Jul
15

Power Protection Products, Inc. Announces Upcoming Departure of Dan Maxcy

"My goal with P3 was to help those whom I met with challenges, designs, and solutions to electrical and electronic situations," Maxcy said, "I hope to continue serving those from my past and those who I will meet in the future in my new role with the Parish."

PRESS RELEASE: July 15th, 2021 – Power Protection Products, Inc. (P3) is announcing that its VP of Engineered Systems Dan Maxcy will leave the company on July 23rd to pursue a passionate opportunity outside of the industry.

Dan began his tenure with P3 over 20 years ago and has served the Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri area working to protect power, upgrade electrical systems, and perform power quality studies. He has also been a primary instructor for Power Quality University and has been instrumental in making P3 a leader in customer education of power quality, data center solutions and equipment, and industrial power subject matters.

During his time with P3, Dan has helped the company set the industry standard for being experts in critical power, cooling, and energy solutions. Dan has been in the electrical and electronic industry for 45 years.

Maxcy is leaving P3 to pursue another passion in his life of helping those who have a physical, emotional, or spiritual need and concerns. He will be accomplishing this as a Pastoral Care Minister at Holy Trinity Parish in Des Moines, Iowa.

About Power Protection Products, Inc.
The mission of P3 is to come alongside businesses and help them achieve Confidence in Power. This is accomplished with their broad portfolio of products and services that cover a wide range of industries and applications. For more information on P3, go to www.p3-inc.com

P3 does business based on core values.
• Blaze the trail
• Do the right thing
• Create a positive influence
• Be humble and honest

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Jul
12

Hurricane-force winds caused more Omaha-area power outages than any storm in recent decades

No storm in recent decades caused more Omaha-area residences and businesses to lose power than the one Saturday that sent hurricane-force winds ripping through the metropolitan area.

And as of Sunday afternoon, fewer than 54,000 Omaha Public Power District customers remained without power — nearly 40 hours after the storm downed trees and power lines, and forced those who rely on electricity for medical care to seek shelter elsewhere.

The bulk of those outages were in Douglas County, according to the Omaha Public Power District's outage map. Several thousand customers in Sarpy County also did not yet have power restored.​

Based on available OPPD records, the 188,000 customers who lost power over the weekend were the most to do so because of a storm in decades, according to an OPPD spokeswoman — and perhaps the most ever.

The number of affected customers topped the toll of a June 27, 2008, storm that left 156,000 without electricity, according to Laura King-Homan, a communications specialist for OPPD.

The historic snowstorm that pummeled a Halloween-decorated Omaha in October 1997 left 150,000 in the dark.

More recently, a Father's Day tornado in 2017 left about 75,000 searching for candles and flashlights.

The work to restore power was far from over, OPPD said in an update, and the work that remained could be "more labor-intensive for crews who are dealing with large trees, tree limbs and debris." Crews have been working round-the-clock.

King-Homan said Sunday morning that she didn't have a definitive timeline for how much longer it may take to fully restore power.

Crews are assigned to projects based on bringing the most residences and businesses back online at once, she said. For example, fixing a transformer that would bring power back to 1,000 people would be prioritized over a power line that serves a smaller number of homes.

Saturday, OPPD crews also were focused on critical locations like hospitals and water treatment plants. On Sunday, workers began to address more difficult situations, where trees or debris had to be cleared away before restoration work could begin, King-Homan said.

"That's why the outage numbers are not falling as dramatically as they did (Saturday)," she said.

OPPD CEO Javier Fernandez on Saturday called the outage "one of the largest events" in the power district's history. It's thought that it could take days to fully restore power to the area.

More than 132,000 people in OPPD's 13-county service area had had their power restored by Sunday afternoon, down from Saturday's peak.

In Nebraska, workers from the Lincoln Electric System, Loup Power District and Norris Public Power District traveled to Omaha to help with restoration efforts. Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy sent workers, as did companies that OPPD contracts with, including Watts Electric in Waverly.

"We've had to turn away some mutual aid offers," King-Homan said. "It's been very overwhelming and touching how many people have offered to help."

OPPD cautioned that downed power lines could still be energized and dangerous, and said people should not approach or touch them. Residents should report downed lines at OPPD.com or by calling 800-554-6773.

Saturday's storm set another record. In terms of crews in the field, OPPD has deployed more workers than ever before to get power back online — a total of 539 crew members, King-Homan said.

"That's the most people we've ever had working on a storm," she said. "That shows you the severity."​

Thousands are still without power across state after overnight storms.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://norfolkdailynews.com/state/nebraska/hurricane-force-winds-caused-more-omaha-area-power-outages-than-any-storm-in-recent-decades/article_fa6484fb-096b-5f88-9196-fb404995bec6.html#1

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Jun
24

Article 240.87 Arc Energy Reduction & the Implication to Docking Stations

As new states adopt the 2020 NEC, it is important to stay current on how these changes may affect your next project. Here we provide a brief overview of new developments in Article 240.87 and some of the potential implications when designing your docking station requirements.

Notable Revisions in 240.87(B):
240.87(B) Method to Reduce Clearing Time – One of the following shall be provided and shall be set to operate at less than the available arcing current.
1. Zone-selective interlocking
2. Differential relaying
3. Energy-reducing maintenance switching with local status indicator
4. Energy-reducing arc flash mitigation system
5. An Instantaneous trip setting. Temporary adjustment of the instantaneous trip setting to achieve arc energy reduction shall not be permitted.
6. An instantaneous override
7. An approved equivalent means

Interpretation:
Designers and installers can choose one of the seven methods above (found in NEC 240.87(B)) as an acceptable means to reduce clearing time.

