Posts Tagged ‘generation’

Demand Response

February 20, 2014

clean air If you own a building with an emergency generator, here are some of the benefits you’ll get by joining our demand response program:

1. You will earn revenue while helping take stress away from the Con Edison electrical grid.

2. You will increase your energy efficiency through our innovative software tied to your electrical meter.

3. You will get the benefit of our experienced energy engineers to fine-tune your building systems and curtailment plan.

4. There are no out-of-pocket costs for joining our demand response program. You will receive quarterly payments for participation.

Please contact for details tailored to your building. By joining the program you will be helping take old, low-efficiency, coal-fired generation off-line during periods of high electrical demand.


January 1, 2013

The studio will be closed until January 10. Here are some hiking photos for you. Happy New Year, clients and colleagues.


Generation from Water

October 7, 2009

080214 T

Vortex Hydro Energy and the marine engineering faculty at the University of Michigan have developed a device called Vivace which harnesses vortex induced vibrations (VIV) to generate electricity. Their inspiration was the failure of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the 1940’s, whose structural failure was caused by VIV building in amplitude. Since that time engineers have struggled to dampen this phenomenon. Vivace turns that parameter on its head and instead uses VIV to generate. Vivace works in very-slow-velocity water environments, including rivers. The technology is being applied in a pilot project in the Detroit River.

A different set of water generation technologies being developed primarily in the UK harness tides to generate and could be applied in the Hudson. Below is a chart of the amplitude of tides off Tarrytown, NY.


Greater New York City has a need to develop distributed generation due to restricted transmission infrastructure and PSC reluctance to fund Con Ed transmission investment in this economy. Our rivers, Harlem, East, and Hudson (actually two estuaries and a fjord), afford a unique DG resource when waterfront development returns and projects begin anew.

Sketch-up model of waterfront development, Milton Lau and Salvador Behar

Rural Electric Cooperatives

August 22, 2009

IMG_0182A rural electric cooperative works like an old-fashioned savings and loan, in which customers own shares in the enterprise and elect the board of directors. Here are some links…

* Senator Schumer does his part for renewable energy in Delaware County, supporting an application by the electric cooperative to construct turbines at four existing dams. DEP is carefully considering this application because NYC drinking water is the source of the power.

* Oneida-Madison Electric Cooperative operates in two NYS counties, offering the following rates:


Rate Schedules

Schedule 1 – Residential Service – rate is .08700 per kilowatt hour
Schedule 2 – Seasonal Service – rate .07700 per kilowatt hour
Schedule 3 – Commercial Service – rate .09128 per kilowatt hour

Monthly meter charge – $10.00

* The Steuben Rural Electric Cooperative is growing 2% a year because of the terrific rates offered industrial and agricultural customers. Steuben REC is the largest rural electric cooperative in NYS, maintains over 1500 miles of electric lines throughout Steuben, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties, and employees 30 full time.

* Basin Electric Power Cooperative works in nine western states, deploying various fuel sources. BEPC are building transmission infrastructure with a newly-approved 230 kV transmission line. Continental Resources has oil and gas projects in the region that will benefit.

* President Lyndon Johnson was an incredibly effective advocate of rural electrification his entire career. In 1965 he sent a team from the Rural Electrification Association to electrify and rebuild South Viet Nam. Read his endearing after-dinner speech to Pedernales Electric Cooperative.

Generation Links

June 24, 2009


FPL is projecting US $7.0 Billion in fuel savings by 2014, by moving some of their generation from oil to combined-cycle, which they rate 30% more efficient. FPL claims their customers pay the lowest rates of all of Florida’s  electric utilities. Not mentioned in the press release: the PSC has granted  a 30% rate increase to Florida Power and Light, FPL’s regulated subsidiary.

The NRC will make a decision on the relicensing of Entergy’s 40-year old licenses for Indian Point sometime after next February.

