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Energy Net

Proposal to Link the Nation's Grid Sparks a Debate - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    "The Tres Amigas transmission project in New Mexico, which seeks to link the nation's three power grids to share wind power across the United States, has attracted both eager allies and some determined foes. Scandia Wind Southwest LLC, a venture led by Norwegian wind power developers, has proposed to build an initial 2,250 megawatts of wind power in the Texas Panhandle, with a potential capacity of 10,000 MW. That amount of power, the equivalent of 10 large nuclear power plants, could move into the Eastern and Western grid interconnections, and to Texas' independent grid, over the Tres Amigas transmission linkage."
Energy Net

Department of Energy - Secretary Chu Presents Smart Grid Vision and Announces $144 Mill... - 0 views

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    In his keynote speech to the GridWeek 2009 Conference this morning, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu detailed his vision for implementing the smart grid and modernizing America's electrical system: a stronger, smarter, more efficient electricity infrastructure that will encourage growth in renewable energy sources, empower consumers to reduce their energy use, and lay the foundation for sustained, long-term economic expansion. Secretary Chu's presentation can be found here. During his remarks, Secretary Chu also announced more than $144 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the electric power sector, including $44 million in awards to state public utility commissions and $100 million in available funding for smart grid workforce training programs. "America cannot build a 21st Century energy economy with a mid-20th Century electricity system. This is why the Obama Administration is investing in projects that will lay the foundation for a modernized, resilient electrical grid," said Secretary Chu. "By working with industry leaders and the private sector, we can drive the evolution to a clean, smart, national electricity system that will create jobs, reduce energy use, expand renewable energy production, and cut carbon pollution."
Energy Net

Electricity costs should rise to reflect demand: Chu | Green Business | Reuters - 0 views

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    As the United States' power grid becomes more sophisticated, electricity rates will need to rise to reflect periods of intense energy use and to encourage consumers to change their electricity habits, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Monday. Chu said currently most local electricity rate commissions view themselves as consumer advocates and try to keep electricity prices as low as possible. "Hopefully that will evolve somewhat, so that they begin to fold in some of the real costs of electricity generation and electricity use," Chu said at conference focused on creating a "smart grid."
Energy Net

The Associated Press: Energy bill advances in Senate - 0 views

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    Legislation that would require greater use of renewable energy, make it easier to build power lines and allow oil and gas drilling near Florida's coast advanced Wednesday in the Senate. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 15-8 to clear the measure, although both Democrats and Republicans - for different reasons - said they had concerns about the bill and hoped to make major changes on the Senate floor. The legislation's primary thrust is to expand the use of renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar and geothermal sources as well as deal with the growing concerns about the inadequacies of the nation's high-voltage power grid.
Energy Net

Department of Energy - Locke, Chu Announce Significant Steps in Smart Grid Development - 0 views

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    U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced significant progress that will help expedite development of a nationwide "smart" electric power grid. A Smart Grid would replace the current, outdated system and employ real-time, two-way communication technologies to allow users to connect directly with power suppliers. The development of the grid will create jobs and spur the development of innovative products that can be exported. Once implemented, the Smart Grid is expected to save consumers money and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil by improving efficiency and spurring the use of renewable energy sources. Before it can be constructed, however, there needs to be agreement on standards for the devices that will connect the grid. After chairing a meeting of industry leaders at the White House, Locke and Chu announced the first set of standards that are needed for the interoperability and security of the Smart Grid and $10 million in Recovery Act funds provided by the Energy Department to the National Institute of Standards and Technology to support the development of interoperability standards.
Energy Net

Regulated utilities, Wall Street, and smart grid investment - 0 views

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    This earth2tech post comments on a presentation from Rich Sedano at the Ceres conference this week in San Francisco. Rich has been working on electricity regulatory issues, demand response, and institutional design for a long time, and his insights as reported here are very important and frequently overlooked: The way Sedano sees it, the Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees Wall Street credit rating agencies, and state-level utility regulators have failed to communicate and, by extension, to establish consistent rules and incentives - leaving utilities "waiting for a sign that it's safe to pull the trigger on an investment and hoping they don't miss the opportunity to do the right thing."
Energy Net

The Great Debate » Renewables to spark U.S. grid revolution | The Great Debate | - 0 views

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    Growing power consumption and the U.S. administration's plan to rely more heavily on renewable generation sources will increase the demand on America's already overloaded electricity grid and require major investment in transmission and distribution networks. Upgrading power transmission and distribution systems is likely to cost as much as installing new generating capacity over the next 20 years. While Congress provided an extra $4.5 billion of funding for grid improvements in the recent fiscal stimulus, federal loan guarantees and other support, far more investment will be needed if the administration's targets for renewable generation are to be realized.
Energy Net

AFP: US stimulus money fuels 'smart' power grid surge - 0 views

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    Electric grids are getting smarter in an IBM lab in Texas as the promise of billions of US economic stimulus dollars fuels a drive to make power delivery more efficient and greener. A chunk of stimulus cash aimed at promoting a "smart grid" designed to foster renewable energy generation and let people and utilities better manage electricity use has IBM in alliances with a growing host of startups. "Smart grid was starting to get hotter, but post-stimulus it is dead center at IBM and in the venture community we deal with," said Drew Clark, director of strategy at IBM's venture capital group.
Energy Net

