APPA webinar series explores new electricity future

Aug. 15 – Oct. 26

The future is here and resistance is futile. Public power utilities of all sizes are facing a new world shaped by technology, customer preferences and changing policies. These changes are most evident in five key areas:

  • Rate design
  • Community solar
  • Electric vehicles
  • Battery storage
  • Smart meters

The American Public Power Association You are leaving WAPA.gov. wants to help power providers navigate these changes and explore the opportunities this new environment presents. Beginning Aug. 15, a five-part webinar series looks at new initiatives through the experiences of the utilities that implemented them.

(Art work by American Public Power Association)

The series features experts on utility industry trends and is intended to encourage new thinking on the relationships between consumers, utilities and other energy service providers. Several WAPA customers are among the speakers, including Imperial Irrigation District, You are leaving WAPA.gov. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power You are leaving WAPA.gov. and SMUD You are leaving WAPA.gov. in California, Moorhead Public Service You are leaving WAPA.gov. in Minnesota and SRP You are leaving WAPA.gov. in Arizona.

APPA recommends this series for general managers, CEOs, senior utility executives, governing boards, policymakers, utility managers, future leaders in policy and strategy and public communications professionals.

Comprehensive agendas
You can sign up for webinars individually or register for the full series at a discounted rate. Participants will also get access to recordings and slides of the webinars for future reference or if they miss one. All webinars are scheduled for 12-1:30 p.m. Mountain Time.

Aug. 15 – The Future of Rate Design: Distributed generation and energy-efficiency programs are creating cost-shifting concerns. Catch up on the latest industry rate trends and discover how to move toward stable rate structures that accurately recover costs from all customers. Review the pros and cons of different rate models—time of use, higher customer charge, demand charges and bi-directional billing. Learn how other utilities like yours have created long-term rate plans, selected and implemented new rate designs, and obtained buy-in from board and city council members as well as customers.

Sept. 7 – Community Solar Success Stories: Community solar is becoming an increasingly popular option for utilities that want to increase solar in their generation portfolios and offer this option to customers who cannot install rooftop solar. An industry expert will share experiences, insights and predictions for the future of community solar. Your utility colleagues who’ve launched community solar programs across the country will explain how they made decisions in key areas like program structure, implementation, financing, customer outreach, rates and marketing. They’ll discuss challenges and the secrets to success so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Sept. 26 – Charging Ahead with Electric Vehicles: The price of electric cars is falling, and more fast-charging stations are being installed. The Brattle Group predicts that a steady conversion of vehicles and heating to electricity could possibly lead to a 105-percent increase in electricity demand by 2050. If these new loads start to proliferate in your community, are you ready to support them? Now is the time to plan for EV infrastructure and to make important cost-benefit decisions. Learn about new developments and advances in EVs and how they are impacting the utility industry. Hear about innovative public power EV programs and get insights regarding how to work with customers to spur investment in EVs, develop fair pricing models and plan for potential load growth.

Oct. 12 – Best Practices in Battery Storage: The evolution of energy storage is changing how we produce and consume energy like never before. Technological advances, reduced costs and mandates from regulators have positioned energy storage for unprecedented growth. Get up to speed on where we are and what to expect in the future. Three public power utilities will talk about their award-winning storage projects and the realities of implementation, from selecting a developer and siting to leveraging benefits such as peak shaving and financial impacts. Your pioneering colleagues will help you navigate the bold new path of utility-scale battery storage.

Oct. 26 – Smart Meters for Smart Solutions: Learn from utilities that have installed advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Gear up for the real-world challenges and understand how other utilities like yours are using AMI and integrating with other technologies. Understand how to fully leverage the benefits of smart meters — to predict load and usage, implement time-of-use rates, respond better to outages, assess the need for system upgrades and offset peak demand charges. Gather best practices on transitioning rate structures, educating customers and soliciting feedback.

Registration information
You can sign up for the entire series or register for each webinar individually. Individual webinars cost $99 for APPA members and $199 for nonmembers. Register for all five webinars for $395 for APPA members or $795 for nonmembers, a discount equivalent to one webinar.

Source: American Public Power Association, 7/10/17

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

Tell us what you want from Energy Services

When Western’s Energy Services regional representatives get together to talk about the program, it is not a subdued affair. The five regions within Western are all different from each other, and each representative brings a different perspective on what customers in their service territory need. One thing we do share is a passion for serving our customers, so the discussions can get pretty lively. At the end of a good meeting, however, we walk away with new ideas, renewed determination and a better understanding of the challenges customers face in other regions.

That is a pretty good description of what happened at the annual “face-to-face” meeting Energy Services held at Western Headquarters in October. The meeting gives Energy Services representatives an opportunity to plan for the coming year and to let management, the marketing team and the Equipment Loan Program know what kind of support their efforts need. This year’s meeting was particularly crucial since Western recently parted company with Energy Experts. We are exploring ways to offer customers more relevant technical assistance to replace the resources of the online service provider.

