This post reports on the newly announced loan guarantees for the concentrated solar power (CSP) Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project that is to be built in Nevada. This kind of solar power, because it is paired with a molten salt thermal energy storage capacity has the ability to be a load following generation source that is somewhat insulated from intermittency issues as well. For large concentrated solar thermal energy this decoupling of the energy collection from electricity generation makes a lot of sense, because the molten salt is already being used as the working fluid that captures the sun’s heat.
This post looks at fifteen kinds of utility or grid scale energy storage solutions that are either in wide use or have significant potential to supply the energy storage capacity that will help make the grid both more efficient and more robust. These range from pumped hydro, which is by far the most prevalent form of energy storage at this scale to compressed air, thermal storage, advanced batteries, fuel cells and purely electric storage systems.
Managing Electricity Consumption with Demand Response: Maximize Your Bottomline By Minimizing Peak Loads
Demand Response is an increasingly popular component in addressing our nation’s aging electrical grid. Currently a fragmented market, Demand Response will be experiencing consolidation and growth as more businesses implement programs to achieve cost reduction and energy savings.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced more than $18 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support small business innovation research, development, and deployment of clean energy technologies. In this first phase of funding, 125 grants of up to $150,000 each will be awarded to 107 small advanced technology firms across the United States.
President Obama, speaking at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, announced the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history. The newly announced funding is designed to help the nation transition to a smarter, stronger, more efficient and reliable electric system i.e. the Smart Grid, which will provide energy-saving opportunities, increase efficiency, and help grow renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
Distributed energy systems can range from the micro sized do it yourself systems being installed on rooftops and on hilltops to small scale systems ranging up to around 20MW (megawatts) of capacity, although it must be understood that this is a pretty fuzzy boundary. The defining characteristic of distributed energy systems is that they generate energy close to the point of use where that energy will be consumed; hence the admittedly fuzzy 20MW upper boundary for their size.
Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), also known as ground-source heat pumps, are similar to ordinary heat pumps, but use the thermally stable mass of the earth below the ground instead of outside air to provide heating, air conditioning and, in most cases hot water as well. Because these systems use the earth’s natural reservoir of stable temperatures, they are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies around. GHPs can save substantial amounts of energy and significantly reduce peak demand in buildings that incorporate them.