TX A&M Researchers: More Reliable Grid

  • April 16, 2021

What’s happening? Researchers at Texas A&M are studying ways to “moderate their effects [of generation and transmission events], if not completely eliminate them, at the distribution level”

Why is this important? Texas A&M Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering Chanan Singh proposes “trying to integrate solar and battery storage at a distribution-level framework.””

How will this be important? This research is part of a “research project being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, but the Power On Act proposed by Cornyn and other lawmakers would set up more grant programs within that department to continue tackling this issue. It would authorize $500 million to be made available to power providers, suppliers, and distributors to fortify existing electric infrastructure.”

KTBX | Texas A&M researchers working to develop a more reliable power grid in the face of emergencies

Commercial charging Tariff for EV

  • April 16, 2021

What’s happening? New York is considering S3929/A3876 which would require utilities to propose commercial tariffs for fast charging in an effort to help fleet operators go electric. The proposal would include alternatives to traditional commercial demand-based rate structures and would require consideration for the full range of electric vehicles.

Why is this important? States are till feeling their way around how to regulate EV charging. New York’s largest utility calls the legislation too prescriptive and says it will “unfairly shift costs”

How will this be important? Every state is trying to figure this out, this is a new tool for the legislative tool boxes.

Utility Dive | Tesla praises, ConEd opposes different New York EV bills

Meet the new Solar- Agrivoltaics

  • April 15, 2021

What’s happening? University of Arizona scientists are testing raised solar panels that can fit a tractor underneath them, and allow for the growing of plants underneath so as to benefit both the plant and the amount of solar energy stored.

Why is this important? Growing plants under the solar panels cools the solar panels. And the cooler microclimate under the solar panels means those crops need less water.

How will this be important? Agrivoltaic panels produced 3 % more energy during the May through June growing season and 1% more overall

Governing | Transforming Farms and Food Production With Solar Panels

Wastewater + Green Jobs + Sustainability + High Tech

  • April 15, 2021

What’s happening? Waste water is gaining ground as green, sustainable and high tech. Think of how often waste water has been central to disasters during hurricanes, winter storms, and tornadoes. Managing waste water is big business. We have 800,000 miles of public sewers in the U.S. and the 500,000 miles of private sewers.

Why is this important? During COVID waste water was tested to find hot spots for COVID as scientists grappled with tracking the rapid infections.

How will this be important? The future of wastewater is vast… wastewater can allow for methane capture,  microbial fuel cells that make it possible to generate energy 

Governing | Wastewater Has the Best Green Jobs Workers Don’t Know About

Utilities are Key to EV Charging Roll Out

  • April 9, 2021

What’s happening? The Alliance for Transportation Electrification is reminding people why utilities are pivotal in EV charger roll outs. Here’s the reasons why: utilities are better equipped to handle customer service issues, utilities can encourage charging at times better for the electric grid, and utilities can enhance customer affordability with market incentives.

Why is this important? Every state and local entities is struggling with improving chargers. Manufacturers want chargers to clam range anxiety. Charging equipment manufacturers want their product out for consumption.

How will this be important? EV production is only increasing, which m Eans the n umber of chargers is only increasing. Jump on the rain before you find yourself on the late train and the late train is pricy.

River Bender | Utilities Key to Successful EV Transition

COVID Effects: Bag Bans.

  • April 8, 2021

What’s happening? Philadelphia paused its plastic bag ban during lockdown. Maine is postponing its statewide plastic bag ban. The Massachusetts Governor lifted local bans during May 2020 and then reestablished the local bag bans in July 2020.

Why is this important? Plastic bag bans, plastic food containers, styrofoam containers all the local bans, have taken a backseat to the pandemic.

How will this be important? As the new normal becomes clear, these bans will be tweaked, reassessed and new version will emerge.

Route Fifty | Pandemic-Paused Plastic Bag Bans Ripped Anew by Critics

Add Connecticut to States Expanding Offshore Wind

  • April 8, 2021

What’s happening? The Connecticut legislature is purchasing 2 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. CT Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says if the state wants to meet its goal of sourcing all of its electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2040, it will need more offshore wind.

Why is this important? CT’s projections show it will need 5000 megawatts of offshore wind in total by 2040.

How will this be important? The state needs the Biden Administration help. To that end, to 800,000 acres in the New York Bight have been recognized the Biden Administration for wind turbine leases. Offshore wind is a state-federal partnership

Governing | Connecticut Expected to Increase Off-Shore Wind Contracts

Power Outages By the Numbers.

  • April 8, 2021

What’s happening? I’ll admit when I read the headline, I thought oh has to be California or maybe Texas if we factor in Winter Storm Uri. I was wrong. Maine has the highest number of power outages per year at an average of 4 outages per year and ranks 2nd in outage duration of 14 hours annually over a five-year period from 2015 to 2019

Why is this important? Watching Maine grapple with consistent electric power could be instructive. They are adding Hydropower to Western Maine & say that “expensive backup generators or battery storage are answers for some, but are not affordable to everyone, nor are microgrids for communities or islands.” A 2019 Maine law requires utilities to establish and file their emergency response plan for recovery and restoration every two years.

How will this be important? Watch their utility regulator who is considering “possibly holding utilities to performance-based standards”

Bangor Daily News via Governing | Maine Works to Resolve the Worst Power Outages in the Nation

New Report. OffShore Wind & Texas. More Power than TX Needs.

  • March 26, 2021

What’s happening? Environment Texas Research & Policy Center research says off shore wind could produce 166% of Texas Energy needs.

Why is this important? Earlier this year we talked about Louisiana partnering with Massachusetts, or one of the colonies, to build offshore turbines in the Gulf based on the turbines working in the Atlantic.

How will this be important? Winter Storm Uri has changed how people view energy in usually warmer states and by the looks of it, every option is on the table.

Renew Biz | Offshore wind ‘could deliver 166% of Texas power’

Texas A&M researchers. Dow Like Index for TX Energy

  • March 26, 2021

What’s happening? A recent Texas A&M study published in the journal Nature Communications researchers devised a metric that reflects the average price of energy in the United States

Why is this important? Researchers say pricing for energy should be beyond supply and demand. “Energy is affected by all kinds of events, including political developments, technological breakthroughs and other happenings going on at a global scale.”

How will this be important? “This metric can help guide lawmakers, government or non-government organizations and policymakers on whether, say, a particular tax policy or the impact of a technological advance is good or bad, and by how much,” Pistikopoulos said. “We now have a quantitative and accurate, predictive metric to navigate the evolving energy landscape, and that’s the real value of the index.”

Texas A&M Today | Dow-Like Index For Energy Prices Might Help Smooth Transition To Clean Power

TX A&M Researchers: More Reliable Grid

  • April 16, 2021

What’s happening? Researchers at Texas A&M are studying ways to “moderate their effects [of generation and transmission events], if not completely eliminate them, at the distribution level”

Why is this important? Texas A&M Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering Chanan Singh proposes “trying to integrate solar and battery storage at a distribution-level framework.””

How will this be important? This research is part of a “research project being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, but the Power On Act proposed by Cornyn and other lawmakers would set up more grant programs within that department to continue tackling this issue. It would authorize $500 million to be made available to power providers, suppliers, and distributors to fortify existing electric infrastructure.”

KTBX | Texas A&M researchers working to develop a more reliable power grid in the face of emergencies

Commercial charging Tariff for EV

  • April 16, 2021

What’s happening? New York is considering S3929/A3876 which would require utilities to propose commercial tariffs for fast charging in an effort to help fleet operators go electric. The proposal would include alternatives to traditional commercial demand-based rate structures and would require consideration for the full range of electric vehicles.

Why is this important? States are till feeling their way around how to regulate EV charging. New York’s largest utility calls the legislation too prescriptive and says it will “unfairly shift costs”

How will this be important? Every state is trying to figure this out, this is a new tool for the legislative tool boxes.

Utility Dive | Tesla praises, ConEd opposes different New York EV bills

Meet the new Solar- Agrivoltaics

  • April 15, 2021

What’s happening? University of Arizona scientists are testing raised solar panels that can fit a tractor underneath them, and allow for the growing of plants underneath so as to benefit both the plant and the amount of solar energy stored.

Why is this important? Growing plants under the solar panels cools the solar panels. And the cooler microclimate under the solar panels means those crops need less water.

How will this be important? Agrivoltaic panels produced 3 % more energy during the May through June growing season and 1% more overall

Governing | Transforming Farms and Food Production With Solar Panels

Wastewater + Green Jobs + Sustainability + High Tech

  • April 15, 2021

What’s happening? Waste water is gaining ground as green, sustainable and high tech. Think of how often waste water has been central to disasters during hurricanes, winter storms, and tornadoes. Managing waste water is big business. We have 800,000 miles of public sewers in the U.S. and the 500,000 miles of private sewers.

