Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Demand Management, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Procurement, Energy Storage, Utilities, Commercial, Distributed Generation, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 17, 2016

Weekend reads: Bitcoin tech and utilities; how MGM left NV Energy; tapping batteries & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from the prior week that you may have missed from around the web. This weekend's reads: 

Bitcoin Technology Harnessed to Push Electricity Revolution (Bloomberg): Bitcoin technology is starting to seep into the electricity business, shaking up the way payments are managed every time a light switch is flipped. From New York to Vienna, researchers and utilities are adapting the cloud-based ledger system used to track bitcoins as a replacement for slower administrative systems that require constant human input and multiple spreadsheets. Once set up, the database, called blockchain, automatically records individual actions within a system, formats them, and stores the results in a secure online listing available to anyone anywhere with access.

How MGM Prepared Itself to Leave Nevada's Biggest Utility (Greentech Media): Nevada's largest employer is finally prepared to stop purchasing electricity from the state's biggest utility on October 1, and expects to double its use of renewable energy and earn payback within 7 years.  MGM Resorts International, which owns much of the Las Vegas strip, grabbed headlines in May after ending its energy-buying relationship with Nevada Power, a subsidiary of NV Energy. It was of the largest defections from an American utility by a commercial customer, and could set the model for more large companies in states where they're allowed to go out on their own.

To Cut Energy Bills, Companies Tap Battery Power (The Wall Street Journal): J.C. Penney Co. Inc. recently was able to cut the power bills of six of its Southern California stores. The secret: batteries. Penney's lithium-ion batteries, made by Panasonic Corp., charge by night in metal cases in the storage areas of each facility. Then, by day, when power from the grid costs more, they help run the stores’ air-conditioning. The batteries also help the stores avoid high utility fees, called demand charges.

Updated: Nevada regulators approve NV Energy, SolarCity grandfathering proposal (Utility Dive): After nearly a year of contentious regulatory proceedings, Nevada utility regulators today unanimously ruled to approve a deal between NV Energy, SolarCity and regulatory staff to allow rooftop solar customers to retain the original retail rate net metering that was eliminated last year in a controversial decision. 

With U.S. Election in Sight, Ban Ki-moon Seeks Quick Action on Climate Accord (The New York Times):  As the United Nations General Assembly converges in New York on Tuesday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is using the gathering of world leaders to rush the 2015 Paris climate change accord into legal force this year, hoping to bind all countries to its strictures for at least the next four years — regardless of the outcome of the presidential election in the United States.

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