Feeling changes
The utility industry is standing on shifting ground, and power providers across Western’s service territory are feeling the changes. Complying with new regulations, joining a regional transmission organization, competing with new technologies and services, planning for extreme weather and meeting renewable goals and mandates are only a few of the issues keeping customers awake at night.

As we talked (and talked!) about how we can help our customers manage these and other concerns, one word kept coming up: training. The old saying, “Knowledge is power,” is old for a reason. Understanding even just the basics about a situation gives you more control and more options for dealing with it.

Western is in a great position to deliver training, too, in part, thanks to its Electric Power Training Center. For years, EPTC has delivered the highest quality power systems operation training to diverse audiences from power plant operators to dispatchers to support staff who just want to learn more about the business. It  streamlines the process of enrolling participants and hosting workshops.

Creating new product
Energy Services would like to extend EPTC course offerings to other aspects of utility business, such as long-range resource planning, load management and renewables and efficiency integration. Our contacts at the departments of Energy and Agriculture, utilities, universities and professional organizations give us access to experts on a wide array of topics. Training could be offered as on-site workshops or webinars, depending on interest and subject matter.

Speaking of subject matter, this is where you, our customer, can help us. The regional representatives came up with a long list of potential training topics, and we need your help to prioritize it. Please look over the following topics and select your top five concerns:

Your input required
It is quite a list, and likely far from complete. Feel free to add your own ideas about training that could help you or your staff feel more prepared to deal with today’s challenges and the ones you see coming.

Send your suggestions for workshops (or publications, or other types of technical assistance) to your regional representative or to the Energy Services manager. Energy Services is, after all, your program, and we are eager to hear what you want it to be.

Make community solar better with free webinar series

Oct. 22, 12 p.m.
Nov. 19, 12 p.m.
Dec. 10, 12 p.m.

The Community Solar Value Project You are leaving Western's site. (CSVP) and Clean Energy Ambassadors You are leaving Western's site. have teamed up to produce a series of free webinars and discussions on how to make community solar better.JillSolarSlide350

The series has enlisted utility leaders and key stakeholders to weigh in on different aspects of this multi-faceted challenge. Discussions will cover such topics as better solar project design and procurement, ways to address solar variability by using demand-response and storage companion measures, program design for targeted customer appeals and win-win programs for low-income communities.

Join Clean Energy Ambassadors on Thursday, Oct. 22, for How SMUD and Other Utilities are Rethinking Marketing for Community Solar. You are leaving Western's site. A long-time leader in US solar energy deployment, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District You are leaving Western's site. (SMUD) crafted many programs to reduce the economic barriers to solar energy deployment. SMUD’s Solar Shares program targets renters and homeowners who may have solar siting issues to make solar energy accessible when customer-sited generation is not an option. Learn about the innovative solutions SMUD and other utilities are creating to improve upon their past program efforts and to make the benefits of clean energy even more widely available. A question and answer session will follow the presentations.

The November 19 webinar will explore Community Solar that Makes Sense for the Utility and its Low-income Customers. Speakers will discuss projects that address challenges specific to the low income market and different approaches utilities have taken.

On Dec. 10, Holiday Review: New Tools and Resources from the Community Solar Value Project, the final webinar in the series, examines the CSVP’s progress in helping utilities and their customers to work together to speed the transition to a high-value, low-carbon utility of the future.

Recordings of two other discussions, Central Better Community Solar Procurement and Design and How Demand Response and Storage Measures Address Solar Variability and Add Value, are available online.

All webinars take place at 12 p.m., Central Time. There is no cost to participate but registration is required.

Source: Clean Energy Ambassadors, 9/30/15

HVAC technologies highlighted in two April webinars

Learn about promising energy-efficient technologies for commercial heating, cooling and ventilation systems in a two-part webinar, Redirecting to a non-government site presented by Energy Efficiency Emerging Technologies (E3T) April 8 and April 15, 1 p.m. Mountain Time.

The April 8 webinar Redirecting to a non-government site focuses on commercial HVAC motors and fans. Expert speakers will discuss the advantages of electronically commutated permanent magnet (ECPM) motors driving fans and pumps, permanent magnet AC motors including Q-Sync, and high-volume, low-speed fan technology.

The topics of the April 15 webinar are variable refrigerant flow and variable-speed split system heat pumps.

Western co-sponsors the Emerging Technologies Showcase series with the Bonneville Power Administration. These monthly webinars present the latest information about promising energy-efficiency technologies and practices that BPA is considering for future research opportunities.

The webinars are free, but registration is required.  Contact E3T for more information. All webinars are recorded and available on the E3T website and Conduit. Redirecting to a non-government site

Webinar showcases technologies for high-performance homes

May 21, 2014
1 P.M. MDT

The Washington State University Energy Program for Emerging Energy Efficient Technologies (E3T) is presenting a free webinar on systems, strategies, equipment and appliances to reduce electricity use in residential buildings.  

