The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

FERC, DOE Seek Better Grid Integration of Wind and Solar Energy

Today, the nations regulatory commission, FERC, proposed a reform to its rules that would help integrate renewable energy into the nation's energy mix.

According to a press release issued by the agency, the proposal would reform the Open Access Transmission Tariffs (OATT) and the Large Generator Interconnection Agreements.  Specifically, it would require pubic utilities to allow renewable energy providers to schedule shipments of the energy they produce in 15-minute intervals.  As the rule stands now, energy generators schedule electricity shipments by the hour.

“Most of the new power plants for which developers are seeking access to the grid are variable resources such as wind and solar generators,” FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said.

“This proposal will help the Commission to cost-effectively integrate these and other variable generators into the grid in a way that helps maintain reliability and operational stability.”

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) commended FERC on the proposal. “The establishment of a cost-effective and equitable means of integrating these renewable resources into the grid is an absolutely essential prerequisite to the transition to a clean energy economy,” said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) was also pleased with the FERC proposal.  "FERC’s proposed rule could dramatically improve power system reliability, efficiency, and renewable energy integration. Out of all the national attention to smart grids, storage, and other sexy grid-related topics, FERC gets the prize for identifying the single, most important, grid operations change: intra-hour scheduling," said Rob Gramlich, Sr. Vice President for Public Policy at AWEA.

DOE Awards $19 Million For Transmission R&D

In related news, the Department of Energy announced 5 recipients of an investment from the DOE of more than $19 million.  The 5 projects are all aimed at optimizing the nation's electric grid.

Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu said that the projects “also support the Administration's goal of building the infrastructure necessary to bring clean, low-cost energy sources to American homes and businesses.”

Straight from the DOE press release, the projects selected include:

* Areva T&D, Inc. (Redmond, WA) is designing and testing an innovative platform for integrating distributed energy resources into the electric grid. Distributed energy resources are smaller-scale energy sources designed to provide electricity in locations close to consumers, such as home solar panels, energy storage and electric vehicle charging. The project will develop models and analytical tools for seamlessly integrating distributed energy resources with smart meters, demand response, and advanced sensors, with a demonstration planned for a distribution circuit serving a suburb of Charlotte, NC. DOE funding: $6,000,000; Total Project Value: $10,459,495.

Project Team Members: Duke Energy Co., Charlotte NC; University of Washington, Seattle WA; University of Connecticut, Storrs CT; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA.

* Boeing Company (Saint Louis, Missouri) will demonstrate a smart, highly-automated, secure, and self-healing electric distribution management system that will allow for integration of a greater amount of customer-owned energy resources and automation into the distribution system, increasing the value of energy resources to both end-use customers and utilities. A demonstration will be conducted on ComEd's distribution system in the greater Chicago area. DOE funding: $6,000,000; Total Project Value: $10,429,157.

Project Team members: Spirae, Inc, Fort Collins, CO; Viridity Energy Inc., Conshohocken, PA; EDSA Micro Corp., San Diego CA and Raleigh NC; Commonwealth Edison Company, Chicago, IL.

* ABB Inc. (Raleigh, North Carolina) will research, develop, and demonstrate a real-time monitoring, control, and health management system to improve grid reliability and efficiency. It will utilize digital data from sensors and substation Intelligent Electronic Devices to continuously monitor system performance. Using real-time information, utility control center operators will be able to address outages, power quality issues and other anomalies to reduce the frequency and duration of outages. A demonstration will be conducted on Xcel Energy's distribution system in Denver, Colorado. DOE funding: $2,993,006; Total Project Value: $4,123,923.

Project Team Members: Xcel Energy, Denver CO; Texas A&M, College Station, TX

* Varentec, Inc. (North Andover, Massachusetts) will conduct research and development on a wide range of next-generation power electronics devices to better integrate renewable resources. Using an innovative circuit design with an integrated battery energy storage system, the project's goal is to deliver a fast response to rapid voltage changes arising from grid-connected renewable resources. The prototype and full-scale solution will be tested at North Carolina State University's FREEDM System Center. DOE funding: $2,287,502; Total Project Value: $2,859,363.

Project Team Members: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; Cree Inc., Durham, NC; S&C Electric Company, Franklin, WI; Consolidated Edison Company, New York, NY

* On-Ramp Wireless, Inc. (San Diego, CA) will develop and demonstrate a wireless grid sensor and faulted circuit indicator capable of monitoring underground and other hard-to-reach distribution circuit locations. The goal for this project is to develop and demonstrate tools that will enhance the reliability of distribution grids, improve system performance and maintenance, and enable future remote monitoring applications. A demonstration will be conducted on San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison distribution systems. DOE funding: $2,135,492; Total Project Value: $2,753,826.

Project Team Members: Schweitzer Engineering Labs, Lake Zurich, IL and Pullman, WA; San Diego Gas & Electric, San Diego, CA; Southern California Edison, Rosemead, CA

RELATED ARTICLES

Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...
Microgrids

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
Renewable Energy World's network editors help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S. and the UK, the team is comprised of editors from Pennwell Corporation's myriad of publications that ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
file

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

EU PVSEC 2015 (European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition)

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic re...

Energy Storage USA 2015

Energy Storage USA is the leading conference in the United States focuse...

COMPANY BLOGS

EU PVSEC 2014 extends its Scope

Added focus on application and policy topicsAbstracts for conference con...

EU PVSEC 2014: Call for Papers Receives Great Response

More than 1,500 contributions apply for presentation in AmsterdamScienti...

Boulder County Residents Generate Their Own Energy with Community S...

Despite a soggy afternoon, solar energy advocates gathered at ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS