The primary purpose of this study was to understand the employment and training needs of electric-sector employers in the Pacific Northwest region. The study focused on five occupational groups that comprise the largest number of craft jobs among electric-sector employers in Washington and Oregon: Operators, mechanics, electricians, technicians, and line workers.
The Department of Energy has awarded two grants totaling about $2 million to Idaho State University’s Eric Burgett to develop advanced radiation detectors and measure fuel inside nuclear reactors.
Announced in a press release dated August 10, the award was received that week. DOE announced it awarded $39 million to 51 projects at universities to bolster nuclear research and development; ISU received 5 percent of that total.
Snohomish Public Utility District will start drilling for hot water next week, hoping to find enough geothermal heat to eventually build a $100 million, 20-megawatt power plant.
The 5,000-foot “deep exploratory well” will be the first of its kind in Washington. Story from the Puget Sound Business Journal. Click here to read more.
Western states could generate big economic and public health dividends by more aggressively pursuing a low-carbon, clean-energy strategy that relies on renewable energy, conservation and smart grid technologies, according to a new report from the Grid West Group.
The report looks out 40 years and compares the economic, environmental and public health outcomes in 2050 of two electricity industry trajectories.
Continue reading, click here.
The Northwest grid isn’t this smart yet, but it’s getting smarter…
The Northwest has set goals to use more renewable energy over the next 15 years, but the existing power delivery system wasn’t set up for getting variable wind and solar power to your house efficiently.
Power grid managers have to keep a steady flow of juice in the power lines at all times to avoid blackouts and grid damage, so they need a back-up plan for when the wind changes. Maybe even five back-up plans… These aren’t all be “smart grid” per se, but they are smarter ways of running the grid to accommodate new forms of renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal) as well as the old reliables (hydro, coal and natural gas):
Click here for the rest of the story
A Kirkland company working on a groundbreaking project with Mason County PUD No. 3 has been highlighted as one of five smart grid startups to watch in a national technology competition.
View the slideshow >>>
|Energy Summit 2011|
Smart grid means different things to different people. To those in the utility industry, smart grid can help optimize resources and enhance reliability. To consumers, smart grid can provide choices as to how, when, and for some, at what price they use electricity. In the Pacific Northwest, we define smart grid as an electrical system that uses technology to enhance power delivery and use through intelligent, two-way communication all the way from power generation and suppliers to end-users.
Through this communication, smart grid can give us the information we need to help us make better use of our existing power supply—and to help us meet increasing power demands, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy independence, enhance reliability and help improve our nation’s energy security.
The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project is testing the costs and benefits of smart grid with 60,000 customers in five states, including: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The project, which is the largest of its kind in the nation, is led by Battelle Memorial Institute, Pacific Northwest Division. Participants include the Bonneville Power Administration, 11 utilities, two universities and a handful of technology firms. It includes 112 megawatts of responsive resources and will last for five years. The $178 million project is funded by $89 million in participant funds and the same amount in matching DOE monies through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The “smarts” of the project live within a unique information signal, called the transactive incentive signal, which is being researched to see if it can move throughout the project’s participants—all the way from generation to end-user. The project will determine if the signal can incentivize the delivery and use of power to balance the grid and incorporate renewable power from the wind and sun. A test of this signal, which is slated to be up and running by September 2012, was successfully completed in April.
The project team also aims to develop a solid business case for smart grid in our region by measuring and validating the costs and benefits of this type of technology to consumers, utilities, regulatory bodies and the nation. The business case will be shared throughout the five state region to inform investment decision-makers on the technologies tested and can potentially serve as a model for other parts of the country.
Battelle Memorial Institute, Bonneville Power Administration, IBM, Netezza, 3TIER, Alstom Grid, QualityLogic
Avista (with Washington State University), the City of Ellensburg, Wash., Benton PUD, Flathead Electric, Idaho Falls Power, the City of Milton-Freewater, Ore., NorthWestern Energy, Peninsula Light Company, Seattle City Light, Portland General Electric, Lower Valley Energy, University of Washington
Key smart grid locations:
View Key Smart Grid Locations Map.
The renewable energy industry globally, nationally, and in Washington State is in the midst of tremendous change. Significant growth in the renewable energy sector has occurred in recent years, and forecasts show that this trend is likely to continue. Forty-eight percent of planned generating capacity additions in Washington through 2011 are renewables.
Washington is on the leading edge of new developments in renewable energy, and the state is well positioned to accelerate the shift toward a clean energy economy to support state environmental and economic goals. But future growth in renewables will also depend on our ability to supply a well-qualified workforce to design, build, operate and maintain renewable energy plants and equipment.