Green Energy News

This is What Energy-Efficient, Smart Homes of the Future Look Like

Efficiency News - пт, 2019-09-13 16:55

By Todd Rath, Marketing Services Director, Alabama Power

[Editor’s note: We asked the 2019 Star of Systems Efficiency, Alabama Power, to explain how they developed Smart Neighborhood and how it works. Here’s their story.]

Imagine a home that “wakes up” in the morning with a simple voice command.

A buzz of activity begins: The kitchen lights turn on and, more important, the coffee starts brewing; you receive the weather forecast and traffic report for your commute; at just the right time, the garage door opens. 

After you arrive at work, you check from your smartphone to see if you remembered to lock the door. When the school bus brings the kids home, you can see them and remotely unlock the door. Meanwhile, the temperature inside is adjusted according to your preset preferences.  

Homes like this exist right now in a quiet community about 15 miles outside the Magic City, Birmingham, Alabama. What’s more, these homes produce data to point the way to an even more energy-efficient and connected future that will help match new products and services to the evolving ways that people use energy.

The setting is Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood™, where cutting-edge technologies and an R&D mindset help us learn more about how customers use these systems so we can make solid, data-based decisions to find better ways to serve our customers in a fast-changing world.

With Smart Neighborhood, we and our project partners − Signature Homes, the research team at Southern Company, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Electric Power Research Institute, and our technology vendors Carrier, Vivint, and Rheem – are seeking to understand how to make the best use of advances in technology to meet customers’ needs in the years ahead.

This is an opportunity to jump ahead 15 to 20 years to see how homes will become more efficient.   

A Future-Focused Community 

Smart Neighborhood integrates high-performance homes, energy-efficient systems and appliances, connected devices, and a microgrid on a community-wide scale for the first time in the Southeast.

The future-focused, energy-efficient community has 62 homes that are rated 35 percent more efficient than standard Alabama homes being built today.

While there are projects elsewhere that have energy-efficient homes or renewable energy assets or smart technology and home automation pilots, Smart Neighborhood is the first with all these components incorporated into one.

Smart Neighborhood lets us model how much energy high-performance homes will use and provides opportunities to enhance grid resiliency through distributed generation and assess how smart technology gives homeowners more control over their living space.

Already Seeing Progress

The neighborhood was completed in the summer of 2018. As all the residents have moved in, we’ve found that some homes function more efficiently than anticipated.

The microgrid began providing energy to the neighborhood and electric grid in January 2018, ahead of the first residents moving in. Made up of solar panels, battery storage, and a backup natural gas generator, it is the first in the region to support a residential community.

Microgrid assets were sized to power the neighborhood on the hottest and coldest days of the year. In moderate weather, the battery system can power the neighborhood for six to eight hours.

In addition, the water heater and HVAC systems can interact with the grid to manage and shift energy consumption, while maintaining customer comfort, through thermal-energy storage.

Our researchers have already tested several use-cases for the microgrid, including islanding and resynchronization, black start, unintentional islanding, fault stability and ride-through, economic dispatch, and PV smoothing.

We’ve also been able to use early research findings to develop a Smart Neighborhood Builder Program. There are three additional neighborhoods underway in our state, so more customers will be able to enjoy the comfort and convenience of a Smart Neighborhood home.

Teamwork Essential

The project’s success required great coordination among all the partners. Just as important was the teamwork internally.

The project team for Smart Neighborhood included almost every department within Alabama Power, and the collaboration is what really made it happen. Employees were called on to focus on Smart Neighborhood in addition to their regular day-to-day responsibilities. Every core team member brought their knowledge, relationships and resources to the table.

It has been an impressive demonstration of the bandwidth of utilities and how they can provide innovative solutions. It gives us more reason to be excited about the future.

Alabama Power will be presented the 2019 Star of Systems Efficiency Award at the Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency Awards Gala on September 19.

As wind grows in North Dakota, so does opposition #ND

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:03
Burleigh County officials rejected plans for a wind farm near Bismarck after opponents donned red T-shirts and crowded the local civic center, and state regulators sided with wildlife officials in denying a separate proposal for the state’s northwest corner. To project opponents, the rejections come amid growing unrest over wind energy development. Dave Nehring said he didn’t pay much attention to the turbines until some were being planned near his property east of Bismarck, which he worried would affect property values and wildlife. The experience prompted Nehring to launch North Dakota Visionkeepers, which he described as an “information clearinghouse” to boost grassroots efforts against wind farms. He said his crusade is more substantive than a "not in my backyard" attitude and argued wind development is being propped up by tax breaks. “The more I found out, the angrier I became,” he said.

