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Rapid increases in electricity demand challenge both generating unit and system operators

Rapid increases in electricity demand challenge both generating unit and system operators | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

Energy Information Administration - Because supply and demand for electricity must balance in real-time, rapid changes in demand create operational challenges for the electric system and generating unit operators.

ProviderPower's insight:

Meeting this increasing demand can be stressful for system and generating unit operators because system operators need to order generators to ramp up efficiently while maintaining reliability.


Also, this steepest ramp occurred during the spring low-demand season when there are fewer generating units available for ramping because of unit maintenance outages.


  • While coal-fired units in this instance provided about 70% of the increase in capacity during the peak ramp hour, natural gas-fired capacity increased its output at a higher rate than coal capacity (19% to 16%).
  • This difference is because SPP relies more on natural gas-fired capacity for quick ramping and the output of natural gas generators is starting from a smaller base than coal generators.
  • Wind output was flat during the peak ramp hour and declined after that.
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Report: Polar Vortex May Slow Coal-Fired Retirements - Natural Gas Intelligence

Report: Polar Vortex May Slow Coal-Fired Retirements - Natural Gas Intelligence | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

"In the aftermath of last winter's polar vortex, and the consequent spike in natural gas prices, some independent system operators (ISO) are reconsidering plans to retire coal-fired generators that proved critical to maintaining system reliability, according to a report by ScottMadden Inc."

ProviderPower's insight:

Coal powered plants have been the source of much criticism because of the pollution they cause when generating energy and many have been scheduled to be shut down in the following years.  But in light of the extreme cold last winter, some are arguing that the coal plants are still necessary.

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New PSAs Help You Save Energy and Money

New PSAs Help You Save Energy and Money | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
New PSAs Help You Save Energy and Money
ProviderPower's insight:

The two PSAs use animated infographics to provide seven no-cost tips for saving energy, so click the link to learn more.

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Cool summer makes its mark on people, peaches

Cool summer makes its mark on people, peaches | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

"If you think its been cooler than usual this summer, you're absolutely correct. In fact, some people might even refer to summer 2014 as "the summer that barely happened." 

ProviderPower's insight:

While June was a little above average in temperature, the rest of the summer in New England has been pleasant and cool.

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Here Is How Much You Spend On Electricity In Each State - Huffington Post

Here Is How Much You Spend On Electricity In Each State - Huffington Post | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

Huffington Post
The maps below, created using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, show how electricity consumption and costs vary across state lines.

ProviderPower's insight:

If you've ever wondered about your neighboring states' energy usage and electricity costs, these maps will give you a clear idea of how electricity consumption and costs vary across the U. S.  Check to see how your state stacks up. 

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Millinocket police warn of energy-company telephone scam - Bangor Daily News

Millinocket police warn of energy-company telephone scam - Bangor Daily News | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

"Police warned residents Thursday to avoid telephone scam artists who try to get credit card information or money by claiming to represent local power companies that will shut off electricity if bills aren’t paid immediately."

ProviderPower's insight:

An good head's up.

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The Energy Storage Renaissance is Near

The Energy Storage Renaissance is Near | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
For one week, each cloudy, San Francisco July, the sun shines brightly on the solar industry.
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Efficient energy storage could open many doors for renewable energy as well as ensuring a steady, consistent flow of energy on the grid.  Could the technology be within our reach?

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Despite previous worries, evidence suggests that nuclear safety is no worse following U.S. electricity deregulation  

Despite previous worries, evidence suggests that nuclear safety is no worse following U.S. electricity deregulation    | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
From the late 1990s, U.S. electricity markets were deregulated so that half of the country’s nuclear plants became subject to the fluctuations of prices in competitive wholesale electricity markets...
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A professor's research supports the idea that because of deregulation, the U.S. has been able to increase its production of nuclear power without sacrificing safety.  

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Laying the foundation of a smart city | Intelligent Utility

Laying the foundation of a smart city | Intelligent Utility | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
The term “smart city,” like the term “smart grid,” is amorphous. It grows. It changes. It engulfs other ideas through a type of groupthink osmosis.
ProviderPower's insight:

What does it really mean to make a "smart" city?  Opinions vary.  Does it simply require a smart meter program?  Or do you need eco-friendly programs and green energy?

This article gives you five things to consider when mulling over smart cities, from trying to define sustainability, to the problem of protecting privacy.  


 

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5 Things You Need to Know About Obama's Clean Power Plant Rule - EarthTechling

Bangor Daily News

Thursday and Friday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold the final in its series hearings on its proposed rule to clean up carbon pollution from coal fired power plants.

ProviderPower's insight:

With all the talk about the EPA's new restrictions regarding power plant pollution, namely plants that use coal, it's easy to get lost.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when researching the subject.

