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Author: Jim Creevy

Weather outside gives context to Grid Innovation briefing on Hill

Weather outside gives context to Grid Innovation briefing on Hill

As the temperature outside neared 100 degrees, the congressional staff and other guests in the Russell Senate Office Building were getting warmed up for the transformation of the nation’s electric grid (which among other things will help us manage electricity on these brutal summer days!). Attendees got to witness the “bang, bang” of G&W Electric’s automatic recloser in action; a visualization of Commonwealth Edison’s outage management system respond to thousands of lightning strikes Read more [...]
Shaheen-Portman Bill Pulled from Senate Floor

Shaheen-Portman Bill Pulled from Senate Floor

For a while there, the Senate was debating the premier energy efficiency bill, offering amendments, and displaying the bipartisan consensus there is around this legislation (S. 1392, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act).  But debate came to a stand still hours after it started, mainly over (surprise!) disgreement about which unrelated amendments should be allowed to be offered.  As the days passed, the window of opportunity began to close for now.  The Senate Read more [...]
Everyone agrees, so let’s act!

Everyone agrees, so let’s act!

Not a day goes by that some industry or political leader endorses the notion of rebuilding and modernizing our electrical infrastructure.  Yesterday, the American Society of Civil Engineers released its 2013 report card of America's infrastructure.  Our Energy infrastructure received a grade of D+.  Today in The Hill, leaders from PG&E and IBEW have made the case that now is the time to fix our grid.  Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has been promoting her Energy 20/20 blueprint.  Read more [...]
Advanced Batteries’ Progress Cited in State of the Union

Advanced Batteries’ Progress Cited in State of the Union

The progress of advanced batteries got the attention of President Obama in yesterday's State of Union address.  America's potential "to be the world's leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries" is one of the reasons to be optimistic about the future of the United States' manufacturing sector.    Innovative companies are responding to a number of marketplace demands with technologies to power our vehicles, improve electric reliability, gain efficiency, Read more [...]
Light in the Darkness

Light in the Darkness

It’s been a week since power has been restored to San Diego after a massive “operator error”-induced blackout. In a sign of just how far we as a nation still have to go in achieving a Smart Grid, not only were grid operators unable to choke off the outage before it grew into a major blackout, but operators (as well as the media and even Congress) are still scratching their heads about just how this localized problem spread so far and so rapidly. California’s ISO announced Read more [...]
Obama continues to push infrastructure bank

Obama continues to push infrastructure bank

A central policy recommendation touted by President Obama during his multistate bus tour this week is the creation of an infrastructure bank.   But does it make sense to be talking about a new government program while we are battling with the highest national debt ever?  In a word, yes.   Despite the unprecedented importance to our economy of bringing down our deficits and our debt, make no mistake that the federal government will continue to make decisions on Read more [...]
EVs in the House!

EVs in the House!

After a number of electric vehicle infrastructure bills have been introduced in the Senate, the House got in on the action this week as Reps. Judy Biggert, Ed Markey, Anna Eshoo, and Jerry McNerney introduced HR 1685, the NEMA-supported Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act of 2011. Infrastructure investments, essential to the adoption of EVs, cannot be overlooked.  Key provisions in HR 1685 include an extension through 2014 of the Section 30C tax credit for electric vehicle refueling property—also Read more [...]
Feds leave court ruling on transmission unchallenged

Feds leave court ruling on transmission unchallenged

This week, the deadline passed for the federal government to appeal the February ruling by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which invalidated the establishment of National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors.  These NIETCs were conceived in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and designed by the Department of Energy to streamline the regulatory landscape in two of the most congested regions of the country—the Southwest and the Mid-Atlantic.  If progress in these areas can be stymied, what Read more [...]
Bipartisanship to Upgrade our Infrastructure?

Bipartisanship to Upgrade our Infrastructure?

This week, Senators Kerry, Warner, Hutchison, and Graham came together to announce their proposal to rebuild America’s infrastructure.  The Building and Upgrading Infrastructure for Long-Term Development (BUILD) Act, S. 652, would establish an American Infrastructure Financing Authority - a type of infrastructure bank that would provide loans and loan guarantees.  Transportation, Water, and Energy infrastructure projects greater than $100 million and of national or regional significance Read more [...]
The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

George Carlin was made famous for his 7 Dirty Words.  But when it comes to meeting our electricity demands of the 21st century, we can add another word whose utterance should cause shock and outrage to the general public: NIMBY. NIMBY (“Not in My Backyard”) is the genesis for much of the opposition to various endeavors that would serve the public, such as improving the electrical grid. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has just released an updated report on the state of transmission Read more [...]