Utilities

SCE President Nichols Embraces Governor Brown’s Executive Order on Zero-Emission Transportation

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Ron Nichols

Southern California Edison President Ron Nichols on how the utility is approaching the opportunity of installing electric transportation infrastructure across California.

VX2015: California & National Energy Leaders On DG’s Impact on Grid Management

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Steve Berberich

The VerdeXchange 2015 opening plenary “The Future is Now—The Green Economy Going to Scale” considered the remaining work to be done by government and business as “sustainability” becomes mainstream. VX News provides edited excerpts of the discussion here, featuring California State Senator Robert Hertzberg, US Congressman Earl Blumenauer, President and CEO of California ISO Steve Berberich, and EPCOR Utilities Board Member and Former Mayor of Long Beach Bob Foster. They consider whether the federal government can be a useful partner in sustainability projects; how technology is creating more decentralized, self-contained systems; and how both public and private institutions will have to reevaluate their roles in the future green economy.

Minter: SoCalGas Champions Innovative P2G Technologies

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George Minter

As California seeks to meet greenhouse-gas emissions reduction goals set out by AB32, utilities are grappling with the intermittence of renewable resources like solar and wind. George Minter, Senior Director of Policy and Environment at the Southern California Gas Company, works on SoCalGas’s electrolysis commercialization and expansion program, which aims to address this challenge. In the following interview with VerdeXchange News, Minter discusses power-to-gas—how it works, precedents for its use in the European Union, and its potential as a solution to excess power on the grid. Minter also discusses natural gas’ impact on transportation, the “hydrogen highway,” and efforts to decarbonize the pipeline—lowering the carbon content of California’s natural gas supply.

VX2014: New Tools & Markets For Financing & Insuring Water, Energy, and Resilient Infrastructure Projects

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Communities and utilities across the nation face the challenges of aging infrastructure, climate change, increased costs, and limited funding. With such challenges come opportunities to be innovative and for our utilities and communities to become more efficient, sustainable, and resilient. Solutions such as green infrastructure and renewable energy projects are addressing these issues while enhancing the quality of life in our communities. Funding them, however, is a major challenge. With creative financing ideas being tried across the nation to help utilities and communities meet these challenges, what are some of the best ideas and examples in the water and energy sectors?

LADWP’s New GM Ready and Expected to Lead Nation's Largest Municipal Utility On Energy & Water

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In February the Los Angeles City Council approved Marcie Edwards as the new General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal utility in the US. Edwards began working at LADWP in 1976 at age 19 as a clerk typist, rising to the position of assistant general manager for the marketing and the customer service business units. She left LADWP in December 2000 to serve as general manager of Anaheim’s municipal water and electric utility. In her new position, Edwards faces the challenge of maintaining relations with the department’s strong labor coalition as well as balancing capital investments in infrastructure with state mandates on sustainability.

Martin L. Shultz Frames Arizona’s VerdeXchange: Net Metering Issue Not Settled, More Investment in Infrastructure Needed

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With extensive expertise in Arizona energy, transportation, and politics, Martin Shultz now holds the position of Senior Policy Director at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. He sat down with VX News to cover a range of topics that will be addressed at VX Arizona 2014—charting the progress of solar energy in the state, evaluating the viability of traditional utilities’ business model moving forward, and considering whether nuclear energy will grow in the US. Schultz also comments on Arizona’s needed investments in infrastructure and the status of water in the Southwest.

California’s Drought: Governor Brown Issues Second Emergency Proclamation

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The Los Angeles Business Council held its annual Sustainability Summit on April 25 at the Getty Center, to discuss the city and region’s progress on producing renewable energy, protecting water resources, and building the city resiliently. Speakers included business leaders, elected officials, regulators, and utility representatives. VX News presents a transcript of California Governor Jerry Brown’s keynote address, in which he discusses the importance of prioritizing sustainability, the challenges it presents, and California’s continued leadership around environmental stewardship.

Could the ‘Industrial Internet’ be the Key to Renewable Energy and GHG Reductions?

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As renewable energy becomes the base upon which society operates, how will utilities manage unbalanced production and overproduction? Advances in communications technology, or the Industrial Internet, promise to channel energy to where it is most demanded via sensors and automatic communication between machines. Efficiently connecting supply and demand will grow with the increased ubiquity of our M2M devices and their potential for sensing energy needs across a myriad of platforms. VerdeXchange News reprints the following with the permission of ThomasNet News.

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

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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.