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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


Trends in the Program Administrator Cost of Saving Electricity for Utility Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Jan. 2017, by Ian M. Hoffman, Greg Leventis, and Charles A. Goldman.
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/trends-program-administrator-cost/

"This technical brief presents trends in the cost of saved electricity for energy efficiency programs between 2009 and 2013. We collected and analyzed more than 5,400 program years of data collected in 36 states from 78 administrators of programs funded by customers of investor-owned utilities. These administrators provide efficiency programs to customers of investor-owned utilities that serve about half of total U.S. electricity load."

Energy Professionals Invited To Amp Up EE Literacy With Videos, E-Course

Bonneville Power Administration Newsroom, Dec. 14, 2016.
https://www.bpa.gov/news/newsroom/Pages/Energy-professionals-invited-to-amp-up-EE-literacy-with-videos-e-course.aspx

"There’s energy efficiency and there’s intellectual efficiency. And at the intersection of EE and e-learning lies Conduit ED. The program, which began in 2015, offers e-courses that are akin to a “10-minute university” or TED Talk. They’re available on Conduitnw.org, an online community for energy efficiency professionals launched by BPA and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance in 2011. The e-courses are free of charge and available 24/7 to utility professionals wishing to quickly advance their understanding of a foundational area of BPA’s mission and identity with a minimum of effort."

A New Plateau: Broad Structural Changes are Reshaping the Utility Landscape

Rural Electric Magazine, Dec. 2017, by Reed Karaim.
http://remagazine.coop/technology-trends-reshaping-electric-utilities/

"We’re living in an era of rapid and sustained technological change that can sometimes feel like chaos. But many analysts say the recent spate of frenetic innovation is beginning to take shape into three primary trends that will ultimately reshape the electric utility industry.  ...identifies the three plates as increased consumer focus, with consumers becoming more aware of their power options and desires; distribution optimization, the result of smart-grid and other technologies that are vastly increasing the control and analytical capabilities of electric co-ops; and an evolution of the wholesale/retail model, which includes both the growth of distributed generation and evolving state regulations intended to further decentralize power generation.

SGIP White Paper: Transactive Energy Application Landscape Scenarios

SGIP, Dec. 15, 2016.
http://www.sgip.org/wp-content/uploads/SGIP_White_Paper_TE_Application_Landscape_Scenarios_12-15-2016_FINAL.pdf

"This paper presents an analysis of the transactive energy (TE) application landscape, specifically examining the transactive process, business functions, actors in different smart grid (SG) application domains, and time scales. These process steps, business functions, actors and time scales comprise the dimensions of the landscape. Six high-level, operational scenarios are presented which, together, cover the identified TE dimensions, and which can collectively be used to explore TE interactions."

Big Opportunities for Small Business: Successful Practices of Utility Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Programs

ACEEE, Nov. 21, 2016, by Seth Nowack.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1607.pdf

"The great majority of gas and electric utility commercial customers are small businesses. Utility energy efficiency programs are beginning to tap the potential for energy and demand savings in the small business sector. In this report, we provide examples of successful practices and describe emerging approaches."

Inside Construction of the World's Largest Lithium Ion Battery Storage Facility

Utility Dive, Dec. 6, 2016, by Gavin Bade.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/inside-construction-of-the-worlds-largest-lithium-ion-battery-storage-faci/431765/

"SDG&E's 120 MWh Escondido storage project will help mitigate a natural gas shortage in southern CaliforniaWhen completed, the larger, 120 MWh project is expected to be the single biggest lithium ion battery in service on a utility grid in the world. Both battery facilities are expected to be online by the end of January 2017 — nothing short of miraculous in an industry where deploying assets, especially newfangled technologies, can take years."

Northwest Again Leads Nation in Energy Efficiency Investments

Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Nov. 18, 2016, by John Harrison.
http://www.nwcouncil.org/news/blog/energy-efficiency-2015-survey-results/

"Based on the results of a new regional survey, the Council reported this month that the Pacific Northwest has reduced demand for electricity by 1,739 average megawatts over the last six years — enough saved electricity to meet the annual power demand of 1.25 million homes and avoid the need to build four new average-size natural gas-fired power plants."

The Top 10 Utility Regulatory Commission Issues of 2016

Utility Dive, Nov. 28, 2016, by Krysti Shallenberger.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/the-top-10-utility-regulatory-commission-issues-of-2016/431164/

"From rate design to grid modernization and storage, state utility regulators had their hands full in 2016."

How Spokane Is Building a Smart City From the Grid Out, With Transactive Energy Included

GreenTech Media, Nov. 14, 2016, by Jeff St. John.
https://www.greentechmedia.com/squared/read/how-spokane-is-building-a-smart-city-from-the-ground-up-with-transactive-en

"Spokane, a city of some 210,000 people in the foothills of eastern Washington state, is not the first place that comes to mind when one thinks about cutting-edge smart city deployments, or the latest efforts in transactive energy. But utility Avista and smart metering giant Itron want it to earn its place on that map."

A 'Turning Point' for DERs? Utilities, Vendors Praise New NARUC Rate Design Manual

Utility Dive, Nov. 17, 2016, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/a-turning-point-for-ders-utilities-vendors-praise-new-naruc-rate-design/430621/

"Distributed energy resources remain a small part of most utilities' fuel mixes, but that could be transformed by a new manual about how utilities can use them. If electric utility regulators follow the recommendations for how to design rates and compensate distributed energy resources (DER), utilities and DER providers could together transform these new technologies from solely customer-serving resources into providers of services to the larger grid. "

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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