Seminars

  • 2017-2018 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series generally held in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu) 412-268-1090, so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    10/18/2017

    Nick Brown

    CEO, Southwestern Power Pool


    9/11/2017 4:30 PM Scott Hall 5201

    "Assessing and Reducing the Risks of Solar Geoengineering"

    David Keith
    Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics and Public Policy, Harvard University


    9/6/2017 12:15 PM, Baker Hall 129

    "Transforming the Energy System: Decarbonizing the Direct Use of Fossil Fuels"

    Cheryl Carter

    Co-Director, Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council


    9/6/2017 11 AM, Gates Hillman Center 4405

    "Rethinking the Control of the U.S. Electric Power System"

    Craig Miller
    Chief Scientist, National Rural Electric Co-Operative Association (NRECA)


  • 2016-2017 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu) 412-268-1090, so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    5/31/2017

    "Modeling the Coordination of Natural Gas and Electric Power Transmission"

    Seth Blumsack, Pennsylvania State University


    5/3/2017

    "Enhancing Electric Power Reliability, Security, and Resiliency" Dagle CMU seminar 3 May2017 pdf

    Jeff Dagle, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


    4/19/2017

    "Trace Elements in Coal – A Beautiful Voyage Across the Periodic Table"

    Evan Granite, National Energy Technology Laboratory


    2/22/2017

    "The WIS:dom Optimization Model And Atmospheric Science To Inform Future Energy Pathways"

    Christoper Clack,Vibrant Green Energy


    11/7/2016

    Collette Honorable, Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


    11/2/2016

    Gil C. Quiniones, President and CEO, New York Power Authority (NYPA)


    10/19/2016

    "Managing the Transition to a New Distributed Utility Model: An Actionable Strategy" Mike Schwartz 10-19-2016 pdf

    Michael Schwartz
    New Wave ECP


    10/13/2016

    Jay Whitacre
    CMU and Aquion Energy


    10/10/13 Wean Hall 3701

    “MICRO- The Microgrid Initiative for Campus and Rural Opportunities: Driving innovation in adoption of emerging technologies in India”

    Rahul Walawalkar

    Customized Energy Solutions


    9/21/2016

    "PJM's Resource Adequacy Process" Resource Adequacy at PJM 9-21-16 pdf

    Patricio Rocha-Garrido
    The PJM Interconnection


    9/9/2016

    "Whole-Systems Approach to Technology Valuation"

    Clara Heuberger

    Imperial College of London


    9/7/2016

    "Financial Transmission Rights in the Real World"

    Josh Becker
    Senior Trader and Director of RTO and ISO Operations, Inertia Power


  • 2015-2016 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    5/18/2016

    Seth Blumsack
    Professor
    The Pennsylvania State University


    5/4/2016

    Craig Miller
    Chief Scientist
    National Rural Electric Cooperative Association


    4/6/2016

    "The Regulated Rate of Return Puzzle"

    David Rode
    Managing Director
    DAI Management Consultants


    3/30/2016

    Andrew Place
    Vice Chairman
    Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission


    3/16/2016

    Room Matt Crozat
    Nuclear Energy Institute

    Matt Wald
    Nuclear Energy Institute


    2/17/2016

    "A Utility’s Perspective on Pittsburgh’s Changing Electrical Landscape"

    Ben Morris
    VP
    Duquesne Light Company
    Senior Manager, Strategic Planning & Operational Analytics Operations Department


    12/9/2015

    "Environmental Effects of Coal Stockpiles"

    Akshaya Jha
    The Heinz School


    12/2/2015

    "Canary in a Coal Mine: Impact of Mid-20th Century Air Pollution on Infant Mortality and Property Values"

    Karen Clay
    The Heinz School


    11/18/2015

    "Potential Benefits of Long-distance Electricity Transmission in China for Air Quality and Climate"

    Wei Peng
    Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton


    11/11/2015

    "The Long Term Climate-driven Variability of Regional Renewable Electrical Generation and Demand"

    Daniel Kirk-Davidoff
    Adjunct Associate Professor
    Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland
    College Park Chief Scientist for Weather and Climate Services
    MDA Information Systems LLC