One clarification provided in 2020 does not permit the use of a temporary adjustment to the instantaneous trip setting. Meaning a field update to the breaker's instantaneous trip dial is not acceptable. This is a key change for projects that previously relied on this practice, going forward the use of another method to reduce clearing time must be considered. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.trystar.com/article-240-87/

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216 Hits
Jun
21

Introducing APC NetShelter 9000 Series Switched Rack PDU | Schneider Electric

Designed to be the World's Most Reliable PDU ever made from APC.

From the world's most trusted brand in PDUs…
Comes a more reliable, intelligent, and faster to deploy PDU. Designed for data centers and remote edge computing environments that are experiencing rising power densities that demand always "ON" IT infrastructure. IT devices in these environments need certainty and APC NetShelter 9000 Series Switched PDUs provide that with features making them faster to deploy, enhance their reliability, and make them more manageable onsite or remotely anywhere in the world with EcoStruxure IT.

 P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.apc.com/us/en/campaign/pdu-9000-switched.jsp?cta&mkt_tok=MTc4LUdZRC02NjgAAAF9uSPtrwBjU42kQPkF24Q--1NFVq_MR1mkqTV3F74QR6RqN-XkbuQEQRCwFhmLmlz8QTcsaxi_7tPll-xLFkuFCmk7UdvedibF7CF-N4OL4YWS3c8BsGo

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677 Hits
Jun
14

Buildings as a Grid: Helping building owners manage power more effectively

The energy transition creates an enormous opportunity for building owners to manage electrical power far more effectively. Eaton is accelerating this shift by making it easier to integrate renewables, energy storage, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure with our Buildings as a Grid approach. 
What is Buildings as a Grid? It's Eaton's approach to creating flexible energy systems designed to power the low-carbon future— accelerating decarbonization, boosting resilience, reducing energy costs, and creating Buildings as a Grid: Helping building owners manage power more effectively new revenue streams. When buildings operate as electric grids, it's easier for them to obtain necessary power and make their electrical infrastructure work better. This means office, campus, retail, condominium, airport, hospitals, and arena power systems can be put to work in new ways to achieve energy goals and boost the bottom line while supporting their local utility grid. 
Buildings require a lot of power, and in the future, they will require even more power. This presents great opportunity for Eaton, as we can help business owners not only navigate this new space, but ensure their systems are as resilient, reliable, and efficient as possible. To promote Eaton's Buildings as a Grid capabilities in North America, distributors can focus on solutions and services that are currently available or are anticipated to launch in 2021. These include:
  • Microgrid and Distributed Energy Resource (DER) integration solutions
  • Energy Management Circuit Breakers (EMCB and EVEMCB)
  • EnergyAware UPS and Energy Storage solutions
  • Power distribution equipment and services for solar, wind, and energy storage applications with utility scale, commercial, industrial, and residential customers
This portfolio will continue to evolve based on customer and market needs, and additional solutions and services will become available. 

 P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: http://images.electricalsector.eaton.com/Web/EatonElectrical/%7B0bd8d3b8-d45e-4584-8712-2373eca72e90%7D_May-June_2021_Distributor_Newsline.pdf

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282 Hits
Jun
07

Listen to Linemen Stories on the Go with the New Line Life Podcast

Due to the nature of their jobs, linemen are often on the go - traveling to the work site, restoring power or working long shifts. T&D World, which publishes a monthly field-focused Electric Utility Operations section, is partnering with Utility Products magazine, to bring the magazines' stories to life through a new podcast.
The Line Life podcast will feature new audio stories each month on topics relevant to linemen. The podcast episodes are issued in conjunction with the Lineman Life enewsletter. Hear stories of linemen replacing transformers following a historic ice storm and other exciting events or information. Linemen can submit their own stories for this new podcast as well. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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318 Hits
May
24

IEEE Releases Guide for Distributed Energy Management Systems

 This guide articulates functional specifications for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) management systems

On May 9, 2021 IEEE 2030.11 Guide for Distributed Energy Management Systems was approved as a new standard by the IEEE Standards Association Board.

This guide articulates functional specifications for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) management systems (DERMS). It includes guiding principles for the application and deployment of DERMS and DERMS control systems, addresses the basic functional requirements and proposes a set of core functions.

The purpose of DERMS is to aggregate and dispatch multiple DER, coordinate their operation in the distribution grid and optimize their output. With the increased deployment and penetration of Distributed Energy Resources (DER), aggregation of DER is an effective approach to integrate DER into the planning and operation of distribution systems and transmission systems.

The IEEE P2030.11 defines the DERMS interoperability requirements using IEEE Std 2030-2011 smart grid interoperability reference model (SGIRM) for all three interoperability levels: power, communications, and information technology. This mapping of aggregation and energy management is a major contribution to the revision of IEEE Std 2030-2011, which started April 2020.

Insights from IEEE P2030.11 DERMS working group have already been shared with interested parties in the industry for example NERC, ISOs and CIGRE C6.24 TSO/DSO – Operational Tools.

With FERC Order 2222, the functional specifications and architecture for the aggregation of DER in IEEE P2030.11 will be helpful to entities that are planning to participate in the electricity market for energy and ancillary services. The DERMS necessary functions and their implementation, as defined in the guide, set up the required system configuration for participation of aggregated DER in the DER enabled markets as directed by FERC. These functions can be further detailed to serve FERC Order 2222 requirements as needed.

Although the FERC Order 2222 does not specifically refer to DERMS as an entity participating the service market and aggregation offers, it provides an effective and efficient way to manage a large number of DER. In addition to defining a functional specifications for enabling grid services, the DERMS interoperability requirements in IEEE P2030.11 can be expanded to cover existing and new market mechanisms that enable DER market participation as laid out in the FERC Order.

