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    1. California Making Strides into Energy Storage

      California Making Strides into Energy Storage

      California has recently made large strides in solar technology. However, the state also has ambitions in energy storage, becoming the national leader for the deployment of energy storage. Acting on these ambitions, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has released a proposal to double funding for SGIP, or the Self Generation Incentive Program. This program, started in 2001, has played a huge hand in getting California the energy storage numbers it now boasts. It is an important impetus driving consumer-sited energy storage.

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    2. AES and Parker Hannifin Team Up on Energy Storage

      AES and Parker Hannifin Team Up on Energy Storage

      Parker Hannifin an American energy company, recently announced the completion of the Cochrane energy storage facility, a project undertaken with AES Gener.  The partnership with the Chilean energy producer and supplier has resulted in a large plant located Mejillones, Antofagasta, Chile. The facility will provide spinning reserve and grid reliability services to Northern Chile, part of the Norte Grande Interconnected System. This system in particular primarily provides energy to the country’s mining operations, which take place in the north. The facility can provide 20 megawatts of energy storage.

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    3. Department Of Energy Announces 16 New Projects To Transform Energy Storage And Conversion

      Department Of Energy Announces 16 New Projects To Transform Energy Storage And Conversion

      WASHINGTON — The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) today announced $37 million in funding for 16 innovative new projects as part of a new ARPA-E program: Integration and Optimization of Novel Ion-Conducting Solids (IONICS). IONICS project teams are paving the way for technologies that overcome the limitations of current battery and fuel cell products.

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      Mentions: DoE arpa-e WA
    4. How Solar, Batteries And Time-Of-Use Pricing Can Add Up To Value

      How Solar, Batteries And Time-Of-Use Pricing Can Add Up To Value

      There’s definitely a value to storing solar energy in batteries, and then discharging that energy to meet grid and customer needs. Measuring that value — and finding a way to share it between battery-equipped solar customers and their utilities — is a trickier matter. Out in Sacramento, Calif., a long-running solar-storage pilot project has been testing out this interplay. The city’s utility, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), has been working with startup Sunverge to align the operation of 34 battery-backed, PV-equipped homes with its needs to shave peak demand in late summer afternoons, when air-conditioning loads put stress on the grid.

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      Mentions: Sunverge
    5. Despite Concerns, Utilities Are Open To Investing In Distributed Generation

      Despite Concerns, Utilities Are Open To Investing In Distributed Generation

      Bill Roush, Renewable Energy Consultant for Black & Veatch’s energy business, said third-party energy storage technologies are also altering how electric utilities function. With the Teslas and Daimlers of the world working to install behind-the-meter battery storage for commercial and industrial utility customers, electric utilities are facing a variety of challenges and opportunities.

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      Mentions: U.S.
    6. California’s Latest Legislation Is A Paradigm Shift For Energy Efficiency

      California’s Latest Legislation Is A Paradigm Shift For Energy Efficiency

      As California races towards a clean energy future, not only do we need new aggressive goals for all sectors, but we also need to rethink how we manage distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar and customer side energy storage. This is particularly true for one such resource, energy efficiency. Two weeks ago, the California legislature passed a number of clean energy related bills including SB 350 (De León), a bill that sets the state on a path to achieve Governor Brown’s ambitious clean energy goals. The governor’s “50/50/50” plan aims to increase electricity from renewable sources to 50 percent, reduce petroleum use by 50 percent, and double building efficiency by 2030.

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    7. Concentrating Solar Power Isn’t Worth Much Without Storage, Say Leading Executives

      Concentrating Solar Power Isn’t Worth Much Without Storage, Say Leading Executives

      At this week’s Solar Power International conference, a group of executives from Abengoa Solar, BrightSource Energy and SolarReserve spoke about where opportunities lie for their businesses. While they still plan eventually to build projects in the U.S., the three companies are turning to countries where they say CSP with storage offers a higher value. “A lot of us are running around internationally,” said Kevin Smith, the CEO of SolarReserve. “These are countries with less-developed grids where the value of storage is better realized.”

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      Mentions: CA DoE NV
    8. The Grid is Getting Smarter, but are Customers Keeping Up?

