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utilities

The TRC Is Calling – Has Anyone Seen 1979?

By Energy Rant No Comments

Last week Michaels Energy delivered a webinar, Achieving Grid Resiliency with Thermal Energy Storage. There are about 70 gigawatts of refrigeration load in the United States frozen storage and chilled-water HVAC systems alone. That 70 GW does not include distributors like Sysco or U.S. Foods, grocery distribution centers like Walmart or Kroger, food manufacturers like Tyson or Nestle, grocery stores, convenience stores, or restaurants. Add it all up, and well over 10% of the total peak load in the U.S. is sitting there in bags, boxes, and buckets of food, waiting to be used as a flexible load-shifting and management…

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Stay In Your Lane of Strength, or Pay

By Energy Rant No Comments

My top “strength,” as scientifically assessed by Gallup CliftonStrengths®, is context, which may also be defined as a historian. My other top strengths include attention deficit, information hoarder, and rabbit hole aficionado[1]. Orwell’s famous 1984 quote says, who controls the past, controls the future, and who controls the present controls the past. Well, I’m not controlling anything; I’m hoarding it. Those who study the past can more accurately forecast the future because human nature never changes. History Lessons from Utilities There are limitless examples of companies leaving their lane to pursue bad ideas and things their customers don’t want. Examples…

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Reorganize Portfolios and Redirect Incentives for 10X Impacts

By Energy Rant No Comments

A couple weeks ago, I quickly read this article, Cracking the Code – Aligned Incentives, on EnergyCentral.com. It concerns incentives for high-performance employees, but my read was about incentives for efficiency programs. It applies to that too.  Myopic Focus I wrote about short-term focus many times, including last week – if your lips are chapped, stop licking them – short-term gain for longer-term pain. Efficiency portfolio administrators, typically utilities, want long-lived measures, deep energy savings, and instant savings. The demand for instant savings is like harvesting the carrots at day 30 rather than at day 70 maturity. SEM Myopathy As…

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Risks Faced by Power Utility Companies

By Grid Capacity No Comments
Original Source: Risks Faced by Power Utility Companies | Energy Central Unprecedented transformation and rising threats are a top focus for power and utilities. Meanwhile, the cleaner energy transition poses unique opportunities to move the industry forward. Leaders know that taking a panoramic view of risk is no longer nice to have. It’s a must. Power utility companies are facing significant risks due to the latest technologies available. The advancements in technologies have led to a change in the power generation and distribution system, and thus, power utility companies must adapt to these changes to stay relevant in the industry....
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Record High Electricity Prices Not Enough to Increase Consumer Awareness of Sustainability Initiatives

By Cost No Comments
Original Source: Record-high electricity prices fail to boost residential energy management programs: JD Power | Utility Dive Utilities Intelligence Report March 2023 Electricity bills in the United States rose 13.1% on average in 2022, higher than the overall rate of inflation. Concurrent with this trend, utilities have introduced aggressive carbon reduction goals and sustainability initiatives that rely on customers reducing their energy consumption through a combination of time-of-use rates, energy-saving appliance rebate programs and more. In fact, 81% of electric utility customers are now served by a utility with a stated carbon reduction target. Despite this decade-long push to change...
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Image shows graphic of C02 and text "North Carolina's Carbon Plan Criticized for Lack of Specifics, Energy Reliability and Possible Higher Bills."

North Carolina’s Carbon Plan Criticized for Lack of Specifics, Energy Reliability and Possible Higher Bills

By Carbon Reduction No Comments
Original Source: North Carolina’s Carbon Plan criticized for lack of specifics, energy reliability and possible higher bills (wral.com) A plan to significantly reduce carbon emissions in North Carolina is receiving widespread criticism. Environmental groups believe the state’s first Carbon Plan lacks specifics while other critics are concerned that too much reliance on renewable energy will be costly to the state. Some customers believe increasing renewables will mean a less reliable grid. The passing of House Bill 951 requires Duke Energy and other electric utility providers to reduce carbon emissions by 70% from 2005 levels by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions...
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Image shows graphic of a dollar sign and lightning bolt with text "CenterPoint Customers to See Rate Hike as Utility Recovers $200M Spent on Emergency Generation."

CenterPoint Customers to See Rate Hike as Utility Recovers $200M Spent on Emergency Generation

By Grid Capacity No Comments
Original Source: PUC: CenterPoint can recover $200 million from Houston customers (houstonchronicle.com) CenterPoint used one of Life Cycle Power's mobile generation units, shown here, to provide power to a community center in Lake Jackson after Hurricane Nicholas. CenterPoint has leased 500 megawatts of mobile generation, which will cost ratepayers about $200 million. Critics argue CenterPoint rushed the contracting process. Electricity customers in Houston are about to see their bills increase after the state Public Utility Commission gave a green light for CenterPoint to increase its rates. The increase comes as CenterPoint seeks to recoup $200 million in costs it incurred to to lease mobile...
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Electric Utility 2050

By Energy Rant No Comments
As we prepare to take our energy storage solutions to market, I gathered recent news reports, analyzed them all, and came to some conclusions. I concluded that utilities, and especially regulators, need to think differently. What got us here – constant load growth and earning returns on conventional rate base by building power plants, transmission, and distribution systems – will not get us there (the energy transition) without turmoil and upheaval. [Ad] Sign up for AESP’s decarb course to learn more details. Public service commissions get 50% off. Why? Because they must know this stuff. Nothing Lasts Forever Like everything,...
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Demand Response Primer

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week I described how net zero sounds grand, it’s easy to do, but it doesn’t work to support the transition to a clean-energy grid. The reason is that everyone, whether utilities or customers, overproduces simultaneously, and then later, customers all need energy from thermal power plants simultaneously. We have an exploding deficit of customers to take that overproduction and shift load or store it for use when intermittent renewable supplies shut down. In Renewables at Scale, I described how renewable supply and batteries would never be sufficient. The gaps in intermittent renewable supply are too big for batteries to...
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Cure Net Zero with Demand Response

By Energy Rant No Comments
I lambasted net zero many times, one time calling it an unserious weapon against climate change. Why is that? We’re going to see in this post. What is net zero? Simply, it is a building or property that produces as much renewable energy on-site as it consumes, typically over a year. Some utilities claim their net zero trophies for producing as much renewable energy as their customers buy. Why is Net Zero a Con? To answer this question in one word; exports. When a property or utility generates more electricity than it consumes, it must be exported to someone else....
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