Long Island has amongst the highest electric rates in the US due to a lack of generation. The Long Island Shoreham nuclear facility was licensed but never commissioned because of local pressure regarding an evacuation plan for residents. NYS inherited the nuclear facility when the utility was forced into bankruptcy.

NYS’ LIPA are trying to develop the Shoreham property. Yesterday was the deadline for RFP submissions from private real estate developers. It is not great timing for NYS, and in turn the rate payers, as they sell land into a soft real estate market.

FERC staff have studied the cost of new generation. Note the marked increase in the capital cost of nuclear.


Photo of Shoreham.


May 8, 2009


The reserve margin imbalance for electric energy supply as forecast by IPP Calpine is found below. With only one grid in supply balance, the need for added generation throughout the US is evident. With new generation projects slowing in development due to financing difficulties, the outcome is higher electric energy prices going forward. Add to the supply imbalance the projected infrastructural improvements, and their accompanying rate increase requests from the regulated utilities, and one must conclude that electric rates are going much higher almost everywhere across the continental US. *
090216 projected market equilibrium

Who will benefit? Certainly the utilities that can produce merchant power at the lowest rate. This is the nuclear utilities. Another beneficiary will be providers of electric reduction technologies and solutions, as enterprise and non-profit customers seek to lower energy bills through conservation.

The nuclear utilities have been “on the move” over the last five days. Below is the five-day chart of the common stock of Entergy, with the utility index VDE included for comparison. A similar move has taken place in the common stock price of another nuclear utility, FPL. Besides their nuclear facilities, FPL have a considerable renewable energy portfolio; they are the largest wind generation developer in the world.


Is the stock market telling us something about the utility industry as a profit-generating sector, or is this recent development a tell on coming Cap and Trade rules and their relationship to clean power producers? Or are the increased market values of Entergy and FPL just part of the “bear market rally”?

* The imbalance for the Pacific Northwest results from its percentage of hydro generation and the variability of that energy source.


March 24, 2009


NYSERDA have traditionally funded demand reductions (kW) in preference to usage reductions (kWh), the theory being that reduction in use of transmission and distribution infrastructure, obviating T&D build-out, was more important to the participating utilities than reduction in generation.

NYSERDA have now reversed that bias.

Below is a letter we received last week from NYSERDA related specifically to LED retrofits, some of which involve exterior lighting, never a peak-demand reduction energy conserving measure. The bracketed words and designations are added for clarity.

“As per our conversation, this is our current stance on LEDs:

“LEDs are now eligible technology and they are being aggressively adopted by many of our lighting contractors.  This is exciting for everyone, but we want to make sure that applicants are installing reliable technology.  As a result, we are requiring the criteria listed below for performance projects including kWh savings from LED lighting.

“These criteria are based upon the standards addressed by the DOE’s Energy Star program for solid-state lighting.  (The applicant will probably need to request this info from the LED manufacturer(s))

  1. Independent IESNA LM-79 test data to verify Light Output, Luminaire Efficacy, CCT, and CRI
  2. Independent LM-80 test data from LED Manufacturers at 55 C, 85 C, and a 3rd temperature of the manufacturers choosing, usually higher temp.
  3. IES File in LM-63 format to verify photometrics.

“Note:  The DOE actually has a 4th criteria, but this is not required under our (NYSERDA) program.

  1. L(M)-70 Lifetime and written explanation of how it was determined, and a complete description of the thermal management of the luminaire, or something similar

“Here’s a link to the (DOE) Energy Star page for Commercial LED Lighting:

“As the Energy Star standards evolve, it is likely that our requirements will as well.  In general, please discuss any planned LED projects with us and expect that these applications may take more time to process than usual.

“Related to run hours, as we discussed, our programs are now entirely kWh based.  The run hours (do) not have to coincide with (facility) peak demand to receive incentives (cash rebates).”

This is a very encouraging development. The caveat related to “more time to process than usual” is the one hindrance to LED deployment with NYSERDA assistance.

Photo of Dean Kamen’s retreat in Long Island Sound lit with LED