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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

Utilities


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."

What Are Microgrids, and Should Utilities Be Afraid of Them?

Solar Industry, Oct. 2016, by Geoff Sparrow.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/online/issues/SI1610/FEAT_03_What-Are-Microgrids-Of-Them.html

"The emerging technology could serve as an asset for grid modernization and the transition to cleaner power."

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."

For Utilities Hoping to Unlock Smart Grid Opportunities, Data Is the Key

Utility Dive, Oct. 5, 2016, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/for-utilities-hoping-to-unlock-smart-grid-opportunities-data-is-the-key/427604/

"Having a smart meter installed doesn't mean an electric customer is interested in, or aware of, clean energy products and services. Conversely, new research shows plenty of consumers without advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) want a smart thermostat, time-varying electric rate or other new offering from their utility. How can utilities bridge that gap and connect these customers to smart grid opportunities? "

Snohomish PUD Lands $3.5 Million Clean Energy Grant

Stanwood Camano News, Sept. 20, 2016.
http://www.scnews.com/news/article_b7c7181c-7ea9-11e6-9e1e-8b2855a54976.html

"To demonstrate new energy technologies including energy storage, a microgrid system, small-scale renewable energy and an electric "vehicle to grid” system, Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) will receive $3.5 million in matching funds from the Washington Clean Energy Fund."

Rebates and Beyond: An Array of Utility Programs Can Help FMs Save Money

Building Operating Management, Sept. 2016, by Karen Kroll.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/powercommunication/article/Rebates-and-Beyond-An-Array-of-Utility-Programs-Can-Help-FMs-Save-Money--16782

A two-part article on utility rebate programs for facility managers:
Part 1: Rebates and Beyond: An Array of Utility Programs Can Help FMs Save Money
Part 2: Demand Response, Commisssioning, and Training: Utility Partnerships

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."

The Future of Distributed Generation

Rural Electric Magazine, Aug. 2016, by Reed Karaim.
http://remagazine.coop/future-of-distributed-generation/

"Electric cooperatives have a long history of integrating distributed generation (DG) sources. But if you want a glimpse of the future of DG, you’ll find it in the wooded hills and valleys of northern Vermont, where Vermont Electric Cooperative is already living with challenges many co-ops will eventually face."

State & Future of the Power Industry

Public Utilities Fortnightly & Navigant, June 2016.
http://www.navigant.com/~/media/WWW/Site/Insights/Energy/2016/State-and-future-of-the-power-industry.pdf

Special Report: "What is the state and future of the electric utility industry? That’s a broad topic, much discussed and debated. This special report takes a unique approach to getting a handle on our present and where we’re heading."

Using Deemed Savings and Technical Reference Manuals for Efficiency Programs and Projects

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, June 27, 2016, by Steven R. Schiller, Jennifer Easler, Chuck Rea, and Tina Jayaweera. (A webinar presentation.)
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/using-deemed-savings-and-technical

"Applying well documented stipulated (deemed) values is a common practice for determining the savings from energy efficiency projects and programs and the databases where such deemed values are cataloged are called Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs).  During this webinar, experts will introduce the use of deemed savings, information on setting up and updating TRMs, lessons learned, and resources for state officials. As examples, speakers will discuss the content and development processes used for the Northwest regional TRM and the Iowa state TRM."

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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