From a technical and engineering point of view, IEEE P2030.11 will facilitate the realization of FERC's goals for DER participation in markets, and the DER ability to offer grid services to the transmission and distribution networks.

The guide is intended to provide a common language and define core functionalities for a DERMS to a wide range of stakeholders, including vendors, utilities, energy service providers, developers, codes and standards organizations, regulators and legislators and governing bodies.

Although publishing by the IEEE SA will take 6 – 8 weeks, the standard can be adopted and referenced by regulators, utilities and aggregators. ISOs can refer to it for implementation of FERC 2222.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.tdworld.com/distributed-energy-resources/article/21164568/ieee-releases-guide-for-distributed-energy-management-systems?utm_source=TW+TDW+Energizing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS210519052&o_eid=0371B9958123D7E&rdx.ident%5Bpull%5D=omeda%7C0371B9958123D7E&oly_enc_id=0371B9958123D7E

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809 Hits
May
06

Seven Steps for Taking Your Outage Strategy to the Next Level

Customer sensitivity to power outages is at an all-time high, but many utilities still rely on outage management strategies and systems that make them vulnerable to extreme events. What should utilities do?

Utility readiness for extreme events starts with the right organizational mindset, a commitment to continuous improvement, and a willingness to think outside the box about system design and architecture long before the storm hits. T&D World has published an ebook outlining practical steps you can take right now for taking your outage strategy to the next level by better understanding where improvements or replacements are needed to your advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) and operational technology (OT) solutions. 

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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429 Hits
Apr
26

Eaton offering online, accredited residential application training.

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As residential applications grow more complex, there's a new environment where electrical professionals can come together to learn the designs, technologies and installation best practices within today's most advanced power applications. Eaton is offering a hands-on training in an online setting called Power in Focus and features the best of their Experience Centers' environments.

Join three learning tracks, complete with Experience Center demonstrations, a live Q&A session and professional development hours from the Registered Continuing Education Program (RCEP) for select courses.

Single-family

• 2020 NEC updates for residential installations: GFCI, surge, emergency disconnect (PDH class)
• Loadcenters and wiring devices: Providing power throughout your home
• Eaton Certified Contractor Network (ECCN): Taking your business to the next level

Multi-family

• Digital metering: Technical aspects and high-rise applications (PDH class)
• 2020 NEC updates: Six disconnect requirements and arc energy reduction (PDH class)
• Design and best practices for multi-family projects (PDH class)

New technologies

• Powering grid innovation with smart home energy management
• Smart home future trends with Amazon
• Eaton custom solutions for multi-family and single-family applications

Courses, product demonstrations and an expert-led Q&A session kick off April 28. Be sure to join our welcome session at 10:45 a.m. ET.

P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

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912 Hits
Apr
12

25 Years of P3

25 Years of Power Protection Product, Inc.

2021 marks the 25th Anniversary of P3's dedication to providing the best products, services, and consultation in the industry. 




Power Protection Products, Inc. (P3) was started over 25 years ago in Omaha, Nebraska. P3's founder, Brian Branigan, remembers that at the time computer technology was being compared to the Gold Rush of the 1800's, and everyone was clambering for a bit of the seemingly boundless technology market. "I once learned about someone that was very successful in the 1800's but didn't mine for gold," recalls Brian Branigan, "He sold blue jeans to miners and this man's name was Levi Strauss. Power can be considered the 'blue jeans' to this technology age - this Gold Rush into technology.' That is how and why P3 was created.



Since its beginning the P3 organization and its focus continues to grow. We deal with a variety of customers across a broad range of industries and the common bond in our approach is respect for the individuals we deal with at all levels. This is not a courtesy, it is a way of life for us. We provide an engaged and energized approach to what we do. Our people are passionate about being a trusted advisor and how we service the customer.

 


At P3 much of our success has come through educating our customer base. P3's sponsoring of Power Quality University is a demonstration of our commitment to serving the best interest of our customers by providing an industry leading educational environment for training, testing, and evaluation of today's power quality and data center solutions and equipment. That is why P3 offers Power Quality University seminars and webinars completely free to anyone who wants to attend.





Even through the challenges of the last year we continued to offer our products, services and Power Quality University education through new and inventive ways. We know change can be hard and we want you to know we will continue to be here to answer your questions and address your concerns and appreciate your continued interest and support. 

Let's celebrate 25 years of service and look to the future for the 

latest up-coming innovations in P3 and the power and data center industries!

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640 Hits
Apr
12

NFPA 70E Tip: Lockout/Tagout Training

Do you know the electrical safety requirements provided by NFPA 70E for lockout/tagout training? 

At one time, lockout/tagout training was typically some minimal classroom instruction thing done to "check off the box," and management in most companies was happy with this. The problem is that such inadequacy got a lot of people hurt or killed while destroying millions of dollars of equipment annually.

In certain environments, such as power-generating stations, and certain fields, such as electrical testing, lockout/tagout training was much more rigorous. It involved instruction, demonstration, and practical application while being monitored by a qualified person. And employees would be trained not just once, but retrained (typically on a schedule).

It should not be amazing to anyone that in these environments, the injury, death, and damage outcomes were far different from those that were laxer.
This better way of training made its way into the 2018 version of NFPA 70E [110.2(B)]. It's broken down into three phases:

  1. Initial training. Not only must the employee be trained in the procedures, but the employee must also be trained to understand what their responsibility is in the execution of the procedures.
  2. Retraining. Three criteria are given for when retraining should take place. While some firms have shorter timeframes for this, NFPA 70E requires it at three-year intervals (at a maximum). If the procedure changes, training in the revised procedure must occur. Of course, any time an employee shows a need to be retrained (e.g., through incorrect execution), retraining must occur.
  3. Documentation of training. Keep records of who, what, and when — adding "where" doesn't hurt either.

