Integrating clean, distributed energy resources (DER) into the electric grid requires updated market rules

January 22, 2015 in Electricity Author: Steve Dahlke

BuildingEnergy policy discussions these days are dominated by talk of innovation on electric distribution systems. New clean energy technologies are developing so quickly it can be difficult to keep up with the relevant buzz-words; as digitization of the smart grid leads to rapid innovation, new distributed energy resources are causing disruptive challenges requiring electric utility and energy market reform.  Continue reading »

Positive Developments in the Search for the Holy Grail of Renewable Energy

November 17, 2014 in Electricity Author: Steve Dahlke

Industry and ProjectsKing Arthur and his loyal knights embark on an arduous, difficult quest to find the Holy Grail. Many perish along the way. After a multitude of trials and tribulations, they find the Grail is hidden in the Castle of “Aaargh!” That is at least how the story goes in the popular 1970’s British satire Monty Python and the Holy Grail (see here for the “Aaargh!” scene). Continue reading »

Patching Up the Seams: Reducing Regional Obstacles in Electricity

November 5, 2014 in Electricity Author: Steve Dahlke

Power LinesChanges in federal law at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the last decade have spurred evolution of the electricity sector away from local power systems and towards increasingly efficient regional interconnections. Expanding the market in this way has been beneficial – it allows the industry to take advantage of economies of scale while adapting to emerging technologies and environmental policies. Continue reading »

Germany’s Energiewende Requires New Electric Infrastructure

October 10, 2014 in Electricity Author: Steve Dahlke

Industry and ProjectsEnergiewende. This German word has been getting lots of attention in recent years. It translates to “Energy Transition,” and represents the country’s commitment to dramatically ramping up renewable energy and energy efficiency while phasing out nuclear power over the next few decades. The target is 80% electricity production from renewables by 2050. Being the world’s fourth largest economy, the rest of the world has taken notice – other nations are watching the German experiment closely as they also contemplate how to decarbonize their energy sectors. Continue reading »

Letter to MISO regarding lowering their minimum megawatt limit to encourage participation of distributed resources

July 18, 2014 in News & Press Author: Steve Dahlke

July 18, 2014 Dear Mike Robinson and Ted Kuhn, The following are comments from the MISO Environmental Sector regarding MISO’s minimum capacity resource limits. Specifically, we ask that MISO re-assess its current minimum limit of 5 MW and look at implementing a limit comparable to PJM (100 kW). This issue was raised by market participants at the June 4, 2014 Demand Response Working Group as a barrier to demand response participation in MISO’s markets. MISO responded with an informational presentation at the July 7 DRWG, describing its rules regarding minimum capacity resource limits, and requested additional stakeholder feedback on the topic. Continue reading »

A Power Plan for the Midwest

October 1, 2013 in Electricity Author: Steve Dahlke

The U.S. electricity system is in a period of rapid change, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees. We have a grid in need of significant updates, given the 21st century policy and business demands confronting the electric power industry. Continue reading »