    10/14/2015

    "The PNNL Grid Architecture Report"

    Jeffrey Taft
    Chief Architect
    Electric Grid Transformation
    Energy and Environment Directorate


    9/23/2015

    "Untapped Potential for Hydropower in PA"

    Lindsay Baxter
    Program Manager- Energy and Climate
    Pennsylvania Environmental Council


    9/9/2015

    "Next Generation Stationary and Vehicular Energy Systems for Addressing Key Environmental Challenges"

    Whitney G. Colella
    Principal Research Engineer
    Gaia Energy Research Institute


  • 2014-2015 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    5/13/2015

    "Predictive Evaluation of Energy Storage and Other Technologies"

    Jessika E. Trancik
    Atlantic Richfield Career Development Assistant Professor in Energy Studies
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Engineering Systems Division

    Abstract
    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy to meet global climate policy goals will require rapid technological development. Cost and performance improvements are needed to enable the widespread adoption of several critically important technologies. This talk will demonstrate the power of the predictive evaluation of energy technologies to accelerate their development in the laboratory. Recent results include an evaluation of storage technologies for wind and solar energy, and a quantification of cost improvement targets. This research crosses an evaluation hurdle by devising a method to compare the costs of diverse storage technologies on a common scale. Other research quantifies mobile battery performance targets for the electrification of transportation, uncovers the determinants of photovoltaics’ unprecedented cost improvement and ways to continue this trend, and determines leakage reduction timelines for natural gas to serve as a transition fuel.


    2/25/2015

    "The Spectrum of Wind Power Fluctuations"

    Mahesh Bandi
    The Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology

    Abstract
    The Lanchester-Betz-Joukowski (LBJ) limit, derived in 1915, establishes that the power P generated by a wind turbine is related to the speed of wind v blowing past the turbine as P ~ v^3. Naturally, the wind power generated fluctuates with the wind speed. Indeed, the spectrum of wind power fluctuations is usually ascribed to the spectrum of atmospheric turbulence. Yet, owing to the LBJ equation being time-independent, a derivation of this spectrum has proved unsuccessful to date. In this talk, I will explain the origin of this spectrum through the statistical theory of hydrodynamic turbulence, and show that it violates an underlying assumption of the canonical Kolmogorov theory of turbulence from 1941, with crucial implications for wind power. It helps us establish: 1) The distance over which wind farms are coupled by atmospheric turbulence, 2) The duration for which this coupling persists, and 3) The spectrum one expects to observe "under ideal conditions" for the aggregate power of the coupled wind farms entering an electrical grid.


    2/11/2015

    "Building-based Electricity Storage and Tariff Arbitrage Algorithms for Residential Sector Demand Response: Assessing Economic Viability and Emissions Impacts"

    Menglian Zheng
    Columbia University

    Abstract
    Storage based demand response has recently been studied as a way to make the grid more efficient and reliable. In comparison to large-scale, grid-based storage, demand response via small-scale, distributed storage provides more flexibility and reliability and adds additional benefits of integrating distributed renewables, plug-in electric vehicles, etc. A variety of demand response tariffs is currently available, and energy storage technologies have been improving in the past decades in terms of capital cost and performance, but residential storage is still underutilized. Customers’ concerns about cost-effectiveness of storage and practical storage dispatch strategies call for a comprehensive economic analysis to answer the questions: 1) whether storage can yield actual profit (i.e., savings in electricity bills minus levelized storage costs) for customers and 2) which particular combination of storage technology and tariff yields the highest profit. This study aims to evaluate the economics of using storage by providing demand response (loadshifting and peak shaving) under realistic tariffs (Con Edison, New York). The study developed an appliance-level stochastic demand model. Such a demand model bottoms up all electricity consumption of individual household appliances, scheduled based on American Time Use Survey Data. It is able to randomly generate demand profiles for one average household in the U.S., and simulation results are validated. The economic evaluation model is composed of several sub-models in addition to the demand model, including a levelized storage cost model, a storage lifetime model, a storage dispatch model, and an optimization model. The proposed scheme allows for the different dispatch models developed for different tariffs and evaluation of various storage technologies. This study can serve as a tool for investigating economic and policy-related questions regarding, but not necessarily limited to, demand response tariffs, storage-based demand side management, and distributed renewable integration.


