Solar Eclipses and the Electric Grid: Markets and Automation

Yesterday’s solar eclipse across the US amplified a dominant issue in electricity policy discussions over the past couple of years — does increasing use of distributed energy resources like solar photovoltaics make the grid more resilient, or does it lead to imbalance and inadequacy? In California during the eclipse (Financial Times), solar generation dropped compared to … More Solar Eclipses and the Electric Grid: Markets and Automation

House Energy and Power Subcommittee Takes a Look at the Federal Power Act; One Small Suggestion for Reform

As had been announced in June of this year, the Energy and Power subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives is devoting some time to a deep look into the Federal Power Act (FPA). At the time of the June announcement the committee sent a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) saying: As you know, the … More House Energy and Power Subcommittee Takes a Look at the Federal Power Act; One Small Suggestion for Reform

The Case for Allowing Negative Electricity Prices – Benedettini and Stagnaro

Simona Benedettini and Carlo Stagnaro make the case for allowing negative prices in electric power markets in Europe. A few of the larger power markets in Europe allow prices to go negative, but others retain a zero price lower limit. Benedettini and Stagnaro explain both why it is reasonable, economically speaking, to allow electricity prices … More The Case for Allowing Negative Electricity Prices – Benedettini and Stagnaro

Pjm Region Could Handle Substantially More Renewable Generation, Study Says

PJM Interconnection has been studying, with the help of GE Energy Consulting and other groups, the consequences of adding significantly more wind energy and solar energy to its transmission grid. The “headline result” of a preliminary report, presented to PJM stakeholders recently, is that the system could handle renewable power generation capacity at a 30 … More Pjm Region Could Handle Substantially More Renewable Generation, Study Says

Disruptive Innovation and the Regulated Utility

Over the weekend the New York Times ran a good story about how rooftop solar and regulatory rules allowing net metering are putting pressure on the regulated distribution utility business model: The struggle over the California incentives is only the most recent and visible dust-up as many utilities cling to their established business, and its … More Disruptive Innovation and the Regulated Utility

Commercial, Merchant Compressed-air Energy Storage Plant Under Development?

Michael Giberson Wind power RFP processes* are common enough these days, typically driven by renewable energy mandates placed on utilities. A recent wind power RFP announcement out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is different. A new company, Chamisa Energy, has initiated an RFP seeking wind power to pair up with a planned compressed-air energy storage … More Commercial, Merchant Compressed-air Energy Storage Plant Under Development?

BPA Won’t Pay Negative Prices to Get Wind Power Producers to Curtail

Michael Giberson At a December 2010 meeting, the federal Bonneville Power Agency announced that it would not pay wind power producers in its area to curtail during overgeneration events that sometimes result from the way the agency manages water flow through hydropower facilities to comply with environmental regulations. When reservoirs are full, the BPA’s dams … More BPA Won’t Pay Negative Prices to Get Wind Power Producers to Curtail

Tres Amigas in the News

Michael Giberson Tres Amigas, as seen by their hometown newspaper The Santa Fe New Mexican, “Supersized power hub in southeastern N.M. to link 3 major U.S. grids“: Phil Harris is masterminding an electricity superhighway — a facility near Clovis that will connect the nation’s three main power grids for the first time. The Tres Amigas … More Tres Amigas in the News

Smart Grid and Renewables Interconnection (Part 4 of 5)

Lynne Kiesling One of the reasons why smart grid is generating so much interest right now is its ability to enable the integration of renewable energy into the electric power network, leading to a broader generation portfolio and potentially beneficial carbon implications. Lots of the discussion of smart grid in policy and media (including places … More Smart Grid and Renewables Interconnection (Part 4 of 5)

The Benefits of the Proposed Tres Amigas Interconnection

Michael Giberson Both of the Tres Amigas filings at FERC (see background) provide summaries of the anticipated benefits of the proposed interconnection between the Eastern, Western, and ERCOT interconnections.  Each of the five kinds of benefits listed below seem plausible to me.  While estimating the size of the benefits would require a lot of hard … More The Benefits of the Proposed Tres Amigas Interconnection