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Posts Tagged "electric grid"

Plugged In

An Introduction to Electricity Markets

Each day, the grid operator collects information from electric generators, and then uses an optimization algorithm to decide which generators should be online to minimize overall electricity costs while maintaining electric reliability. (Source: ERCOT)

So many debates about our transforming electricity system surround the economics of electricity production. The solar advocates continually remind us that the price breakthrough for solar panels is just around the corner, while industry advocates insist the economy will suffer if we place any meaningful limits on carbon pollution. I find it’s often difficult to [...]

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Plugged In

Blackouts: anticipating and preventing the one-two punch

The Night Lights in USA

One year ago, 10% of the world’s population found themselves suddenly without power. The root cause of the largest blackout in history was later identified as combination of a tripped line and relay issue – a one-two punch that the region was not prepared to handle. This month, at the IEEE Power and Energy Society [...]

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Plugged In

Tax credits – the wind in wind energy

For wind power, 2011 was a great year. California added more new wind energy to the grid than any other state, according to a report published Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Energy. A number of other states received high honors as well. These include Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Colorado, which churned out at [...]

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Plugged In

(A Lack of Good) Electricity Outage Data

powerlines_small

When attempting to evaluate the overall health of the U.S. electric grid, one potentially important metric relates to outages – how often and how long customers are without power. But, data related to disruptions in electricity service are largely unavailable. In fact, many states do not require utilities to report data related to the impact [...]

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Plugged In

The U.S. Electric Grid vs. Extreme Weather

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Yesterday, Hurricane Irene weakened to become Tropical Storm Irene – but not before leaving at least 4 million homes without power and causing fuel shortages along the United State’s Atlantic coast. This hurricane brought on-land wind speeds of more than 85 mph in the continental United States, and maintained its hurricane status through most of [...]

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Plugged In

Integrating Renewables Into the U.S. Electric Grid – a Discussion with Dr. Paul Denholm

photo_paul_denholm

Earlier this month, I attended at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Energy Sustainability Conference in Washington, DC.  During the conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Paul Denholm, a senior analyst at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. Dr. Denholm is a member of the Energy Forecasting [...]

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