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Current News

Energy Storage-Enabled Applications Are Poised to Disrupt Energy Markets
September 30, 2016

In the next 3-5 years, the storage industry is positioned to truly scale and echo the explosive growth seen in the solar PV industry, according to a new white paper from Navigant Research. Incremental improvements in energy storage technologies, developments in regional regulatory and market drivers, and emerging business models are poised to make energy storage a growing and viable part of the electricity grid.
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Germany to Invest $23.6 Billion in Smart Grid Infrastructure Over Next 10 Years
September 29, 2016

Germany is the largest market in Europe but has lagged behind its neighbors in deploying smart grid infrastructure in its power sector. This is now set to change after new regulations passed in July 2016. These regulations should spur a market that will include 44m smart meters by 2026 and a total of $23.6bn invested in smart grid infrastructure, according to a new study published recently by Northeast Group, LLC.
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DOE Report Highlights the Rapid Deployment of Clean Energy Technologies
September 29, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy recently released a new report, Revolution Now, which highlights the accelerated deployment of five clean energy technologies: wind turbines, solar technologies for both utility-scale and distributed photovoltaic (PV), electric vehicles (EVs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
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California Legislature and Governor Enact Four Bills that Accelerate Energy Storage Markets
September 28, 2016

Collectively, these bills are intended to grow the behind-the-meter and utility-scale energy storage markets, create new clean energy jobs, reduce distributed energy resource interconnection challenges, and ensure that bulk energy storage is part of California's renewable energy future.
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California Golden Again on Energy Efficiency, Regains #1-State Spot in Tie with 6-Time Winner Massachusetts
September 28, 2016

California and Massachusetts both won the top spot in the 10th edition of the 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard published by the ACEEE. This marks Massachusetts's sixth consecutive year in first place, but the first time it shared the Spotlight with the Golden State, which last held the title in 2010. The balance of the top 10 consisted of Vermont (#3), Rhode Island (#4), Connecticut and New York (tied for #5), Oregon (#7), Washington state (#8), Maryland (#9), and Minnesota (#10).
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Advanced Microgrid Solutions and Irvine Ranch Water District Partner on Largest Public Water Agency Energy Storage Network in the U.S.
September 27, 2016

The 7 MW / 34 MWh network will utilize Tesla batteries, installed at 11 of IRWD's largest and most energy-intensive facilities - including three water treatment and recycling plants, a deep aquifer treatment system, a groundwater desalter facility and six high-energy pumping stations - as part of a major grid modernization project for Southern California Edison.
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Atrex Energy Awarded $3.1 Million by US Department of Energy to Develop Advanced Clean Power Generator
September 27, 2016

The objective of this latest $3.1 million contract is to design, build and test a prototype 5 kilowatt power generator based on the Atrex Energy oxygen fuel cell. It will also incorporate the latest advances in higher power density, lower operating temperature, and the ability of the cell itself to operate as a battery storage device to better respond to transient load changes.
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U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings, Better Plants Program Has Saved $3 Billion in Energy Costs
September 26, 2016

The Better Plants partners now represent more than 11 percent of the manufacturing sector's total energy footprint, with over 2,500 facilities across the United States. So far, partners have reported cumulative energy savings of 600 trillion BTUs, and nearly 35 million metric tons of avoided climate-changing carbon emissions.
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Duke Energy Solar Rebate Program Exceeding Expectations
September 23, 2016

Act 236, an omnibus solar bill passed by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2014, opened the door for Duke Energy to offer a variety of solar programs to customers. With more than 30 megawatts-ac of solar power scheduled to come online already, Duke Energy is more than halfway to the 53-megawatt goal cited by the Act.
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USTDA Advances Smart Grid Development In Vietnam
September 23, 2016

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency this week provided technical assistance to Electricity of Vietnam Central Power Corporation (EVNCPC), a state-owned electric power utility, to help them modernize their enterprise architecture for smart grid deployment.
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State of Minnesota and Xcel Energy Announce Partnership
September 22, 2016

The new initiative will ensure that 33 percent of the base energy used at the State Capitol Complex comes from renewable sources. If approved by the Public Utilities Commission, the program will provide a reliable and stable supply of solar and wind energy on a long-term basis, and serve as a template for other government customers to purchase utility scale renewable energy packages.
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Global Penetration of Smart Meters is Expected to Reach Approximately 53% by End of 2025
September 22, 2016

