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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


Building a Stronger Grid

Electric Perspectives, Sept./Oct. 2014, by Elisa Wood.
http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=223729&p=34

"Utilities are investing billions of dollars in the nation's transmission system to improve reliability, relieve congestion, facilitate competition, and support a diverse and changing generation portfolio."


Batteries Set To Put Big Charge Into Energy Storage

Engineering News-Record (ENR), Sept. 22-29, 2014, by Thomas F. Armistead.
http://enr.construction.com/infrastructure/power_industrial/2014/0929-Batteries-Set-To-Put-Big-Charge-Into-Energy-Storage.asp

"A surge of energy is flowing into energy storage. Tesla Motors' Sept. 4 announcement that named Nevada the winner of a five-state competition to host its planned gigafactory added momentum to a market for which Lux Research LLC forecasts 8% compounded annual growth, to a global value of $50 billion, by 2020. Tesla's $4-billion plant outside Reno will produce batteries for the automotive market and the grid. According to market research firm IHS, the 2013 energy-storage installation of 340 MW will grow to 6,000 MW by 2017 and to more than 40,000 MW by 2022."

Financial Impacts of Net-Metered PV on Utilities and Ratepayers: A Scoping Study of Two Prototypical U.S. Utilities

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sept. 2014, by Andrew Satchwell, and others.
http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/LBNL%20PV%20Business%20Models%20Report_no%20report%20number%20(Sept%2025%20revision).pdf

"A new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) that examines the potential impacts of customer-sited photovoltaics (PV) on electric utility profitability and rates. The report shows that these impacts can vary greatly depending upon the specific circumstances of the utility. The report also examines measures that could be pursued by utilities and regulators to mitigate the financial impacts."

State Compliance Options [for Carbon Reduction] under EPA's Clean Power Plan

Sustainability: The Journal of Record, Aug. 2014, by Kate Swayne Wilson and others.
http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/SUS.2014.9779

"While the ruling is not without opposition, many stakeholders were relieved to find that it [the Clean Power Plan] offers flexibility for each state to achieve its assigned carbon reduction target, and that states and utilities will be able to build on initiatives already in place."

Snohomish PUD Tidal Power Project Not to Advance

Snohomish (WA) PUD Press Release, Sept. 30, 2014.
http://www.snopud.com/newsroom.ashx?p=1102&173_na=276

"Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) today announced it will no longer pursue its pilot tidal energy research project in Admiralty Inlet, west of Whidbey Island."

What’s Needed to Address U.S. Geothermal’s Deep-Seated Challenges?

Power Magazine, Sep. 2014, by Kennedy Maize.
http://www.powermag.com/whats-needed-to-address-u-s-geothermals-deep-seated-challenges/

"Geothermal generation is clean, renewable, and cost-effective over the long term, and the U.S. has vast untapped geothermal resources. So why is it still operating on the sidelines?"

Includes a sidebar that summarizes "The International Scene".

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."

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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.