      The Grid is Getting Smarter, but are Customers Keeping Up?

      One challenge for New York utilities is how to engage with the Reforming Energy Vision (REV) proceeding and explain things to customers when customer engagement is quite low, Chris Cavanagh, Principal Program Manager at National Grid’s Market Strategy Group told the audience. “We need more than meters, we need to get customers interested,” he said.

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      Mentions: Google NY NYSERDA
    9. Texas Mulls New Grid Markets For Aggregated Distributed Energy Resources

      Texas Mulls New Grid Markets For Aggregated Distributed Energy Resources

      The ideas in play include allowing aggregated DERs to earn a broad, averaged-out wholesale price for the energy they export to the grid, opening up access to payments based on the cost of wholesale power at specific points on the grid, or even creating opportunities to play in ERCOT’s lucrative energy and ancillary services markets.

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      Mentions: CA HI TX
    10. Energy Secretary Moniz Launches Initiatives To Advance Clean Energy Technologies, Combat Climate Change At Energy Ministerials In Mexico

      Energy Secretary Moniz Launches Initiatives To Advance Clean Energy Technologies, Combat Climate Change At Energy Ministerials In Mexico

      U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz launched several new initiatives with other global energy leaders at the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) and the sixth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM6) this week in Merida, Mexico. These initiatives will further strengthen momentum in the Western Hemisphere and around the globe to combat climate change and accelerate clean energy technology and policies ahead of the December 2015 climate talks in Paris. 

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      Mentions: Australia Japan DoE
    11. How Utilities Can Evaluate New Business Opportunities In A Distributed World

      How Utilities Can Evaluate New Business Opportunities In A Distributed World

      But with stagnant electricity demand and the growth of distributed energy undercutting the traditional utility business model, utilities are under increasing pressure to expand the definitions of what businesses they’re in. GTM Research’s latest report, Alternate Utility Revenue Streams: Expanding Utility Business Models at the Grid Edge, takes an in-depth look at the multitude of alternative revenue models being explored by the country’s biggest utilities.

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      Mentions: U.S.
    12. Signed Energy Act Sets Tone For Upcoming Energy Legislation Debates

      Signed Energy Act Sets Tone For Upcoming Energy Legislation Debates

      The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, which President Obama signed into law on April 30, will add momentum to falling energy consumption per capita in the United States by reducing energy demand from commercial buildings, manufacturing plants, and homes. The prospect of a larger energy efficiency bill would impact many facets of the energy industry, particularly utilities that service regions with federal customers and energy efficiency companies that would address new building codes and other requirements. Efforts to reduce electricity consumption would have implications for both utilities and the energy efficiency industry.

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      Mentions: U.S. Congress EPA
    13. 50 Percent Renewable Energy for California's Grid Achievable with Smart Choices

      50 Percent Renewable Energy for California's Grid Achievable with Smart Choices

      During his State of the State address, Governor Brown proposed a goal of 50 percent renewable energy on California’s electric grid by 2030. Since then, State Senators and Assembly Members have introduced bills to turn the goal into law. The bills are quite clear on the 50 percent goal, but scant on details, raising the question – is this bold goal realistic?

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      Mentions: CA NREL
    14. How Microgrids Work

      How Microgrids Work

      A microgrid is a local energy grid with control capability, which means it can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously. To understand how a microgrid works, you first have to understand how the grid works. The grid connects homes, businesses and other buildings to central power sources, which allow us to use appliances, heating/cooling systems and electronics. But this interconnectedness means that when part of the grid needs to be repaired, everyone is affected.

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      Mentions: CA DoE U.S.
    15. Electricity Network Congestion Pricing: Italian Power Exchange

      Electricity Network Congestion Pricing: Italian Power Exchange

      The first and probably the most relevant constraint to electricity markets is transmission grid capacity. Despite the liberalization of the sector, in many countries congestion continues to be a hindrance for competitive prices. Italy is one such country. Data on day-ahead market prices show a decrease in the last few years which has been principally driven by technological variables. Just think about the fact that Italy covers 38.6% of its power production with renewable energy sources (wind and solar).