More than a decade after the earliest models of communicating electric meters were deployed, the market for AMI remains strong and growing. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, global penetration of smart meters is expected to climb from approximately 30 percent at the end of 2016 to 53 percent by the end of 2025.
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First Tesla Grid-Scale Powerpacks Installed in Europe
September 21, 2016

Camborne Energy Storage, a UK-based developer of large-scale energy storage projects, has announced it is installing the first grid-scale Tesla Powerpacks in Europe. With the recent arrival of the batteries to a site in Somerset, Camborne is co-locating them with a ground mounted solar PV site.
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First Field Trials for Ultra-Fast Wireless Broadband Over Power Lines
September 21, 2016

AT&T recently reported that it is experimenting with multiple ways to send a modulated radio signal around or near medium-voltage power lines, delivering low-cost, wireless internet at multi-gigabit speeds. Known as Project AirGig, the technology has no direct electrical connection to power lines and delivers last-mile access without any new fiber-to-the-home. AT&T notes the technology is flexible enough to be configured with small cells or distributed antenna systems -- no need to build new towers or bury new cables in the ground.
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Solar+Storage Microgrid at U.S. Air Force Forward Operating Base of the Future
September 20, 2016

Researchers in the Air Force Research Laboratory and the University of Dayton Research Institute recently launched the joint year-long program where they are demonstrating technologies capable of powering remote military installations that normally depend on the regular delivery of diesel fuel via convoy, often in hostile locations.
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Landis+Gyr Adds Active Voltage Monitoring from the Grid's Edge
September 20, 2016

The new functionality is designed to provide utilities with improved awareness of sudden voltage variances that impact the quality of service for the end user. Landis+Gyr's analytics capabilities also provide intelligence into the performance of weakened transformers and failing voltage regulators.
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Landmark Renewable Energy Plan Announced for 10 Million Acres of California Desert
September 16, 2016

The U.S. Department of Interior plan designates Development Focus Areas with high-quality solar, wind and geothermal energy potential and access to transmission, sited in low conflict areas. Applications in these areas will benefit from a streamlined permitting process, predictable survey requirements, and simplified mitigation measures. Interior is also considering additional financial incentives for projects located in these areas through an ongoing rulemaking process.
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Smart Appliance Technology Analysis and Market Forecast
September 16, 2016

According to a new report from Mind Commerce, smart appliance unit shipments are expected to grow rapidly with 64.1% CAGR during the period 2016 to 2021. Heavy investment in the space seen from Google, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, and Intel.
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NREL to Lead New Consortium to Improve Reliability and Performance of Solar Modules
September 16, 2016

The Durable Module Materials (DuraMat) National Lab Consortium will receive approximately $30 million over five years from the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative. Overall, SunShot funds projects designed to accelerate the market competitiveness of solar power and has chosen to focus the DuraMat program on module materials to complement the SunShot portfolio.
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AWS Truepower Delivers Solutions to CAISO for Integration of Solar into Grid Operations
September 15, 2016

AWS Truepower, along with project team members Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Siemens SmartGrid, CAISO, and Southern California Edison, achieved the project's goal of developing a toolset that integrated solar energy in a manner that effectively removed system reliability concerns without impacting energy prices.
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U.S. Department of Energy Announces Projects to Transform Energy Storage and Conversion
September 15, 2016

The Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) recently announced $37 million in funding for 16 innovative new projects as part of a new ARPA-E program: Integration and Optimization of Novel Ion-Conducting Solids (IONICS). IONICS project teams are paving the way for technologies that overcome the limitations of current battery and fuel cell products.
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BC Government Funding Supports 'Gas Station' of the Future
September 15, 2016

Officials recently unveiled the 'gas station' of the future, the British Columbia Institute of Technology's (BCIT) Energy Oasis project, which uses the power of the sun to fuel electric vehicles. At full capacity, the solar-powered system should be capable of generating over 142 MWh per year.
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Report Examines Bring Your Own Thermostat Demand Response
September 9, 2016

According to a recent report from Navigant Research, the addressable customer base for Bring-Your-Own-Thermostat (BYOT) demand response programs in the U.S. is estimated to be 20 million, representing a $3 billion market. "By taking advantage of two-way communicating smart thermostats, BYOT DR programs can help utilities reduce acquisition costs for load curtailment programs and improve customer satisfaction," says Brett Feldman, senior research analyst and author of the report.
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FuelCell Energy to Deliver Breakthrough Efficiency Power Generation Solution at Distributed Generation Scale
September 9, 2016

