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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


WSU to Help Improve Cyber Security in Energy Delivery

WSU News, Oct. 12, 2015, by Tina Hilding.

"Washington State University will participate in a new, five-year $28.1 million U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) initiative to improve computer/communication networks for energy delivery systems like power grids and pipelines."

New Horizons for Energy Efficiency: Major Opportunities to Reach Higher Electricity Savings by 2030

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Sep. 2015, by Dan York, and others.

"Higher equipment standards and more stringent building codes are squeezing the amount of savings that energy efficiency programs can harvest. No single measure will yield a dominant share of energy savings for utility program portfolios, as have lighting programs in the past. This report examines the next large opportunities for energy efficiency savings. It analyzes 18 measures—including reduction of plug loads, conservation voltage reduction, and smart manufacturing—that could collectively save 22% of total projected electricity use in the year 2030."

Compare and Save With Web-Based Energy Efficiency Tool [Utilities]

Public Power, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Alex Hofmann.

"...The American Public Power Association and Large Public Power Council have partnered to create a web-based tool that allows utilities to compare themselves to their peers. The tool takes data from the Energy Information Administration Form 861 and outputs it in a digestible, comparable format. Users can filter, sort, compare, benchmark and analyze the data much more easily than if they were to download the spreadsheet file of EIA data and try to reach conclusions on their own — the tool does the work. It generates customizable peer comparison charts by geography, ownership type, size, year-over-year, and other options. The charts address a range of energy efficiency indicators such as energy savings, potential demand reduction, and spending."

Microgrids: Self-Sufficient Energy Islands

Public Power, Sep./Oct. 2015, by Ethan Howland.

"Microgrids, small energy systems that can run independently of the main grid, can turn communities into self-sufficient energy islands. The technology may have been made popular by a devastating storm, but public power utilities have been creating electricity islands since before it was cool. Microgrids are positioned to grow quickly, with public power utilities leading the way, thanks to their unique position in their communities."

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."

Powering Pot: Growers Will Gobble Electricity

The Oregonian/Oregon Live, Sep. 5, 2015, by Ted Sinkinger.

"Indoor cannabis grows are notorious energy hogs. And as Oregon's weed industry scales up to meet recreational demand, experts predict it could emerge as a big load on the regional power grid. The questions nagging power planners are how big, and to make the grows more efficient."

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."

Harvesting Energy Savings in Cannabis Cultivation Facilities: Quick Wins for Cultivators and Utilities

E Source, Sep. 11, 2015, by David Podorson.

"With the recent legalization of cannabis in some states, cultivation facilities have rushed to increase production and gain market share, and they have often overlooked energy considerations in the process. Indoor cannabis cultivation facilities are huge energy consumers with year-round loads; each marijuana plant consumes more energy than seven refrigerators, and each cultivation facility may contain up to 400 plants.... Here we present nine tips for quickly and easily reducing the energy consumption of these facilities."

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."


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