Summer 2013

James Kelly on Emerging Value For Utilities of Sensors, Data Analytics, and Grid Stability

Issue: 

In this VerdeXchange News interview, James Kelly, formerly of Southern California Edison and now a strategic advisor to GRIDiant Corporation, among other startups, discusses the role of Embedded Network Sensing (ENS) in generating data, how improved data analytics will affect the management of the electrical grid, and what the evolution of data portends for the physical worlds of industry and utility. As alternative energies and power sources gain support in state and local government, stronger tools for monitoring the electric grid will be necessary for balancing supply and demand.

Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti Welcomes ‘One Water’ Leadership Summit to Los Angeles, California

Issue: 

On September 23, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti welcomed visitors and participants to the One Water Leadership Summit, hosted by the US Water Alliance in Downtown Los Angeles. The One Water approach to water management aims to eliminate the departmental silos that discourage recycling of properly treated waste, storm, and potable water worldwide. It is a holistic approach to managing the resource. Mayor Garcetti highlights the progress LA and other California jurisdictions have made through investment in waste and stormwater infrastructure and green streets as his emphasis on the need for further action. VerdeXchange News presents the following edited transcript of the mayor’s summit remarks.

Jaffe: There Will be No Shortage of Oil/Gas—‘Get Over It’

Issue: 

VerdeXchange News presents the following remarks by Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director for Energy and Sustainability at UC Davis, delivered this summer at the biannual Asilomar Conference on Transportation and Energy. Her thesis: Many incorrectly imagined that the globe and the Industrial West were running dry of oil and thus alternative energy and fuels could depend on high oil prices shifting us to lower carbon emissions. Jaffe suggests that environmental policy advocates shift away from arguing scarcity and instead prepare for possible fossil fuel surpluses, and what that might mean for the economy and for climate change initiatives.

LA’s Mayor Appoints City’s First International Trade Director, Stephen Cheung

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In August, VerdeXchange News sat down with Stephen Cheung, the Mayor of Los Angeles’ first Director of International Trade, to discuss the purview and mission of his new position, which liaisons between the Port of Los Angeles, LAX, and City Hall. With trade being a critical component of the LA regional economy, and with the infrastructure of trade constantly evolving, Cheung works for goods movement, logistics, storage, and transportation to operate as smoothly as possible to retain customers doing business in and through LA. The potential growth of ethanol trade with Brazil serves as an example of how LA is making strides to adapt.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer Assesses Government’s Short-Sighted Response to Natural Disasters and Climate Change

Issue: 

Over the past three decades, North America has seen a fivefold increase in weather-related natural disasters, with relief spending mirroring this exponential trend. As the population grows, the number of Americans residing in “at risk” areas along the coast, rivers, and in the “fire zone” also continues to rise. In the following VerdeXchange News interview, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer explains why our current federal policy on natural disaster recovery is both fiscally unsustainable and life threatening. He suggests the changes in zoning, infrastructure investment, insurance, and taxation that must occur on a national scale to prepare for climate change.

City of Long Beach Mayor and ISO Chair Bob Foster on California’s Energy Future without San Onofre

Issue: 

Southern California Edison recently decided to shut down the San Onofre nuclear power plant after trouble with faulty generators. VerdeXchange News consulted Long Beach Mayor, ISO Chair, and former SCE president Bob Foster on the impact the closure will have on energy supply in the Southland, and how the state plans to counter the impending power loss. Foster also talks demand response, California’s energy future (he thinks: renewables), and the revolutionary role storage technology will play in fostering a green energy grid. While San Onofre presents a challenge, Foster notes California’s energy agencies are more capable than ever of meeting such challenges together.

Glenn Williamson Lauds Arizona/Canada Business Nexus and Water Opportunities

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VerdeXchange News interviewed Arizona entrepreneur, CEO, investor and philanthropist Glenn Williamson, Chairman of EPCOR Water USA, a Canadian-based utilities company that has now come to Arizona. Williamson is also Chairman of the Canada Arizona Business Council, which aims to increase bilateral trade between Canada and Arizona to $5 billion by 2014. He discusses both organizations and their objectives for Arizona, including better management of water supply and demand through the application of data analytics; the economic value of Canada investments in jobs and technology; and future prospects for Arizona business and sustainable initiatives.

California Redefines Solar Net Metering, Restructures Residential Electricity Rates

Issue: 

Sanjay Ranchod is the Assistant General Counsel and Director of Policy and Electricity Markets at SolarCity, the nation’s largest full-service photovoltaic solar power provider for residential, commercial, and government customers. In this VerdeXchange interview, Ranchod discusses California Assembly Bill 327, recently passed by the state’s legislature and written to modernize electricity rates and remove restrictions on the state’s net metering program. Expected to be signed into law by Gov. Brown, the solar industry, most especially rooftop solar companies, have cheered the law’s passage while also preparing for the coming changes to state policy that will follow from the adoption of new regulations interpreting and applying AB 327.

LA Metro’s Doug Failing on County Transit Agency’s Embrace of Public-Private Partnerships & Design Build

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With state and federal transportation funding slow, Metro and Caltrans are embracing public-private partnerships to finance and accelerate planned infrastructure projects. Doug Failing, Metro’s Executive Director of Highway Programs, tells VX News about their Accelerated Regional Transportation Improvement (ARTI) program, a series of small projects through which the county transit agency plans to demonstrate its viability and desirableness as a partner with private enterprise. Failing outlines the specific focus of ARTI (including the I-710 gap between the 10 and 210, the high desert corridor from LA to San Bernardino, and the 710 freight corridor), the benefits of P3 funding, and what Metro and Caltrans expect to learn about project delivery under a P3 system.

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