 P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.ecmweb.com/safety/article/21159857/nfpa-70e-tip-lockouttagout-training?utm_source=EB+ECM+CodeWatch&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS210408038&o_eid=0371B9958123D7E&rdx.ident%5Bpull%5D=omeda%7C0371B9958123D7E&oly_enc_id=0371B9958123D7E

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942 Hits
Apr
05

Biden’s ‘American Jobs Plan’ Calls For $100bn Investment In Such Matters As Electric Resiliency

 Rob Gramlich, executive director of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, said, "The transmission tax credit and other policies in the Biden infrastructure plan will enable a couple dozen large scale transmission projects to move forward in the near term."

President Joe Biden's "American Jobs Plan" calls on Congress to invest $100bn to, for instance, build a more resilient electric transmission system, according to a March 31 fact sheet from the White House.

"As the recent Texas power outages demonstrated, our aging electric grid needs urgent modernization," the fact sheet said, adding that a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) study found that power outages cost the U.S. economy up to $70bn annually.

According to the fact sheet, Biden's "plan will create a more resilient grid, lower energy bills for middle class Americans, improve air quality and public health outcomes, and create good jobs, with a choice to join a union, on the path to achieving 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035."

Noting that grid investments allow moving cheaper and cleaner electricity to where it is needed most, the fact sheet said that Biden's plan calls for the creation of a targeted investment tax credit that incentivizes the buildout of at least 20 GW "of high-voltage capacity power lines and mobilizes tens of billions in private capital off the sidelines – right away."

Additionally, the fact sheet said, the plan will establish a new Grid Deployment Authority at DOE that allows for better leverage of existing rights of way (ROWs) – along roads and railways – and supports creative financing tools to spur additional high priority, high-voltage transmission lines.

According to the fact sheet, those efforts would create good-paying jobs for union laborers, line workers, and electricians, in addition to creating demand for American-made building materials and parts.

The fact sheet also noted that Biden is proposing a 10-year extension and phase down of an expanded direct-pay investment tax credit and production tax credit for clean energy generation and storage.

Furthermore, Biden's plan aims to mobilize private investment to modernize the country's power sector, the fact sheet said, noting that the plan will support state, local, and tribal governments choosing to accelerate that modernization through such complementary policies as clean energy block grants that can be used to support clean energy, worker empowerment, and environmental justice.

Under the plan, Biden will also establish an Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard (EECES) aimed at cutting electricity bills and electricity pollution, increasing competition in the market, incentivizing more efficient use of existing infrastructure, and continuing to leverage the carbon pollution-free energy provided by such existing sources as nuclear and hydropower, the fact sheet said.

In addition, Biden is proposing a $174bn investment to win the electric vehicle (EV) market, with his plan designed to enable automakers to spur domestic supply chains from raw materials to parts, retool factories to compete globally, and support American workers to make batteries and EVs, the fact sheet said. The plan will, for instance, give consumers point of sale rebates and tax incentives to buy American-made EVs, as well as establish grant and incentive programs for state and local governments and the private sector to build a national network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030, the fact sheet noted.

Among other things, the fact sheet said that Biden is also calling on Congress to invest $35bn in the full range of solutions needed to achieve technology breakthroughs that address the climate crisis, including launching ARPA-C to develop new methods for reducing emissions and building climate resilience, as well as expanding across-the-board funding for climate research.

In a March 31 statement, Rob Gramlich, executive director of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, said, in part: "The transmission tax credit and other policies in the Biden infrastructure plan will enable a couple dozen large scale transmission projects to move forward in the near term. The biggest barrier to large scale transmission, even more than siting and permitting, is that there is currently no functioning way to recover costs of the large scale interregional 'highways' that we need, through electricity rates or otherwise. We appreciate this administration's focus on deployment and the promise of a Grid Deployment Authority."

Separately on March 31, Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), said, in part: "The direct pay option for renewable generation credits will go a long way toward accelerating the deployment needed to decarbonize the power sector by 2035, and new incentives for transmission and energy storage will be key to securing a more reliable, efficient and cleaner electric power grid."

Wetstone continued: "The inclusion of a federal Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard is vital to ensure we stay on track with the critical emissions reductions needed to make progress addressing climate change. And the Grid Deployment Authority will make it easier to modernize today's balkanized and antiquated grid infrastructure with an advanced Macro Grid capable of delivering abundant, affordable and reliable clean energy."

In another March 31 statement, U.S. Energy Storage Association Interim CEO Jason Burwen said, in part, "From factory to grid to frontline communities, [Biden's plan] has the policies needed to achieve our goal of 100 GW of new energy storage by 2030 to decarbonize our power system, make our infrastructure resilient and put Americans in every state to work in a globally competitive industry."

Burwen continued, "Important parts of the American Jobs Plan — like the 48C tax credit and targeted grants to build or retool factories — promote needed increases in U.S. battery manufacturing capacity and a supply chain that is reliable and independent."

As noted in the fact sheet, Biden is calling on Congress to invest more than $52bn in domestic manufacturers, as well as to invest in existing capital access programs with a proven track record of success, with a focus on supporting rural manufacturing and clean energy.

In a separate March 31 statement, Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn said, in part, that reaching a 100% "clean energy future will require new, carbon-free, 24/7 technologies that are affordable for customers."


