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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


Tesla Gears Up for Charge Into Home Battery Storage Market

PV Magazine, Feb. 13, 2015, by Giles Parkinson.
http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/tesla-gears-up-for-charge-into-home-battery-storage-market_100018218/#axzz3SEQ4COxc

"Tesla Motors, the electric vehicle company throwing down a major challenge to the global motor industry, says it is now looking to become a front-runner in energy storage in a major new challenge to the traditional electric utility business model."



Energy Efficiency as a T&D Resource

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), Jan. 2015, by Chris Neme & Jim Grevatt, of the Energy Futures Group.
http://www.neep.org/sites/default/files/products/EMV-Forum-Geo-Targeting_Final_2015-01-20.pdf

"This report focuses on the role efficiency can play in deferring utility transmission and distribution (T&D) system investments. In particular, it addresses the role that intentional targeting of efficiency programs to specific constrained geographies – either by itself or in concert with demand  response, distributed generation and/or other “non-wires alternatives” (NWAs)2 – can play in deferring such investments. The report focuses primarily on electric T&D deferral, since that is where efforts in this area have focused to date. However, the concepts should be equally applicable to natural gas delivery infrastructure."

Energy Smart Industrial: Five Years of Enormous Savings [BPA]

Bonneville Power Administration Newsroom, Feb. 5, 2015.
http://www.bpa.gov/news/newsroom/Pages/Energy-Smart-Industrial-five-years-of-enormous-savings.aspx

"The Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial program is helping companies better manage their energy use and reduce costs. Since 2009, BPA and Northwest publicly owned electric utilities have partnered with 473 industrial companies on projects that have collectively saved more than 647 million kilowatt-hours of electricity — enough energy to power nearly 60,000 homes for a year."

Lower Load Growth Expectations for 7th Plan Don’t Reduce Importance of Energy Efficiency

NW Energy Coalition, Feb. 6, 2015.
http://www.nwenergy.org/news/lower-load-growth-expectations-for-7th-plan-dont-reduce-importance-of-energy-efficiency/

"Northwest Power and Conservation Council [NPPC]staff expect significantly slower growth in energy demand over the next 20 years than was predicted in the sixth regional power plan five years ago. This preliminary projection marks a critical step in the Council’s development of the 7th Northwest Power and Conservation Plan."

How Utilities Can Get In On the Solar Job Bonanza

Utility Dive, Jan. 28, 2015, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-utilities-can-get-in-on-the-solar-job-bonanza/357997/

"Despite solar providing 1.3% of all new U.S. jobs in 2014, being the single biggest new U.S. jobs creator, and doubling its installation sector since 2010, utilities seem to be uncertain about getting involved in it."

Nuclear Still Delivers

Public Power, Jan./Feb. 2015, by Alice Clamp.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/magazine/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42901

"From an electricity source that was 'too cheap to meter' to a long-awaited but elusive renaissance, nuclear energy has remained a viable generating resource. In Europe, the picture is mixed. The United Kingdom is building new nuclear plants, while Germany will close all of its currently operating nuclear plants by 2022. In the United States, nuclear power plants produce roughly one-fifth of the nation’s power. Within the public power community, nuclear energy accounts for about 8 percent of electricity generation."

Smart Start for Public Power: Utilities Modernize the Grid

Public Power, Jan./Feb. 2015, by Laurel Lunstrom.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/magazine/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42905

"Like the smart phone, the smart meter has become a ubiquitous part of living in the digital age. Some public power utilities that just five years ago were thinking about the smart meter as a thing of the future have now modernized their infrastructure in a way that not only includes smart meters and the communications systems that go with them, but also upgrades that have affected their entire way of doing business. Making utilities smarter has contributed to a greener environment, resulted in happier customers and, for some, has already provided lucrative returns on their multimillion-dollar smart grid investments."

Why Utilities Across the Nation Are Embracing Community Solar

Utility Dive, Jan. 22, 2015, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/why-utilities-across-the-nation-are-embracing-community-solar/354164/

"The shared renewables movement is catching on from coast to coast."

Arizona's Utility-Owned Solar Programs: The New Business Models Utilities Are Looking For?

Utility Dive, Jan. 7, 2014, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/arizonas-utility-owned-solar-programs-the-new-business-models-utilities-a/348331/

"Two innovative utility-owned solar programs were finalized by Arizona regulators at the close of 2014, programs that could change the net energy metering controversy. More importantly, they could change the utility business model and the solar business."

Report: Utility Spending on Energy Efficiency Soars as Supportive State Policies Are Expanded

Power Magazine, Dec. 2014, by Sonal Patel.
http://www.powermag.com/report-utility-spending-on-energy-efficiency-soars-as-supportive-state-policies-are-expanded/

"Electric utility spending and budgets for customer-funded energy efficiency programs have seen a 30% boost compared to 2010 levels and could double by 2025, thanks to expanding state policies, an updated report from the Institute for Electric Innovation (IEI) suggests."

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