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Fortnightly Magazine - May 2014

Unwinding the Death Spiral

Rooftop solar, net metering, and the perils of utilityspeak.

Bruce W. Radford

The Sierra Club accuses utilities of trying to snuff out rooftop solar. Attorney Donald Sipe recommends RTO/ISO markets for natural gas.

Performance is What Counts

ISO New England’s capacity market proposal will bring reliability benefits to the region.

Gordon van Welie

ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie rebuts implications in a Fortnightly column about the ISO’s “Pay for Performance” capacity market proposal.

People (May 2014)

PSEG names Tamara Linde as executive v.p. and general counsel upon Lon Bouknight’s retirement; NYISO elects Daniel B. More, formerly of Morgan Stanley, to its board of directors; Edison International announces board member France Cordova to resign in order to accept appointment by President Obama to serve as director of National Science Foundation.

Big Wind in the Big Oil State

ERCOT readies for renewable market integration.

Julia Matevosyan

ERCOT readies to integrate a large future influx of wind generation and finds need for new, more flexible resources to provide ancillary services – preferably a zero-to-five-minute ramping resource which, unfortunately, does not correspond to any currently existing technology or market product.

Future Shock

ERCOT load growth: patterns, possibilities, and second thoughts.

Ken Monts

Data from ERCOT indicates that energy intensity is falling markedly, as measured in terms of kWh usage per number of nonfarm jobs. That suggests much less future load growth, yet EIA data based on nationwide scenarios do not seem to agree.

In the Crosshairs

Protecting substations and transformers after the PG&E Metcalf attack.

William Atkinson

The latest fallout from the April 2013 Metcalf incident: the unprecedented assault with high-powered rifles on PG&E’s Metcalf substation, in Silicon Valley, which disabled 17 of 20 large transformers.

Working at the Edge of the Grid

How to find value in distributed energy resources.

Rick Fioravanti and Nicholas Abi-Samra

Distributed resources create a new multi-directional power grid, achieving the sort of scale-driven cost levels and ease of installation that portend of future mass deployment.

Digest (May 2014)

GE Energy Consulting and the New York Power Authority agree to a license arrangement allowing NYPA to use GE’s MAPS software to perform high-fidelity nodal analysis; NRG acquires Roof Diagnostics Solar, a residential solar company; GE unveils 2.75-120 wind turbine; AEP awards Babcock & Wilcox a contract to provide steam generator services.

Transactions (May 2014)

Sunrun acquires AEE Solar and SnapNrack; FirstEnergy completes sale of hydroelectric power stations to Harbor Hydro Holdings; Alterra acquires Shannon wind project from Horn Wind.