Data Rather than Door Knocking to Acquire Energy Efficiency Customers

Energy Efficiency Markets, Oct. 13, 2015, by Lisa Cohn.

"To acquire energy efficiency customers, many utilities hire people to knock on doors, especially for programs like demand response, says Sid Siddhartha, founder and CEO of Innowatts, which provides data-driven energy management. The company has developed a program that uses data instead."

New Standard Bridges the Gap in Commissioning [Windpower]

North American Windpower, Sep. 2015, by Ron Widup.

"A new electrical standard defines expectations and performance during wind farm commissioning." ANSI/NETA ECS-2015 Standard for Electrical Commissioning Specifications for Electrical Power Equipment and Systems (NETA ECS)

WSU to Help Improve Cyber Security in Energy Delivery

WSU News, Oct. 12, 2015, by Tina Hilding.

"Washington State University will participate in a new, five-year $28.1 million U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) initiative to improve computer/communication networks for energy delivery systems like power grids and pipelines."

New Horizons for Energy Efficiency: Major Opportunities to Reach Higher Electricity Savings by 2030

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Sep. 2015, by Dan York, and others.

"Higher equipment standards and more stringent building codes are squeezing the amount of savings that energy efficiency programs can harvest. No single measure will yield a dominant share of energy savings for utility program portfolios, as have lighting programs in the past. This report examines the next large opportunities for energy efficiency savings. It analyzes 18 measures—including reduction of plug loads, conservation voltage reduction, and smart manufacturing—that could collectively save 22% of total projected electricity use in the year 2030."

Compare and Save With Web-Based Energy Efficiency Tool [Utilities]

Public Power, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Alex Hofmann.

"...The American Public Power Association and Large Public Power Council have partnered to create a web-based tool that allows utilities to compare themselves to their peers. The tool takes data from the Energy Information Administration Form 861 and outputs it in a digestible, comparable format. Users can filter, sort, compare, benchmark and analyze the data much more easily than if they were to download the spreadsheet file of EIA data and try to reach conclusions on their own — the tool does the work. It generates customizable peer comparison charts by geography, ownership type, size, year-over-year, and other options. The charts address a range of energy efficiency indicators such as energy savings, potential demand reduction, and spending."

Microgrids: Self-Sufficient Energy Islands

Public Power, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Ethan Howland.

"Microgrids, small energy systems that can run independently of the main grid, can turn communities into self-sufficient energy islands. The technology may have been made popular by a devastating storm, but public power utilities have been creating electricity islands since before it was cool. Microgrids are positioned to grow quickly, with public power utilities leading the way, thanks to their unique position in their communities."
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