New technology can improve electric power system efficiency and reliability - Today in Energy - U.S.
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InternationalInternational energy information, including overviews, rankings, data, and analyses. The term "smart grid" covers a range of devices and systems that leverage recent advances in digital technology and communications to improve the efficiency, performance, and reliability of the existing electric power system infrastructure. A mismatch between supply and demand or a breakdown in synchronization can put stress on the grid. Comparing data between points on an electric system is a good way to reveal stress on the system and home in on the source of the problem. Developing methods for accumulating, analyzing, and distributing vast amounts of data is a challenge throughout the range of smart grid technologies. In time, applications for PMUs may include integrating intermittent renewable generators and automating controls for transmission system and demand response equipment, as well as developing increasingly-efficient use of electric power system infrastructure. Offline, synchrophasor data are already being used to improve electric system models used in real-time operations and planning, as well as for disturbance analysis and forensic investigation. For more information on PMUs and the use of synchrophasor data, see the North American SynchroPhasor Initiative website and the recent report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (2010). American wind power added significantly more new electricity than any other resource in 2014, according to U.S. All renewable energy sources including hydropower now deliver more than 13% of the nation’s electricity, with wind energy providing more than one-third of that total. Wind energy’s growth has been driven by technological improvements and cost declines that have reduced the cost of wind energy by more than half over the last five years, as documented by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 2014, wind provided enough electricity to power the equivalent of 16.7 million homes, or all the residential households in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, and Montana.
Congress is currently faced with the decision to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC), the primary federal tax incentive for wind energy.
Texas broke into the top 10 states for percentage of the state’s electricity supplied by wind.

Texas, Iowa, California, and Oklahoma all generated enough electricity to power more than one million homes. Wind power is emerging as a critical solution for states and utilities to cost-effectively reduce pollution, which will help comply with pending EPA rules.
As wind energy has grown to provide a larger share of our electricity mix, wind turbine technology has matured so that modern wind plants are able to provide the same grid reliability services as conventional generators, as documented in an AWEA report released last month. American wind power now supports well-paying manufacturing jobs at over 500 manufacturing facilities in 43 states, and 50,000 well-paying jobs. Acess more information on wind generation data by going visiting AWEA’s state-level, wind energy statistics. The Wind Team delivers up to the minute wind news, wind resources, wind product innovation and more. Windpower Editors Paul Dvorak, Nic Sharpley and Steven Bushong interview the industry's biggest newsmakers and allow them to tell their stories. Solar Power World reaches executives, managers, engineers, installers and technical professionals involved in the design, manufacturing, development, and installation of solar power projects.
Design World Online provides the latest design engineering news, articles, tutorials, videos, and products. We use electricity virtually every minute of every day, yet few of us know exactly how much or where it goes. Before we dive in, some perspective is useful: Although this breakdown varies from country to country, household electricity use generally makes up about a third of total electricity consumption in most developed nations. So when we talk about household electricity use, it is worth remembering homes only account for about a third of total electricity use. But while there are huge differences in household electricity use around the world, we all tend to use electricity for similar kinds of activity.
Because both of these figures are based on national averages, they can be a little deceptive. The average American home uses 11,700 kilowatt-hours each year, costing around $1,400 and causing about seven tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in emissions. This graph shows how much electricity the average American household used for different tasks in 2010.
By separating electricity use into different end uses we can see where the major demand for electricity is in U.S. Whether your home uses 2,000 or 10,000 kWh a year, there are simple ways you can save electricity in your home. Understanding how electricity is used can help prioritize opportunities to reduce it. The best part about having a master’s degree in sustainability is that you get to call yourself a Master of Sustainability.
Can Canadian hydro electricity help USA meet lower carbon emission requirements during transition from coal? New electricity transmission projects are coming on line that will increase Canadian hydro electricity exports to American markets, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Electricity flows freely between the USA and Canada, helping to stabilize power grids in both countries, though overall, Canada is a net exporter to the United States. On a net basis, Canada exports electricity mainly to New England, New York, and the Midwest states, while the United States exports electricity from the Pacific Northwest states to the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec. There are currently more than 30 electricity transmission linkages between the United States and Canada.
New England and New York accounted for 60 per cent of the total electricity imported into the United States in 2014, and these imports represent 12-16 per cent of the region’s retail sales of electricity.

New York imports electricity from the hydro electric resources in Quebec and Ontario, often on a flexible schedule as needed.
The Pacific Northwest is a net electricity exporter to Canada because it has hydro electric capacity that generates large amounts of electricity in excess of the region’s need during high-water periods.
Recent and proposed transmission projects have the potential to increase the amount of trade across the border. The Montana-Alberta Tie Line, completed in 2013, is a 230 kilovolt (kV) line that allows for bidirectional flow of power primarily for new wind power generating units on both sides of the border. The Great Northern Transmission line is a proposed 500 kV project connecting Minnesota Power with Manitoba Hydro, which is intended to support development of wind resources in the upper Midwest. Developers hope to relieve transmission congestion in the New York City area by sending hydropower directly from Quebec via the proposed Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission project, which could bring up to 1,000 megawatts of additional power into the city.
In the United States and Canada, there are four large electric systems, called interconnections, that underpin the provision of electricity service to all consumers. PMUs monitor the characteristics of electricity flowing through a particular location, for instance, at the point where a generator connects to the bulk power system, or at a substation.
All PMUs across an interconnection are kept in precise time synchronization using GPS, leading to the term "synchrophasor data" (in this context, the term "phasor" comes from the mathematical representation of the measurement). For example, the investigation into the causes of the 2003 Northeast Blackout required many person-years of labor, but the investigation of the 2011 blackout in the Southwest is proceeding much more quickly, in large part due to the availability of PMU data.
The main Texas grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), generated 10.6% of its electricity from wind in 2014. Wind farms deliver over $180 million a year to landowners in lease payments, as over 98% of wind projects are located on private land.
Total generation is typically 5 to 10 percent more than this total due to transmission and distribution losses. If, for example, a home uses electricity as its primary source of energy for cooking, water heating, or heating, these uses will likely be more dominant. For example, the chart above shows that defrosting a freezer has limited potential, while switching to low-energy light bulbs or limiting air-conditioner use will have greater potential.
Energy Information Administration, based on National Energy Board of CanadaNote: A small amount of electricity is traded by states outside the regions shown. New England’s power generation sources have been shifting to natural gas in recent years, but the region also has been importing more of the hydroelectricity from Canada. This synchronization provides the capability to easily compare system data among geographically dispersed units, creating wide-area visibility across large power systems, which was not previously possible using older technology. At times, wind energy has provided nearly 40% of the electricity on the main Texas grid, and over 60% of electricity on the main Colorado power system. Wind energy provided more than 15% of electricity in a total of seven states, more than 10% in a total of nine states, and more than 5% in a total of 19 states.

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