- May 10 – Statement of Intent to participate in Western’s renewable energy certificate solicitation for 2013 - Deadline extended!
- May 26 – Early-bird registration deadline for ACEEE 2013 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry
- June 13 – EDA Economic Development Assistance Programs Federal Funding Opportunity (funding cycle 4)
- June 20 − Applications for Tribal Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Deployment Assistance
- June 27 − Applications for Community-Scale Clean Energy Projects in Indian Country
Archive for the ‘Events and funding opportunities’ Category
Western, the Department of Energy and the American Public Power Association (APPA) are looking for a public power utility that has distinguished itself in wind power leadership for the 2013 Public Power Wind Award. Nominations are due March 25, 2013.
This marks the 11th year DOE, APPA and Western have collaborated on the Wind Cooperative of the Year award. The Public Power Wind Award provides recognition to public power utilities that have helped make the United States a leader in wind power. Previous winners include: Palo Alto Utilities, Denton Municipal Electric, CPS Energy, Princeton Municipal Light Department, Nebraska Public Power District, Cowlitz and Klickitat PUDs, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Waverley Light and Power, town of Hull, Fort Collins Utilities, Austin Energy, and Aspen Municipal Electric.
A panel of experts from the power and wind industries evaluate nominees in four areas:
- Corporate leadership
- Innovative marketing
- Benefits to customers
- Project creativity
All APPA member utilities are eligible to apply. Anyone can nominate a public power utility, and self-nominations are allowed. Nominations must be submitted by close of business on March 25, 2013, to Randy Manion, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 28123, Lakewood, CO 80228-8213.
This year’s winner will be recognized at the APPA National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, the week of June 14, 2013.
Working with the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and other organizations, the Energy Department (DOE) this week released two Funding of Opportunity Announcements (FOA) related to utilities.
Solar Utility Networks: Replicable Innovations in Solar Energy (SUNRISE) is being issued by DOE to solicit applications for two topic areas. Topic A focuses on enabling utilities to develop long-term strategic plans for integrating high levels of renewable energy generation and ensuring that power systems operate reliably in real time under high renewable penetration. Topic B aims to provide technical assistance for building capacity through utility-scale photovoltaic planning and installation.
DOE’s express purpose in issuing this FOA is to demonstrate cost-effective and reliable solar integration in real time, at utility-scale, in successful utility business models. DOE anticipates providing up to $12 Million through this FOA, for projects two to four years long, depending on the topic area. Awardees must share project costs. This FOA is part of the DOE SunShot Initiative.
- Concept papers due: March 8, 2013
- Expected date for response to concept papers: March 20, 2013
- Deadline for questions: April 21, 2013
- Full applications due: April 24, 2013
The second FOA, Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) seeks applications to increase power system research, development and analytical capacity. Projects should also be designed to prepare electric utility professionals to manage high penetrations of solar and other distributed energy technologies. To achieve these dual goals, GEARED will support two activities:
- Training consortia focused on quickly bringing their findings into training and educational initiatives
- A national coordination network that will link these consortia to one another and other relevant power system research and development and training activities
Increasing the power systems capabilities and talent pool promotes electric grid security, as well as environmental and economic benefits for all consumers. The GEARED FOA provides funding to support creating three to five regional consortia that work with universities and utilities to incorporate power systems analysis, research and development into curricula and short courses, cooperative internships and continuing education. GEARED will also support the creation of a national training network for distributed power system professionals. The FOA does not apply to undergraduate or graduate fellowships.
- Concept papers due: April 12, 2013; 5 p.m. EST
- Deadline for questions: April 16, 2013; 5 p.m. EST
- Full applications due: April 19, 2013; 5 p.m. EST
Some of the topic areas are seeking utility applicants, while others are seeking utility groups or other types of entities. SEPA member utilities that wish to apply directly or would like to apply in partnership with SEPA should contact SEPA President Julia Hamm at 202-559-2025 as soon as possible.
As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to help Tribal communities across the country enhance their energy security and build a sustainable energy future, the Energy Department has announced the second round of the Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program. Federally recognized Tribal governments can receive technical assistance to accelerate clean energy project deployment from this program. The Energy Department also plans to seek information from tribes interested in launching or expanding utility services in their own communities, which will help establish a new START Utility Program (START-UP).
The new technical assistance opportunities will strengthen the nation’s partnership with tribal communities, create good jobs and protect the planet, stated Office of Indian Energy Director Tracey LeBeau. “Working side by side with tribal energy leaders across the country, we are making sure Native American and Alaska Native Tribes have the tools and resources they need to foster economic competitiveness and promote tribal self-sufficiency,” she said.
