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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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Electricity Cost and Deregulation
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Energy Saver Guide: Tips on Saving Money and Energy at Home

Energy Saver Guide: Tips on Saving Money and Energy at Home | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

"Right in your own home, you have the power to save money and energy. Saving energy reduces our nation's overall demand for resources needed to make energy, and increasing your energy efficiency is like adding another clean energy source to our electric power grid."

ProviderPower's insight:

Some great tips on saving energy.

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$3b plan promises more natural gas in New England - Boston Globe

$3b plan promises more natural gas in New England - Boston Globe | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

"Two of the largest players in the New England natural gas market have formed a partnership to expand the capacity of two major pipelines, they said Monday, the latest of several proposals to increase the supply of natural gas to the region and moderate the costs of heating and electricity.
 

The pipeline operator, Spectra Energy Corp., of Houston, and Northeast Utilities, the parent of Nstar and Western Massachusetts Electric Co., said they will invest $3 billion in a project to bring an additional 1 billion cubic feet of gas a day into New England, or enough to supply about 3.5 million homes."

ProviderPower's insight:

More natural gas in New England could mean lower utility prices.  Click here to see what these companies have planned.

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How to Win the Energy-Savings Argument in 3 Easy Steps

How to Win the Energy-Savings Argument in 3 Easy Steps | Electricity Market | Scoop.it
Want to make energy saving changes in your home but others in your home disagree? Here’s how to win the energy saving argument in your home.
ProviderPower's insight:

Here's a few great ideas on how to convince your friends and family to be take on energy-saving habits.

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ENH Power and Great Bay Stewards form bond - Exeter News-Letter

"Standing behind their vocation to help other people, ENH Power recently began collaborating with the Great Bay Stewards to raise awareness on sustainable issues. Though slightly different in their respective business models, both businesses have a passion for helping people and the environment."

ProviderPower's insight:

ENH Power's Power to Help Fund is going toward a collaboration with Great Bay Stewards in an effort to preserve the Seacoast region's major wetlands.  

The funds from the Power to Help Program goes towards aiding local organizations that help with common concerns such as education, health, homelessness, and in this case, helping the environment.

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Maine town to discuss wind energy project - WCSH-TV

Maine town to discuss wind energy project - WCSH-TV | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

WCSH-TV

The firm says the project would generate enough electricity for 6,500 homes and would be built with private money on private land.

ProviderPower's insight:

Interesting.

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Our electricity grid is bending; without change, it will break - Bangor Daily News

Our electricity grid is bending; without change, it will break - Bangor Daily News | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

"The regional organization which oversees our energy grid, ISO-New England, has repeatedly warned us of our over-reliance on natural gas for electricity generation, which currently accounts for more than half of our capacity. Add to that 8,000 MW of expected-to-retire generation over the next decade and New England is looking at a real future capacity shortfall — a gap that all of the energy efficiency, conservation and demand response in the world won’t be able to close."

ProviderPower's insight:

Energy rates have been on the rise in New England over the past two winters, and opposition for new natural gas lines could hinder improvement.  

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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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New England's demand remains flat on surge of energy efficiency, distributed resources

New England's demand remains flat on surge of energy efficiency, distributed resources | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

"Energy efficiency and distributed generation are helping keep load growth to a minimum in New England, with the regional grid operator expecting electricity consumption to grow only about 0.1% annually.

Constraining demand is vital as the region struggles with a growing dependence on natural gas and a dearth of new pipelines to deliver the fuel."

ProviderPower's insight:

Interesting.

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Save money, save the planet by making your home energy efficient

"Saving energy is great, but so is saving money.
 

The best tools and tips can offer both, according to local businesses, whose lines of energy-efficient products and services are expanding to meet demand for saving green and leaving smaller carbon footprints."

ProviderPower's insight:

Check out a few great ways to make your home more energy efficient.  Conserving energy at home not only helps the planet, but can help lower your energy bill.

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Provider Power Ranked by NO. 6 Overall by Inc. Magazine - Gains Top Spot in ... - PR Web (press release)

Provider Power Ranked by NO. 6 Overall by Inc. Magazine - Gains Top Spot in ... - PR Web (press release) | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

"Provider Power is the parent company of Electricity Maine, ENH Power and Provider Power Mass.

'The fact that a Maine owned energy company can compete on a national scale is a testament to all our employees,” said Kevin Dean who is the co-owner of Provider Power with partner Emile Clavet. “New England values, honest business practices and putting customers, and employees ahead of gimmicks are the key to our success.'"

ProviderPower's insight:

How does a Maine owned electricity supply company become so successful? According to Emile Clavet, co-owner of Provider Power, the recipe is a simple one. “Offer a fair product at a fair price with no surprises and a hyper-local support of community through out Power to Help initiative. Consumers in New England were sending their money to an out of state supplier and had no idea. We offer an alternative, the ability to purchase their power closer to home."

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New fight erupts over New England natural gas plan - The San Luis Obispo Tribune

"A new fight has emerged over efforts to shift New England from oil and coal to lower cost natural gas.  Plans by New England's governors and energy officials to expand natural gas in the six states have drawn fights in the past year among energy companies, environmentalists and local and state officials. Now, a lawyer who represents a pipeline company, manufacturers and two organized labor groups is accusing environmental advocates of abandoning their early support for cleaner energy and trying to block pipeline projects."

ProviderPower's insight:

The use of natural gas in New England is currently a hot topic, and now new accusations have been laid before Maine utility regulators by the Industrial Energy Consumer Group.

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In US, Waste-to-Energy Could Supply 12% of Electricity - Energy Digital

In US, Waste-to-Energy Could Supply 12% of Electricity - Energy Digital | Electricity Market | Scoop.it

"In a new report out from the Earth Engineering Center (EEC) at Columbia University, it’s estimated that 12% of all U.S. electricity could potentially be supplied through waste-to-energy (WtE) programs. In order for this to occur, all municipal solid waste (MSW) the U.S. is currently putting into landfills would need to be converted via WtE plants."

ProviderPower's insight:

What if we could solve some of our energy problems with garbage?  As implausible as it may seem, a new study claims that taking this step could reduce greenhouse gasses by 123 million tons a year and drastically decrease waste in landfills. 

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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.
ProviderPower's insight:

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...
ProviderPower's insight:

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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