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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: Transmission/Distribution

Transmission/Distribution


Landmark Northwest Study Reveals Smart Grid Pros and Cons

Public Power Daily, July 20, 2015, by Elisa Wood.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=44211

"A recently completed $178-million Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project led by Battelle demonstrated that smart grids are more efficient and resilient, according to a project report. The demonstration project was the largest of 16 smart grid demonstration projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The effort encompassed more than 60,000 metered customers, many of them served by public power utilities in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming."

Includes links to an Executive Summary and the full report.

Deploy Grid Energy Storage Using Best Practices From Existing Installations

Solar Industry, June 2015, by Chris Thompson.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/issues/SI1506/FEAT_03_Deploy-Grid-Energy-Storage-Using-Best-Practices-From-Existing-Installations.html

"...there are several commonalities between solar and grid-tied storage, and important lessons from the solar industry provide substantial guidance in energy storage application. Performance, pricing and packaging are the 'three Ps' of storage project deployment, derived from our direct experience in both solar and storage project deployment over the last few years."

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

Public Power Weekly, May 4, 2015, by Jeannine Anderson.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/weekly/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=43771

"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."

How Utilities and Policymakers Can Maintain and Boost Renewable Energy's Value

Utility Dive, May 7, 2015, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-utilities-and-policymakers-can-maintain-and-boost-renewable-energys-va/394643/

"Grid operators have overcome the technical barriers to integrating 30% solar PV or 40% wind on their systems. Now only the economics stand in the way, as the value of renewables to utilities can change, and often declines, as their penetrations increase. But, new research shows that barrier could be ready to crumble as well."

Demand Response Pilot Launched [Energy Northwest & BPA]

BPA Journal, May 2015. -- scroll to page 3 of the PDF.
http://www.bpa.gov/news/pubs/Journal/Journal-201505-May-2015.pdf

"Energy Northwest and BPA have integrated an additional demand response resource into the Energy Northwest Aggregation Demonstration project that went live Feb. 9. The system, which is the first of its kind in the region, will help BPA test balancing loads on its Northwest transmission grid through industrial resource partners."

Comprehensive Study Shows Decreasing Emissions from Local Natural Gas Distribution Systems

American Gas Association News Release, Mar. 31, 2015.
https://www.aga.org/news/news-releases/comprehensive-study-shows-decreasing-emissions-local-natural-gas-distribution

"A study published today in Environmental Science & Technology led by a team from Washington State University (WSU) found that emissions from local natural gas distribution systems in cities and towns throughout the U.S. have decreased in the past 20 years, to levels 36 to 70 percent lower than current estimates. This reduction reflects significant upgrades at metering and regulating stations, improvements in leak detection and maintenance activities and replacement of older pipeline materials."

Distribution and Substation Transformers: Design & Installation

Solar Pro, Mar./Apr. 2015, by Alexey Kondrashov and Tobin Booth.
http://solarprofessional.com/articles/design-installation/distribution-and-substation-transformers?v=disable_pagination

"In this article, we cover the fundamentals of transformer construction and operation. We discuss the general use of distribution and substation transformers in commercial and utility solar applications. We consider important transformer ratings and features. Finally, we summarize factory and field tests. If you do not take these considerations into account, the humble transformer can trip up your whole project. Our goal is to provide a definitive and practical guide that will help you select and specify pad-mounted distribution transformers for commercial and utility solar facilities."

EPRI Unveils Benefit-Cost Framework for an Integrated Grid

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Press Release, Feb. 16, 2015.
http://www.epri.com/Press-Releases/Pages/EPRI-Unveils-Benefit-Cost-Framework-for-an-Integrated-Grid.aspx

"The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released today a framework that all stakeholders in the electricity sector can use to assess benefits and costs of technologies and systems related to the integration of distributed energy resources (DER), such as solar, wind and micro-grids, into the planning and operations of the electric system. EPRI also identified a series of pilot projects in which the framework can be applied, potentially providing the electricity sector with technical and financial insights and a roadmap to support the deployment of what EPRI calls "The Integrated Grid," or one that makes best and fullest use of both central and distributed energy resources."

Energy Efficiency as a T&D Resource

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), Jan. 2015, by Chris Neme & Jim Grevatt, of the Energy Futures Group.
http://www.neep.org/sites/default/files/products/EMV-Forum-Geo-Targeting_Final_2015-01-20.pdf

"This report focuses on the role efficiency can play in deferring utility transmission and distribution (T&D) system investments. In particular, it addresses the role that intentional targeting of efficiency programs to specific constrained geographies – either by itself or in concert with demand  response, distributed generation and/or other “non-wires alternatives” (NWAs)2 – can play in deferring such investments. The report focuses primarily on electric T&D deferral, since that is where efforts in this area have focused to date. However, the concepts should be equally applicable to natural gas delivery infrastructure."

Smart Start for Public Power: Utilities Modernize the Grid

Public Power, Jan./Feb. 2015, by Laurel Lunstrom.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/magazine/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42905

"Like the smart phone, the smart meter has become a ubiquitous part of living in the digital age. Some public power utilities that just five years ago were thinking about the smart meter as a thing of the future have now modernized their infrastructure in a way that not only includes smart meters and the communications systems that go with them, but also upgrades that have affected their entire way of doing business. Making utilities smarter has contributed to a greener environment, resulted in happier customers and, for some, has already provided lucrative returns on their multimillion-dollar smart grid investments."
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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