    2/6/2015

    "Ever Wonder What it Takes to be a Successful Utility Company in a Market Addressing the Largest Challenges Facing the Industry Today?"

    Ted F. Craver Jr.
    CEO
    Edison International


    1/28/2015

    "Integrating High Levels of Distributed PV in Bulk System Operations"

    Aidan Tuohy
    EPRI


    1/14/2015

    "Recent Advances in Concentrated Solar Power Grid Integration"

    Lukas Nonnenmacher
    PhD Candidate
    University of California, San Diego

    Abstract
    Solar and wind energy have the potential to power the world’s energy needs. However, the variable and uncertain nature of power generated from these sources are posing a major challenge for reliable and economic integration in the existing electric distribution system. Solar irradiance forecasting is a feasible approach to mitigate the operational uncertainties caused by (large scale) solar power integration. While previous work mainly focused on the prediction of global horizontal irradiance (GHI), relevant for the currently dominating photovoltaic (PV) systems, the prediction of direct normal irradiance (DNI) has gained less attention. Recent advances in concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies and the tremendous growth potential in certain regions has triggered the need for more accurate DNI predictions. In the Southwestern United States, several utility scale solar power generation facilities with an installed peak capacity of about 800 - 1200 MWp are already operationally feeding energy to the distribution system. This capacity is estimated to grow to a total of 3500-6000MW until 2025. The presentation outlines recent advances in the optimized integration of the existing and prospective CSP capacity without storage.


    12/10/2014

    "The Social Cost of Carbon and other GHGs"

    Al McGartland
    Lead Economist
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Director
    National Center for Environmental Economics

    Abstract
    Benefit-cost analysis is one of the dominant paradigms used for regulatory decision making at the Federal level. With the continued prominence of this tool, EPA, other agencies and academic researchers are exploring ways to improving its use. Many researchers are building models to capture heretofore unquantified benefits and costs. In 2010, the Obama Administration released quantitative estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) and directed all agencies to use the SCC in all regulatory benefit cost analysis valuing carbon emission changes. Al McGartland, director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics, will describe how the Social Cost of Carbon was estimated. In addition to overviewing the methodology, Dr. McGartland will discuss how key parameters and assumptions affect the SCC. He will also discuss extensions of this work to other Green House Gases and review how the SCC has been used to date. SCC is not the only advance in benefit-cost analysis. Other researchers are rethinking current guidance to apply standard discounting and other economic standardized practices when estimating benefits and costs of regulatory proposals. Finally, there have been renewed calls for additional “retrospective analyses” of past regulations and regulatory analyses to assess how well our regulatory benefit-cost models perform. If time permits, Dr. McGartland will provide an overview of changes to benefit-cost analysis that may be on the horizon, based on developments in the literature and at EPA.


    11/12/2014

    "Capacity Markets in the Wake of the DC Circuit Ruling on FERC Order No. 745: What Lies Ahead?"

    Frank Lacey
    Vice President, Regulatory and Market Strategy
    Comverge, Inc.

    Abstract
    In the wake of uncertainty caused by EPSA's appeal of FERC Order No. 745 and the DC Circuit's opinion, many are now challenging FERC's authority to regulate demand response in capacity markets. FirstEnergy has lodged a formal complaint at FERC seeking to unwind PJM's last capacity auction and re-clear it without demand side resources. PJM has generated a whitepaper exploring what demand response could look like if the FERC and/or the courts rule that DR in capacity markets is not jurisdictional to FERC. What does all this mean for demand response as a business? For demand resources? For the rates all consumers pay?


