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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

The WSU Energy Program Library prepares this current awareness blog with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. These articles highlight energy-related news, articles, and reports about energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy for energy professionals and interested members of the public.

Category: Transmission/Distribution

Transmission/Distribution


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."

Net Metering’s Confusing Future

Energy Manager Today, Jan. 9, 2017, by Carl Weinschenk.
http://www.energymanagertoday.com/net-meterings-confusing-future-0129594/

"There is confusion about changes to net metering rules.... Businesses like certainty. Those considering big solar investments are less likely to move forward until there is more clarity on the long-term future of net metering. Some might go forward even if the compensation limits are cut. But others, almost certainly, will bow out."

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."

How Spokane Is Building a Smart City From the Grid Out, With Transactive Energy Included

GreenTech Media, Nov. 14, 2016, by Jeff St. John.
https://www.greentechmedia.com/squared/read/how-spokane-is-building-a-smart-city-from-the-ground-up-with-transactive-en

"Spokane, a city of some 210,000 people in the foothills of eastern Washington state, is not the first place that comes to mind when one thinks about cutting-edge smart city deployments, or the latest efforts in transactive energy. But utility Avista and smart metering giant Itron want it to earn its place on that map."

A Method to Estimate the Costs and Benefits of Undergrounding Electricity Transmission and Distribution Lines

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Oct. 2016, by Peter H. Larsen.
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/method-estimate-costs-and-benefits

"There has been a general shortfall of peer-reviewed literature identifying methods to estimate the costs and benefits of strategies employed by electric utilities to improve grid resilience. This paper introduces—for the first time—a comprehensive analysis framework to estimate the societal costs and benefits of implementing one strategy to improve power system reliability: undergrounding power transmission and distribution lines. It is shown that undergrounding transmission and distribution lines can be a cost-effective strategy to improve reliability, but only if certain criteria are met before the decision to underground is made."

Liftoff for Drones: New Law Frees Co-ops To Begin Operational Drone Use

Rural Electric Magazine, Sept. 2016, by John Vanvig.
http://remagazine.coop/faa-drone-laws-allow-co-op-use/

"With technological constraints and regulatory uncertainties slowing their takeoff, utility UAS use has languished. But thanks to a recently signed federal law allowing their use by utilities, rapid advances in range and data-handling capabilities, and the public’s becoming more comfortable with UAS presence, experts expect UAS deployments to soar."

Luminous Bike Lane Opened in Poland

Next Nature Network (Amsterdam), Oct. 4, 2016, by Monika Kozub.
https://www.nextnature.net/2016/10/luminous-bike-lane-opened-poland/

"TPA Instytut Badan Technicznych in Pruszkow designed the first luminous bike lane, that opened last week near Lidzbark Warminski in the Mazury region. 'The material we used for the track gives light for over ten hours. That means the road can radiate throughout the whole night and reaccumulate light the following day' Igor Ruttmar from TPA says."

Nanogrids and Microgrids are Keys to Decentralizing the Energy Infrastructure

Energy Manager Today, Sept. 13, 2016, by Carl Weinschenk.
http://www.energymanagertoday.com/nanogrids-and-microgrids-are-keys-to-decentralizing-the-energy-infrastructure-0126982/

"Nanogrids essentially is the microgrid concept — creating islands of power generation that rely on renewables and can either work in concert with or independently of the utility — taken to its logical conclusion. Indeed, a big piece of the value proposition may be that nanogrids are so small that they ease the transition to decentralized power."

Microgrid & Microturbine Power Trends

Business Energy, Jul/Aug. 2016, Lyn Corum.
http://foresternetwork.com/business-energy-magazine/be-energy/be-energy-efficiency/microgrid-microturbine-power-trends/

"There are interesting developments happening with microgrids these days. Utilities are adding them to stabilize their grids, and communities are developing a peer-to-peer consumer energy trading system to buy and sell electricity generated by their solar systems."
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