Next step for turbines: issuing RFQ #MA

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:03
Taking down the town’s wind turbines is taking longer than expected. “We are still working with consultant Weston & Sampson in crafting a proposal,” Town Manager Julian M. Suso said. “It is likely going to be an RFQ [request for qualifications] rather than an RFP [request for proposals]. We are working on that, along with our legal counsel, procurement officer and Weston & Sampson. We are getting close.” Mr. Suso said the town will likely issue this request for qualifications . . .

OPSB hears local testimony about proposed Republic Wind project #OH

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:03
A public hearing at Tiffin University’s Marion Center was hosted by the Ohio Power Siting Board Thursday afternoon to hear public testimony from area citizens about Republic Wind LLC’s application to develop a 200-megawatt wind turbine farm in Seneca and Sandusky counties. The wind farm would be made up of 47 turbines placed in Adams, Pleasant, Reed, Scipio and Thompson townships in Seneca County and York Township in Sandusky County. OPSB staff conducted an investigation of the proposed wind farm . . .

U.S. wind to ‘peak’ in 2020 as tax credits expire — report #USA

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:03
The U.S. wind market is expected to “peak” next year as the federal production tax credit phases down, according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie. A tightening window for developers to complete projects – before the wind PTC fully expires in 2021[*] – will trigger 14.6 gigawatts of added wind capacity in 2020 before a pronounced downturn, the analysis said. The consultancy forecasts a more than 50% drop in wind capacity between 2020 and 2022, as the industry’s primary federal incentive . . .

Area’s profile appeals to wind developers #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:03
PORTLAND – Motorists driving along Route 20 are beginning to see lawn signs regarding a divisive issue that has become highly talked about in this town: the prospect of wind turbines. This is far from anything new to the north county region. Around 15 years ago, the towns of Westfield and Ripley were fairly united in a campaign against the windmills. Many bumper stickers and placards noted at the time, “Good idea. Bad location.” One of the reasons for the opposition . . .

Comments on both sides heard aloud at public hearing for wind turbine project in Sanford and Windsor #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:03
The New York State Public Service Commision held an open discussion to place wind turbines in the towns of Sanford and Windsor, regarding the company Bluestone Wind’s petition to get certified for the project. According to a press release sent out, the company will be filing an application on September 18 to construct a wind-powered electric generating facility in both towns. The project would include 27 new wind turbines including 4 in Windsor and 23 in Sanford. This comes after . . .

Villenova residents bash plan to end planning board #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:03
VILLENOVA – The fate of Villenova’s planning board is still in limbo following Wednesday’s standing room only meeting. A rather large crowd for such a small space gathered and voiced their concerns over the potential loss the town. “New York town law allows, but does not require there to be a planning board,” Town Attorney Donald Michalak started as the public hearing to discuss the dissolution began. “The authority of a town board to appoint a planning board is entirely permissive . . .

‘Noisy’ wind farm extension paused after Barrow residents object #ENG

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:02
Residents claiming a nearby wind farm has been noisy for 20 years have convinced councillors to pause plans to keep it open for another decade. They said noise from the Askam and Ireleth wind farm, near Barrow, Cumbria, was “unbearable”. A decision on an application to extend its life has been deferred while Barrow Council seeks independent evidence. Operator Cannock Wind Farm Services said the farm had never been found to cause a statutory noise nuisance. Managing director Mike Tracey . . .

Construction to begin on wind farm near Bridger after approval #MT

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:02
Carbon County commissioners on Sept. 5 approved a wind farm about 10 miles southeast of Bridger that has been in the works for almost a decade. Construction is slated to begin in the fall. The project, originally called the Mud Springs Wind Ranch Project, has been renamed the Pryor Mountain Wind Project. The project changed hands several times before Pacificorp bought the farm from Sunrise Wind Holdings LLC in May. The 114-turbine farm will connect with an existing Pacificorp 230-kilovolt . . .

Researchers look into impact electric cables from offshore turbines could have on sharks, lobsters #RI

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:02
Little is known about how marine life will respond to the electromagnetic fields emanating from the spiderweb of cables carrying electricity from the Block Island Wind Farm and the many other offshore wind-power installations planned for the East Coast. But a new series of studies by a team of oceanographers at the University of Rhode Island suggests that some organisms will definitely be impacted. “The concern is that DC [direct] currents generate permanent electromagnetic fields, and we don’t really know . . .

