Tag Archives: transmission

New York State’s Bold New Plan to Restructure Its Electricity System

Electricity is rediscovering its roots by virtue of the advantages that twenty-first century technologies offer. In the transportation sector, cleaner more fuel-efficient electric vehicles recall the early years of the automobile industry, when nearly one-third of cars manufactured in the U.S. had electric motors. And today’s electricity grid is revisiting the embryonic power system of the late eighteen- and early nineteen-hundreds, when electricity generated in small neighborhood plants powered gears and kept the lights on. Continue reading

New England’s Support for Distributed Generation and the Electricity Grid of the Future

As multiple states stagger under the effects of superstorm Sandy, and many Northeasterners vividly recall Tropical Storms Irene and Lee and the freak October blizzard of 2011, prolonged power outages are among the most challenging repercussions for those in afflicted areas. One type of protection against widespread outages can be offered by a less centralized grid, with distributed generation of electricity providing localized power resources that could ride out a storm more successfully. Continue reading

As California Integrates More Renewable Energy Resources, it Looks to New Technologies

Photo: AES Laurel Mountain Energy StorageCalifornia reached an important milestone in 2011 by satisfying over 20 percent of its electricity needs with renewable energy, according to the most recent quarterly report of the state’s Public Utilities Commission. The state is also on track to surpass its 2011 growth rate, with about 3,000 more megawatts of renewables slated to come online in 2012, the report says. Continue reading

New Studies Uphold the Value of Energy-Efficiency Programs

Two questions are often raised about energy-efficiency programs, particularly those supported by the public-benefits charges on utility bills and by government incentives to which all of us contribute as rate- and taxpayers: Do such programs really deliver the expected reductions in energy use, and even if they do, might they nonetheless be futile because their savings are likely to be cancelled out by the so-called rebound effect? Continue reading

New England’s Natural Gas Supply Uncertain, Absent New Pipeline Infrastructure, Experts Say

About two years ago, regional energy experts were touting the advent of plentiful and cheaper natural gas in New England, thanks to a concurrence of events — technological developments enabling shale-gas extraction, expanded pipeline capacity for supplies from western Canada, and new liquid natural gas (LNG) terminals in the northeastern U.S. and Canada. Continue reading

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The Implications of FERC’s New Transmission Planning Rule for New England versus Other Regions

By Eleanor Saunders The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finalized an important rule on U.S. electricity transmission planning and cost allocation in July 2011, and now is responding to questions and concerns about the regulation’s implications for states, utilities, consumers … Continue reading