News Update: Monday, September 1 – Sunday, September 7

So, getting back in the saddle again! Hopefully I’ll be able to get out more regular updates.

Monday, September 1 – Sunday, September 7

“Slow down on renewables!” pleads Austin Energy. “Don’t turn us into Germany!” SmartGridNews

The municipal utility, Austin Energy, is starting to voice concerns about increasing renewable electricity grid integration. According to local reporting, Austin Energy is becoming leery in response to the city council’s new renewable energy goals, which — as Germany has amply illustrated lately — could hoist higher rates on customers when the utility has to buy costly power from the statewide grid to supplement its own supply on cloudy or windless days. Concerns over the intermittent nature of renewable energy has been a hot topic, but this represents one of the first times that a progressive, renewable-friendly, utility like Austin Energy has started showing signs of slowing down.

NRG, Green Mountain team up to design ‘energy city of the future.’ E&E Energywire.

This week, NRG Energy Inc. and Green Mountain Power announced their partnership to undertake an extensive migrogrid laboratory to advance renewable energy use in Rutland, Vermont, and eventually the whole state. GMP will use NRG technologies and strategies to bring greater customer-choice and energy management to the city. According to GMP, the project’s goal is to move Rutland “beyond the legacy grid system” with a more distributed grid system based on NRG capabilities.

A Smarter Power Grid for U.S. Utilities. Bloomberg Business Week

Since 1984, power outages in the United States have risen more than 285%, costing the economy about $150 billion every year.

Rate Design For the Distribution Edge. Rocky Mountain Institute

Researchers at the Rocky Mountain Institute recently published a white paper detailing various ratemaking designs that could help the electric utility sector regain some of its vitality and reinvent its role in the modern electric industry.

U.S. solar installations have almost tripled in 3 years — study. GreenTechMedia

U.S. solar photovoltaic installations continued at a brisk pace in the second quarter of 2014, with 1,133 megawatts of new capacity coming online in the utility, commercial and residential sectors, according to data released Friday by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. In a statement, SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch said that currently “the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly $15 billion a year into our economy. This remarkable growth is due in large part to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), net energy metering (NEM) and renewable portfolio standards (RPS).”

 

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