DGIC announces new website, case studies, webinar schedule

Artwork by Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative

Utilities faced with questions posed by the growth of residential photovoltaic (PV) systems and the emergence of battery storage can find answers with the Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative (DGIC). This forum enables electric utilities, solar industry participants and other stakeholders to exchange best practices for distributed PV interconnection.

Now in its fourth year, the DGIC has updated its website to make it easier for visitors to find exactly what they are looking for. Content is organized by four topic areas:

  • Data transparency
  • Business models and regulation
  • Application processing
  • Analytical methods for interconnection
  • Technology solutions

Webinars, reports and blog articles are just a click away, and DGIC can easily add the latest research on distributed generation coming from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. You will want to bookmark the new website and visit regularly to check for updates.

Suggest case studies
Do you know of an organization doing high-quality, innovative work on the interconnection of distributed generation? You can nominate that organization to be profiled in a series of case studies DGIC is planning to produce. The case studies will extend DGIC’s peer exchange beyond the webinar format to highlight leading practices in the field.

Help DGIC identify industry leaders by submitting your nominations by April 30. The nomination form will remain open after that date but only nominations received by the deadline will be considered for completion in 2017.

Attend webinars
The DGIC webinar schedule for 2017 has been released and it showcases a diverse array of topics and expert speakers from utilities, research organizations and other industry participants.

The peer exchange events begin April 5 with Energy Storage Permitting, Interconnection, and AnalysisYou are leaving WAPA.gov. This webinar will focus on one of the most talked about and fastest growing distributed energy resources in the country. This relatively new technology has the ability to act as both a load and a generator, posing unique challenges when interconnecting to the grid. Attendees will learn about permitting, interconnection requirements, and the specific analytical needs of energy storage systems.

Distributed Solar for Smaller UtilitiesYou are leaving WAPA.gov. on May 18, will highlight the experiences of smaller utilities that are shifting their business processes, staffing, planning and operations to integrate distributed solar into their systems.

The July 19 webinar, Plug-and-Play SolarYou are leaving WAPA.gov. will discuss new technologies and techniques that could reduce equipment and labor costs, but may require changes to interconnection standards and procedures.

The webinar series concludes in September with Aggregation of Distributed Energy Resources which will feature lessons learned from utilities exploring the possibility of putting a variety of distributed resources under unified operational control. The date and registration information for this webinar will be announced later this year.

All scheduled webinars will be presented from 12 to 1 P.M. Mountain Time. There is no cost to participate, but registration is required.

Source: The Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative, 2/24/17

Around the web: DOE Better Buildings Initiative

Improving the efficiency of America’s building stock would save billions of dollars in energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create thousands of jobs. To capture – and replicate – those positive gains in energy efficiency, the Department of Energy launched the Better Buildings Initiative, a partnership of public and private sector organizations across the country.
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The initiative focuses its strategies within four interrelated key areas to drive change and investment in energy efficiency:

  • Developing innovative, replicable solutions with market leaders
  • Making energy efficiency investment easier
  • Developing a skilled clean energy workforce
  • Leading by example in federal government

Many ways to build better
Building owners in the commercial, educational, industrial, residential and state and local government sectors can get involved in the initiative through a variety of pathways:

  • The cornerstone Better Building Challenge calls on the leadership of companies, universities, school districts, housing developers and state and local government to commit to reducing the energy used across their building portfolios by 20 percent or more over 10 years.
  • The Better Building Accelerators demonstrate specific innovative policies and approaches, which upon successful demonstration, will accelerate investment in energy efficiency.
  • The Better Buildings Summit, May 9-11 in Washington, D.C., brings partners together to showcase solutions and exchange best practices.
  • The Better Buildings Alliance connects members in different market sectors with DOE’s research and technical experts to develop and deploy innovative, cost-effective, energy-saving solutions that lead to better technologies, more profitable businesses and healthier, more comfortable facilities.
  • The Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines provide a national platform for developing high-quality, nationally recognized training and certification programs that are consistent and scalable across the energy-efficiency industry.
  • The annual Better Buildings Case Competition engages the next generation of engineers, entrepreneurs and policymakers to develop creative solutions to real-world energy efficiency barriers for businesses and other organizations across the marketplace. After taking a year off for planning, the competition is back in 2016.

Partner-specific resources
Industrial partners can participate in the Better Plants program that has saved about 457 trillion British thermal units and $2.4 billion cumulatively in energy costs to date. Facilities may also pursue Superior Energy Performance Certification, by implementing an energy management system that meets the ISO 50001 Standard You are leaving Western's site. and demonstrates improved energy performance.

Resources dedicated to residential partners include the online Solution Center, Home Energy Score and  the Zero-energy Ready Home designation to promote high-performance housing. Utility residential program managers will find many tools in these pages to help homeowners control their energy use.

The Better Building Residential Network is available to state and local government partners, as well as residential partners. The membership, which includes utilities, analyzes energy-efficiency programs and shares best practices with the goal of increasing the number of energy-efficient homes. Join their weekly peer exchange calls to discuss such topics as smart homes, the power of messaging, emerging trends in residential efficiency and residential property-assessed clean energy financing.