Clinton County residents gather for wind farm presentation #IN

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:02
The front lines of Indiana’s wind farm debate have returned to Clinton County, where residents gathered Thursday night to hear from researchers and industry experts hoping to build a wind farm there. E. ON Energy hosted a public information session hoping to dispel rumors about turbines’ impact on health, environment and the local economy. E. ON Midwest Director of Development Lael Eason says the goal was to start a dialogue with residents. “To figure out if a project is a . . .

State approves 242-megawatt wind farm in northern Steuben County #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:02
A state siting board today gave approval to developers to build a wind farm and supporting infrastructure in northern Steuben County, close to the Livingston County line. The 242-megawatt Baron Winds wind farm, which will be constructed and operated by a subsidiary of the German energy company, innogy, will consist of up to 68 wind turbines. The turbines will be 492 feet tall and will be spread out over acres of privately-owned agricultural and recreational land in the towns of . . .

Planned Lake Erie wind farm back on track after fee paid #OH

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:02
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The review process has resumed for a planned Lake Erie wind farm after the non-profit developer behind the project paid an outstanding bill from state regulators on Thursday. Officials with the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation filed a document saying they’d paid $150,000 to the Ohio Power Siting Board, the state agency responsible for reviewing and approving wind-turbine projects. Agency review for the project, referred to by LEEDCo as “Icebreaker,” was frozen last week after the Aug. 12 . . .

Giant wind turbine to be demolished by explosion #SCT

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:01
A giant wind turbine at Hunterston in Ayrshire is to be blown up in a controlled explosion. The 177m-high (580ft) turbine had been used as a test site for offshore wind farms such as the massive Beatrice field in the Outer Moray Firth. The other turbine on the Hunterston site was dismantled by a crane last year. But operators SSE Renewables said no safe method of dismantling was possible in this case. It had intended to carry out a controlled . . .

Furious farmers lose battle over plans for increased helicopter flights #ENG

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:01
Furious farmers fed-up with helicopters have failed to win a planning battle against Walney’s off-shore windfarm. Orsted’s plan to increase return flights from six to 10 between May and September was unanimously agreed by Barrow council’s planning committee. Father-and-son farmers Geoff and Steven Sharpe strongly objected. The Sharpes, who farm at Ormsgill and Oaklea Farm, Roanhead, both complained that the flights, from Sandscale Park, are harming their health and livestock. Mr Sharpe senior said no helicopters should fly over his . . .

German regulator backs push to cut red tape for wind power constructions #DEU

National Wind Watch: News Watch - пт, 2019-09-13 14:01
Germany’s energy regulator supports an overhaul of legal procedures and red tape by the economy ministry to reverse a sharp fall in wind turbine constructions that threatens to throw the country’s energy transformation off course. Onshore turbine constructions fell 82% to 287 megawatts in the first half of 2019, the lowest level in nearly two decades as Germany works towards an ambitious goal for renewable energy sources to supply half of its electricity by 2030. “We are convinced that the . . .

Husum 2019: Germany heading for a "crash landing"

Latests news from Windpower Monthly - пт, 2019-09-13 12:19
At a trade fair like Husum Wind 2019, every exhibitor has a story to tell. But with the German industry facing a cliff edge, could those stories and their innovations, start looking elsewhere?

Минстрой России: стратегия развития ЖКХ может быть принята в 2020 году

РосТепло ( - чт, 2019-09-12 15:52

Документ будет состоять из разделов о теплоснабжении, водоснабжении и водоотведении, жилищном фонде и инвестиционном потенциале отрасли
Стратегия развития ЖКХ до 2035 года может быть принята летом 2020 года. Об этом ТАСС в пятницу рассказала директор департамента развития жилищно-коммунального хозяйства Минстроя России Светлана Никонова в кулуарах Восточного экономического форума.
"Мы надеемся, что к июлю следующего года стратегия будет принята, потому что она идёт в развитие и взамен завершающейся стратегии, которая у нас заканчивается 2020 годом. Соответственно, абсолютно точно до конца 2020 года мы должны уже будем иметь не просто принятый документ, а ещё и план действий в ее реализации", - сказала она.
По словам Никоновой, к настоящему моменту практически все проектные команды, участвующие в разработке стратегии, представили свои предложения. "Мы занимаемся их консолидацией. Срок вноса концепции стратегии в правительство для последующего обсуждения и детализации – 1 ноября этого года. Дальше по плану проведение обсуждений на площадке правительства", ¬¬– сказала она.
Стратегия развития ЖКХ до 2035 года будет состоять из разделов о теплоснабжении, водоснабжении и водоотведении, жилищном фонде, инвестиционном потенциале отрасли, экологии, в том числе обращении с твёрдыми коммунальными отходами, кадровой политике. Стратегия будет учитывать также отраслевые стратегии развития, нацпроекты "Жилье и городская среда" и "Экология".

