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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.

 


Energy Department Launches Zero Energy Schools Accelerator

U.S. Dept. of Energy, Dec. 6, 2016.
http://energy.gov/eere/articles/energy-department-launches-zero-energy-schools-accelerator

"...Today the Energy Department launched the Better Buildings Zero Energy Schools Accelerator. Six school districts, two states and several national organizations are working collaboratively to develop zero energy design that is cost-competitive to conventional construction in the education sector and in local communities across the nation."

What It Takes To Get Community Solar Done

Solar Industry, Nov. 2016, by Tim Braun.
http://issues.solarindustrymag.com/article/what-it-takes-to-get-community-solar-done

"Early distributed generation (DG) models inspired us to believe that we could all participate in the mission to democratize and decarbonize our energy infrastructure. Yet, for a long time, that was really only true for a quarter of U.S. households and businesses. For the other 75% or so, putting a solar PV system on their roof or property either wasn’t possible or wasn’t practical. Those hurdles are being addressed today through the proliferation of community solar, an adaptive DG model that has opened the door to a vast new customer base – one that includes all of us."

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."

Heat Pump Water Heaters Save Energy and Money

NRDC, Nov. 30, 2016, by Pierre Delforge, Christina Swanson, and Eric Weiner.
https://www.nrdc.org/experts/pierre-delforge/very-cool-heat-pump-water-heaters-save-energy-and-money

"A new NRDC study shows that water heaters that use high efficiency heat pump technology—the same process that keeps your refrigerator cold—can cut the amount of electricity used to heat water by half or more, saving significant amounts of energy and money on your household electricity bills."

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."

Insulating Homes with Natural Sheep's Wool

Builder, Dec. 5, 2016, by Lauren Shanesy.
http://www.builderonline.com/products/building-materials/insulating-homes-with-natural-sheeps-wool_o

"Wool has been keeping both sheep and humans warm for centuries. But now one company is using shorn sheep’s wool to give fiberglass and foam insulation a run for their money. Havelock Wool uses 100% natural wool sourced from New Zealand sheep to insulate homes and other buildings. Sheep grow wool in excess, so the renewable material is readily available and has a number of inherent, eco-friendly properties that make it a viable contender for building insulation."

Case study: Reducing Costs with Cloud-Based Energy Management [Water Recycling Plant]

RCR Wireless News, Nov. 18, 2016, by Phillip Tracy.
http://www.rcrwireless.com/20161118/internet-of-things/energy-management-candi-tag31-tag99

"The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency claims to operate the world’s largest water recycling facility designed for raw food crop irrigation, using 25 pumping stations to treat 20 million gallons of wastewater every day. Pumping, treatment and conveyance are a few of the most expensive and energy exhaustive processes for regional municipalities, comprising more than 30% of their budgets, according to a case study provided by Candi Controls. The MRWPCA chose an energy management and control solution to try to reduce operating costs associated with its operations."

A Policymaker’s Guide to Smart Manufacturing

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, Nov. 30, 2016, by Stephen Ezell.
https://itif.org/publications/2016/11/30/policymakers-guide-smart-manufacturing

"Smart manufacturing—the application of information technologies to manufacturing processes—is poised to transform how products are designed, fabricated, serviced, and used. But to speed this transformation, the federal government needs smarter policies for smart manufacturing."

DOE Completes New [Rotary] Air Compressor Standards

Appliance Standards Awareness Project, Dec. 5, 2016, by Chris Granda.
http://www.appliance-standards.org/blog/doe-completes-new-air-compressor-standards

"Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released new energy efficiency standards for rotary air compressors. These large air compressors power a range of commercial and industrial equipment such as manufacturing robots, pneumatic tools, and paint sprayers and use about 6 percent of all motor-driven electricity consumption in the industrial sector."

DOE Completes New Consensus-Based [Residential] Air Conditioner Standards

Appliance Standards Awareness Project, Dec. 5, 2016, by Andrew deLaski.
http://www.appliance-standards.org/blog/doe-completes-new-consensus-based-air-conditioner-standards?utm_source=Central+AC+final+rule

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published new minimum energy efficiency standards for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps today.  The new standards, which are based on a negotiated agreement, will reduce air conditioner and heat pump energy use by about 7%, translating into hundreds of dollars in electricity bill savings for consumers over the life of their equipment."

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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