He noted that EEI and its member companies recently joined with technology and environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to launch the Carbon-Free Technology Initiative.

Kuhn continued: "We also must get critical electric transmission and other energy grid infrastructure built more quickly. The transmission system is key to integrating more renewables, more clean energy, and more technologies into the grid affordably and reliably."

 P3 strives to bring you quality relevant industry related news.

See the original full article at: https://www.tdworld.com/grid-innovations/transmission/article/21159821/bidens-american-jobs-plan-calls-for-100bn-investment-in-such-matters-as-electric-resiliency?utm_source=TW+TDW+Energizing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS210331083&o_eid=0371B9958123D7E&rdx.ident%5Bpull%5D=omeda%7C0371B9958123D7E&oly_enc_id=0371B9958123D7E

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1039 Hits
Mar
29

Potential Policy Outcomes from Texas Power Outages

The power grid is now a top topic of conversation across the United States. 

by Martha Davis, Senior Director of Content of T&DWorld Magazine

On Feb. 15, 2021, rolling blackouts occurred within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) as an unprecedented winter storm covering most of the country shut down many electric generation resources. The electric supply was drastically reduced at the same time as record winter demand, necessitating rotational load shedding as a last-resort measure to avoid a total blackout of the power grid.

As a result of these outages, the power grid is now a top topic of conversation across the United States. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) also recently announced that they would open a joint inquiry into the bulk-power system's operations during this extreme weather event. I'd venture to guess that most folks did not know about things like ERCOT before this winter storm, so it is also not surprising that there was so much misinformation. Typically, most non-energy people don't share my passion and interest in power delivery and it's unfortunate that people had to suffer for us to get this kind of interest in the grid. For that reason, it's been both exciting and strange to hear from so many non-energy folks as of late.

There is a lot of uncertainty in a world where we cry "Black Swan" every few months, and a lot of accusations and blame are still flying around. However, I predict that the primary targets for policy reform will likely involve: (1) power generation mix, (2) the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and (3) market design.

I have also heard a lot of interest in modernizing the grid. Despite the fact we have been expanding smart grid technology, people are fixated on the idea so much of the grid originated in the period after WWII.

Generation Mix

During this winter storm event, the interconnected grid worked, and it moved all of the available power. The failure was with the "Island of ERCOT" and in energy production concerning the natural gas supply, lack of weatherization in generation plants, a lack of wind, and snow on solar facilities. Generation resources across all fuel types shut down, but many politicians still framed the crisis to fit their political agendas. As a result, Texas has become the new frontline in the fossil fuels vs. renewable energy debate. It will be interesting to see if renewable generation continues to be attacked due these outages, despite the facts. That could also cause some complications with the Biden-Harris energy plan that primarily focuses on transitioning to a clean energy future.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas

ERCOT is unique for several reasons. It was intentionally designed to avoid federal regulation by FERC and NERC, and the only interconnections it has to the eastern grid are limited HVDC links (Oklaunion is 220 MWs and Welsh is 600 MWs). The HVDC links are a FERC loophole that allows ERCOT to be connected but not under FERC jurisdiction.

It's an open question if there will be changes in the regulation of ERCOT due to this power crisis. However, Rick Perry has reportedly told sources that "Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business."

It's also true that more interconnections could better position ERCOT to share power with the rest of the nation's grid, assuming there are no other transmission congestion or constraints on those lines. However, in this case, it's unclear whether more interconnections would have helped prevent the outages in Texas. The extreme weather covered most of the country, and there likely wouldn't have been extra electricity to send to them since the surrounding RTOs also were having rolling blackouts. Another scenario could play out differently. Regardless, there seems to be a renewed interest in the federal regulation of ERCOT and an appetite for increased interconnection with the rest of the nation's grid.

Market Design

Another way Texas is different than the rest of the country is its deregulated market design. Texas deregulated its wholesale generation market in 1995. In 1999, the Texas legislature required the retail electric market to be opened to competition by 2002. In Texas, power producers are separate from utilities, and there are independent power marketers.

Under-regulated and vertically integrated market structures, utilities often own their generation plants and power lines. Most utilities also operate some spinning reserve power generation in the event of an emergency.

In a deregulated market like Texas, power generators have a financial incentive to produce only as much power as they can sell. In other words, power generators lose money if they make excess power.

Additionally, in the Texas market, customers can choose among several electricity providers. However, "electricity choice" becomes relatively meaningless when there is no power, and worse if the only supplier charges $9,000 per MWh.

On the other hand, other states with regulated RTOs (MISO and SPP) and vertically integrated utilities had rolling outages too.

A Fourth Option

At this point, it is difficult to predict which of these potential policy outcomes will move forward, and that likely depends on which of these narratives stick. It is also a real possibility that everyone has completely moved on six months from now, and no real changes are made like that experienced with the 2011 freeze. That would be a mistake, in my opinion, but it is a real possibility.

Balancing Resilience and Rates

This issue is complex, and investigators will most certainly have a lot to untangle. The key moving forward will be balancing reliability and spending. That is becoming especially difficult with extreme weather events that seem to be occurring more frequently.

David Roop, a transmission expert, told T&D World, "The Texas issue is compounded by the pressure that the natural gas industry continues to face in serving customers for heat while gas generation becomes more critical for electricity supply."

"Our markets do not provide incentives to encourage resiliency investment by providing a return for these investments. Whether it is weather extremes, cyber protection, solar storms, or electromagnetic protection, they can all be addressed by this industry with some needed investments, but they require markets, customers, legislators, and regulators to support this movement" according to Roop.