Некоммерческое партнёрство «Российское теплоснабжение» подводит итоги прошедшего накануне семинара, посвящённого проблемам сбыта и учёта тепловой энергии

РосТепло ( - чт, 2019-09-12 15:47
11 сентября в Москве завершил свою работу семинар «Организация сбытовой деятельности и работы с потребителями в теплоснабжающих организациях», который проводило НП «РТ».
Во второй день мероприятия освещались самые разные проблемы отрасли: от юридических тонкостей судебных процессов между ТСО и управляющими организациями до законных методов взимания задолженностей для физических и юридических лиц, а также экономической и технической сторон теплоэнергетики. Начальник управления реализации Е.В. Антонова из Нижегородского АО «Теплоэнерго» рассказала о положительном опыте внедрения двухставочного тарифа на теплопотребление, который частично позволил решить проблему коммерческих потерь компании и «выровнял» график платежей потребителей.
Два практических доклада: директора ООО «ТатАИСЭнерго»Мирсияпова Р.Р. и руководителя направления автоматизации ресурсоснабжающих организаций ООО «Софт-портал проект» Султанаевой Ю.Р.наглядно продемонстрировали возможности современного программного обеспечения, позволяющих просто и без значительных финансовых затрат организовать сбор и обработку данных с приборов учёта, что позволяет оптимизировать деятельность ТСО и повысить эффективность работы отделов сбыта и, в целом, – всего предприятия.
Киуру Л.В., экономист 1 категории Отдела управления реализацией Управления по сбыту тепловой энергии филиала «Карельский» ПАО «ТГК-1» из Петрозаводска рассказала о своём проекте «Системы ранжирования потребителей для работы с дебиторской задолженностью", который занял призовое место на Международном конкурсе научных, научно-технических и инновационных разработок, направленных на развитие топливно-энергетической и добывающей отраслей, проводимом при поддержке Минэнерго (25.04.2018 г.)и уже внедрён на её предприятии.
Особенно резонансным выдалось выступление Ю.В. Кочеткова, гендиректора компании "Бурмистр.ру", в котором он критически осветил ситуацию с переходом ТСО на прямые договоры, спровоцировав живую реакцию аудитории. Специалистам ТСО, по их мнению, было крайне интересно узнать мнение «обратной стороны» и обменяться опытом.
Не менее интересными и очень информативными были доклады практикующих юристов, специализирующихся на решении правовых вопросов именно теплоэнергетической отрасти: советника Практики по проектам в энергетике Татаринова Ю.А. и руководителя Практики по проектам в энергетике Родина Е.О. из московской юридической фирмы VEGAS LEX, а также Кановой Н.В. – партнёра Бюро энергетического права «Канова и партнёры» (г. Екатеринбург).
Представитель когорты коллекторов – директор ООО «Ассоциация развития коллекторства»Жданухин Д.Ю.рассказал о нестандартных методах взимания долгов ЖКХ с недобросовестных плательщиков.
А самым ярким, по мнению участников, оказалось выступление заместителя генерального директора по сбыту ООО «Компания коммунальной сферы» (г. Тула)М.Ю. Мальцева, который представил свою монографию – практическое пособие по работе с должниками в ресурсоснабжающей организации, написанной, образно выражаясь, «собственной кровью» –публикация книги была приурочена к данному семинару, и все участники получили её в подарок.
В самом конце генеральный директор ООО «Теплосбережение»Разговоров А.С. рассказал о технических методах снижения теплосодержания «обратки» в системе ГВС, позволяющих уйти от потерь ТСО с неоплачиваемой части тепловой энергии, затраченной на циркуляцию в системе ГВС.
По завершении второго дня президент НП «РТ» Семенов В.Г. поблагодарил всех участников и гостей семинара, отметив высокую активность и внимание тепловиков к обсуждаемым темам – не только технического, но и юридического характера, а также готовность к дискуссиям. По многочисленным просьбам специалистов на площадке НП «РТ» планируется регулярно проводить подобные мероприятия не только в реальном, но и в виртуальном пространстве.

Приглашаем к участию в Конференции «Теплоснабжение-2019» подробнее можно узнать на странице Ростепло.ру: >>
По вопросам участия в мероприятиях обращайтесь в Оргкомитет (495) 741-20-28, rt@rosteplo.