In January 2014, a weather front known as a “polar vortex” descended from Canada’s arctic north and brought frigid temperatures and heavy snow and ice as far south as Texas and eastward to the Mid-Atlantic and New England.
As our energy mix changes, the need to improve the infrastructure for delivering that power also grows. Utilities recognize that need and are investing in upgrades to their delivery systems. Customers in New York and Pennsylvania are about to benefit from one such upgrade.
Plans have been made to close 2,000-plus megawatts (MW) of U.S. nuclear generating capacity in the next four years, but that will hardly have a negative effect on the country’s capacity as a whole. In fact, the U.S.
The electrical energy usage in most industrial and commercial facilities follows a reasonably consistent pattern from week to week, so a one-week monitoring program usually is adequate to determine what can be done to save 10–20 percent on electric bills.
Utility companies have driven smart-meter installation in homes. Now, touting the amount of useful data smart meters can provide, utilities and building owners are setting their sights on commercial and industrial buildings through submetering.
Energy storage is indispensable to renewable power’s success. Increasingly, it is also becoming a prominent feature in the appeal of electric vehicles. Storage works at the wholesale and retail levels by facilitating grid stabilization and home energy management.
Solar power continues to suffer from the obstacle of high upfront costs. Although the electricity it generates is free, that is still not enough to make up for the hefty cost of purchasing and installing the equipment for many consumers.
Residential demand-side management (DSM) programs aren’t a new concept. As far back as the 1970s energy crisis, electric utilities had programs enabling separate rates for customers’ water heaters (which was then a typical home’s biggest energy user).
TechRepublic.com reported in October 2014 that the United States has more electrical grid blackouts than any other developed nation and that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), demand for electricity has outpaced transmission rates by 25 percent every year since 1982.
This past April, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk grabbed headlines with the introduction of two battery-based energy-storage products from the new Tesla Energy subsidiary he claims will “fundamentally change how the world uses energy.” Perhaps even more important to Musk’s ambitious goal is the anticipat
Electrical contracting companies involved in the installation of underground power or communications cable must know the locations of existing buried utilities before beginning excavation or directional drilling.
For every opinion, there is a dissenter. For every bit of conventional wisdom, there is at least some counter evidence. While common sense and popular appeal seem to point to a smart grid that is more efficient and less disruptive, a recent study reaches a very different conclusion.
A report published by Navigant Research, “Direct Current Distribution Networks,” examines the opportunity for direct current (DC) distribution networks in four key market segments: off-grid/bad grid telecommunications, data centers, commercial building grids and off-grid military applications.
As more distributed energy technologies have been created in recent years, opportunities for electrical contractors to install and maintain the equipment have grown. However, while the trend is seen as positive for the customers and contractors, utilities are losing sales of their power.
It can be easy to forget that, in rural areas, the way electricity is transmitted can be more old-fashioned than in urban landscapes. Now, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made the money available to bring these systems into the 21st century.
Austin, Texas, has an aggressive plan for alternative energy. The “Austin Energy Resource, Generation and Climate Protection Plan to 2025” sets the city’s goal of sourcing 55 percent of its energy from renewables by the end of the plan’s term.
Domino’s and Amazon.com might be hogging the headlines about the commercial viability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)/unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), or, simply, “drones,” but electric utility and transmission companies are equally enthusiastic about the technology’s potential to boost their sy