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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.

 


Idaho Falls Power Completes Refurbishment of 1938 Hydropower Plant

NWPPA Bulletin, Jan. 2017, by John Barksdale. -- scroll to page 12 of the .pdf.
https://www.nwppa.org/wp-content/uploads/Bulletin_Jan_2017_WEB.pdf

"Idaho Falls Power, a department of the City of Idaho Falls and one of the oldest public power utilities in the Northwest, is situated on the Snake River in Southeast Idaho....  Today, IFP now owns and operates five hydroelectric facilities generating 56 megawatts for its 27,000 customers. The oldest of its hydro projects, the Old Lower Plant, was built during the Roosevelt Administration in 1938 under the Works Progress Administration.... Given the age of the generators, turbines, and the plant in general, IFP evaluated rebuilding the units to determine if it was an economically viable option. The analysis demonstrated a return on investment over a 35-year period using several energy cost scenarios. With an estimated rehabilitation cost of $7.8 million, the feasibility was deemed viable in all scenarios."

Energy Storage In 2017: A Different Shade Of Green

Solar Industry, Jan. 2017, by Matt Roberts.
http://issues.solarindustrymag.com/article/energy-storage-in-2017-a-different-shade-of-green

"The rise of renewable energy isn't the only good reason for more energy storage deployment."

Why Net Metering Matters For Commercial Solar, Too

Solar Industry, Jan. 2017, by Graham Smith.
http://issues.solarindustrymag.com/article/why-net-metering-matters-for-commercial-solar-too

"The C&I sector is often overlooked when it comes to the battle over NEM reform.... 2017 promises to hold many more discussions across the nation about NEM reform, from northwestern states like Utah, to the tip of the Northeast in New Hampshire and Maine. As policymakers and industry executives come together to decide on the future of solar, there must also be discussions about the effects of NEM reforms on C&I."

Wind Power Considerations

Solar Today, Winter 2016-2017, by Mick Sagrillo.
https://tinyurl.com/z5jh7h4

"Today's small wind turbines are a reliable way to cut utility bills and help mitigate global climate change. At the core of the small wind industry lies a mature, tried-and-tested technology. This growing industry also attracts a lot of start-up businesses; unfortunately many of them based on half-baked ideas or wishful thinking... Here is a list of issues to consider when shopping for a small wind system."

Advanced Battery Technology: A Foundation for New Energy

Solar Today, Winter 2016-2017, by Jim Peterson.
https://tinyurl.com/gu4zv8c

"We are on the cusp of a new generation of energy, both on the residential and large-scale utility fronts. With advanced digital technology and materials such as a new generation of lithium ion batteries, the future for storage battery technology gets brighter every day."

Solar Wars: Net-Metering

Solar Today, Winter 2016-2017, by Bill Ellard.
https://tinyurl.com/zbmkefj

"This is part one of a three-part series discussing "solar wars." There will be three battles in this war: net-metering, tariff reform, and grid defection. This will have short and long therm impacts on the solar industry, and it is expected to drive innovation."


Alcatraz: One of the Largest Microgrids in the United States

U.S. Dept. of Energy, Jan. 26, 2017, by Mike Mueller.
https://energy.gov/eere/articles/welcome-alcatraz-one-largest-microgrids-united-states

"Each year, more than 1.5 million people tour Alcatraz Island to visit its iconic prison. But, most people don’t realize that this 22-acre site, located in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, is also home to one of the nation’s largest microgrids. The island is equipped with a solar-diesel hybrid power system that most visitors probably won’t notice."

Putting the Potential Rate Impacts of Distributed Solar into Context

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Jan. 2017, by Galen Barbose.
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/putting-potential-rate-impacts

"Concerns about the potential impacts of net-metered PV on retail electricity prices have led to an array of proposals to reform rate structures and net metering rules for solar customers. These proposals have typically been met with a great deal of contention and often absorb substantial time and administrative resources, potentially at the expense of other issues that may ultimately have greater impact on utility ratepayers. Given those tradeoffs, this paper seeks to help regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders gauge how much attention ought to be given to evaluating and addressing the possible effects of distributed solar on retail electricity prices."


Creating a Sustainable Commute with Electric Vehicles and Workplace Charging

DOE, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Jan. 12, 2017, by Sarah Olexsak.
https://energy.gov/eere/articles/creating-sustainable-commute-electric-vehicles-and-workplace-charging

"In 2016, the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market exceeded expectations. Despite another year of unusually low gasoline prices averaging $2.24 per gallon, there are now more than half a million PEVs quietly zipping around U.S. streets. While PEVs are on the rise nationally, the Energy Department’s (DOE’s) Workplace Charging Challenge made big strides in 2016 as well."


Where Canadian Hydro is Heading

Hydro Review, Dec. 2016, by Michael Harris.
http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/hr/print/volume-35/issue-10/cover-story/where-canadian-hydro-is-heading.html

"With a number of significant projects in development, turnover in the federal government, commitments to international policies, and more impacting Canadian hydropower, the sector is as vibrant and dynamic as ever. We asked three industry experts to offer their views on where the Canadian hydro market is going and reflections on the past year with an eye toward trends and issues that could spread beyond Canadian borders."

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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