    11/10/2014

    "Challenges for the Electric Distribution System: Opportunities for CMU"

    Cynthia B. Wilson
    Senior Policy Analyst
    Energy Policy and Systems Analysis-EP-20
    U.S. Department of Energy

    Abstract
    Today’s electric distribution system is facing many challenges, including: new grid and new generation technology, uncertain load growth, and increasingly empowered consumers. Moreover, as new distributed generation and customer control technologies penetrate the system, the assumption that the electric distribution utility is a monopoly, a fundamental premise of electric distribution regulation, is eroding. Faced with the most dynamic situation in the history of the U.S. electricity system, companies fear revenue erosion, regulators face concerns about affordability, reliability and equity, and consumers begin to engage in far more than rate cases. What does this mean for building the 21st century electric distribution system? Join us on November 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm in BH Room 129 to learn more about this near perfect storm and to begin to discuss how CMU might help build the physical, legal, regulatory and institutional infrastructure needed to create the 21st Century electric distribution system.


    10/20/2014

    "Co-Optimizations of Natural Gas and Power Sectors with Public Policy and Institutional Reform" 

    Randell Johnson
    Regional Director
    North America, Energy Exemplar

    Abstract
    Many trends have emerged over the past decade of competitive markets, lower cost renewables, energy storage technologies, demand response and energy efficiency, renewable portfolio standards, shale gas finds and developments, de-carbonization, coal retirements, distributed networks, smart grid technologies and various market and regulatory reforms. This Seminar will focus on a fundamentals optimization framework for forecasting futures with mixtures of these trends as well as discuss further reforms that may be necessary to facilitate developing domestic energy policy.


    10/8/2014

    "Recent Issues in Electric Grid Physical Security"

    Paul W. Parfomak
    Ph.D.
    Congressional Research Service
    Specialist in Energy & Infrastructure


    10/7/2014

    "Chickens and Gallium: Evidence for Peaks of Material use from the United States"

    Jesse H. Ausubel
    Director of the Program for the Human Environment
    The Rockefeller University in New York City

    Abstract
    Can changing preferences and improved efficiency ever overwhelm generally rising GDP and decrease the absolute tons of materials America uses? A century of American experience and learning reveals several typical trajectories for materials use. Looking at a collection of 100 different commodities from titanium and timber to water and nitrogen we note that both relative and absolute amounts rose across the board from 1910 to 1970. The year 1970 offers an inflection point. The data from 1970 to 2010 show a more mixed story for the two indicators. Analysis of our basket during 1970-2010 reveals three classes of commodities. Thirty-six commodities dematerialized relatively and also experienced peaks in annual consumption; fifty-three commodities dematerialized relatively and continued to grow in absolute annual consumption but may be nearing peaks; only eleven commodities, including chickens and gallium, experienced both rising relative and rising absolute consumption. The USA may be nearing peak use of many resources and commodities, which would have strong implications for security, business, and environment.

    Jesse Ausubel is Director of the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University in New York City.


    9/18/2014

    "EPA’s 111(d) Rule and its Implications"

    Kathleen Spees
    Senior Associate


    9/15/2014

    "Flexible Electrical Networks for the Energiewende"

    Rik W. De Doncker
    Director
    E.ON Energy Research Center
    RWTH Aachen University

    Abstract
    Climate change, increasing costs of primary energy sources and security of energy supply has forced researchers, industry and policy makers in Europe to explore energy savings and alternative CO2 neutral power supplies. In Germany, this so-called "Energiewende" is strongly supported by policy makers and, against all odds, is booking its first successes. Looking deeper into the technology of energy production it becomes apparent that, although ICT is being considered as a major break-through technology for energy efficiency (smart grids, smart buildings and home, etc), it cannot stand by its own. More decentralized power generation requires a higher level of automation of the electrical grid. In addition, it also requires new distribution grid concepts that offer far greater flexibility and controllability than the classical (radial) AC designs. In this presentation, it is shown that DC technology can offer the required interconnectivity and flexibility. In line with the cost reduction of power electronics, the transition from AC to more DC grids offers great opportunities to save materials, reduce infrastructure costs and improve efficiency. The potentials of DC technology in distribution grids and smart homes are high-lighted. The presentation finishes with an overview of the research activities at RWTH Aachen University within the "Research CAMPUS on Flexible Electrical Grids", which is funded by the German Federal Government and the FEN Consortium industry.