If increased resilience is the desire of customers, they must ask regulators and policy makers to support investment for resilience for extreme events by implementing market and regulatory changes. However, customers must also understand that with this desire will come rate impacts.

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See the original full article at: https://www.tdworld.com/disaster-response/article/21156772/potential-policy-outcomes-from-texas-power-outages?utm_source=UM_Top521&utm_medium=email&utm_rid=CPG04000000918978&utm_campaign=33109&elq2=cf97ba97a31e419399b9f826024f3192&oly_enc_id=0371B9958123D7E

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Mar
22

Midwest Utilities Expand Nation's Largest Interstate EV Charging Collaborative



Four energy companies join existing group of 

six utilities to support the growing use of EVs.

Last year, Ameren announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration among energy companies that committed in good faith to build an extensive network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the Midwest. Duke Energy, MidAmerican, Liberty, and Midwest Energy recently joined the existing group of six utilities to support the growing use of EVs. With this network of stations, EV drivers will be able to travel 1200 miles from Detroit to Colorado — and points in between — with confidence there will be ample locations to recharge along the way.


The automotive industry expects EV adoption to grow from 1.5 million to 18.7 million vehicles by 2030. To meet the demand, an estimated 9.6 million public EV charging stations will be needed. Only about 100,000 stations are in service today, which is why Midwest energy companies are joining forces to support cleaner transportation.

The four energy companies, serving customers in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma, are the newest companies to sign the Memorandum of Cooperation already in place among Ameren Illinois, Ameren Missouri, Consumers Energy (Michigan), DTE Energy (Michigan), Evergy (Missouri and Kansas), and Oklahoma Gas and Electric. Midwest Energy is the first member-owned electric cooperative to join the agreement with investor-owned utilities.

"In the Midwest, large cities are connected by vast rural areas, so drivers spend more time on the road and travel longer distances," said Richard Mark, chairman and president of Ameren Illinois. "The EV movement is happening, and we're proud to be part of a coalition that will help to provide motorists with convenient and economical charging options throughout the region."

By 2030, Ameren intends for 100% of its new light-duty vehicle purchases to be electric. The utility also plans to electrify 35% of its overall vehicle fleet, including light-duty, medium-duty, heavy-duty, forklifts, and ATV/UTV by 2030.

"We recently set our own goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050," said Marty Lyons, president of Ameren Missouri. "That means looking internally to transition more of our own energy generation to renewables, as well as thinking about how we can help other industries reduce their own carbon footprint. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, which is why we're making it easier for consumers and businesses to charge and use EVs."

Utility programs supporting the Memorandum of Cooperation are subject to regulatory approvals and aim to have the charging infrastructure in place by the end of 2022.

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See the original full article at: https://www.tdworld.com/electrification/article/21158330/midwest-utilities-expand-nations-largest-interstate-ev-charging-collaborative?utm_source=TW+TDW+Energizing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS210317058&o_eid=0371B9958123D7E&rdx.ident%5Bpull%5D=omeda%7C0371B9958123D7E&oly_enc_id=0371B9958123D7E

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Mar
15

Schneider Electric’s Square D™ Energy Center Named NAHB Global Innovation Award Winner

• Leading industry association recognizes Schneider Electric's innovative solutions for next-generation energy monitoring and control capabilities
• Scalable grid-to-plug solutions offers enhanced energy management for backup power, battery storage, solar and more for the modern home

Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today announced its Square D™ Energy Center was selected as the winner of the 2020 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Global Innovation Award (GIA). The Square D™ Energy Center, powered by Wiser Energy intelligence, took home the Product of the Year award for its ability to create a smarter, safer, and more connected home.

NAHB's Global Innovation Awards honor the most innovative products, services, homes and communities in the global residential building industry – from new augmented reality technology to ultra-efficient HVAC units and everything in between.

The Square D™ Energy Center is an all-in-one home energy system that provides unprecedented residential insights and monitoring capabilities into residential energy use. Users can monitor and custom-control energy use from across a home's entire ecosystem with a single app, as well as enable instantaneous backup power from batteries, and generators. With this industry leading technology, home builders are differentiating their offer while providing homeowners the ability to make sustainable energy choices and power what matters the most – even during an outage.

"Our generation is faced with an unprecedented energy crisis, and households account for a staggering one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions. As an industry leader, we are focused on innovations for home builders that will ensure homes of the future are more sustainable, energy efficient, and resilient," said Richard Korthauer, Vice President, Home & Distribution, Schneider Electric. "We are proud that the NAHB has recognized the Square D Energy Center as we work with home builders nationwide to incorporate technologies to futureproof homes by making them sustainable and more resilient."

Code-compliant, energy-efficient system that is easy to install

The way a home sources and uses energy is changing. Square D™ Energy Center makes it easy for home builders to get ahead of their competition and install transformative technology from a company they already know and trust.

The stylish, smart and code-compliant system, powered by Wiser Energy intelligence, integrates an array of smart home technology from grid to plug and also includes the safety of whole-home surge protection for greater energy savings and homeowner piece of mind. The Square D™ Energy Center seamlessly enables the convergence, scalability, and optimization of residential distributed energy resources, including utility power, solar power, energy storage, future smart home devices and generators. Further, this new solution allows home builders to easily address changing building regulations, including California's Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

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See the original full article at: https://www.se.com/us/en/about-us/newsroom/news/press-releases/schneider-electric%E2%80%99s-square-d%E2%84%A2-energy-center-named-nahb-global-innovation-award-winner-60461f88f0f4354dde659beb

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Mar
08

Eaton again ranks among the World’s Most Ethical Companies

Power management company Eaton has been recognized as one of the 2021 World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.