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      Mentions: Italy PJM
    16. Pumped-Storage Dream: Tiny Washington State Utility Makes Big Pitch

      Pumped-Storage Dream: Tiny Washington State Utility Makes Big Pitch

      Randy Knowles figures he’s moving in the right direction. “They used to call me crazy,” he said with a self-effacing chuckle. “Now they’re calling me audacious.” For well over a decade, the Klickitat (Washington) Public Utility District commissioner has promoted building a big pumped storage project off-stream from the Columbia River at the John Day Dam, 110 miles upriver from Portland, Oregon. Now, after years of holding a preliminary permit to study the possibility, the district is moving to obtain a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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      Mentions: CA DoE NV
    17. Energy Storage Is Going Primetime in 2015

      Energy Storage Is Going Primetime in 2015

      The electricity grid is set for a major transformation – arguably one of its biggest since the inception of the grid – and energy storage is going to play a center stage role. The radical pace of innovation is driven by governments, utilities and energy companies whose understanding and acceptance that the way energy is generated and distributed has changed, and is continuing to change at an increasingly rapid rate. With renewable energy now a major part of the mainstream grid and the drive to move away from nuclear and fossil fuels, it is clear that energy storage is the missing link. 

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      Mentions: CA India U.S.
    18. Disruptive is a Buzzword…But It's True For Batteries

      Disruptive is a Buzzword…But It's True For Batteries

      For more than 100 years, the U.S. power system relied on fossil-fueled power plants to meet our growing energy demand. Now, clean energy resources like renewables are quickly changing our energy mix. But what happens when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing? What about when power demand momentarily outpaces supply? That’s where batteries and energy storage come in, offering a fundamental, even disruptive change to the U.S. electricity system as we know it.

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      Mentions: U.S.
    19. ARPA-E ‘Encourages Crazy Ideas’ to Find Disruptive Energy Technology

      ARPA-E ‘Encourages Crazy Ideas’ to Find Disruptive Energy Technology

      The same GPS technology that guided smart bombs during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 is now in your smart phone and there are numerous additional examples of technology borne from US Defense Department innovators – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – that exploded (pardon the pun) into mainstream commercial applications. Well, if it worked for defense projects, why not use the same model to halt the erosion of US science and technology prowess, while supporting cutting-edge, home-grown energy solution development?

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      Mentions: DoE Toyota arpa-e
    20. Energy Department Makes Additional $4 Billion in Loan Guarantees Available for Innovative Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects

      Energy Department Makes Additional $4 Billion in Loan Guarantees Available for Innovative Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects

      In support of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Department of Energy issued a loan guarantee solicitation today, making as much as $4 billion in loan guarantees available for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases. This solicitation represents the next step in the Department’s commitment to support the deployment of innovative, clean energy technologies at commercial scale in the U.S.

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      Mentions: DoE U.S. WA
    21. ARPA-E Announces 13 New Projects at New York Energy Week

      ARPA-E Announces 13 New Projects at New York Energy Week

      Today at New York Energy Week, ARPA-E Acting Director Dr. Cheryl Martin announced $33 million in funding for 13 new projects aimed at developing transformational fuel cell technologies for low-cost distributed power generation. The projects, which are funded through ARPA-E’s new Reliable Electricity Based on ELectrochemical Systems (REBELS) program, are focused on improving grid stability, balancing intermittent renewable technologies, and reducing CO2 emissions using electrochemical distributed power generation systems.

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      Mentions: CA DoE U.S.
    22. Technology Emerging in 2014 with Potential to Reshape the Energy Space

      Technology Emerging in 2014 with Potential to Reshape the Energy Space

      Technology is the main driver for change – i.e. optimization, which leads to finding promising technological solutions for pressing global challenges – and for increased productivity in the modern world. However, for mankind to continue along this trajectory, appropriate investment is often dependent on the public’s understanding and awareness of promising technologies’ potential, as well as their application. In order to put promising technological breakthroughs on the public’s radar the World Economic Forum publishes a list of Top 10 Emerging Technologies annually. Among the key trends in technological change identified in the latest World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies report are also technological breakthroughs relevant in the energy realm such as grid-scale electricity storage and nanowire lithium-ion batteries.

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