News Roundup for the Week of Monday, September 16 – Sunday, September 22

Carbon limits: Obama’s EPA sets terms for tomorrow’s cleaner energy industry.

The Guardian. An opinion piece that discusses EPA’s new carbon emission regulations for new power plants under the Clean Air Act. To Read EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s prepared comments on climate change and the new CAA standards, click here.

Oregon’s energy hub on the Willamette River a catastrophic risk when a megaquake hits.

The Oregonian. A state report warns of that catastrophe and more — including pipe breaks that could cripple Portland International Airport and create a statewide gasoline shortage. The report pinpoints the “critical infrastructure energy hub” between Sauvie Island and the Fremont Bridge crammed with tank farms, transmission towers, bridges, pipelines and electrical substations. The hub is a six-mile stretch near downtown Portland that could become Oregon’s Achilles heel when the Big One comes.

Wind Project Wins in Court But Delay is Costly

Capital Press. Environmental groups have failed to block a power transmission line that enables the construction of a major wind energy project in eastern Oregon. However, economic shifts in the energy industry are now posing another threat to the project, backers say. While litigation has delayed the project, natural gas has become cheaper due to new extraction technology…

More FERC uproar: Nominee for chairman stirs controversy

Smart Grid News. Ron Binz is the former chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. his nomination as FERC chairman has brought out vocal supporters and detractors….

ViZn Energy Systems Launches Large Scale Flow Battery for Micro-Grid Market

Green Energy News. The Z20 160 kWh battery offers a scalable storage system for the growing micro-grid markets and renewable integration. With more than fifteen years of research and intense product development cycles behind it, ViZn’s patented flow-battery technology breaks the cost/benefit threshold that is currently limiting widespread adoption of storage…

More Wind Means Less Baseload Generation

GreenTech Media. In a big chunk of the country, the rise of wind power is reducing the need for baseload generation from coal and nuclear…

News Roundup for the Week of Monday, July 29 – Sunday, August 4

On Rooftops, a Rival for Utilities

New York Times. For years, power companies have watched warily as solar panels have sprouted across the nation’s rooftops. Now, in almost panicked tones, they are fighting hard to slow the spread. Alarmed by what they say has become an existential threat to their business, utility companies are moving to roll back government incentives aimed at promoting solar energy and other renewable sources of power.

‘Green’ energy spurs need for more power lines across states

Columbus Dispatch. The location of power transmission lines is increasingly important as state renewable-energy targets drive investments in wind and solar power… It isn’t easy to build power lines, particularly those that would have to stretch across several states. A complex — and sometimes conflicting — patchwork of federal and state rules has delayed the completion of some projects and deterred investment.

Can microgrids provide smooth renewable power integration and backup?

Renewable Energy Focus USA. Microgrids could provide a way to sustain power during disasters and allow isolated regions to tap into renewable energy sources in a sustainable way. Joyce Laird talks to ABB’s smart grid expert Brad Luyster.

News Roundup for the Week of Monday, July 22 – Sunday, July 28

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Urges Federal Energy Regulatory Commission …

The National Law Review

On June 6, 2013, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) issued a white paper urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reevaluate the method it uses to establish returns on equity (ROEs) for transmission investments. EEI urges FERC to reaffirm its commitment to transmission investment by making necessary adjustments in its approach to setting a just and reasonable ROE for transmission investment. EEI’s white paper is certain to be controversial, since customer groups have been arguing for lower ROEs for many months.

FERC approves changes in ancillary service sales, reporting


FERC said its final rules (RM11-24) are to enhance the ability of ancillary services providers to compete for sale of services to public utility transmission providers. FERC said its final rules (RM11-24) are to enhance the ability of ancillary services providers to compete for sale of services to public utility transmission providers.

Innovation Leader: MISO Uses Real-Time Synchrophasor …

Sacramento Bee

MISO recently became one of the first grid operators across the country to utilize new synchrophasor technology in MISO’s Real-Time System Operations for grid monitoring and analysis.

Renewable energy transmission projects create tension among greens

High Country News (blog)

You’ve got your grid-oriented greens on the one hand, who believe that the only way to slow or reverse climate change is by attacking it on a large scale, with big wind farms, big solar plants and big power lines to ship it across long distances. And on the other, the grassroots groups who feel that sacrificing local ecosystems to fight climate change isn’t the answer.

BLM unveils preferred power line routes through Utah

Salt Lake Tribune

The BLM this week identified its preferred alignment for PacifiCorp’s proposed Gateway South transmission line, connecting Wyoming renewable energy sources to a future substation in Juab County. Earlier this month the BLM released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the right of way for the project. This line would move up to 1,500 megawatts more than 400 miles from the planned Aeolus Substation in south central Wyoming to the planned Clover Substation near Mona.

NARUC Says FERC Rules Unfairly Snub State Authority


The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners approved a resolution Wednesday strongly criticizing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, saying the agency’s implementation of a rule governing transmission planning “inappropriately infringes” on states’ authority over the electric grid.

Unneeded Power Line Would Scar New Hampshire

Hartford Courant

The Northern Pass Transmission Project — a proposed $1.4 billion electricity transmission project that would bring 1,200 megawatts of energy from Hydro-Quebec’s hydroelectric plants in Canada to southern New England — is one of the hottest issues this summer here in New Hampshire.

The five most important names in renewable energy that you’ve never heard of


Despite the well-documented value that transmission investments deliver to ratepayers and the environment, FERC has been hearing complaints recently that ROEs for transmission projects are too high, and that ratepayers need relief. These complaints are misguided, and their timing could not be worse. Never in our history has so much depended on expanding and modernizing our electric transmission system.

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