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Desperately Seeking a Cheaper Kilowatt Hour - Forbes

Desperately Seeking a Cheaper Kilowatt Hour - Forbes | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

" . . . how can electric companies lower their prices to attract businesses and industries? Countless factors make an impact. Research and development. Construction costs. Permits. Securing land. Mining, drilling and refining. Operating and maintenance costs. Taxes and fees. Power lines. The risk of changing laws and regulations."

ProviderPower's insight:

This article highlights the effects of a diverse energy portfolio by comparing Washington State and Connecticut.  Washington is able to offer the lowest industrial price per kilowatt hour due to the variety of energy sources its power grid relies on, including nuclear, coal, natural gas, and renewables.  On the other hand, Connecticut relies almost completely on nuclear power and natural gas.  Because of this, industrial companies must consider a hefty electric bill when moving to this New England state.  Read more to understand how.

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MANAGED GREEN's curator insight, August 17, 10:16 AM

Washington's work in conservation has been the model all states should strive to meet.  Sadly, money and politics enters the race.  Let us help your company add #Green to your bottom line.  Call today for additional information 714.512.5820

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Natural gas pipeline expansion has Worcester and surrounding communities in crosshairs

Natural gas pipeline expansion has Worcester and surrounding communities in crosshairs | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Natural gas pipeline expansion has Worcester and surrounding communities in ...
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While a proposed $4 billion natural gas pipeline expansion has some people excited, some residents are less than pleased about the project.  While the pipeline would increase New England's natural gas supply, the new lines would run through several communities.  


The concept of increasing natural gas supplies for the region is supported by governors in the New England states, as well as utility companies, and will be occurring as four large New England power plants, including coal, oil and nuclear, are slated to close in the next few years.


Residents along the Northeast Energy Direct Project, which stretches 418 miles through Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, are concerned about how the pipeline will impact property values and agriculture lands.  

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Steam from the Sun

Steam from the Sun | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
A new and innovative material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun.
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A fascinating look at new technology that could give solar power and steam power new possibilities. 

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Poll: Are you in favor of Consumers Energy switching to smart meters?

Poll: Are you in favor of Consumers Energy switching to smart meters? | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

Are you in favor of Consumers Energy switching to smart meters

ProviderPower's insight:

Smart meters can help lower your utility bill, but some people are worried that they encroach on home privacy.  In Kalamazoo, Michigan, utility customers are discussing the pros and cons of the new technology as its usage increases across the state.

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The 5 testing steps that allow utilities to roll out smart devices with confidence

The 5 testing steps that allow utilities to roll out smart devices with confidence | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
As utilities roll out new technologies, they sometimes find problems after the initial installations. That mistake can be costly and the negative publicity damaging.
ProviderPower's insight:

As people work to connect their lives with technology, smart meters are becoming more and more popular.  Some people are worried that smart meters could cause problems, but luckily manufacturers are already working to fix and circumvent any difficulties.

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Monthly wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England

Monthly wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

ISO News Wire

"The average prices for natural gas and wholesale electricity fell during July as mild mid-summer weather cooled off demand in New England. The real-time price of wholesale power, at $34.91 per megawatt-hour (MWh)*, was 8% lower than the June average price of $37.92/MWh, and 39% lower than the $57.12/MWh average price recorded during July 2013, when a week-long heat wave drove peak demand to 27,379 megawatts (MW), the fourth-highest on record. By contrast, demand peaked this July at 24,400 MW, and total energy consumption was 10% lower compared to July 2013."

ProviderPower's insight:

Two of the main factors in wholesale electricity prices in New England are the consumer demand and the cost of fuel used to produce electricity.  Since natural gas is the major fuel used in New England, and this summer has been mild, natural gas is at a marked low in New England at the moment.

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Bold plan to expand New England gas pipeline capacity on hold

Bold plan to expand New England gas pipeline capacity on hold | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

Press Herald
Maine officials seek to regroup to lower energy costs, and may have to consider what the state can do on its own.

ProviderPower's insight:

Massachusetts politics may have killed the efforts of six New England governors to expand natural gas pipeline capacity in New England.

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Spray-on perovskite PV cells could slash the cost of solar electricity

Spray-on perovskite PV cells could slash the cost of solar electricity | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Sheffield in the UK have created a spray-on solar cell that uses perovskite as the light-absorbing layer. Although the cell's efficiency is only a modest 11 percent, it can be manufactured very cheaply, paving the way for significant reductions in the cost of large-scale solar panel production.

ProviderPower's insight:

A new technology available for photovoltaic panels could pave the way for more efficient green energy.

