Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Storage, Industrial, Microgrids  -  August 25, 2018

Weekend reads: Sustainability's silent hero; Hoover Dam as giant battery

Kick back and relax with these must-read energy stories from around the web:

Investors Are Increasingly Calling Out Corporate Greenwashing (Bloomberg)  In late May, Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Co. claimed it was about to become the first U.S. utility with 100 percent renewable energy. It was a little premature and perhaps a bit misleading. When challenged a few weeks later, Greg Abel, a vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which controls MidAmerican, admitted "Maybe we tried to simplify it too much." The claim hinged on a 2,000-megawatt wind farm that would give the utility all the power its customers consume over a year… but only while the wind is blowing.  

A roadmap for industry to increase energy efficiency (Smart Industry) In 2014, Ingersoll Rand made a global climate commitment to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to our operations and products by 2020. We were one of the first industrial companies to make this kind of commitment and we are proud of our progress. Two years ahead of our 2020 target, we’ve increased energy efficiency across our operations by 10 percent, and we continue to progress toward new goals like increasing the use of renewable energy. 

Energy conservation: The ‘silent hero’ of sustainability (Sun Current)  Emergent renewable energy sources tend to get the spotlight when the conversation turns to sustainability, but old-fashioned conservation is still a major prong in reducing consumers’ carbon footprints. “I like to look at energy efficiency as the silent hero of clean energy,” said Jamie Fitzke of Center for Energy and Environment, as she presented to a group of businesspeople, other energy efficiency advocates and Rep. Dario Anselmo (R-Edina) at an Edina business early this month. Fitzke, program and client development manager for her organization, was visiting Precision Gasket Company to speak on Minnesota’s Conservation Improvement Program 

Georgia Power & Georgia Tech Team to Make “Quantum Leap” in Microgrid Research (Microgrid Knowledge)  Two well-known Atlanta, Ga. institutions — Georgia Power and the Georgia Institute of Technology — are teaming to build a $10-$15 million research microgrid to achieve a “quantum leap” in understanding the technology. Owned by Georgia Power, a Southern Company utility, the 1.4 MW microgrid will serve several buildings at Georgia Tech’s 400-acre campus in midtown Atlanta. Its goal is to uncover information about microgrid operations — both technical and business — to make development easier. 

Turning Hoover Dam into a giant battery could solve California’s energy-storage problem (Quartz) Hoover Dam may soon be turned into a giant battery. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has put forward a $3 billion plan to use the dam to help store California’s excess energy. The idea: pump water back up to Lake Mead using solar and wind energy so that it can go through the dam at a later time. This technology, known as pumped-storage hydroelectricity, isn’t new; it’s been used in several LADWP projects already. “I think it’s a phenomenal project because it helps solve a challenge we are currently facing,” said Reiko Kerr, senior assistant manager of power systems at LADWP. “The State in general has way too many renewables at the end of the day.” Kerr says this plan is optimal because most of the required infrastructure is already in place.


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