Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Demand Management, Energy Storage, Regulation, Regulation, Wind  -  January 28, 2017

Weekend reads: Automated buildings; largest wind farm ok'd; Trump's infrastructure plans & 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:

Many Fear Automation Will Wipe Out Jobs. But Automating Buildings Will Be a Jobs Creator (Greentech Media): Amazon's launch of its "Go" store — essentially a grocery with no cashiers — has fueled a debate about how automation will destroy jobs. There are 3.4 million workers with some variant of the title "cashier" in America, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, making it one of the most common jobs in the country. But Amazon’s store eliminates this role. And soon, automated taxis, stores and restaurants could wipe out many millions of similar jobs across the service sector. 

Why Would A Geothermal Company Buy A Demand Response And Storage Company? (Forbes):  In early January, Ormat Technologies announced it was buying Viridity Energy for $35 million, an acquisition that – according to its press release - would "mark Ormat's entry into the growing energy storage and demand response markets, with an established North American presence." As a former SVP who ran the demand response business at Constellation, I was curious as to the logic behind this acquisition. Demand response is, after all, some what different than developing and managing geothermal energy resources - the core competencies Ormat is known for.

Largest U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Approved for Long Island Waters (Bloomberg BNA): Deepwater Wind LLC won approval Jan. 25 to develop the nation’s largest offshore wind farm in a major step toward supplying half of New York’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The Long Island Power Authority approved the 90-megawatt project off the tip of Long Island. The South Fork Wind Farm will have 15 turbines and generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes.

Trump infrastructure priority plan includes transmission, wind, energy storage (Utility Dive): A 50-item list of infrastructure priorities compiled by the Trump administration and released by McClatchy and the Kansas City Star includes provisions for transmission expansion, wind and energy storage, among other power sector projects. It is not clear if the $137 billion wish list is a draft or final version, the outlets reported, but is similar to an earlier list the transition team provided to the National Governor's Association for review. 

What Trump Can and Can't Do to Dismantle Obama's Climate Rules (The New York Times): President Trump campaigned on sweeping promises to eliminate former President Barack Obama’s major environmental regulations and "get rid of" the Environmental Protection Agency. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump offered a down payment on those promises, with memorandums clearing the path to construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. He is expected to roll back a few more rules, including some on coal production, in the next few weeks.

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