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Clean Power Plan Won’t Kill The Grid, Even If The Wall Street Journal Says It Will

US power grid on (theenergycollective.com)

Those who take the Wall Street Journal for gospel miss a lot of what’s going on with US energy, says Denise Robbins of Media Matters for America. Too bad they probably won’t get it if they stick to that source and ignore all the others. The Journal published an editorial two weeks ago that encouraged sedition. It advised all

Clean Power Plan Won’t Kill The Grid, Even If The Wall Street Journal Says It Will was originally published on CleanTechnica.

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17.3 GW Of Approved FiT Solar PV Projects In Japan Being Canceled Due To “Insufficient Grid Capacity”

It’s looking increasingly likely that 17.336 GW of approved FIT solar PV projects in Japan will be canceled as a result of “insufficient grid capacity,” according to the Japan-based solar energy consultancy RTS Corporation. That striking proclamation was made following a recent meeting of the Japanese Grid Issues Working Group that the consultancy firm participated in.

17.3 GW Of Approved FiT Solar PV Projects In Japan Being Canceled Due To “Insufficient Grid Capacity” was originally published on CleanTechnica.

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The Next Breakthrough in Grid Capacity

The next breakthrough in grid capacity may combine the best features of ultracapacitors – greater speed and power – with the capacity of battery storage

The Next Breakthrough in Grid Capacity was originally published on CleanTechnica.

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Wholesale Grid Parity Achievable In Coming Years Says Report

An analysis conducted by the energy consultancy PÖYRY has found that unsubsidized renewables may be possible fairly soon in Europe. Wholesale grid parity could materialize following initial retail grid parity (aka socket parity) in several countries, but wholesale prices are lower than retail grid prices, so renewable costs need to drop further to meet them.

Wholesale Grid Parity Achievable In Coming Years Says Report was originally published on CleanTechnica.

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How SDG&E’s Smart Grid Devices Helped Restore the Grid

Originally published on the ECOreport San Diego’s grid has endured an onslaught from a record-breaking 5-day-long heat wave, which produced back to back peak demand records of 4,781 megawatts (MW) and 4,890 MW. There were also high winds, with microbursts followed by sudden downpours and flooding. A lot of trees fell, there were several outages,

How SDG&E’s Smart Grid Devices Helped Restore the Grid was originally published on CleanTechnica.

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Wind Power Could Improve Grid Resiliency

A new study investigating wind power and grid resiliency by GE’s Energy Consulting business in late-August found that wind power can substantially enhance grid resiliency when coupled with appropriate modern plant controls. Scenarios where the US electrical grid suffered large-scale interruptions, such as multiple power plants tripping offline, were the catalyst for GE’s research. GE’s

Wind Power Could Improve Grid Resiliency was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


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Rooftop Solar May Reach Grid Parity In 25+ States By 2017

In just three years, new numbers tell us, more than half of the states in the US may have rooftop solar available at the same price as the local grid’s electric rates. And that’s even without considering state and local incentives! The Cambridge-based Union of Concerned Scientists has just published a series of three quick

Rooftop Solar May Reach Grid Parity In 25+ States By 2017 was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


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Grid Resiliency A Priority For Brookhaven Lab Continues



The US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Lab has been sponsoring a series of workshops designed to continue an ongoing dialogue between utilities and research institutions regarding the resiliency of the electricity grid in the wake of increasing extreme weather events.

The latest such workshop in April brought together representatives from government, academia, utilities, vendors and industry experts to discuss the issue of protecting the grid from extreme weather events, allowing utilities to keep their promises of constant power. 

Representatives from Los Alamos National Lab, Stony Brook University, Georgia Tech, Rutgers University and New York University, Orange and Rockland Utilities (ORU), Northeast Utilities, Electrical Distribution Design (EDD), ICF International, Tennessee Valley Authority, General Microgrids, Whitney Research Services, OSIsoft and ESRI were among those who attended the two-day meeting. 