Next Step Homes & Passive HouseRedirecting to a non-government site is scheduled for May 21 at 1 P.M. MDT. Speakers from the Northwest Energy Efficiency AllianceRedirecting to a non-government site and Passive HouseRedirecting to a non-government site will discuss their individual approaches to whole-house integrated energy efficiency. 

Next Step HomesRedirecting to a non-government site and its parent nonprofit organization, Next Step Network, Inc., work to increase the supply of affordable housing options and put sustainable home ownership within reach of more lower-income families nationwide. Passive House is committed to making high-performance passive building the mainstream market standard. An E3T Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of regional and national high performance residential building experts are currently identifying, ranking and scoring technologies for their potential to reduce energy use in residential buildings in the Pacific Northwest.

Following the presentations, attendees may participate in a question and answer session. The webinar continues for TAG members only for another half hour.

Participation is free but registration is required.

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) sponsors the monthly E3T Showcase webinars with support from Western. The events offer the latest information about  promising energy-efficiency technologies and practices that BPA is considering for future research opportunities or focus areas.

All webinars are recorded and available on the E3T websiteRedirecting to a non-government site and ConduitRedirecting to a non-government site.

Free webinars explore data center efficiency

The Washington State University Energy Program Redirecting to a non-government site is presenting two webinars in November on Energy Efficient Emerging Technologies for Data Centers, as part of the Emerging Technologies Showcase Redirecting to a non-government site series.

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, IT Equipment and Power Management Redirecting to a non-government site will cover solid state drives, storage area network and network core consolidation, server virtualization, high-efficiency UPS equipment, and power management for IT equipment.

HVAC for Data Centers Redirecting to a non-government site, on Nov. 26, features HVAC data center technologies and includes airflow management and air-side economizers for data centers, premium HVAC equipment, ongoing commissioning of economizers, and direct server cabinet cooling.

An E3T Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of regional and national information technology and data center experts are in the process of identifying, ranking and scoring IT technologies with the greatest potential for reducing data center energy use in the Pacific Northwest. Ten of the top technologies will be highlighted in these webinars.

Both webinars will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mountain Time.   There is no cost to participate, but registration is required.

Sponsored by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) with support from Western, these monthly webinars present the latest information about promising energy efficiency technologies and practices BPA is considering for future research opportunities or focus areas. All webinars are recorded and available on the E3T website and Conduit Redirecting to a non-government site.

DOE announces 2014 Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar Series

The popular Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar series returns for its third year on Nov. 27 with Information Available for Tribal Energy Project Development Redirecting to a non-government site, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Mountain Time.

This online event will explore the “go to” resources that tribes can use within the Department of Energy (DOE), and in other federal, state and local offices to help get their projects on line.  Presentations will cover DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Program resources, Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team Programs, Tribal Energy Education Programs, Tribal Leader and Best Practices Forums, among other resources. Attendees will also learn about the latest developments in DOE’s renewable energy education curriculum for tribes Redirecting to a non-government site.

DOE’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, Tribal Energy Program and Western Area Power Administration are presenting this series on the last Wednesday of each month. The series expands on the information presented in the 2012 and 2013 webinars, with a focus on issues related to facility and community renewable tribal energy projects.

Tribal leaders and staff who are interested in developing facility or community-scale energy projects should register today for this free event. Participants must have internet access and an open phone line.

Advanced lighting controls subject of E3T webinar

April 17
Noon PDT

The Emerging Technologies Showcase Redirecting to a non-government site series continues with the free webinar, Advanced Lighting Control Systems.

With scheduling, dimming, occupancy sensing, demand response capabilities and more, these systems can capture big energy savings for commercial customers, especially large key accounts. This webinar explores a few of these systems – how they work, their benefits and drawbacks and recent case studies.

Register today Redirecting to a non-government site to reserve your place.

The next Showcase, on Tuesday, April 30, will cover the National Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap Portfolio. This collaborative tool identifies new energy-efficient products and services still in the research phase that need to be tested and verified before they can be introduced into the marketplace.

Sponsored by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) with support from Western, the Emerging Technologies Showcase webinars present the latest information about some promising energy-efficiency technologies and practices that BPA is considering for future research opportunities or focus areas.

All webinars are recorded, and available online Redirecting to a non-government site.

Geothermal heat pump webinar series begins in January

Start the New Year by broadening your knowledge about an energy-efficient heating and cooling strategy that can help you meet load management goals and increase customer satisfaction. The Colorado Geo-energy and Heat Pump Association Redirecting to a non-government site (CoGEHPA) is offering three webinars on geothermal heat pump (GHP) technology.

Here’s the lineup:

The first webinar focuses on working with Colorado’s primary power provider, but utility and HVAC professionals all over the country will benefit from the two February events.

The registration fee is $25 per webinar, or free to CoGEHPA members.