The resilience and flexibility of the nation's power grid took center stage in Washington Thursday, as officials sought to strengthen the current energy infrastructure and set groundrules for its evolution in the face of advanced technologies.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposed new standards to better protect the grid from the impact of solar storms, while the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee began pondering rules for upgrading the grid to handle distributed generation, battery storage and other new technologies.
Technology improvements that reduce line losses – electricity that’s lost in transmission – could make it easier for states to reach goals set in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, E&E reports.
Experts attending a utilities conference in Washington last week urged investment to modernize the nation’s grid and better integrate renewable energy, arguing it would help create jobs, Forbes reports.
From her position as chair of the New York Public Service Commission, Audrey Zibelman is pushing to make the electric grid more resilient by incorporating distributed generation, energy storage technologies and other innovation, E&E reports.
In a net metering case in Pennsylvania, a judge has rejected a lawsuit by Solar Energy LLC, which had been challenging PPL Electric Utilities Corp.’s refusal to hook up its solar farm, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Platt's reports that Wisconsin's Public Service Commission has endorsed a high-voltage transmission line that critics said protects the utility industry while discouraging distributed power generation.
As coal-fired plants retire in the face of stiffer Environmental Protection Agency regulations, high-voltage direct-current power lines can ensure grid reliability by transporting clean electricity from long-distance sources like Canadian hydropower, E&E reports.
The rebound in oil prices following Wednesday’s slump was wiped out late Thursday by news of a jump in the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. Light, sweet crude for August delivery settled down 3 cents to $56.93 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London, Brent finished up 6 cents to $62.07, Dow Jones reports.
The Grain Belt Express, a $2.2 billion transmission line proposed by Clean Line Energy to bring wind power from Kansas to points east, through Missouri, has been rejected by the Missouri Public Service Commission, The Kansas City Star reports.
A $15,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to fund research into cutting particulate emissions from barbecues has attracted criticism from Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who declared his constituents “should be able to grill in peace,” The Hill reports.
The U.S. role in Copenhagen climate talks in 2009, and media coverage of it, had Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attention, judging from the emails released by the State Department this week, E&E reports.
After last month’s pipeline leak near Santa Barbara, Calif., the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is proposing a requirement that operators notify regulators within an hour of any problem, The Hill reports.