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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


2013 Wind Technologies Market Report

U.S. Department of Energy, Aug. 2014, by Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger.
http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/08/f18/2013%20Wind%20Technologies%20Market%20Report_1.pdf

"Annual wind power capacity additions in the United States were modest in 2013, but all signals point to more-robust growth in 2014 and 2015. With the industry’s primary federal support—the production tax credit (PTC)—only available for projects that had begun construction by the end of 2013, the next couple years will see those projects commissioned. Near-term wind additions will also be driven by recent improvements in the cost and performance of wind power technologies. At the same time, the prospects for growth beyond 2015 are uncertain."

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.

How Solar Energy Trackers Stack Up: Evaluating Utility-Scale Success

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Jay Johnson.
http://www.exosun.net/images/download/press-articles/NACE_201407.pdf

"In terms of photovoltaic's (PVs), solar trackers--motorized structures that shift the position of modules--can significantly increase the production of utility-scale plants by optimizing the angle of incidence between a module and incoming solar rays."

Water Utilities Are Starting to Take Their Own Conservation Advice

Governing, Aug. 2014, by Elizabeth Daigneau.
http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-water-utilities-conservation.html

"Wastewater treatment plants are often the biggest consumers of electricity in their area. Gresham, Ore., and Washington, D.C., are making moves to change that."

Reducing Offshore [Wind] Costs Through Integrated Design

Wind Systems Magazine, Jul. 2014, by James Dobbins, David Quarton, Paul Reynolds, and Joe Phillips.
http://www.windsystemsmag.com/article/detail/684/reducing-offshore-costs-through-integrated-design

"Compared to its land-based cousin, offshore wind is a new energy technology. This relative immaturity as well as the technical challenge of offshore wind means that it is currently around 50 percent more expensive to produce a unit of energy offshore than it is onshore. But the stronger, more consistent wind at sea means that there are real opportunities to narrow the gap and there are several government and industry-sponsored programs aimed at doing just that in the UK, Germany and Denmark — all leading countries in the creation of offshore wind sectors."

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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.