"It's a privilege to have once again been named one of the world's most ethical companies," said Craig Arnold, chairman and CEO, Eaton. "This recognition reflects the commitment of our 92,000 employees who serve all our stakeholders with uncompromising integrity and dedication to our mission to improve the quality of life and the environment."
Eaton has been named to the list 10 times since the Ethisphere Institute created the World's Most Ethical Companies designation in 2007. The company is one of only eight honorees in the Industrial Manufacturing category. In 2021, 135 honorees were recognized spanning 22 countries and 47 industries.

"Having a strong values-based ethical culture is a responsibility shared by every Eaton employee and paramount to earning and maintaining the trust of shareholders, customers, employees and the communities in which we operate," said Joe Rodgers, senior vice president, Ethics and Compliance, Eaton. "We are guided by our core values every day and this recognition demonstrates Eaton's commitment to acting with integrity and doing business right."
Ethisphere evaluates each year's honorees by assessing their culture, environmental and social practices, ethics and compliance activities, governance, and diversity. The process serves as an operating framework to capture and codify the leading practices of organizations across industries and around the globe.

"While addressing the tough challenges of 2020, we saw companies lead – above all other institutions – on earning the trust of stakeholders through resilience and a commitment to ethics and integrity," said Timothy Erblich, chief executive officer, Ethisphere Institute. "The World's Most Ethical Companies honorees continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the highest values and positively impacting the communities they serve. Congratulations to everyone at Eaton for earning the World's Most Ethical Companies designation."

For more information about Eaton, their ethics or career opportunities, visit Eaton.com.

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character and measure and improve culture. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World's Most Ethical Companies recognition program and provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA). More information about Ethisphere can be found at: https://ethisphere.com.

Eaton's leaders claim their mission is to improve the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services, providing sustainable solutions that help their customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical power – more safely, more efficiently, and more reliably. Eaton's 2020 revenues were $17.9 billion, and they sell products to customers in more than 175 countries. Eaton has approximately 92,000 employees. 

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See the original full article at: https://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/company/news-insights/news-releases/2021/eaton-again-ranks-among-the-world-s-most-ethical-companies-.html?source=post:1341535329455367229

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Mar
01

Biden Orders Review of Energy, EV Battery Supply Chains



Resilient supply chains will protect the nation from facing shortages of critical products, accelerate U.S. leadership of clean energy technologies.

President Biden has signed an Executive Order calling for an immediate 100-day review across federal agencies to address vulnerabilities in the supply chains of four key products, including large-capacity batteries such as those used in electric vehicles (EVs). The order also calls for a more in-depth one-year review of a broader set of U.S. supply chains, with a focus on the energy sector industrial base among others.

With actions being taken to tackle the climate crisis, there will be a large demand for new energy technologies like EV batteries in the future. By identifying supply chain risks, the United States can meet the president's goal to accelerate U.S. leadership of clean energy technologies.

While the United States is a net-exporter of EVs, it is not a leader in the supply chain associated with electric battery production. The nation can better leverage its sizable lithium reserves and manufacturing know-how to expand domestic battery production.

The 100-day review will identify near-term steps the administration can take with Congress to address vulnerabilities in the supply chains for these critical goods. The other key products under focus for the 100-day review are:

Semiconductors: The United States has always been a leader in semiconductor development. However, over the years, the nation has underinvested in production, while other countries have learned from its example and increased their investments in the industry.
APIs: In recent decades, more than 70% of API production facilitators supplying the United States have moved offshore. This work will complement the ongoing work to secure supply chains needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Critical minerals: These are an essential part of defense and high-tech products. The United States needs to ensure it is not dependent upon foreign sources or single points of failure in times of national emergency.
The broader one-year review includes more energy. It involves:

A focus on six key sectors: These include the energy sector industrial base, the defense industrial base, the public health and biological preparedness industrial base, the information and communications technology (ICT) industrial base, the transportation industrial base, and supply chains for agricultural commodities and food production.
A set of risks for agencies to consider in their assessment of supply chain vulnerabilities: Agencies and departments have been directed to review a variety of risks to supply chains and industrial bases. These reviews must identify critical goods and materials within supply chains, the manufacturing or other capabilities needed to produce those materials, as well as a variety of vulnerabilities created by failure to develop domestic capabilities. Agencies and departments are also directed to identify locations of key manufacturing and production assets, the availability of substitutes or alternative sources for critical goods, the state of workforce skills and identified gaps for all sectors, and the role of transportation systems in supporting supply chains and industrial bases.
Recommendations on actions that should be taken to improve resilience: Agencies are directed to make specific policy recommendations to address risks, as well as proposals for new research and development (R&D) activities.
A sustained commitment to supply chain resilience: The government will commit to a regular, ongoing process of reviewing supply chain resilience, including a quadrennial review process.
Consultation with external stakeholders: The government cannot secure supply chains on its own. It requires partnership and consultation with the American people. The E.O. has directed the administration to consult widely with outside stakeholders, such as those in industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, communities, labor unions, and state, local, territorial, and tribal governments.
The E.O. will build on bipartisan Congressional action and leadership on this issue, and the administration will remain in close touch with Congress to solicit recommendations during the review.

In recent years, American households, workers, and companies have increasingly felt the strain of shortages of essential products. Building resilient supply chains will protect the United States from facing such shortages. It will also facilitate needed investments to maintain America's competitive edge and strengthen U.S. national security. Biden has directed his administration to work with U.S. partners and allies to ensure that they too have strong and resilient supply chains.