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Electricity and Natural Gas Market Update

Electricity and Natural Gas Market Update | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Electricity and Natural Gas Market Update Natural gas futures slid to a 7 month low of 38.49 cents per therm as meteorologists predicted mild weather, which would curtail demand from power ("Electricity and Natural Gas Market Update" by @samadjangba...
ProviderPower's insight:

Here's a quick update on how the natural gas and electricity markets are doing in light of the mild weather predictions.

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Owner pulls plug on sale of Maine's largest power plant - Press Herald

Owner pulls plug on sale of Maine's largest power plant - Press Herald | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Owner pulls plug on sale of Maine's largest power plant
Press Herald
As part of a standby program set up by the region's electric grid operator, Wyman Station and other oil units stepped up to help keep the lights on.
ProviderPower's insight:

Wyman Station in Yarmouth had been essentially written off as obsolete and too costly to run, but in the topsy-turvy world of energy supply and demand, the 57-year-old oil-fired generator suddenly appears to be valuable again.


New England's recent below-average winter has given the old power plant new value, especially since three major power plants in the area are going offline.


The future of the power station also is of great interest to Yarmouth, which receives $1 million in taxes from the facility and had begun considering how to redevelop the waterfront site.

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Planning for Life On or Off the Grid: Part One

Planning for Life On or Off the Grid:  Part One | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Planning for Life On or Off the Grid: Part One Taking the plunge into renewable energy at home is easier than ever. Check out our steps for picking the right renewable energy system for your home.
ProviderPower's insight:

"Off the grid." Those three words typically conjure up the image of mountain men, tucked into the wilderness with long beards and scraggly hair, or communes out in the country with farmland and flowers galore, but with renewable energy becoming more and more accessible, your image of "off the grid," just may change. Neighborhoods are dotted with solar-paneled houses and wind systems, and taking the plunge into renewable energy at your home is more conceivable than ever before.

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Is natural gas the best energy alternative?

"Concurrently, 30 states, including New Hampshire, adopted renewable electricity standards requiring investor-owned utilities to produce a share of their power from renewable sources..."

ProviderPower's insight:

More than 30% of America's power supply currently comes from natural gas, and some credit its growing use to a significant drop in carbon emissions.  Admittedly, natural gas produces more carbon than solar or wind, but it still produces roughly half of the carbon content of coal.  
 

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LePage plan could give dormant dams new life - Press Herald

LePage plan could give dormant dams new life - Press Herald | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
LePage plan could give dormant dams new life
Press Herald
The LePage administration is looking anew at Maine's old dams, mills and hydropower facilities as a way to increase electricity generation.
ProviderPower's insight:

Governor's LePage's administration is attempting to increase hydropower in Maine as a source of electricity.  The first step will be taken by the Governor's Energy Office, who intend to hire a consultant to take inventory of Maine's hydroelectric facilities and make recommendations for expanding and improving the facilities.

The hope is that dams and former saw and grist mill locations will have a real potential for developing hydropower.  The Governor's Energy Office has stated that they want to find ways to capitalize on existing hydropower in Maine, not build new dams. 


According to the director of the Governor's Energy Office, Maine's hydropower resources has not been assessed since the early 1990's, so it will be interesting to see what kind of potential hydropower locations are found.

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Home energy management systems get another chance (in Massachusetts)

Home energy management systems get another chance (in Massachusetts) | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
While home energy management devices are nowhere near as popular as we expected them to be years ago, National Grid is going to make a go of it with CEIVA at its smart grid test bed project in Worcester, Massachusetts.
ProviderPower's insight:

Some Massachusetts residents are being given the option to try smart meter technology at no cost.

CEIVA Energy's home energy management system will be launching today, a program that is part of National Grid's Smart Energy Solutions Program. Almost 15,000 National Grid customers in Worcester, Massachusetts will be included in the program.

Smart meters are a hot topic at the moment, and it will be interesting to see how they are received in Worcester.

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Four Reasons Why Energy Efficiency Programs Fail

Four Reasons Why Energy Efficiency Programs Fail | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
So you’ve decided to take the initiative to achieve sustained energy savings at your organization. By addressing every source of electricity consumption your goal can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time.
ProviderPower's insight:

Making the decision to work towards saving energy is a big one.  When you do, keep these common mistakes in mind so that you can avoid them.  

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A boost for offshore wind energy? DOI offers commercial leases for development

A boost for offshore wind energy? DOI offers commercial leases for development | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
In case you were wondering, offshore wind energy is far from dead in the U.S. The Department of Interior has opened up two large areas off the coasts of Maryland and Massachusetts for development.
ProviderPower's insight:

Offshore wind opportunities are looking more likely in more parts of the U.S.

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