Why is this important? During COVID waste water was tested to find hot spots for COVID as scientists grappled with tracking the rapid infections.

How will this be important? The future of wastewater is vast… wastewater can allow for methane capture,  microbial fuel cells that make it possible to generate energy 

Governing | Wastewater Has the Best Green Jobs Workers Don’t Know About

Utilities are Key to EV Charging Roll Out

  • April 9, 2021

What’s happening? The Alliance for Transportation Electrification is reminding people why utilities are pivotal in EV charger roll outs. Here’s the reasons why: utilities are better equipped to handle customer service issues, utilities can encourage charging at times better for the electric grid, and utilities can enhance customer affordability with market incentives.

Why is this important? Every state and local entities is struggling with improving chargers. Manufacturers want chargers to clam range anxiety. Charging equipment manufacturers want their product out for consumption.

How will this be important? EV production is only increasing, which m Eans the n umber of chargers is only increasing. Jump on the rain before you find yourself on the late train and the late train is pricy.

River Bender | Utilities Key to Successful EV Transition

COVID Effects: Bag Bans.

  • April 8, 2021

What’s happening? Philadelphia paused its plastic bag ban during lockdown. Maine is postponing its statewide plastic bag ban. The Massachusetts Governor lifted local bans during May 2020 and then reestablished the local bag bans in July 2020.

Why is this important? Plastic bag bans, plastic food containers, styrofoam containers all the local bans, have taken a backseat to the pandemic.

How will this be important? As the new normal becomes clear, these bans will be tweaked, reassessed and new version will emerge.

Route Fifty | Pandemic-Paused Plastic Bag Bans Ripped Anew by Critics

Add Connecticut to States Expanding Offshore Wind

  • April 8, 2021

What’s happening? The Connecticut legislature is purchasing 2 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. CT Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says if the state wants to meet its goal of sourcing all of its electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2040, it will need more offshore wind.

Why is this important? CT’s projections show it will need 5000 megawatts of offshore wind in total by 2040.

How will this be important? The state needs the Biden Administration help. To that end, to 800,000 acres in the New York Bight have been recognized the Biden Administration for wind turbine leases. Offshore wind is a state-federal partnership

Governing | Connecticut Expected to Increase Off-Shore Wind Contracts

Power Outages By the Numbers.

  • April 8, 2021

What’s happening? I’ll admit when I read the headline, I thought oh has to be California or maybe Texas if we factor in Winter Storm Uri. I was wrong. Maine has the highest number of power outages per year at an average of 4 outages per year and ranks 2nd in outage duration of 14 hours annually over a five-year period from 2015 to 2019

Why is this important? Watching Maine grapple with consistent electric power could be instructive. They are adding Hydropower to Western Maine & say that “expensive backup generators or battery storage are answers for some, but are not affordable to everyone, nor are microgrids for communities or islands.” A 2019 Maine law requires utilities to establish and file their emergency response plan for recovery and restoration every two years.

How will this be important? Watch their utility regulator who is considering “possibly holding utilities to performance-based standards”

Bangor Daily News via Governing | Maine Works to Resolve the Worst Power Outages in the Nation

New Report. OffShore Wind & Texas. More Power than TX Needs.

  • March 26, 2021

What’s happening? Environment Texas Research & Policy Center research says off shore wind could produce 166% of Texas Energy needs.

Why is this important? Earlier this year we talked about Louisiana partnering with Massachusetts, or one of the colonies, to build offshore turbines in the Gulf based on the turbines working in the Atlantic.

How will this be important? Winter Storm Uri has changed how people view energy in usually warmer states and by the looks of it, every option is on the table.

Renew Biz | Offshore wind ‘could deliver 166% of Texas power’

Texas A&M researchers. Dow Like Index for TX Energy

  • March 26, 2021

What’s happening? A recent Texas A&M study published in the journal Nature Communications researchers devised a metric that reflects the average price of energy in the United States

Why is this important? Researchers say pricing for energy should be beyond supply and demand. “Energy is affected by all kinds of events, including political developments, technological breakthroughs and other happenings going on at a global scale.”

How will this be important? “This metric can help guide lawmakers, government or non-government organizations and policymakers on whether, say, a particular tax policy or the impact of a technological advance is good or bad, and by how much,” Pistikopoulos said. “We now have a quantitative and accurate, predictive metric to navigate the evolving energy landscape, and that’s the real value of the index.”

Texas A&M Today | Dow-Like Index For Energy Prices Might Help Smooth Transition To Clean Power