A number of issues were raised over the gathering, including a keynote address from Larisa Dobriansky, senior vice president for Legal, Regulatory and Policy Affairs for General MicroGrids and former DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Energy Policy, who delivered remarks on behalf of DOE’s Dan Ton. Specifically, Dobriansky spoke about the use of microgrids as a leading strategy in combating possible outages. According to Brookhaven, Dobriansky said that DOE considers microgrids as integral to DOE’s grid modernization efforts, particularly at the distribution level.

A number of others speakers contributed to the gathering, touching on a number of strategies. Charlie Scirbona, Smart Grid department manager for ORU, and Robert Broadwater, chief technology officer for EDD, identified just who the critical customers were — such as pharmacies, gas stations, traffic lights and public transportation — while Douglas McCracken, director of Emergency Preparedness for Northeast Utilities, New England’s largest utility system, presented a case study based on the 2011 Halloween snow fall. 

A full run down of the event can be found on the Brookhaven National Lab blog, but with such dialogues continuing on behind the scenes, grid resiliency in a changing climatic world is guaranteed.

Grid Resiliency A Priority For Brookhaven Lab Continues was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


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Massachusetts Invests $50 Million In Grid, Coastal Climate Resiliency


The impacts of rising sea levels, temperatures, and extreme weather keep adding up for America’s communities, but real action at the federal and international level keep getting pushed off to a later date – so what are local officials left to do?

If you’re Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the answer is pretty simple: Invest $ 50 million into a climate resiliency plan to address current and future impacts of a warming planet on his state’s economy and residents.

Coming just six months after Maryland’s groundbreaking climate change action plan was unveiled, Massachusetts’ forward-looking action highlights a growing trend of state and local elected officials taking the climate fight into their own hands.

Deval Patrick

Governor Deval Patrick photo via Massachusetts Office of the Governor

First, Boost Grid Resiliency Against Extreme Weather

Governor Patrick’s plan focuses on strengthening the state’s power grid against the rising tide of extreme weather. $ 40 million of the total plan will go directly into a municipal resilience grant program administered by the state Department of Energy Resources that funds clean energy technologies to harden energy services and boost distributed generation.

In addition to adding clean power generation across the grid, Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities will coordinate efforts to harden the state’s electricity transmission and distribution system against extreme weather while deploying new microgrid systems.

This may all sound like it’ll cost taxpayers a pretty penny, but the grid resiliency efforts will be paid by retail electricity suppliers operating in Massachusetts who aren’t able to meet their compliance obligations under the state’s renewable portfolio standard. These Alternative Compliance Payments will fully fund the grid hardening effort and hold taxpayers harmless.

Second, Protect Coastal Communities And Public Health

But Massachusetts’ climate resiliency efforts won’t just focus on the power grid. The remaining $ 10 million will come from existing capital funds and be split among projects to repair dams and coastal infrastructure damaged by extreme weather in recent years, including two separate $ 1 million grant programs to address sea level rise along the coast and fund green infrastructure coastal resilience pilot projects.

State agencies will also work to create best practices and resources to share among local officials. The state’s Department of Public Health will work to identify additional issues local government should consider, boost training, analyze the spread of diseases resulting from warmer temperatures, and assess vulnerable water infrastructure. $ 2 million in additional funding proposed in the state’s fiscal year 2015 budget will cover these interagency efforts.

From Clean Energy Leader To Climate Leader

The Bay State has already become a national model for how to build a successful green economy by growing green jobs 11.8% in 2013 alone, ranking first in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s national ranking of statewide energy efficiency for three consecutive years, and crushing its own solar power goals.

But with this plan, Massachusetts joins the vanguard of local governments working to protect their communities even if the federal government won’t. “We have a generational responsibility to address the multiple threats of climate change,” said Governor Patrick. “Massachusetts need to be ready, and our plan will make sure that we are.”

Massachusetts Invests $ 50 Million In Grid, Coastal Climate Resiliency was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 other subscribers: RSS | Facebook | Twitter.


