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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: Power Generation

Power Plants


NREL Highlights 2014 Utility Green Power Leaders

National Renewable Energy Laboratory New Release, May 2015.
http://apps3.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/news/news_template.shtml?id=2034

"The Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released its assessment of leading utility green power programs. Using information provided by utilities, NREL has developed "Top 10" rankings of utility green power programs for 2014 in the following categories: total sales of renewable energy to program participants, total number of customer participants, the percentage of customer participation, and green power sales as a percentage of total utility retail electricity sales."

Mining for Lithium in Geothermal Brine: Promising but Pricey

Power Magazine, Mar. 2015, by Gail Reitenbach.
http://www.powermag.com/mining-for-lithium-in-geothermal-brine-promising-but-pricey/?printmode=1

"Brine, the waste stream of the geothermal power production cycle, is usually considered a nuisance. High in corrosive minerals, even when reinjected, it’s challenging to manage. So when Simbol Inc. showed it had a way to turn this waste stream into a revenue stream by mining it for high-value minerals like lithium, a lot of people got excited. However, just as this article was going to press, a lot of people got laid off."

Centralized & Decentralized PV Power Plants: Vendor Perspectives

SolarPro, Mar/Apr 2015, by Joe Schwartz.
http://solarprofessional.com/articles/design-installation/centralized-decentralized-pv-power-plants-vendor-perspectives?v=disable_pagination

"As the capacity of utility-scale PV plants has increased in the US, so has the capacity of the centralized power-conditioning units used in these projects. Today, many plants utilize factory-integrated skids that combine inverters, medium-voltage transformers and switchgear into packages that range in capacity from 1 MW to 2.5 MW. These integrated systems offer project developers many advantages, including optimized component compatibility, as well as reduced installation time and expense."

The Growing Demand for Emergency Backup Power

Business Energy, Mar. 2015, by Dan Rafter.
http://www.businessenergy.net/DE/Articles/The_Growing_Demand_for_
Emergency_Backup_Power_24939.aspx


"Onsite generation options for the needs of mission-critical businesses and staying a step ahead of storms."

Are Flexible Generation Plants Performing as Expected?

Power Magazine, Mar. 2015, by Thomas W. Overton.
http://www.powermag.com/are-flexible-generation-plants-performing-as-expected/?printmode=1

"Highly flexible, fast-ramping, fast-cycling combined cycle plants hit the market with a big splash a few years ago. But are they performing as advertised? Though the few operational plants are still new and still learning, the initial results are encouraging."

Handling the Heat With CHP: ESCOs Allow for More Adoption of Cogeneration

Business Energy, Mar.-Apr. 2015, by Carol Brzozowski.
http://www.businessenergy.net/DE/Articles/Handling_the_Heat_With_CHP_28482.aspx

"There is a renewed emphasis in the distributed generation marketplace for solutions such as Combined Heating and Power (CHP) and cogeneration, with shale gas being one of the primary drivers, notes Clark Wiedetz, director of alternative and renewable energy for the Building Technologies Division of Siemens."

Quiz: Know Your Power Plants

U.S. Department of Energy, Mar. 3, 2015.
http://www.energy.gov/articles/quiz-know-your-power-plants

"This quiz will test your knowledge of electricity generation in the U.S. Each map shows existing U.S. power plants for a specific fuel source, scaled by the plant's production capacity. See if you can guess the energy source by how it's distributed across the country!"

Making the Switch from Coal to Biomass [CHP]

Cogeneration and On-site Power Production, Mar. 2015, by Thomas Krause and Yaqoub Al-Khasawneh.
http://digital.cospp.com/cospp/20150304?sub_id=yZyIjhafYfpz&folio=24#pg26

A case study of a Danish power station: "With specific modifications, a bituminous coal-firing CHP system can be converted to operate with wood or other biomass pellets."

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."

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."
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