"Our business model of locating clean and affordable power near where the power is used acts to spur urban redevelopment by enhancing local infrastructure and generating property and sales tax revenue for municipal and state governments to a degree that other clean distributed power generation projects have difficult matching," said Michael Bishop, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc.
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NEMA Says Microgrids Essential to America's Future Infrastructure
September 8, 2016

"This report explains the developments we're currently seeing in energy distribution systems and lays out a vision for the future in which microgrids are an essential part of the larger electrical infrastructure across the United States," said Steve Griffith, an industry director at NEMA. "Microgrids will play a major role in grid modernization in an evolving regulatory framework."
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Siemens To Partner With Space-Time Insight on Visual Analytics Apps in North America
September 8, 2016

The partnership is seen as strengthening Siemens smart grid platforms, applications and services and provides utilities better insight into asset health and grid reliability, resulting in an enhanced ability to predict and identify possible failures on their system.
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Hudson Institute Releases Report on Israel and Energy Independence in the Eastern Mediterranean
September 7, 2016

"Israel's energy laws were developed largely when the country was an energy importer," the Commission on the Eastern Mediterranean states in a summary. "Israeli officials now have to develop a way to handle energy matters that can allow Israel to become not only a substantial energy producer, but an exporter.
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University of Calgary Symposium Examines Integrating Renewable Generation
September 7, 2016

"Exact targets for renewable generation can often lead to poor outcomes," says G. Kent Fellows of the University of Calgary. "If we set a target of 30% and commit to doing whatever it takes to get there we could end up spending far too much. We need to focus on re-designing a market that properly values all aspects of electricity generation."
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Report: Challenges and Opportunities for the Nordic Power System
September 7, 2016

The main challenges foreseen by the Nordic TSOs in this changing environment are meeting the demand for flexibility, ensuring adequate transmission and generation capacity to guarantee security of supply and meeting the demands of the market, as well as maintaining a good frequency quality and sufficient inertia in the system to ensure operational security.
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California ISO Seeks to Increase Renewables While Maintaining Grid Reliability
September 2, 2016

The California Independent System Operator Board of Governors earlier this week accepted proposed tariff revisions that will ensure solar, wind and battery storage resources can provide needed grid services. In doing so, renewable resources will adjust their system controls so that power voltages and currents remain in sync with grid operations.
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Scotland's Day of 100% Renewables
September 2, 2016

To ensure that the system value is positive, renewable energy must be considered within the context of the entire electricity system and implemented alongside other innovations such as renewable energy forecasting, enhanced scheduling of conventional power plants, electricity storage and more flexible generation and grid infrastructure.
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National Grid Pursues Smart Energy Solutions Extension
September 1, 2016

Findings from a mid-program evaluation revealed that in 2015 the Smart Energy Solutions (SES) program achieved a 98 percent retention rate, a 72 percent customer satisfaction rate and total customer savings of $1.25 million on their electric bills. Additionally, the average customer reduced their usage by nearly 4 percent during peak periods of electricity demand.
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Global Electricity Transmission and Distribution Infrastructure Investment to Reach $351 Billion Per Year by 2026
September 1, 2016

"Utilities and governments across the world are developing new generation projects, particularly renewable energy ones, to meet rising electricity demand. But often missing from the headlines is the massive investment that will be required in T&D infrastructure to accommodate these projects," according to Ben Gardner, President of Northeast Group.
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NREL Supercomputing Model Provides Insights from Higher Wind and Solar Generation in the Eastern Power Grid
September 1, 2016

The analysis considered scenarios of up to 30 percent annual penetration of wind and solar. Whereas previous studies have investigated operations in one-hour intervals, NREL's Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study (ERGIS) analyzed a year of operations at 5-minute intervals, the same real-time interval used by grid operators for scheduling resources.
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GE Joins With MIT Energy Initiative to Transform Global Energy Systems
August 31, 2016

As a Sustaining Member of MITEI, GE will commit a total of $7.5 million over a five-year period ($1.5 million annually) and play an active role in MITEI's research and project priorities. Specifically, GE will participate in four of MITEI's Low-Carbon Energy Centers to advance research and development (R&D) in key technology areas for meeting future energy needs: solar energy; energy storage; electric power systems; and carbon capture, utilization and storage.
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Siemens and OMNETRIC Group Support NREL's Project INTEGRATE
August 31, 2016

Siemens and OMNETRIC Group have installed and tested new renewable software technology at Duke Energy to support the U.S. Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Project INTEGRATE, an initiative developed to resolve the current limitations utilities face when integrating renewable energy sources into the grid. First successfully verified at NREL, the grid technology is being demonstrated in a test bed using live microgrid conditions.
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