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 Environmental Protection Agency does have the authority to reject a state’s air pollution plan, according to an appeals court ruling in a case brought by Kansas challenging authorities under the Cross-State Air Pollution rule, The Hill reports.
The Western Energy Coordinating Council has agreed to pay a $16 million penalty to FERC for its role in a 2011 power outage that left more than 5 million people in California, Arizona and Mexico without electricity, The Hill reports.
If a measure approved by the California Assembly last week becomes law, the state could have the toughest restrictions in the country on manufacturers of microbeads, which are used in products like toothpaste and cleansers, The New York Times reports.
Taking advantage of its target’s financial problems in the face of low crude prices, oil driller Crescent Point Energy Corp. is picking up Legacy Oil + Gas Inc. for around 563 million Canadian dollars in an all-stock deal, The Globe and Mail reports.