SEPA Blog Site : SEPAPower



Making the elephant fly: Integrating distributed energy resources onto the grid in Hawaii

Hawaii doesn't have a duck curve, says Dora Nakafuji of Hawaiian Electric Company. The state's electric load curve is part elephant, part Loch Ness Monster -- and Nakafuji has been instrumental in developing the tools, analysis and changes in utility organizational culture that are needed to integrate distributed energy resources onto the grid and make this mythical beast fly.

Changing the narrative at SPI: Solar is about finding new solutions

SEPA's K Kaufmann hits the ground at Solar Power International in Las Vegas and looks behind the usual trade show story lines to find an industry running on growth and innovation -- and very focused on finding new solutions to the challenges it now faces.

SEPA events at SPI put focus on new models for industry innovation and collaboration

SEPA has long viewed collaboration and cross-industry partnerships as critical building blocks for the growth of solar and other distributed technologies, and the energy transition now underway in the United States. In the past two years, we have intensified our focus on studying and creating replicable models through which industry stakeholders with apparently opposing interests can build the communication and trust needed to forge compromise solutions. We will be sharing this work at Solar Power International with special reports and conference sessions.

What we mean by “smart electric power”: SEPA goes beyond the meter

The "smart electric power" story begins with evaluating DERs as grid assets, upping customer engagement and rewiring utility business operations and models, says SEPA's Tanuj Deora, as he introduces the nonprofit's new Beyond the Meter series.

It's time to talk about energy consumer 2.0 and changing the rules of the game

Media accounts tend to frame debates over net metering and rate reform as a conflict between utilities and solar companies, based on economic self-interest. Headlines and stories are focused on utility 2.0, grid 2.0 and, occasionally, even net metering 2.0, but rarely, if ever energy consumer 2.0. SEPA's K Kaufmann argues, it's time for a change.

NARUC panel conjures utility of the future as cloud solution

The energy system of the future will run on data, as well as electrons -- and regulators are trying to keep up with the technology and visions of future applications. SEPA Utility Strategist Christine Stearn listens in on a panel of industry experts.

Solar Comes Down From the Mountain -- And Into the Mainstream

Bob Gibson's experience with solar started more than 20 years ago high in the mountains of Guatemala. His final SEPA blog traces a personal history with a technology that has evolved into a force of surprising change.

Moeller explains factors changing grid at SEPA Town Meeting

From the July 13, 2016 issue of Smart Grid Today following the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid held July 11-13, 2016 in Washington, DC. Here, Philip Moeller talks about how smart meters are making the power system run two ways, rather than from a central station outward.

SEPA Town Meeting told grid still ripe for assets

From the July 13, 2016 issue of Smart Grid Today following the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid held July 11-13, 2016 in Washington, DC. This article discusses the way SEPA is focused on a more dynamic power system and how many of the speakers said the biggest changes would happen on the distribution system.

Transactive energy pilot to test customer acceptance of real-time pricing scheme

Earlier this year, Ed Cazalet submitted a paper for SEPA's 51st State Initiative, envisioning a “transactive” energy system that uses real-time, wholesale electricity prices to help people save money by shifting their energy use. Now, he's got a grant from the California Energy Commission to test out his ideas in real life.

Utilities need not wait to roll out innovative DER programs

The utility of the future must look for ways to incentivize customer adoption of distributed technologies that will cut consumers' electric bills and provide value to the grid, says Seth Frader-Thompson, President of EnergyHub. Previewing his presentation at the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid, Frader-Thompson provides some examples of customer-grid solutions utilities are already offering today.

Distributed energy technologies: Disruptive, beneficial -- or both?

Headlines about disruptive technologies are now the norm in the energy industry. But Frank Lacey believes that distributed energy technologies that bolster grid reliability should be seen as assistive and a sign of assurance for utilities.

A Solar Story from Arkansas Shines Light on Q1 Utility-Scale Market

SEPA's analysis of the first quarter utility solar market focuses on a 12-MW solar project in Arkansas driven by corporate customer demand, electric co-ops and an innovative PPA. A robust project pipeline is also signaling market acceleration ahead.

The top 10 questions utilities have about community solar

In April, 75 community solar professionals gathered at a workshop where much of the discussion focused on the critical issues and decision points in the surprisingly complex and still evolving world of community solar. Patterns arose and these 10 questions were the most commonly asked.