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News and Analysis

NERC Raises Reliability Concerns

May 1, 2015

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has released a second assessment of the proposed Clean Power Plan of the Obama administration.

The assessment produced four major findings:  (1) the plan is expected to accelerate a fundamental change in electricity generation mix in the United States and transform grid-level reliability services, diversity, and flexibility, (2) industry needs more time to develop coordinated plans to address shifts in generation and transmission, (3) implementation plans may change the use of the remaining coal-fired generating fleet from baseload to seasonal peaking, potentially eroding plant economics and operating feasibility, and (4) energy and capacity will shift to gas-fired generation, requiring additional infrastructure and pipeline capacity.

NERC is a not-for-profit international regulatory authority whose mission is to assure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America.  NERC develops and enforces reliability standards.

AEP Ohio Customers: Rewind Your Motors!

May 1, 2015

Did you know that motors often lose efficiency during the rewinding process?  To combat this loss of energy efficiency, AEP Ohio offers the Emotor Rewind Pilot program.

AEP Ohio is certifying motor service centers that follow energy-efficient rewind practices.  The Emotor Rewind Pilot covers motors from 300 hp to 5,000 hp.  Motors that are rewound through the pilot are expected to be 0.5% to 2% more efficient.  AEP Ohio offers a $2.00/hp incentive to Ohio manufacturers that take advantage of this rewind program.

To date, Hannon Electric in Canton and Electric Motor & Service in Zanesville have been certified for the program.  Manufacturers interested in an efficient rewind can use these two motor service centers, or contact AEP Ohio’s Rick Sullivan to start the process of certifying the motor service center you use.

DP&L Offers Combined Heat & Power Workshop

May 1, 2015

Combined Heat & Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is the simultaneous production of electricity and heat from a single fuel source.

On Tuesday, May 19, DP&L is offering a free workshop for businesses to learn more about CHP.  The workshop is from 9:00 a.m. to noon, includes lunch, and will be held at the University of Dayton River Campus in Dayton.

Benefits of CHP can include: greater efficiency than separate generation of electricity and thermal energy, lower operating costs, reduction in emissions including CO2, NOx, and SO2 , increased power reliability, enhanced power quality, and reduction of grid congestion.

Learn whether your facility is a good CHP candidate and find out about DP&L incentives.  DP&L offers free feasibility screening.  Register here.

What Does It Cost to Save Electricity?

May 1, 2015

4.6 cents.

That’s the average total cost of saving a kilowatt-hour in 20 states from 2009 to 2013, according to a report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab titled, The Total Cost of Saving Electricity Through Utility Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs: Estimates at the National, State, Sector and Program Level, released this week.

The researchers conclude:  “The cost of saving energy is still cheap.”

They found that the utility program costs are less than the cost of retail electricity or the cost of new generation.  As a result, residential consumers saved 3.3 cents per kWh through the utility programs; commercial and industrial customers averaged 5.5 cents in savings per kWh saved.

OMA Members Receive Energy Efficiency Awards

May 1, 2015

AEP Ohio honored 22 businesses, individuals and schools from throughout the state at its Energy Efficiency Awards event held this week.  The award recognizes AEP Ohio’s business customers and partners that have demonstrated a strong commitment to energy efficiency.

Among the recipients are OMA members, Crown Battery Manufacturing Company, Freemont, and AMG Vanadium, Cambridge.

“Quadrennial Energy Review” Released

May 1, 2015

This week the U.S. Department of Energy released its first “Quadrennial Energy Review,” created to identify the “threats, risks, and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security, enabling the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of integrated actions.”

The review contains recommendations for action to ensure resilience and security of transmission and distribution infrastructure, modernize the electric grid, modernize U.S. energy security infrastructure (all fuels), improve “shared transport” infrastructure, integrate North American energy markets, and improve environmental performance of energy infrastructures.

Read a fact sheet on the review.

AEP Ohio Auction Results

April 30, 2015

On April 29, 2015, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved the results of AEP Ohio’s first wholesale auction that will ultimately determine its retail generation service rates through May 2018.

The results of the auction will be blended with future auctions, including an auction on May 12, 2015, to establish AEP Ohio’s standard service offer rates beginning June 1, 2015.  The results represent 50% of the SSO load.

Winning bids for a one-year product yielded an average clearing price of $53.79 per megawatt hour (MWH) for the delivery period of June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016.  Winning bids for a two-year product yielded an average clearing price of $53.51 per MWH for the delivery period of June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2017.  Winning bids for a three-year product yielded an average clearing price of $55.58 per MWH for the delivery period of June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2018.

The prices associated with the winning bids in this week’s auction are marginally higher than the previous average clearing price of the winning bids for the five-month product to provide electricity to AEP Ohio customers from January 2015 through May 2015, which was $51.37 per megawatt hour.

 

It is important to note, however, that the three-year product is not as high as some had originally forecasted.  This is good news.   Here’s additional information.

Join OMA Energy Efficiency Peer Network for Honda Tour

April 24, 2015

Honda of America is hosting a plant tour for the OMA Energy Efficiency Peer Network group on May 13th from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.  The plant tour will be of the Marysville Automotive Plant and will focus on aspects of the manufacturing process, energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives and features.  Efficiency and sustainability highlights will include hydrogen fuel cell fork-lifts, LED high bay lighting, micro-hydro generation and a styrofoam densifier.

After the plant tour, guests are invited to tour the Honda Heritage Center Museum .  Lunch can  purchased at the Honda Heritage Center.

Steel-toed shoes, hard hats and safety glasses will be required for the plant tour.  Please RSVP to OMA energy consultant John Seryak  by May 6th if you’d like to attend.

Remember to join the mailing list for the Energy-Efficiency Peer Network to receive timely notifications.

Ethane Cracker Coming to Ohio?

April 24, 2015

On Wednesday, Governor Kasich announced the possibility of construction in Ohio of a chemical cracker to refine shale gas and gas liquids.  The governor announced that Belmont County has been tentatively chosen by the company.   Jobs-Ohio, the state’s economic development agency, has been working to attract the cracker for two years.

The project is a partnership between PTT Global of Thailand and Marubeni Corp., a Japanese investment advisor.  The project will now undergo 12 to 16 months of engineering study and permitting work before a final decision is made.

Several other cracker projects have been discussed in the region to take advantage of the rich shale plays of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  None yet have been developed.

Porter Sworn in as PUCO Chair

April 17, 2015

This week Commissioner Lynn Slaby swore in the new chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), Andre T. Porter.

Porter began his five-year term as commissioner on April 11, 2015.  As chairman he leads the sole state agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business, and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices.

Porter also chairs the Ohio Power Siting Board, which reviews, evaluates and approves the siting of electric generation plants and electric and natural gas transmission lines.