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See the original full article at: https://www.tdworld.com/utility-business/article/21156218/biden-orders-review-of-energy-ev-battery-supply-chains?utm_source=TW+TDW+Energizing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS210223053&o_eid=0371B9958123D7E&rdx.ident%5Bpull%5D=omeda%7C0371B9958123D7E&oly_enc_id=0371B9958123D7E

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Feb
22

Eaton's power engineering courses, demonstrations and insights are now available on demand

Eaton's online training program, Power in Focus, is now available on demand. This online experience is packed with the education and training needed to power the electrical industry—and your career—forward. Eaton's on-demand portal includes classes with professional development hours from the Registered Continuing Education Program (RCEP). Watch our courses, see Experience Center device demonstrations and expert-led Q&A sessions at any time to learn from the experts who power what matters.

Whether your business is in commercial buildings, healthcare, data centers, electric utilities or industrials, Power in Focus is packed with the education and insights needed to power what matters – advancing the electrical industry and your career.

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Go to Eaton's Power in Focus site: https://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/markets/eaton-experience-centers/power-in-focus.html

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Feb
08

Eaton releases Power Xpert SPD for connected surge protection

Eaton has released the Power Xpert SPD, the latest addition to its family of surge protective devices to help protect critical equipment.

The device has advanced monitoring display and communication capabilities in addition to historical surge logging. It's ideal for industrial environments where downtime caused by surge events is unthinkable.

The Power Xpert SPD enables customers to capture and categorize surge events by low, medium and high categories according to IEEE standard C62.41.

The connected solution enables customers to remotely monitor surge data in real time or store events in a log with time and date stamps they can use to predict future surge events or enact proactive maintenance of critical equipment.

The Power Xpert SPD is also designed to ensure the highest level of cybersecurity available to protect against potentially devastating cyberattacks. 

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See the original full article at: https://www.automationmag.com/eaton-releases-power-xpert-spd-for-connected-surge-protection/

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Feb
01

President Biden's Vision for the Power Sector

President Joe Biden brings a marked shift in U.S. energy policy priorities, with clean energy being central to his plan.
President Joe Biden brings a marked shift in U.S. energy policy priorities, with clean energy being central to his plan. The Biden Plan to "Build a Modern, Sustainable Infrastructure and an Equitable Clean Energy Future" and "Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice" will launch a national effort aimed at creating millions of jobs, building modern and sustainable infrastructure, and delivering a clean energy future. According to the Biden campaign, the plans are designed to "modernize our nation's electric grid, making it smarter, more resilient, and ready to meet the changing needs of a net-zero greenhouse-gas-emissions economy." I've been asked several times recently what this plan includes, so I spent an entire day sifting through the Biden Plan and removing jargon in an effort to identify its key components. Its key provisions include following:







Infrastructure Investment

To build the next generation of the electric grid, President Biden will leverage existing infrastructure and rights-of-way, along roads and railways, to promote faster and easier permitting. The Biden Administration will also work with utilities to install advanced metering equipment; deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, and upgrade transmission lines to support larger regional electric markets that can distribute renewable energy.

Clean Energy Innovation

The plan calls for infrastructure investments resulting in a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050. Specifically, the vision includes a carbon free power sector by 2035.

    • Creation of a new cross-agency Advanced Research Projects Agency on Climate (ARPA-C) to target affordable technologies to drive cost reductions in clean energy technologies, including battery storage, negative emissions technologies, next generation building materials, renewable hydrogen, and advanced nuclear.
    • Accelerate R&D on battery technology and domestic production capabilities, with a focus on developing the domestic supply chain of batteries for EVs and the grid to complement renewable energy resources.
    • Research investments and tax incentives for carbon capture and sequestration technologies, including lowering the cost of carbon capture retrofits for existing power plants.
    • Accelerate innovation in supply-chain resilience by investing in research to bolster and build critical clean energy supply chains in the U.S., addressing issues like reliance on rare earth minerals.
    • Investments in the national laboratories and high-performance computing capabilities.
    • Appoint FERC commissioners who will drive market reforms, like expanding regional electric markets, integrating renewables and demand-response, and promoting long-term infrastructure planning to achieve a clean energy economy.


Electric Vehicles


The plan aims to remove barriers to the use of EVs, including concerns about price, range, and access to charging stations.

    • Build a national electric charging system of 500,000 public charging outlets so that Americans can drive anywhere in the United States in an EV by 2030.
    • Help state and local governments plan for the widespread adoption of EVs.
    • Restoring the electric-vehicle tax credit and incentivizing businesses to shift their fleets to EVs. Additionally, Biden says that he will ensure that the U.S. Department of Energy invests $5 billion over five years in battery and energy storage technology, to boost the range and slash the price of electric cars.
    • The U.S. Department of Transportation will also provide an additional $1 billion per year in grants to ensure the charging stations are installed by certified technicians.
    • Convene the U.S. Departments of Energy and Transportation to coordinate on special demonstration projects, e.g. testing new highways that can charge EVs while in transit, and pilot projects that use EVs as mobile energy storage units. The Departments will provide grants to cities, towns, and counties that are open to piloting new kinds of charging infrastructure.
    • Enact policies to promote domestic manufacturing of EVs.
    • Workforce training like the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP).

Energy Efficient Buildings

The Biden Plan will reinstate tax credits for residential energy efficiency; it also expands tax deductions for energy retrofits, smart metering systems, and other emissions-reducing investments in commercial buildings.
    • Increase investment in low-income weatherization programs and key technologies like electric heat pumps.
    • Work with local and state governments and the private sector to expand the utilization of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE).
    • Reinstate the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which will expire in two years.

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See the original full article at:  https://www.tdworld.com/utility-business/article/21151832/president-bidens-vision-for-the-power-sector

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