Is “First in Time, First in Right” the best way to allocate rights to wind energy?

Michael Giberson At EnergyPulse, Ron Rebenitsch discusses the unsettled foundation of the wind power industry: uncertain rights to use the energy present in the wind. Currently the industry seems to work on a “capture what you can” model, but the approach has its problems and the problems are likely to become more pronounced as the … More Is “First in Time, First in Right” the best way to allocate rights to wind energy?

Are wind power producers the low cost suppliers of frequency control service in ERCOT?

Michael Giberson ERCOT tries to keep the electric power grid in Texas operating at 60 Hertz (i.e., 60 cycles per second, Hertz is abbreviated “Hz”), like the rest of North America, and a few other places in the world.  If electrical load grows faster than power supply, the system frequency will fall below 60 Hz; … More Are wind power producers the low cost suppliers of frequency control service in ERCOT?

Smart flora

Michael Giberson Via Reuters: Researchers at New York University’s interactive telecommunications program have come up with a device that allows plants to tell owners when they need water or if they’ve had too much via the social network blogging service Twitter. If only I had had such a device last August, maybe I wouldn’t have … More Smart flora

Battery technology and the electric power grid and unreliable power sources

Michael Giberson The Christian Science Monitor recently ran a story on battery technology and the electric power grid. I’m not sure that there is much new there for anyone who is already paying attention to energy storage issues in bulk power, but the story provides a decent overview. AN ASIDE: I’m am always mildly amused … More Battery technology and the electric power grid and unreliable power sources

Building new transmission ≠ smart grid

Lynne Kiesling When I was reading around for my post on smart grid and renewables interconnection, I found several different parties willing to elide the two, to gloss over the important, subtle distinction between building new wires and incorporating digital intelligence and communication capabilities into a wires network. They are potentiall related, but different, and … More Building new transmission ≠ smart grid

Consumers asked to pay more next year for last year’s increases in utility costs

Michael Giberson A story from the Charlotte Observer provides a reminder of the speed at which useful information about the scarcity of resources percolates through regulated electric utility rates: “Duke to seek rate increases.” In brief, Duke Energy is requesting approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission to raise rates beginning September 2009 and continuing … More Consumers asked to pay more next year for last year’s increases in utility costs

How to write with confidence

Lynne Kiesling This is one of the best essays about writing that I’ve seen in a long time: How to Write with Confidence. Whether you write books, journal articles, blog posts or tweets, these suggestions are great.