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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.


The Game Changer [Energy Storage]

Solar Today, April 30, 2015, by Maureen McIntyre (Editor & publisher)

"The global energy landscape is shifting, and the game changer is energy storage."

Seattle City Light to Test 'Self-Healing' Power Line

Public Power Weekly, May 4, 2015, by Jeannine Anderson.

"Starting this fall, Seattle City Light in Washington will begin testing automated switching technology that is designed to speed the restoration of service when a power line is damaged. A pilot project using these “self-healing” power lines is part of a larger effort to build a smarter and more resilient grid in Seattle. The equipment, which is being installed on two of the municipal utility’s feeder lines, is expected to be in operation before the Seattle storm season begins in September."

Over 50% Energy Savings Realized for Naval Air Station Facility on Whidbey Island

Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) News, May 26, 2015.

"The Naval Air Station (NAS) on Whidbey Island believes that national defense and environmental protection must be compatible goals. Their recent effort to develop and execute a targeted plan for upgrading the chilled water system serving their critical Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) facility is another great example of the commitment the NAS has for environmental stewardship and continual improvement."

VRF with Heat Recovery Ventilation In Pre K-12 Schools

Engineered Systems, May 2015, by Robert G. Thompson.

"As the learning curve for VRF continues, it’s only fitting to see how it can fare in a familiar learning environment. Turns out it can play a key role in the critical lesson of adapting to existing spaces and occupancy needs when crafting the optimum retrofit design for a given client."

Congress Creates Tenant Star But Does Little Else

Green Building Law Update, Apr. 26, 2015, by Stuart Kaplow.

"The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, S. 535, a portion of this bill was formerly known as the Better Buildings Act of 2015, passed the House of Representatives last week and on April 23rd was presented to the President for signature. ...[this]bill has no mandates and only requires the federal government (and no one else) to undertake some very modest, low cost, acts.  Senate bill 535 requires the General Services Administration to develop and “publish” model leasing provisions to encourage building owners and tenants to use greater cost-effective energy efficiency and water efficiency measures in commercial buildings; and, develop policies and practices to implement the measures for the realty services provided by the GSA to agencies."

High School LEEDership

Engineered Systems, May 2015, by Jeffrey Seewald and Corinne Wichser.

"Spurred by student initiative, this Minnesota magnet school has become the host for a unique collaboration focused on auditing and improving its mechanical and environmental performance. See how the partnership has gotten off to a solid start in conducting what is far from your average extra credit assignment."

State [WA] Offers Buyers of Energy-Efficient Homes Break on Mortgage Interest

KIRO TV, May 28, 2015, David Ham.

"The Washington State Housing Finance Commission is close to launching its EnergySpark program, offering eligible homeowners .25% off of their mortgage interest rate."

Commercial New Construction Market Assessment

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), Report #E15-289, May 20, 2015.

"The report highlights trends, barriers, and opportunities for high-performance projects, with a focus on Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. This 2014 study discusses potential intervention strategies to increase adoption of new design and construction best practices for high-performance commercial buildings. CLEAResult led this project - which includes literature review, market data and stakeholder interviews - with additional support from New Buildings Institute."

Enabling Wind Power Nationwide

U.S. Department of Energy, May 2015.

A new report "shows how the United States can unlock the vast potential for wind energy deployment in all 50 states—made possible through the next-generation of larger wind turbines. It highlights wind energy’s potential to generate electricity even in states with no utility-scale wind energy development today."

Methods of Calculating Water Recovery From Air-Conditioning Cooling Coils, Part 2 of 2

HPAC Engineering, May 2015, by William G. Acker.

"Last month, in Part 1 of this article, we evaluated four equations used to determine the amount of water vapor removed from cooling coils in condensate-recovery applications. The accuracy of those equations varies, as some calculate only the removal of water vapor entering with the outside-air intake. This month, we will discuss more-accurate methods of calculating water-vapor removal and calculating the removal of all water-vapor loads by a cooling coil."


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