    9/10/2014

    "Hydro Power Development in the Modern World"

    Michael P. Maley
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Hydro Green Energy

     


  • 2013-2014 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    5/28/2014

    "Using Transactive Load to Balance the Electric Grid"

    George Baker, CEO
    VCharge
    Senior Lecturer
    Harvard University

    Abstract
    Transactive Load — load that communicates with the grid and reacts in real time to grid conditions — has the potential to increase grid resilience and make high renewables penetration possible without the need for extensive new transmission or traditional and expensive storage technologies. This talk will discuss the potential for Transactive Load, and show what VCharge, a smart grid company in Providence RI, has done aggregating heat load to provide hourly and second-to-second grid balancing with thermal storage assets in PJM and ISO-New England. The need for this type of technology on the European grid will also be discussed.


    4/23/2014

    "DOE's Sunshot Program"

    Alvin Razon
    Principal Engineer
    SRA International Inc


    4/9/2014

    "Demand Response Resources for Energy and Ancillary Services"

    Dr. Marissa Hummon
    Research Scientist in Energy Markets and Power Flow Optimization
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy

    Abstract
    Demand response (DR) resources present a potentially important source of grid flexibility particularly on future systems with high penetrations of variable wind an solar power generation. However, DR in grid models is limited by data availability and modeling complexity. This presentation focuses on the co-optimization of DR resources to provide energy and ancillary services in a production cost model of the Colorado ³test system². We assume each DR resource can provide energy services by either shedding load or shifting its use between different times, as well as operating reserves: frequency regulation, contingency reserve, and flexibility (or ramping) reserve. There are significant variations in the availabilities of different types of DR resources, which affect both the operational savings as well as the revenue for each DR resource. The results presented include the system-wide avoided fuel and generator start-up costs as well as the composite revenue for each DR resource by energy and operating reserves.


    4/2/2014

    "Does the Climate Impact of Wind-Power Matter?"

    David Keith
    Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics
    (SEAS)
    Professor of Public Policy
    (Harvard Kennedy School) Harvard University


    3/26/2014

    "TBA"

    James Bushnell
    Associate Professor, Department of Economics
    UC Davis and NBER


    3/26/2014

    "Demand Response in PJM"

    Shira Horowitz
    Demand Response Analyst
    PJM Interconnection, Inc.

    Abstract
    Demand Response (DR) plays a critical role in PJM by increasing system reliability and creating a source of elastic demand. I will give an overview of DR in PJM markets, including the capacity, economic, and ancillary services markets. I will discuss some challenges including measurement and verification from both technical and policy perspectives. There are several ongoing and forthcoming policy initiatives that may substantially affect DR in the region including making DR more operational, the increased reliance on natural gas for power generation, and emissions restrictions.


    1/31/2014 (Joint Conference with the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making)

    "Future Infrastructures for Meeting Energy Demands - The Helmholtz Alliance ENERGY-TRANS"

    Pia-Johanna Schweizer
    Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies, University of Stuttgart


    1/27/2014 (Joint Conference with the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making)

    "Green Computing: Energy Efficiency at Multiple Scales"

    Yuvraj Agarwal
    Assistant Professor, School of Computer Science
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    Our societal energy consumption is rising at a staggering rate. Part of this problem is due to the rise in energy use, and in turn the carbon footprint, of Information Technology equipment worldwide (devices, servers, networking equipment). Traditional mechanisms to save energy such as duty-cycling by putting computing platforms and their subsystems into power saving sleep modes don’t work well in practice due to several application scenarios that require maintaining continuous network presence. I will describe two architectures, Somniloquy and SleepServers, that we have developed that enable IT equipment, such as PCs, to be in a hybrid state of operation where they are able to enter sleep modes while maintaining network connectivity. Additionally, computation can be performed on behalf of the sleeping PCs, allowing for even greater savings. This "sleep-talking" state of operation can save, on average, 70% of the energy consumed by a typical PC. While computing is indeed part of the problem due to its increasing carbon footprint, in the second part of my talk, I will show that computing is also part of the solution, where it can be used to make other systems much more energy efficient. In particular, I will focus on sensing and control solutions that we have designed and deployed within enterprise buildings to make them more energy efficient and sustainable. I will show that by using fine-grained occupancy information gathered either from battery powered wireless sensors, or from smartphones and WiFi Access Points, the energy consumption of the HVAC system within a building can be reduced dramatically, saving up to 40% in a test deployment. I will also describe our smart energy meter that can measure the energy usage of plug-loads within a building as well as provide a mechanism to control these loads based on a number of policies.