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Smart Grid Panel Discussion — Smart Meters, EMFs, Vehicle-To-Grid Fun, & More


sbc panelists

Credit: Susanna Schick / CleanTechnica

The Sustainable Business Council and UCLA Sustainability hosted a panel discussion on smart grids at UCLA last week. The event was sponsored by CODA, which makes excellent energy storage systems, like this one. Dr. Rajit GadhJohn BryanPercy Haralson, and David N. Patterson, P.E. answered questions from moderator Laura Berland-Shane and the audience. Surprisingly to many attendees, there were protesters out front and in the audience during this time. Their vehemence was so extreme as to discredit them, but it was interesting. In the past, we have listed 5 major barriers to community renewable energy — EMF’s are not listed among them, but EMF-phobics should be. Smart grid technology is new and developing, and clearly not adequately understood by most people.

Smart Grids, Smart Meters, & EMFs

Because it’s so helpful for customers who want to get some of their power from their roof, and some from the local natural gas reserve, a smart grid is absolutely crucial as we move toward more solar rooftops. The grid needs to know when it can send less power to households which are gushing power from their roofs back to the grid. Then the utility can divert that power to the areas where it’s more needed. Smart meters are critical for this. It all sounds great on paper, but research says it’s too soon to tell how dangerous exposure to a smart meter is. However, with all the cell phone usage over the past 20 years, one would think that would suffice as conclusive evidence that holding an EMF-emitting device next to your brain doesn’t harm the vast majority of the people who do so. So, one parked in the house by the thermostat shouldn’t be much worse. 

For those of us who enjoy living on the edge and embrace our digital overlords, there’s Chai Energy, another brilliant LACI baby. Chai is essentially an app that can tell you when you left the stove on… as you’re walking out the door. I wish I could plug it into my electric motorcycle to be able to tell my building manager exactly how much it’s costing. Add that to the Mitsubishi power BOX and you’ve got an EV that gives back.

Vehicle-to-Grid Fun

The panelists spoke of smart grids in general, but what I thought was really interesting was the research being performed by panelist Dr Gahd in the V2G (Vehicle to Grid) niche. Mitsubishi’s David Patterson explained that car batteries which have lost 20% of their capacity might not be desirable for the vehicle owner, but if replaced, they can be sold to a utility to use for the grid. He also spoke of how Mitsubishi sells (in Japan) an inverter which plugs right into your ChadeMo port so you can send electricity back to the grid from your iMiev (or any EV, really). The important research being carried out is determining how to optimize this for all parties involved. He explained that utilities could benefit from cars plugged in at daytime peak usage hours, as long as the draw on the battery is managed to enable the vehicle owner to still get where they need to go. My EV spends so much time parked (I walk to work) that I would love to be able to get some income from it through such a system.

The panelists mentioned the issue of battery longevity, which would decrease faster if used for V2G, as there would be more charges. Each time the battery is recharged, it heats up and expands, and that process shortens its life. This is why companies like California Lithium Battery are so focused on working graphene into the cells. Graphene helps to control the expansion, so the batteries can last longer. Their presentation at CleantechLA’s Global Showcase was very exciting.

ron goodman

Ron Goodman tells us about new ways to collect natural gas, while a man ponders whether boxed water really is better, and EMF-phobics protest outside.
Credit: Susanna Schick / CleanTechnica

Natural Gas Insights

You may recall having read in our exclusive interview with John Keller that natural gas is now where America gets over 50% of its energy. SoCal Gas’s Ron Goodman led the evening off with some remarks about natural gas, including how they can capture it from sources such algae. This presentation he gave at another event neatly summarizes a lot of the things he told us, including far-out futuristic ideas including carbon nanotubes. (Fun fact: California stores 133 billion cubic feet of natural gas in disused oil fields.) Listen to his talk via the link below, including how well he handles a question from the EMF-phobic.


Hypermiling

And here’s Mitsubishi’s David Patterson telling me about the time Gas2 writer Nick Chambers showed off his “hyper-mile” skills in downtown LA, taking him on the ride of his life:

David Patterson

Credit: Susanna Schick / CleanTechnica

Smart Grid Panel Discussion — Smart Meters, EMFs, Vehicle-To-Grid Fun, & More was originally published on: CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 30,000 other subscribers: RSS | Facebook | Twitter.


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