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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: Utilities


Energy Storage: Changing the Game, Changing the Grid

Public Power, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Paul Clampoli and Laura D'Alessandro.

"Energy storage is emerging as a jack-of-all-trades resource. It's essential to renewable generation proliferation, the backbone of the smartphone decade, and the technology behind peak-shaving, grid-shoring, and other ancillary services. It also holds the key to the future grid, but there are still some obstacles standing in its way."

Smart Grid Trailblazers Identify Future Needs through the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project

Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Bulletin, Sep. 2015, by Tim Ledbetter.

"The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, a five-year effort to advance knowledge and understanding of smart grid approaches and technologies, concluded earlier this year. But the project's outcomes are expected to inform smart grid deployment well into the future."

Winning the Cooling Tower Trifecta: Controlling Corrosion, Scale, and Microbiological Fouling

Power Magazine, Sep. 2015, by David Daniels.

"In cooling water chemistry for power plants, it is not enough to control one or two of the major chemistry issues. Successful treatment requires simultaneous control of corrosion, scale, and microbiological fouling. These three are so strongly tied to each other that if one is allowed to go out of control, the other two soon will be."

The Good News On Renewables — Unleashing Innovation: Energy Report

iBloomBerg Reports, Sept. 14, 2015.

"In February 2013, California energy officials sat down with power-industry executives to figure out how to avert an approaching calamity: The rapid rollout of wind and solar electricity was stressing the state’s grid. The more renewable energy California added, the more its power supply could be whipsawed by a cloudy day or a windy storm. Some at the meeting warned that problems, such as rolling brownouts, could start to show up later that year. ...Plenty of risks still remain. But the fact that the grid has been able to handle more renewables than previously thought is driving massive changes through the industry. One of the places it is being felt most acutely is among utilities."

Healthy Choices: Selecting From the Distributed Generation Rate Menu

Public Power, Jul/Aug 2015, by Laura D'Alessandro.

"Choosing the best distributed generation rate design for your utility depends largely on your community."

Making Advanced Metering Infrastructure Work for a Small Utility

Public Power, Jul/Aug 2015, by Susan Ryba.

"A rural community in North Carolina, Kings Mountain, has owned and operated its own utility system for more than 100 years and now serves about 6,000 electric, natural gas and water/sewer customers. The city’s electric, water and natural gas services are monitored and managed utilizing an advanced metering infrastructure system for assistance. The city’s leadership determined that the rollout of these technologies would be open and transparent to make sure the community not only accepted the new technology, but also welcomed it."

The Lowly Lightbulb Outshines Solar and Wind on U.S. Power Grids

Bloomberg Business, Aug. 14, 2015, by Naureen Malik.

"Utility and power grid managers in the U.S. are learning that the best way to cut carbon emissions and improve efficiency is the easiest: Just change your lightbulbs."

Searching for Equilibrium: How to Achieve It In the Era of Distributed Energy

Public Utilities Fortnightly, Aug. 2015, by David J. O'Brien.

"Over the decades of state regulation of distribution utilities, we have seen prominent structural changes - independent power and restructuring - that have altered the basis of the regulatory bargain. Today we stand at another critical point: where the structural underpinnings of the regulatory compact have shifted and a state of disequilibrium exists."

Energy Efficiency in the Clean Power Plan: Take One

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Aug. 12, 2015, by Cassandra Kubes.

"On August 3rd, EPA released the final Clean Power Plan (CPP), a rule that sets performance rates and individual state targets for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Now that the emissions targets are set, energy efficiency plays a prominent role as a proven strategy that states can use to reduce energy, cut emissions, and boost the economy."

Addressing the Energy-Intensive Marijuana Industry in Oregon

Energy Efficiency Markets, July 28, 2015, by Lisa Cohn.

"With recreational marijuana now legal in the state of Oregon, there’s growing interest in how to address the energy-intensive marijuana industry. Until the state works out the details of a law — effective July 1 — legalizing recreational marijuana, it is now only legal to grow medical marijuana in Oregon.  But there’s concern that once the industry gears up later this year, the growers will draw large amounts of energy. In fact, an article in a Portland paper, the Portland Business Journal, asked, 'Is it Time for LEED Weed?'"
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