Renewable Energy Grid Infrastructure Reality Sinks In - 0 views

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    In the US, the Californian desert and the Mid-West plains are ideal locations for solar and wind energy plants. In the UK the Scottish Highlands and Welsh mountains have the highest winds in the UK. These locations have similar characteristics - great resources for renewable energy generation, but limited grid infrastructure and not many people. Hundreds and in some cases thousands of miles of new expensive, high voltage grid infrastructure is needed in these key locations to transport green energy to areas of high demand - the big cities. This grid infrastructure is both expensive and geographically extensive.
Energy Net

Department of Energy - Secretary Chu to Discuss Obama Administration Agenda to Moderniz... - 0 views

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    Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 18, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu will deliver the opening keynote address at the 2009 DOE-NARUC National Electricity Forum. In the address, Secretary Chu will outline the Administration's commitment to modernizing the nation's electricity distribution system through a "Smart Grid" that will create new jobs, save consumers money, use energy more efficiently and avoid blackouts, and pave the way for a dramatic expansion in renewable energies such as solar and wind power. He will also discuss the immediate and long-term impacts of the President's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in creating jobs and investing in a clean energy future.
Energy Net

New U.S. wind power grid to cost $50-80 bln-study: Reuters - 0 views

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    Constructing new power lines to handle a huge increase in wind power in the Eastern half of the United States would cost $50 billion to $80 billion over the next 15 years, according to a study released on Monday by power grid operators. That cost would be on top of the $700 billion to $1.1 trillion it would cost power plant developers to build the wind turbines that would produce the power, according to the study.
Energy Net

US $80B Investment Needed to Deliver Wind Power to Eastern U.S. - Renewable Energy World - 0 views

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    ndiana, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] The Joint Coordinated System Plan (JCSP'08), the first step of a transmission and generation system expansion analysis of the majority of the Eastern Interconnection, estimates the electricity sector will need more than US $80 billion in new transmission infrastructure to obtain 20% of the region's electricity from wind energy generation. "This is information we believe that our leaders need to consider as they begin work under a new administration and start defining our energy future." -- John Bear, President and CEO, Midwest ISO This initial analysis, which was performed with participation from major transmission owners and operators in the Eastern U.S., looked at two scenarios to examine transmission and generation possibilities between 2008 and 2024. The first, a Reference Scenario, assumes "business as usual" with respect to wind development, with approximately 5% of the region's energy coming from wind. The second was a 20% Wind Energy Scenario and was based on the U.S. Department of Energy's Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study.
Energy Net

USDA Forest Service - Caring for the land and serving people. - 0 views

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    USDA Undersecretary Mark Rey has signed a Record of Decision (ROD) amending 38 National Forest Land Management Plans to identify locations of corridors suitable for future energy transmission infrastructure across Forest Service land. The corridors protect or minimize resource impacts to lands and surface resources by identifying preferred locations for corridors that also cross Federal lands managed by other agencies. These corridors offer the American public a way to meet the increasing energy demands while mitigating potential harmful effects to the environment.
Energy Net

Technology Review: Lifeline for Renewable Power - 0 views

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    Push through a bulletproof revolving door in a nondescript building in a dreary patch of the former East Berlin and you enter the control center for Vattenfall Europe Transmission, the company that controls northeastern Germany's electrical grid. A monitor displaying a diagram of that grid takes up most of one wall. A series of smaller screens show the real-time output of regional wind turbines and the output that had been predicted the previous day. Germany is the world's largest user of wind energy, with enough turbines to produce 22,250 megawatts of electricity. That's roughly the equivalent of the output from 22 coal plants--enough to meet about 6 percent of Germany's needs. And because Vattenfall's service area produces 41 percent of German wind energy, the control room is a critical proving ground for the grid's ability to handle renewable power.
Energy Net

Peak Energy: Alternative energy faces power line "bottleneck" in U.S. West - 0 views

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    Reuters has a report on some of the roadblocks obstructing grid expansion (and thus construction of many large scale renewable energy projects) in the US - Alternative energy faces power line "bottleneck" in U.S. West. President Barack Obama aims to double alternative energy production over three years, but how much "green" power will come from the U.S. West is uncertain if the sunny and wind-swept region cannot overcome a shortage of power lines. Installing large solar installations and dotting landscapes with wind turbines across the western United States would be, technically speaking, straightforward, and potentially popular with the renewed interest in domestic energy sources amid rising economic, environmental and security concerns.
Energy Net

Department of Energy - DOE Announces Publication of Three Reports by the DOE Electricit... - 0 views

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    The Department of Energy's (DOE) Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC) released three reports prepared for the Secretary of Energy's consideration. These reports review challenges facing DOE and the Nation in many important electricity areas, and include recommendations for policy and program initiatives. They address issues surrounding generation and transmission adequacy, energy efficiency and demand response, deployment of energy storage technologies, and deployment of smart grid technologies. The EAC was chartered by Secretary Samuel W. Bodman in April 2007 to provide senior-level counsel to DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) in carrying out its mission and meeting requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
Energy Net

Debate over Sunrise Powerlink may be near decision - Los Angeles Times - 0 views

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    "San Diego doesn't need to import sunshine from the desert," said Weiner, conservation coordinator for the San Diego-based Desert Protective Council. Environmentalists have won some rounds. SDG&E had been pushing to build Sunrise through the heart of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, a recreational jewel beloved by hikers and campers. That 150-mile route appears doomed after recent decisions by an administrative law judge and a utilities commission member. * Map Map Judge Jean Veith wants the commission to reject the Sunrise Powerlink because she has concluded it's too costly, too harmful to the environment and not needed for SDG&E to meet clean-energy mandates.
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