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Tag: grid

Advocating for a Comprehensive Energy Bill

Advocating for a Comprehensive Energy Bill

Christine Coogle, Editor and Social Media Manager, NEMA This week, I joined the NEMA government relations team and representatives from several NEMA companies on a visit to Capitol Hill to meet with congressional staff involved in the House-Senate energy bill conference committee. Our object was to advocate for the swift development and passage of a comprehensive energy bill with a number of specific provisions important to our members. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate Read more [...]
Smart Meters Graduate to Intelligent Sensors in Brave, New, Interconnected World

Smart Meters Graduate to Intelligent Sensors in Brave, New, Interconnected World

This piece was originally published in the May 2016 issue of ei, the magazine of the electroindustry. By Tim Wolf, Director of Marketing, Smart Grid Solutions, Itron Inc. Over the past decade, utilities throughout the United States have been installing smart metering networks to automate the collection of energy and water usage data. Thus far, these smart meter networks have succeeded primarily in reducing costs, increasing efficiencies, and improving customer service. They have not yet Read more [...]
The Role Energy Storage Plays in a High-Renewable-Energy Future

The Role Energy Storage Plays in a High-Renewable-Energy Future

This piece was originally published in the March 2016 issue of ei, the magazine of the electroindustry. By Garrett Fitzgerald, PhD, Senior Associate, Rocky Mountain Institute With Tesla announcing a home battery that uses electricity generated from solar panels, the German company Sonnenbatterie entering the U.S. market, and massive grid-scale storage projects popping up in Hawaii and California, 2015 was the year of the battery. It also happened to be the year of the first global Read more [...]
Clean Power Plan Presents Challenges and Opportunities to De-carbonize the Grid

Clean Power Plan Presents Challenges and Opportunities to De-carbonize the Grid

This piece was originally published in the March 2016 issue of ei, the magazine of the electroindustry. By Rodney Durban, Director, Clean Air Initiative, ABB Inc. At NEMA’s founding 90 years ago, NEMA members could not have envisioned many of the thorny issues that occupy so much of our attention in 2016. Indeed, climate change to a 1920s audience might have sounded straight out of science fiction. With the UN Conference on Climate Change concluding in Paris in December, the Environmental 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 [...]
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 [...]
Trimming Trees Trims Power Troubles

Trimming Trees Trims Power Troubles

Utilities need to trim trees around overhead power lines to minimize power outages that may occur during powerful storms due to falling branches.  Many times a utility’s tree trimming program runs into opposition from a locality’s tree canopy preservation policy.  A town wants to preserve its tree canopy and residents will vociferously complain that a utility “butchered” the tree in of their home.  These same residents will also complain that their electrical Read more [...]
Energy Saving Motor Control

Energy Saving Motor Control

As we all try to save energy, one of the most effective routes is through more efficient use of motors.  This is so important because motors are everywhere - household appliances from cleaning to kitchen, domestic/commercial/industrial fans and pumps, and especially in electric vehicles, among many applications.  They are so ubiquitous that a business "Public Service of New Hampshire - The Northeast Utilities System" posting indicated that "electric motors consume 64 Read more [...]
Press the EMP Key

Press the EMP Key

A nuclear explosion outside the earth's atmosphere produces an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). While there has been recent Hill, media, and fictional attention on the subject, EMPs have been a threat since the nuclear age. The grid does have certain vulnerabilities, and this post outlines what is (or isn't) at risk from EMP damage. While heavy power system assets such as switches and transformers are largely immune to immediate EMP interference, EMP-induced surge currents could overwhelm some Read more [...]