The ‘incrementally evolving’ utility
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The ‘incrementally evolving’ utility

Two electricity utilities are in different places than they were a year or two ago - all because of renewables. Two stories I wrote for pv magazine this week - the first, Another gas plant spurned as renewable energy takes over in California, and the second Rocky Mountain Power's incremental evolution. The second story is more interesting than the first in my opinion - but the first is a hard reality of what's happening all over the nation. (more…)
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A smarter grid has been requested – regulators have a complex decision to make
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A smarter grid has been requested – regulators have a complex decision to make

If the electricity to your home goes down, most electricity utilities don't know. The reason is that most hardware in between the electricity generation plant and your home is not communicating anything back to operators. Most hardware is of similar design to the times of Tesla and Edison. “Communication today with DER is really low-tech. It’s phone and it’s emails,” said Matthew Glasser, a director at Consolidated Edison.  On the one hand, this is probably a net benefit for now as hackers would have long wreaked havoc...but this is changing - slowly though, as how to implement these technologies is…
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Massachusetts-Quebec clean electricity link up attempted again 1.2GW HVDC line
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Massachusetts-Quebec clean electricity link up attempted again 1.2GW HVDC line

Quebec seemingly has a whole lot of extra hydroelectricity to sell. They're trying to figure out how to sell it. Massachusetts really wants some more clean electricity. The challenge with powerlines is that you gotta tell people what to do with their land often times - and folks in the U.S. tend not to like that...plus the politicians who still fear the green mucking things up. A recent study said that if we had a coast to coast HVDC renewable energy power line system - doing 100% solar+wind with a bit of storage is easy. Keep that in mind when…
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$2 million to research offshore wind affect on Moby Dick
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$2 million to research offshore wind affect on Moby Dick

According to local legend - New Bedford, Massachusetts has the highest grossing fishing port in the United States. About $1 billion - and I'm happy to enjoy the harvests of scallops...oh, yes I am. With that though - the questions become, how will gigawatts worth of wind power affect fishing? To the place where Moby Dick was written it matters. Initial research suggests nothing, some suggest significant benefits. Massachusetts continues its 1.6GW push. (more…)
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Americans believe we have enough energy – now want clean energy

The basics: when asked to consider, head to head, what mattered more to them today - Americans, 59% to 34% wanted cleaner energy over more energy. In essence, we're secure in our supply - now we want improvements. When asked what kind of energy we should specifically focus on developing, ,the margin got wider - 73% of Americans want the focus on renewables like wind/solar. (more…)
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New York needs tool to help build maps – 50% renewable maps

First you need come up with the broad vision - 50% renewables. Then you need tell the engineers what to build...but if you've never built it before what are you going to tell an engineer to do? Well, we head back to step one and vision - now you need to come up with ideas to build the tools to help you understand what you're about to do. New York has set an aggressive solar+wind+storage+microgrid goal. It will take the best of their Wall Street minds and PE signatures. (more…)
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