Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, GHG Emissions, Regulation, Utilities, Solar  -  August 26, 2023

Weekend Reads: AI for Climate Resilience; Battery-Powered Commercial Fishing

It’s the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web:

AI is helping cities build resilience to climate change (Newsweek)  Artificial intelligence is helping mayors and city players figure out how to make their cities more resilient to the ravages of climate change. A new kind of simulation, called a "digital twin," incorporates extensive amounts of data on each particular city, including its infrastructure, populations and climate threats. Built with a type of AI called machine learning, digital twins are helping planners run cost-benefit analysis on climate projects and prioritize climate programs.

Federal, state regulators prod utilities to consider technology for grid upgrade (States Newsroom)  Building a new interregional transmission line can take a decade or more — chiefly because of siting and permitting delays, local resistance, planning problems, cost allocation and other obstacles. And while Congress has taken some steps on permitting reform (in this summer’s debt limit deal), there’s a suite of technologies that proponents and some state and federal regulators agree could get more out of the existing transmission system right now and potentially reduce the need for new wires. They’re called “grid-enhancing technologies,” or GETs in industry shorthand, and in many cases they’ve been embraced elsewhere but have been slower to take root in the United States.

Only 6% of gas capacity needs major changes to meet EPA’s proposed GHG rules (Utility Dive)  About 94% of existing gas-fired power plant capacity already meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed greenhouse gas emissions limits or could meet them with “minor” operational changes, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). “Existing gas plants would not have to significantly change operations to reduce their emissions in line with the EPA’s proposed performance standards,” RMI analysts said in analysis released Monday. “The standards provide flexibility for gas plants to play their current role in supporting grid reliability.”

Battery-electric fishing vessel marks a sea change for small commercial fishers (NREL)  On a brisk morning this fall, a 46-foot commercial fishing boat will cruise into the cold waters of Sitka, Alaska, and cut the diesel engine. In that moment of near silence, an electric motor will whir to life. This moment will mark a sea change for Sitka's small-boat commercial fishing industry: a transition to energy-efficient commercial fishing, powered by low- and zero-emissions propulsion systems. The boat in question, a small commercial salmon troller named I Gotta, will make history as one of the first low-emissions fishing vessels ever deployed in Alaska. 

$500 million solar farm in Wyoming will have raised panels so sheep can graze (Cowboy State Daily)  A proposed solar farm in Converse County, Wyoming, will cover the equivalent of 3,500 football fields and feature raised panels that will allow sheep to graze under them. When online, it will provide 500 megawatts of solar power and include two battery storage facilities. The Dutchman Renewable Power Project is still going through the Converse County permitting process, and it also needs to get approval from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Industrial Siting Council.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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