National Renewable Energy Laboratory

GE, Utility, Government, and Academia Partner on Underground Microgrid Project to Improve Electricity Reliability in NY’s North Country

GE Global Research and GE Energy Consulting, along with National Grid, the Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Clarkson University announced a partnership on a research project to improve the reliability and resiliency of electricity delivery in northern New York.

Wind Power Subsidies

Today, tomorrow, forever?

NREL contradicts AWEA, finds wind power not competitive, and favors extending the production tax credit (PTC), but that won’t aid economic growth.

Abengoa to Develop New Solar-Thermal Storage Technology

Abengoa, together with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a new solar storage technology for thermo-electric plants. The program will last for two years and will require an investment of EUR1.3 million by the US Department of Energy.

Solar Screen Test

Making room on the local grid for small-scale PV.

For the first time, perhaps, the electric utility industry may need to keep track not only of peak load, but also of minimum load, as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reviews a proposal by the Solar Energy Industries Association to employ a new definition of minimum load under a new, relaxed threshold test that would govern eligibility for fast-tracking of applications by generation developers to interconnect new, small-scale solar energy projects to the local utility distribution grid.

Transmission's True Value

Adding up the benefits of infrastructure investments.

Allocating the costs of new transmission investments requires accurately assessing the value of those new lines, and identifying the primary beneficiaries. But formulaic approaches rely too much on the most easily quantified cost savings, and reject benefits that are dispersed across service areas—or that might change over the course of time. Brattle Group analysts J.P. Pfeifenberger and D. Hou explain that comprehensive valuation produces a more accurate picture.

Green Gridworks

Case studies on integrating renewable resources.

Where wind integration has been most successful, state authorities developed and adopted basic transmission planning and cost allocation principles before FERC issued Order 1000. Experiences in Texas, California, and Hawaii demonstrate what it takes to overcome permitting and cost allocation barriers—namely, a coherent policy framework and close coordination among stakeholders.

Electric Vehicles and Gas-Fired Power

A strategic approach to mitigating rate increases and greenhouse gas price risk.

Experience in the Duke Energy Carolinas service territory shows that high penetration rates for electric vehicles, combined with increased natural gas-fired power generation, can result in lower costs to customers and lower risks for utility shareholders—while also reducing total emissions of greenhouse gases. However, these outcomes depend on policy changes that facilitate smart, off-peak vehicle charging, and that allow utilities to capture the benefits of a more environmentally friendly power system.

Vendor Neutral

(May 2011) Florida Power & Light unveils hybrid solar power plant; SECO selects Sensus for smart grid technology; Lockheed to implement Con Edison energy efficiency programs; Elster partners with SAIC to deliver comprehensive smart grid solutions; Columbia Power Technologies deploys wavepower prototype system; plus contracts and announcements from GE, Siemens, Verizon Wireless, DT, Xcel, Tenaska Solar and others.