By - Jim Vess

The $7 Trillion Cost Of Upgrading The U.S. Power Grid

By Leonard Hyman & William Tilles – Feb 25, 2021 We have just witnessed the damage caused by poorly designed energy grids—rolling blackouts, skyrocketing electricity prices, people sleeping in their cars and in one insulated room to keep warm. At the same time a weaponized right wing media swings into action blaming wind turbines and the green new deal for Texas’s energy

By - Jim Vess

LiveEO Performs Satellite-Based Vegetation Risk Analysis of Entire U.S. Electric Transmission Grid

T&D World, FEB 08, 2021 For the first time in history, vegetation encroachment risk to the entire publicly available U.S. transmission grid has been analyzed from space by the Berlin-based start-up LiveEO. The analysis covers the detection of vegetation along the transmission grid, as well as the identification of grid segments that are exposed at dangerously close distances. Read more

By - Jim Vess

Duke Energy Florida proposes plan to revamp energy grid

By Malena Carollo, Published Jan. 16   Duke Energy Florida is asking regulators for permission to begin implementing a sweeping plan centered around renewable energy. Filed late Thursday, its proposal would revamp its energy grid and hasten the retirement of its coal plants.   Read more

By - Jim Vess

Fossil fuel demand drops in 2020 with a limited rebound in 2021, IEA says

Energize Weekly, October 21, 2020 The global pandemic will cut worldwide energy demand 5 percent in 2020 and result in an 18 percent decline in energy investment, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts. If the novel coronavirus is brought under control in 2021, energy demand will return to its pre-crisis level by the end of the year – if

By - Jim Vess

Rural communities to get $865 million in infrastructure aid from USDA programs

Energize Weekly, August 26, 2020 The Trump administration, in the last three weeks, has announced $865 million in loans and grants to upgrade rural infrastructure – electric grids, water systems and broadband internet. The two largest programs are for water and wastewater systems – $462 million – and rural electrification – $371 million. The largest loans are in the rural

By - Jim Vess

Boulder seeking to create a municipal utility offers Xcel $94 million for its wires and poles

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 In an effort to avoid a court condemnation proceeding, Boulder, Colo., which wants to create its own municipal utility, upped its offer for the purchase of Xcel Energy’s infrastructure to $94 million. It is the third offer the city has made to Xcel, which currently serves Boulder, and it is a 15 percent increase over

By - Jim Vess

EIA forecasts a 50 percent increase in energy demand by 2050 driven by Asian economies

Energize Weekly, October 2, 2019 World energy consumption is projected to grow by 50 percent by 2050, with most of that demand coming from growing Asian economies, according to the federal Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) International Energy Outlook. “Energy consumption was greater in Asia than in any other region in 2018, and we project that consumption will almost double between

By - Jim Vess

U.S. market for ‘smart home’ devices to triple to $75 billion by 2025

Energize Weekly, September 25, 2019 The U.S. market for “smart home” devices will more than triple by 2025, reaching $75 billion, according to data analytics company GlobalData. The growth will be driven by the increased use of smart thermostats, which consumers see as an energy-saving device and utilities as one that can help manage load. GlobalData is projecting an 18

By - Jim Vess

Seattle’s grid could be overwhelmed by ambitious plans for electric trucks and buses

Energize Weekly, September 18, 2019 Seattle’s ambitious plans for electrifying the city’s transportation sector could destabilize the metropolitan area’s electric grid by the addition of large numbers of electric trucks and buses, a study finds. The study by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in collaboration with Seattle City Light offers a series of steps to deal with the potentially high

By - Jim Vess

Nearly half of U.S. utilities filed rate cases in 2018, most of them seeking rate increases

Energize Weekly, July 31, 2019 Almost half of the major U.S. electric utilities filed rate cases with state regulators in 2018 – the highest number since 1983 – with nearly 90 percent seeking rate increases, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). The rate increase requests were driven mainly by increased spending on electricity transmission and delivery. In the

By - Jim Vess

New Jersey unveils a broad plan to reach 100 percent clean energy target by 2050

Energize Weekly, June 19, 2019 A multipronged, draft energy plan aimed at getting New Jersey to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 was unveiled June 10 by the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU). The plan looks to address transportation, energy consumption by buildings, grid modernization, as well as a net-zero carbon electricity generation and energy storage. The plan also

By - Jim Vess

Arizona Public Service to add 850 MW of battery storage and 100 MW of solar

Energize Weekly, February 27, 2019 Arizona Public Service (APS) plans to add 850 megawatts (MW) of battery storage, one of the largest storage projects in the country, and 100 MW of solar generation by 2025. The new storage is part of a broad plan to twin solar generation with storage, which includes adding 200 MW of storage to eight existing

By - Jim Vess

U.S. grid unprepared for a catastrophic power outage, says federal infrastructure panel

Energize Weekly, December 19, 2018 The plans to protect and respond to a U.S. grid power failure would be “outmatched” by a catastrophic outage, according to a study by the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC). The council, which advises the president, recommended a series of initiatives, ranging from action by the National Security Council to hardening distribution lines to homes.

