Electric Industry News

From the New York Times
By Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger
Posted March 19, 2018

The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will.

By Darrell Proctor
Power Magazine
Posted March 2, 2018

Most industry analysts agree that continued low prices will keep natural gas competitive with other power sources. More significantly, as coal-fired and nuclear units face retirement, a structural shift may already have taken place, making gas-fired generation less sensitive to price.

By Darrell Proctor
Power Magazine
Posted February 23, 2018

The Trump administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget request released February 12 asks for more money to support fossil fuel-based power systems, but seeks funding below current levels for other energy initiatives, including renewable energy and energy efficiency.

By Darrell Proctor
Power Magazine
Posted February 1, 2018

Distributed energy resources have changed the power generation sector, disrupting traditional markets and distribution models. Those working in the field tell Power that research and development will continue as part of the evolving landscape for solar, wind, battery storage, and other new energy technologies, even in a changing regulatory environment.

Click here to read the entire article.

By Darrell Proctor
Power Magazine
Posted November 28, 2017

Deployment of microturbine energy technology has been slow to develop, but analysts predict growth on the horizon as more businesses use the small units to power their facilities and reduce their carbon emissions.

Click here to read the full article.

Press Release
Power Magazine
Posted November 28, 2017

The technology group Wärtsilä has introduced a gas fuelled version of the successful Wärtsilä 31 engine, the Wärtsilä 31SG. This follows very positive acceptance of the diesel version in marine sector applications. The Wärtsilä 31 has been recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine.

The Wärtsilä 31SG is sharpening the edges of value related to the Smart Power Generation features. The defining feature of the Wärtsilä 31SG is its ability to achieve simple-cycle efficiency levels in excess of 50 % (compared to around 40 % with modern gas turbines), which represents a milestone achievement in the energy sector. In addition to reducing emissions, this higher efficiency offers the potential for considerable cost savings to power producers.

Click here to read the full press release.

By Abby Harvey
Public Power Magazine
Posted November 28, 2017

In the next 25 years, the world will turn increasingly to renewables and natural gas to meet energy demand, turning away from coal, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2017 (WEO).

As in previous years, the report makes predictions based on different scenarios. This year’s include a New Policies Scenario, which “describes where existing policies and announced intentions might lead the energy system,” and a Sustainable Development Scenario, which considers what would need to be done for the world to meet the energy-related aspects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Click here to read the full article.

The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities hosted a Dedication Ceremony for its new Community Solar Farm facility in Kansas City, Kansas, on September 26, 2017. Community leaders, elected officials, industry representatives, and environmental advocates gathered to see the first municipal solar farm in the state of Kansas, and BPU’s newest renewable energy resource.

By Morgan Chilson
Topeka Capital Journal
Posted September 22, 2017 

A Kansas Corporation Commission final order issued Thursday was a “real loss” for residential wind and solar users, an energy activist said, expressing dissatisfaction at the commission’s lack of willingness to engage in a substantive study of how distributed generation users affect the power grid. 

“We do feel like it was a real loss,” said Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the climate + energy project, based in Hutchinson. “But I will say we are not giving up.”

The KCC ruling laid out guidance regarding how utility companies can charge distributed generation customers, closing a general investigation opened in July 2016. Distributed generation is the term used to describe customers who can self-produce energy in small amounts to reduce their monthly energy bills.

On one side of the issue were utilities that say customers who get the bulk of their energy from residential wind or solar platforms aren’t paying their fair share of the fixed costs of the power grid. The companies want to set up a fee schedule that takes into account how DG customers use the grid, even as their solar or wind production reduces their energy consumption.

On the other side are energy advocates and solar/wind companies that say they want the utility companies to demonstrate exactly what the fixed costs are they’re not covering, and asking for an in-depth review of the costs and benefits that distributed generation users bring to the grid.

By Jack Gillum and Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post
Posted July 25, 2017 

Local and state government agencies from Oregon to Connecticut say they are using a Russian brand of security software despite the federal government’s instructions to its own agencies not to buy the software over concerns about cyberespionage, records and interviews show.

The federal agency in charge of purchasing, the General Services Administration, this month removed Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab from its list of approved vendors. In doing so, the agency’s statement suggested a vulnerability exists in Kaspersky that could give the Russian government backdoor access to the systems it protects, though they offered no explanation or evidence of it. Kaspersky has strongly denied coordinating with the Russian government and has offered to cooperate with federal investigators.