Over the past year, the START Program helped nine tribal communities advance their clean energy technology and infrastructure projects, from solar and wind to biofuels and energy efficiency. In the current round of START projects, energy experts from the Energy Department’s national laboratories and other Federal agencies worked with tribal leaders to develop strategic community energy plans, conduct market research and identify financing mechanisms to support cost-effective renewable energy project development.
The next round of technical assistance awards will build upon the program’s initial successes. Native communities will receive further help increasing local generation capacity, enhancing energy-efficiency measures and creating local entrepreneurial and job opportunities. In the contiguous United States, awards will support tribes developing community-scale clean energy projects across the country. Alaska’s Denali Commission and Energy Department experts will help rural Alaska Native communities conduct energy awareness and training programs, and pursue new renewable energy and energy-efficiency opportunities.
New program for tribal utility planning
To support affordable and reliable electrical service to Indian lands and tribal communities, the Energy Department is launching a new tribal START Utility Program (START-UP). Expanding on the current START Program, START-UP will help tribes across the country develop their own utility services and increase ownership of local energy assets.
In an effort to tailor the program to the needs of Indian Country, the Department plans to gather information and public comment from tribes interested in developing, acquiring or expanding utility services in their own communities. Check the Office of Indian Energy website in the coming weeks for more details on this outreach. Source: DOE Office of Indian Energy, 1/29/13
Kitchen ventilation can run up big energy bills for restaurants, schools, hospitals and food packaging plants. Utilities that serve these types of facilities should join the Washington State University Energy Program Feb. 13 at 12:00 pm PST for Demand-Controlled Ventilation for Commercial Kitchens.
This webinar explores the reasons applications for demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) to commercial kitchen ventilation have been slow in coming. However, recent changes to ASHRAE Standard 90.1 – 2010 may make DCV a key component for energy-efficient commercial kitchens. Utilities may want to learn more about this option to reduce energy bills for large industrial kitchens in their territory.
Register now for February’s “Emerging Technologies Showcase” webinar. This monthly series sponsored by BPA, with support from Western, presents the latest information about promising energy-efficiency technologies and practices that BPA is considering for future research opportunities or focus areas.
The next Showcase in the series will be on March 20 at noon, PST.
Tuesday, Feb. 19
Lighting is becoming more and more energy efficient, and upgrades continue to offer low-hanging fruit that utilities aren’t capturing. Join utility program managers for the Lunchtime Webinar, Best Opportunities for Community-wide Lighting Upgrades to learn how they improved lighting efficiency, not just for a few businesses or homes, but for the entire community.
Clean Energy Ambassadors presents its Lunchtime Webinar series on the third Tuesday of each month. Candid, informal discussions center on ways consumer-owned utilities can save money and better serve their customers. Webinars are held from 12 to 1 p.m. Central time (11 a.m.-12 p.m. Mountain).
[Editor's note: This story first appeared in the January 2013 Energy Services Bulletin.]
It can be difficult to get busy utility professionals to take any time off for training, but a two-day infrared workshop sponsored by Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) recently drew 16 participants—and rave reviews.
Training utilities need
NPPD partner Southern Power District hosted IR for Weatherization and Energy Audits Nov. 28 and 29 at its headquarters in Grand Island, Neb. “A few contractors and representatives came from government agencies, but most of the trainees were our wholesale partners,” said NPPD Business Partner Consultant Roger Hunt, who organized the event.
The idea for the workshop originated with Hunt, who credits NPPD’s strong relationship with its member utilities for uncovering the need. “We knew a lot of our partners had purchased IR cameras, but they weren’t familiar enough with the technology to get the full value from their investment,” he said. “I’ve been through Level I and II IR certification, so I know how important it is to get the right training.”
Hunt chose The Snell Group to present a class aimed at energy auditors, weatherization contractors and home inspectors. He had once attended a similar workshop sponsored by the Nebraska Energy Office, and felt the focus on residential audits would be most useful to NPPD utilities.
Learn your camera
The course covered all models of thermal imaging equipment and included many hands-on simulations and exercises. “Since Snell doesn’t represent any camera manufacturers, the class was equipment-neutral,” said Western Equipment Loan Manager Gary Hoffmann. “The instructors could explain the capabilities and limitations of different cameras.”
That was good news for Wade Rahn, Customer Service Coordinator at Butler Public Power District, who brought along the utility’s ToughCam from IR Cameras, Inc. “I took the workshop to get better acquainted with using the camera in audit situations,” he explained. “I wouldn’t have gotten as much out of the workshop if the material focused only on the most common models.”
Having worked with IR cameras and taken several classes, Hoffmann was very impressed with the course content. It offered more background on thermodynamic theory than other workshops he had attended, Hoffmann observed, and he really enjoyed the exercises. For one demonstration, participants were told to point their cameras at a quarter on a hotplate and adjust the focus so they could read the date on the coin. “It was a fun way to familiarize ourselves with our cameras,” Hoffmann observed.