Get involved
Buildings use close to half of the energy consumed in the United States, so a more efficient building stock can help utilities meet environmental regulations and load management goals. Learn more about  becoming a Better Building Partner or sign up for interactive webinars that explore cost-effective ways to integrate energy savings into their daily building operations. Keep up to date on the latest partner activities and solutions by signing up for Better Buildings communications.

Free manual lays out steps for smart grid implementation

how2guide350 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has compiled a step-by-step guide to help transmission system stakeholders realize the benefits of the cutting-edge monitoring and management technologies collectively known as the smart grid. The How2Guide for Smart Grids in Distribution Networks Redirecting to a non-government site is available, free of charge, from the IEA.

With meticulous planning, design and deployment, smart grids promise greater efficiency, increased integration of renewable energy sources and a resilient, flexible and secure electrical system, to name just a few substantial benefits. The new publication offers industry and government decision makers a roadmap for successful smart grid development based on case studies and specific experience gleaned from IEA workshops.

Despite their potential to address energy system challenges, smart grids are not quickly or easily developed. The guide shows how to avoid missteps by outlining four specific but adaptable phases:

  • Planning and preparation
  • Visioning
  • Preparing the roadmap
  • Implementation and monitoring

Each phase is divided into steps, both necessary and optional ones, for optimal deployment.

The manual also includes recommendations and frameworks for identifying stakeholders, conducting baseline research, determining drivers and appropriate projects to meet needs, identifying barriers and solutions and setting timelines and milestones for deployment.

According to IEA, smart grids can play a fundamental role in global efforts to move toward a more secure, sustainable and innovative energy future. The new How2Guide is one small part of IEA efforts to support that transition.

Source: International Energy Agency via Global Energy World Redirecting to a non-government site, 5/29/15

Get ready for the 2014 GRC Annual Meeting, GEA Expo

GEAexpoJoin the Geothermal Resources CouncilRedirecting to a non-government site (GRC) and the Geothermal Energy AssociationRedirecting to a non-government site (GEA) in Portland, Oregon, Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 for the geothermal energy industry’s largest annual gathering.

The theme for the 38th GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo is Geothermal: A Global Solution. In keeping with the theme, internationally known geothermal energy experts will be among the scientists, producers, renewable energy industry stakeholders, regulators, utilities and business leaders participating in discussions and presentations.

The agenda will offer technical, policy and market conference sessions; educational seminars; tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects; and numerous networking opportunities. The trade show brings together system and equipment vendors and other trade allies from around the world to share the latest in products, services, technologies and solutions. Entrance to the Expo Hall is included with registration for the annual meeting.

Randy Manion, Western’s Renewable Resources Program manager, hopes Western customers will take the opportunity to learn more about this base-load resource. “Geothermal energy can help utilities meet their environmental goals and mandates,” he explained. “The earth’s heat is available everywhere, and the diverse technologies for harnessing it are improving rapidly.”

Explore before expo
Newcomers to geothermal energy may want to arrive in Portland a few days early to take advantage of pre-meeting field trips. Discover how ancient volcanic activity created the fertile wine country of the Willamette Valley, or how the destructive force of Mount St. Helens is still shaping the region. Learn about the game-changing technology of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) at Altarock Energy’s Newberry Volcano Demonstration project. Or stay on to see geothermal energy in action at a post-meeting tour of the Klamath Falls campus of the Oregon Institute of Technology, home of the world famous Geo-Heat CenterRedirecting to a non-government site.

Attendees who are actively considering undertaking a geothermal project can delve into the nuts and bolts of development at pre-meeting workshops. Basic Introduction to Geothermal Systems and Exploration Strategies, on Sept. 26-27, examines the basic dynamics of geothermal resources and how to explore for them. Also scheduled for Sept. 26-27 is Geothermal Leasing, Unitization and Water Use Legal Issues, and exploration of the laws and issues associated with permitting and developing geothermal projects.

Celebrating achievement
The GRC Annual Meeting wraps up with the Awards Luncheon on Oct. 1, where the Geothermal Resources Council recognizes outstanding contributions to the industry. The GRC Awards honor distinguished colleagues in the geothermal community for achievements in advocacy, resource development, design, engineering and construction.

Moving from science to art, the 35th Annual Amateur Photo Contest is showcasing artistic pictures of geothermal energy in its many forms including energy production, EGS, direct use and geothermal heat pumps. Winning entries will be displayed before the Opening Session, posted during the GRC Annual Meeting and published in the GRC Bulletin, and will become part of the GRC photo library.

More work, play
Technical sessions will cover financing, exploration, case studies, regulatory issues, power operations, direct use systems and utility and transmission issues—just to scratch the surface.Check the meeting website for the full agenda.

Outside of the sessions, attendees will have the chance to unwind and network with other professionals while enjoying a unique and beautiful city. The popular Charity Golf Tournament, on Sunday, Sept. 28, and the GRC Annual Banquet on Sept. 29, promise to make memorable use of Portland amenities.

If this sounds like a great way to find out how an abundant clean energy resource might fit into your energy portfolio, make plans to attend the 38th GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo.