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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.

 


A New Plateau: Broad Structural Changes are Reshaping the Utility Landscape

Rural Electric Magazine, Dec. 2017, by Reed Karaim.
http://remagazine.coop/technology-trends-reshaping-electric-utilities/

"We’re living in an era of rapid and sustained technological change that can sometimes feel like chaos. But many analysts say the recent spate of frenetic innovation is beginning to take shape into three primary trends that will ultimately reshape the electric utility industry.  ...identifies the three plates as increased consumer focus, with consumers becoming more aware of their power options and desires; distribution optimization, the result of smart-grid and other technologies that are vastly increasing the control and analytical capabilities of electric co-ops; and an evolution of the wholesale/retail model, which includes both the growth of distributed generation and evolving state regulations intended to further decentralize power generation.

Flashbacks: Rural Electrification By the Numbers

Rural Electric Magazine, Dec. 2016, by Frank K. Gallant.
http://remagazine.coop/flashbacks-rural-electrification-cartogram-numbers/

"....In 1940, just four and a half years after Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 7037, 25 percent of American farms had been electrified. Among the bigger farm states, Indiana (37 percent), Ohio (42 percent), and Washington (57 percent) were electrifying fastest. Ten years later, 90 percent had been electrified nationally. REA was proving to be one of the most successful government infrastructure-building programs in U.S. history."

Chiller Plant Optimization: Improving On Variable Primary Flow Chilled Water System Operation

Engineered Systems, Nov. 2016, by Mark Bandini, Ernie Brandusa, and Carlos Petty.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/98002-chiller-plant-optimization-improving-on-variable-primary-flow-chilled-water-system-operation

"The larger or more complex a cooling plant becomes, the more challenges to its efficiency it will face. When applied wisely, modern controls and equipment can rise to meet those challenges. Read up on active balancing, pump dynamic differential setpoint control, and more responsive tactics for when the worst thing you can do is just go with the flow."

Why Would A Hospital Consider Absorption Chillers?

Engineered Systems, Nov. 2016, by Marcia Karr.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/98005-why-would-a-hospital-consider-absorption-chillers

"While CHP is good, CCHP can be even better for your facility and its locale. The author surveys the potential benefits, building code input, and electrical considerations. After a couple of case studies, she then reviews considerable engineering re-sources the DOE provides for those contemplating a forward-looking but proven design."

Oregon Wave Energy Center Gets $40 Million for Test Facility

Power, Dec. 12, 2016, by Gail Reitenbach.
http://www.powermag.com/oregon-wave-energy-center-gets-40-million-for-test-facility/

"Oregon State University’s (OSU’s) Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) was awarded up to $40 million by the Department of Energy (DOE) on December 21 to create what the center calls the world’s premier wave energy test facility in Newport, Ore."

The City Of Las Vegas Is Now Powered Entirely By Renewable Energy

Huffington Post, Dec. 20, 2016, by Hayley Miller.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-city-of-las-vegas-is-now-powered-entirely-by-renewable-energy_us_58594291e4b0b3ddfd8ea4e8

"Las Vegas just became the largest U.S. city to rely solely on green energy to power its municipal facilities. All Las Vegas city facilities ― from government buildings to streetlights ― are now running entirely on renewable energy, city officials have announced."

Bioenergy Byproduct to Soil Savior [Biochar]

Biomass Magazine, Nov. 2016, by Anna Simet.
http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/13803/bioenergy-byproduct-to-soil-savior

"Production and sale of biochar at biomass-using plants can result in significant financial gains, but the industry is still working at building its myriad of potential markets."

Want to Improve Wind and Solar Power? Bring Them Together

Ensia, Nov. 7, 2016, by Ben Jervey.
https://ensia.com/articles/renewable-energy-wind-solar/

"By combining intermittent renewable energy sources through hybrid projects, developers are taking advantage of the strengths of each."

Smart Grid Standard Adopted by International Organization for Standardization

ASHRAE, Dec. 14, 2016, by Jodi Scott.
https://www.ashrae.org/news/2016/smart-grid-standard-adopted-by-international-organization-for-standardization

"A smart grid standard published earlier this year by ASHRAE and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has been approved as an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard. ANSI/ASHRAE/NEMA Standard 201-2016, Facility Smart Grid Information Model (FSGIM), provides a common basis for electrical energy consumers to describe, manage and communicate about electrical energy consumptions and forecasts."

Floating PV: A Novel Approach To Solar

Solar Industry, Dec. 2016, by Bernard Prouvost.
http://issues.solarindustrymag.com/article/floating-pv-a-novel-approach-to-solar

"As solar power becomes increasingly affordable, accessible and prevalent around the world, new technologies and methods of installation are emerging. Specifically, floating solar PV is becoming a competitive and viable niche in the solar market that offers a water-based alternative to traditional PV installed on the ground, rooftops or carports."

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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