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


SEPA Report Details Key Drivers for Cutting Utility-Scale Solar LCOE

Smart Electric Power Alliance, Mar. 2016.

"...a new report from the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) says, not all solar projects are created equal. Utilities looking to procure cost-competitive, high-value solar projects need to evaluate a range of factors, from regional solar resource intensity to local labor and permitting costs to system design issues, such as whether to use a fixed-tilt or single axis tracking system. The report was produced in partnership with solar project developer Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar."

Next-Generation Utility Programs: How M&V 2.0 is Enabling a “Negawatt” Market

Rocky Mountain Institute, Jan. 29, 2016, by Ellen Franconi.

"California’s recently passed Senate Bill (SB) 350 reinforces the state’s reputation as a leader in climate change policy. The bill sets state targets of 50 percent electricity generated by renewables and 50 percent increase in building energy efficiency by 2030. But what may be most remarkable in the bill is the change in how the state evaluates and promotes energy efficiency.  The bill proposes tracking efficiency by actual meter-based savings and authorizing pay-for-performance programs that link incentives directly to those savings."

Yes, Saving Energy is Cheaper than Making Energy

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Environment, Jan. 27, 2016, Annie Gilleo.

"Utilities have options when it comes to meeting customer demand for electricity. They can build power plants to convert fossil fuels to energy. They can capture renewable resources like solar and wind. And they can work with residents and businesses to lower demand by implementing energy efficiency programs."

A Retrospective Analysis of the Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Electricity Markets and Policy Group, Jan. 2016.

"This is the second in a series of reports exploring the costs, benefits, and other impacts of state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). This report focuses on the benefits and impacts of all state RPS programs, in aggregate, for the year 2013. Relying on a well-vetted set of methods, this report evaluates a number of important benefits and impacts in both physical and monetary terms, where possible, and characterizes key uncertainties. In particular, the study evaluates potential societal benefits associated with reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution emissions, and water use."

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)


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