Jason Barton

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Archive for the ‘Smart Grid Technology’ tag

Power markets could get boost from carbon, smart grid policies

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Among several interesting points in this article is a barely mentioned idea that smart grid technology could be integrated with home entertainment technology or home security. This goes some way towards assuaging concerns held by some of us that smart grid technology is a means to big brother monitoring and possibly government control. Through internet, pay per view, and other technologies, there is already considerable potential for invasion of our privacy, and yet I haven’t seen problems with these services, nor do I worry about them. What do you think?

March 22, 2010

While electric industry restructuring has encountered setbacks in many states — the paradigm shift that addressing climate change will bring about could lead to another round of deregulation, Brattle Group’s Peter Fox-Penner told the American Enterprise Institute’s event called “Electricity Deregulation: Where Do Things Stand?” last week in Washington, DC.

The first wave of deregulation in the power industry was oversold, with its promoters promising a rate cutting bonanza when modest improvements were more likely, said Fox-Penner.

The move to address climate change carries with it a desire by government to plan out the energy future and while room exists for that, it has to be done carefully and planning should rely more on market forces.

Smart meters mean customers will see the real-time cost of power and that will lead to a more competitive energy services sector.

A big potential value creator would be integrating energy services with other services such as entertainment or home security, said Northwestern University lecturer Lynne Kiesling.

The static nature of regulation means that firms and consumers aren’t able to adapt to changes well — and the industry has to adapt to new situations.

The 20th century’s chief objectives for the power industry were reliability and low, stable prices.  The new century’s objectives are going to reliability and cutting the environmental impact of power use.

Click here to read the entire article.

Written by Jason

March 22nd, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Yeager believes without smart grid, climate efforts can’t win

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March 19, 2010

Consumers should contact their US senators to urge them to add provisions for DG — such as smart micro-grids — to the latest version of the climate bill, Galvin Electricity Initiative Executive Director Kurt Yeager told us yesterday — as we profiled a project at Howard University (SGT, Mar-18).  Galvin offered a sample letter.

In federal climate legislation, the US is facing a can’t-get-there-from-here situation, Yeager warned.

“There is a great deal of interest in reducing carbon emissions and getting clean energy generation in place but it’s not feasible without a transformation of the grid, both at wholesale and retail levels,” said Galvin.

Even some “green” tech experts make a faulty assumption that the utility industry is prepared for 20-30% penetration levels for renewable energy sources such as wind and power, that are intermittent.  “But those numbers aren’t worth the paper they’re written on,” he said since the today’s predominantly electromechanical power distribution system “is not equipped to manage this at all.”

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

March 21st, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Stillwater to Deploy Water SaveSource Fixed Network Solution from Itron

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Here are some tangible details on more of the applications of the occasionally enigmatic, smart grid technology. Not only can it help to transmit electricity more efficiently and gather more detailed information on electricity usage, as shown here, it also has some excellent applications for water users and utilities.

It’s a fascinating time to be alive.


LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. – February 24, 2010 (News Release)

Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) announced today that the City of Stillwater, Okla., (Stillwater) will deploy Water SaveSource, Itron’s fixed network metering system for water providers. Serving a population of more than 50,000, Stillwater pursued an advanced meter data collection system upon receiving an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus fund award.

Located 60 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, Stillwater will deploy 17,000 Water SaveSource end points over the next three years which will be read by a fixed network. By deploying Water SaveSource, Stillwater expects to collect incremental meter reads and data logging, which will facilitate analysis of customer water usage and the tracking of unaccounted for water losses. This will improve Stillwater’s customer service and provide data for proactive in-home leak detection programs.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

February 24th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

NREL study shows 20 percent wind is possible by 2024

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If U.S. energy consumption were reduced by 30% by 2020, this same amount of wind power generation would account for nearly 30% of our energy use. It will take investment in our transmission grids that ensures this electricity is transported efficiently, but with the savings in overall energy costs, these expenditures are more easily covered, moving us closer to that goal of having plenty of natural gas and coal for many, many generations to come.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS) January 20. This unprecedented two-and-a-half year technical study of future high-penetration wind scenarios was designed to analyze the economic, operational, and technical implications of shifting 20 percent or more of the Eastern Interconnection’s electrical load to wind energy by the year 2024.

“Twenty percent wind is an ambitious goal, but this study shows that there are multiple scenarios through which it can be achieved,” said David Corbus, NREL project manager for the study. “Whether we’re talking about using land-based wind in the Midwest, offshore wind in the East or any combination of wind power resources, any plausible scenario requires transmission infrastructure upgrades and we need to start planning for that immediately.”

Read the entire article here.