The IR workshop was a first for Tim Ellis, the new Energy Services representative for the Rocky Mountain Region, so the camera exercises were particularly helpful to him. “It was a great opportunity to learn how to work the camera, where settings were, what they did and how to adjust them,” he said.
The longer workshop provided participants with the chance to do a real energy audit on the home of a Southern Power District employee. “The house had a couple of cold rooms, so the homeowner got a free energy audit in return for letting the class practice what they’d learned,” said Hoffmann. “The employee joined us to analyze the IR pictures after the inspection, even though he wasn’t enrolled in the workshop. It was a good deal for everyone.”
The audit included visual and thermographic inspections inside and out, a blower door test and a lot of what Hoffmann termed “audit etiquette.” Nicki White, customer service representative for Cuming County Public Power District, found that part of the training extremely helpful. “It was surprising to learn how much background information auditors need before they go into a home,” she said.
Ellis appreciated the reminders about common courtesy and professionalism. “It’s important to remember that you are in someone’s home,” he said. “Auditors need to make sure the homeowner feels comfortable and confident about the inspection.”
Tips included everything from not trampling gardens to turning off gas water heaters so the blower door doesn’t suck carbon monoxide fumes into the house. Hunt reminds himself to turn the water heater back on before he leaves by putting his car keys on it..
For Ellis, the audit served as a refresher course in building science and the physics behindheat movement through a building shell. “It gave me a chance to apply what I know to problem-solving at the consumer level,” he said. “This would be excellent training for utilities at any stage of developing a home audit program.”
Worth the time
The course would also be good research for utilities that are considering buying a camera, Ellis added, or for professionals looking for a crash course in residential building science. Participants take a written test at the end and receive continuing education credits, another reason to make time for training.
Hoffmann declared that it was the best IR workshop he had ever attended. “We covered a ton of stuff over in two full days,” he said. “It was really interesting and never felt like we were rushing through the material.”
If your utility is interested in sponsoring an in-depth workshop on infrared thermography or other auditing skills, contact your Energy Services representative for more information.
The U.S. Energy Department (DOE) announced $20 million in new funding for two to four projects that will help integrate concentrating solar power (CSP) systems with fossil fuel power plants. The DOE seeks applications from industry, universities, and national laboratories. Read the full story.
If interested, act quickly as a letter of intent is due by Jan 14, 2013 with the full application due in mid-March, 2013. See the RFI for more information on the funding. Source: Renewable Energy World, 12/31/12
The Minnesota Department of Commerce is seeking utilities with convenience store customers to participate in a pilot project funded by its Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) grant . The CARD grant program identifies new technologies, strategies and program approaches that help utilities to achieve the annual state energy conservation goal of 1.5 percent.
The Convenience Store Energy Efficiency CARD grant pilot project focuses on optimizing the performance of existing equipment, lighting, motors, air infiltration and controls, rather than major equipment replacements. Any convenience store with older equipment could benefit from this pilot project.
Michaels Energy received the first award in March 2012, and has completed audits on four primary sites. The audits showed opportunities to reduce annual operating costs by 15 to 17 percent per site. The results are being used to develop a template for delivering services in another 46 Minnesota convenience stores. So far, only 20 additional sites have signed on to the project, so the end date for the grant has been extended.
Please contact Ralph Dickinson of Michaels Energy at 651-900-4710 if you have Minnesota convenience store customers that could participate in this pilot. Pilot sites served by municipal utilities are particularly sought, as the grant specifically aims to help municipals stretch limited resources and address a customer type that can be difficult to impact.
Nov. 28-29, 2012
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Southern Power District
4550 West Husker Highway
Grand Island, Neb.
Infrared inspection is a valuable tool for helping homeowners and facility managers conserve energy and save money!
Get hands-on instruction in using infrared thermographic imaging equipment at a two-day workshop for energy auditors and weatherization professionals, sponsored by Nebraska Public Power District . Members of Building Performance Institute and International Association of Certified Home Inspectors will receive certified education units for attending this training.
Thermography training experts The Snell Group are presenting the workshop. Draw on their decades of industry experience to discover techniques for getting the most information from IR inspections.
Register by Nov. 15 to ensure your spot. The cost per person is $400, checks only. Make checks payable to Nebraska Public Power District. Send your check, along with the name and model number of your IR camera to:
Attn: Energy Efficiency Team
1414 15th St.
Columbus, NE 68601
Note: You may bring your camera if it is available, but there will be cameras at the training.
Questions? Contact Roger Hunt at 402-239-9406.