By - Jim Vess

New York set to spend $250 million on a statewide EV charging program

Energize Weekly, November 28, 2018 New York State plans to spend $250 million by 2025 on electric vehicle (EV) charging stations—the first step broad program to promote EVs as part of a plan to cut carbon emissions. The New York Power Authority announced it would install 200 charging stations under the plan’s first phase and the authority said it had

By - Jim Vess

AEP’s $33 billion capital improvement plan focuses on transmission and distribution

Energize Weekly, November 21, 2018 American Electric Power (AEP) is planning to invest $33 billion in capital projects between 2019 and 2023 with three-quarters of the money focused on transmission and distribution, the company said. The company will also spend $2.7 billion on renewable generation and another $2.2 billion on competitively bid contracted renewable projects. “AEP’s capital investments over the

By - Jim Vess

Cannabis industry drives growing electricity demand, expected to soar with increased legalization

Energize Weekly, October 31, 2018 The legal cannabis industry in the U.S. is becoming a big energy consumer, using 1.1 million megawatts-hours a year—enough to power 92,500 homes— with consumption projected to grow by 162 percent between 2017 and 2002, according to a study by New Frontier Data. “As more states transition from illicit markets to legal medical markets or

By - Jim Vess

Goggle Maps adds EV charging stations around the world to its search

Energize Weekly, October 24, 2018 Google Maps is now a guide to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in countries around the world. A search on Google Maps in the U.S. will show the stations operated by Tesla, ChargePoint, SemaConnect, EVgo and Blink Network. The five companies account for about three-quarters of the more than 21,000 charging stations in the country.

By - Jim Vess

Michigan utilities propose $20 million in programs to boost EV charging stations

Energize Weekly, August 22, 2018 Michigan’s two largest utilities are proposing electric vehicle (EV) charging programs totaling $20.5 million that would add thousands of stations in the state, according to filings with the Michigan Public Service Commission. Both plans also tie development of residential charging stations to time-of-use rates (TOU) aimed at getting customers to charge their vehicles in off-peak

By - Jim Vess

Dominion Energy offers a $918 million grid modernization plan to Virginia regulators

Energize Weekly, August 1, 2018 Dominion Energy has submitted a $918 million plan to modernize its Virginia grid to state regulators following passage of a new law overhauling utility oversight and investment. The plan seeks to install 1.4 million “smart meters” between 2019 and 2021. An additional 600,000 smart meters would be installed by 2023. A total of 3 gigawatts

By - Jim Vess

Cost of energy efficiency programs vary widely across the U.S., Lawrence Berkeley study finds

Energize Weekly, July 18, 2018 Utilities across the country are investing in energy efficiency programs, and the average cost of saving a kilowatt-hour in these programs is 2.5 cents—though there are sharp regional differences, according to a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study. The study is the most comprehensive effort to quantify the costs involved in energy efficiency programs to curb

By - Jim Vess

PG&E proposes world’s largest battery storage project to replace natural gas plants

Energize Weekly, July 11, 2018 Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has proposed the world’s largest battery storage project—2.3 gigawatts—to replace three natural gas plants. The San Francisco-based utility filed its request for approval with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which in January had given PG&E a green light to solicit bids for the project. PG&E issued a request for

By - Jim Vess

Utilities spent $3.6 billion on energy efficiency, saving enough electricity to power 2.5 million homes

Energize Weekly, June 27, 2018 U.S utilities reported spending $3.6 billion on energy efficiency incentives for customers in 2016 and saved 27.5 billion kilowatt-hours, enough electricity to power 2.5 million homes for a year, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Nearly half of those funds were directed at commercial customers, while residential energy efficiency programs received 43 percent

By - Jim Vess

Energy storage market posts a decline in the first quarter of 2018, but residential installations were robust

Energize Weekly, June 27, 2018 Quarter-over-quarter the U.S. energy storage market dropped 30 percent to 43.6 megawatts (MW) in the first quarter of 2018 and was down 39 percent compared the same quarter in 2017, according to an industry market report. This was in part due to a large number of utility-scale projects that came online in California in 2017,

By - Jim Vess

U.S. storage set to double in 2018 as market to reach 50,000 megawatts in the future

Energize Weekly, March 14, 2018 The prospects for the U.S. battery storage market, both short and long term, appear strong with capacity doubling in 2018 and reaching as high as 50,000 megawatts (MW), according to new analyses. In 2018, 1,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of storage is set to be deployed, nearly equal to the 1,080 MWh deployed between 2013 and 2017,

By - Jim Vess

Flexibility & Resiliency in Design for a Smart Feature-Filled Streetscape

By Sandra Scanlon Walk into any given Starbucks across the country, and you’ll probably notice that the majority of patrons have their faces buried in an electronic device. Whether it is a cellular phone, laptop or tablet, we are a 24/7 connected society through myriad forms of technology all around us. As we start to design infrastructure that supports our

By - Jim Vess

Maryland would have nation’s second largest EV charging network under $105 million plan

Energize Weekly, February 7, 2018 The Maryland Public Service Commission is reviewing a plan, proposed by the state’s utility companies, to create a statewide network of 24,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The $105 million “Statewide Electric Vehicle Portfolio” would set up the second-largest charging network in the nation. California has the largest program. Signing on to the proposal were

By - Jim Vess

EV growth may not affect overall residential power demand, but may impact local areas, study finds

Energize Weekly, January 31, 2018 The growth in plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) will not have a big impact on overall residential power demand, but even one vehicle charging at home could stress a local transformer, according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The modeling study using data for 200 Midwest homes found that the while not

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