Is self-logging part of your compliance internal controls program?

David Carty

Many of us are familiar with self-reporting as an important component of a registered entity’s compliance program. NERC introduced the concept several years ago as a way for registered entities to police themselves for noncompliance. The idea was simple: monitor yourself for compliance; report potential violations; develop and implement your own mitigation plan for the Regional Entity to monitor; and receive a less severe sanction/penalty than if the problem had been discovered during a formal audit.

The program worked well… too well in fact. The number of self reports ballooned. Regional entities quickly became overwhelmed with the additional review, resolution, and tracking activity required. To compound the situation, many of the self reports dealt with items of only minimal risk to the reliability of the Bulk Power System (BPS). The numbers were daunting. At its peak in 2011, NERC reported 3,300 outstanding compliance items requiring processing, with new possible violations being added at the rate of 200/month. Priorities became skewed. Resources were diverted to dealing with the flood of minor violations at the expense of fewer but more serious ones. Additional resources and funds were not forthcoming. Something had to change. Continue reading

Data-driven approaches to minimize risk and shape energy efficiency programs

Tiina Aardemae

The utility world is data driven, and lots of interesting stories can be told using that data. Here at DNV GL, we’ve been running energy efficiency incentive programs on behalf of utilities in more than a dozen different states spanning over 20 years. We provide incentives on behalf of utilities to help motivate their customers to invest in more energy efficient technologies. Some of the data captured through these programs include operational metrics, incentive rates, customer segment details, construction and fuel types, and details on energy efficient technologies installed. Studying trends within and across programs has allowed us to run our programs more effectively, reduce risk, and track effectiveness of pilots and trade partners.

Here are some of the key strategies we use to maximize value from the data we capture within programs. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Sven Utermöhlen, Director Construction & Engineering, E.ON

Sven - EONThis post is the first in a series of guest blogs featuring interviews with global energy experts from DNV GL’s 2015 survey report: Beyond Integration: Three dynamics reshaping renewables and the grid. Today’s featured expert is Sven Utermöhlen, Director Construction & Engineering, E.ON.

Headquartered in Germany, E.ON SE has been at the heart of that nation’s energy transition or ‘Energiewende’. A major investor-owned energy supplier, it has 35 million customers and operates 61 GW of generation capacity.

In November 2014 E.ON unveiled its new strategy. In a landmark move, it announced that it would focus on renewables, distribution networks and customer solutions. E.ON’s conventional generation, global energy trading and exploration and production businesses will be combined in a new independent company. Continue reading

Power system verification: Component testing is not enough anymore!

Peter Vaessen

Society has become highly dependent on a reliable electric energy supply, due to increasing networking and electronic information exchange developments, and this dependency will only continue to increase causing a double risk trend. In fact, last year I wrote a blog series on how cope with this trend in reliability, and how smart transmission and distribution grids can mitigate this risk. (For more background information you can read the blog series here).

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Threats, revolt and an ostrich: reflections on Beyond Integration: three dynamics reshaping renewables and the grid

Fliss Jones

In the first of a series of ‘Beyond Integration’ blogs on renewables and the grid, Fliss Jones summarises the headline findings of DNV GL’s landmark report.

At the start of this year, a request landed on my desk to analyse some survey data on the topic of a future renewables-based electricity system.

As the survey responses poured in, I realised that this was not a standard assignment. The answers to the ‘Any other comments?’ question really jumped off the page.

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Harmonic resonance in renewable energy sources – An old problem with a new twist

Neeraj Karnik

The issue of harmonic resonance is often overlooked while developing large wind and solar power plants. If this concern is recognized only when construction of these projects is nearing completion, commercial operation may have to be delayed till harmonic problems are resolved. Such situations can place project developers under significant financial risk. Moreover, delayed recognition of the problem may lead to sub-optimal and high-cost solutions. This article touches upon the key harmonic issues that need to be investigated while interconnecting large wind and solar power plants to the grid.

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Is LEED® heading for obsolescence? The end game of green building certifications

Jordan Daniels

Yesterday I was working with a client on LEED certification for a new building planned for Redwood City, California.  He made the comment that there is little need for LEED here in California, where the CalGreen building code requires new buildings to meet high standards for energy, water, indoor environmental quality, and waste diversion.

To a certain extent, he is correct.  A recent DNV GL study comparing LEED with CalGreen showed that meeting some variation of CalGreen could help achieve up to 56 LEED points, enough for a Silver certification.  But a thoughtful response to his comment requires a look at the big picture, and consideration of another question: What is LEED’s ultimate end game?

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Examining the future of Island Energy Systems – What’s next?

Thomas Leonard

Approximately 10% of the world’s population lives on islands and a quarter of the world’s sovereign states are islands or archipelagos  [1]. The supply and consumption of energy on islands is subject to special challenges. This is particularly the case on small islands which are not closely integrated with a larger mainland or continental system.

They suffer from the inefficiencies associated with smaller generation capacities and the security of supply problems of an island grid. It is common for island operators to further sacrifice efficiency to counter this insecurity by running generators at part load to ensure a constant spinning reserve.

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Exploring Maxwell’s electromagnetism equations created 150 years ago – Part 5

Peter Vaessen

This is the fifth and final post in a series of blogs on Maxwell’s electromagnetism equations.

In today’s blog we take a closer look at the force equation and its relation to high voltage and high power testing. This equation, together with the four Maxwell’s equations, completely describes all classical electromagnetic interactions. For more background information, view Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this blog series.

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Is your energy efficiency program up to speed? Keeping pace with the lighting technology (r)evolution

Doug Rossin

When analyzing the makeup of energy efficiency programs throughout the country, it is not surprising that the majority of the energy saved has come from lighting measures.  Whether it’s from retrofitting your high intensity discharge (HID) lighting to fluorescent, or replacing your fluorescent lighting with light emitting diodes (LEDs), lighting has been and continues to be the most viable solution in energy efficiency programs.

Today lighting is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and it offers utilities new energy efficiency program opportunities every year.  However, this was not always the case. A review of history shows that the doors only opened recently for utilities to develop and redesign programs to take advantage of this lighting evolution… or revolution.

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