    10/23/2013

    "Transmission Line Projects from the Utility Perspective"

    Alan J. Fleissner
    Manager Transmission Line Engineering
    DiGioia Gray and Associates


    10/17/2013

    "More Electricity For Less CO2: Some Paradoxes in the European and French Regulations"

    Yves Bamberger
    Chairman and CEO
    Scientific Adviser of EDF

    Abstract
    The electrification of the EU with a progressively less carbonated electricity will give the possibility to reduce the human footprint and especially impact on climate change. We will try to present how Europe and France are developing regulations consistent or inconsistent with this objective.


    "Demonstration of the GridLAB-D Power Flow Software"

    Craig Miller
    Chief Scientist
    National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
    President
    GridLAB-D Association

    Abstract
    As the electrical grid moves towards more active control, it is becoming increasingly necessary to employ dynamic power flow modeling in the design of distribution and transmission system. The tools for this analysis (notably OpenDSS and GridLAB-D) are, however, complicated and expensive to use, and beyond the capabilities of most utilities. To address this problem, the NRECA has developed a framework which manages the models’ data and provides for sharing of information and example runs around models. This open source tool (the Open Modeling Framework) has reduced the time to set up and run dynamic power flow studies by more than 90%. This will drive more sophisticated design to make better use of advanced distribution automation technology.


    9/27/2013

    "Electric Power Flow Control: New Technologies and the Quantification of their Value"

    Tim Heidel
    Program Director
    ARPA-E

    Abstract
    ARPA-E’s GENI (Green Electricity Network Integration) program, launched in 2011, focuses on enabling ubiquitous power flow control in the grid as a means to improve the flexibility, efficiency, and security of the U.S. power delivery system. The program is funding 15 research projects, equally divided between "hardware" and "software" innovations. The hardware projects are developing a new generation of extremely low cost grid power flow control devices that utilize new circuit topologies, control strategies, and recent advances in power electronics. The software projects are directed at enabling more optim! al operation of power transmission networks. This talk will give an overview of the ARPA-E GENI program and also discuss the need for more comprehensive studies on the full range of benefits that power flow control could enable (including consideration of market and regulatory impacts).


    9/25/2013

    "Grid Scale Applications for Bulk and Distributed Electrochemical Energy Storage"

    Zak Kuznar
    Senior Project Manager, Emerging Technology Office
    Duke Energy

    Abstract
    Bulk Energy storage has been around for a long time and has provided many benefits to the electric power grid. Technologies such has pumped hydro and compressed air have shown the ability to store off-peak generation and shift it to when it is needed – during peak hours. However, both of these technologies are limited by geographical location and response time. In recent years, a number of technological advances have been made in electrochemical energy storage (battery) for the grid. Lithium Ion in particular has been getting a lot of attention with the increase in manufacturing of electric vehicles. The same battery modules can also be integrated into larger formats which can be deployed at a number of transmission and distribution locations to provide benefits such as energy shifting, black start, frequency regulation, renewable integration and back-up power - just to name a few. This talk will evaluate Duke Energy’s electrochemical energy storage deployments at various locations along the transmission and distribution system discussing the different chemistries used, applications tested, initial data and results, along with future test plans. The future of energy storage along with challenges from both a technology and regulatory perspective will also be discussed.


    9/11/2013

    "Solar Renewable Energy Credits – A Market Based Solar Financing Tool"

    Gary Lakritz
    President
    Knollwood Energy

    Abstract
    New Jersey introduced the tradable SREC market in 2004, since then it has expanded to many states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. While the basic concept of a market based mechanism to adjust supply and demand is similar different states have made changes to the construct over time. I will discuss the following: The basics of SRECs; How different states have introduced SRECs; SREC success and failures; The future of SRECs and solar.

     


  • 2012-2013 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    7/17/2013

    "Realising the Value of Storing Electricity to Enable Decarbonisation; Technology in a UK/EU Policy Context"

    Tim Fox
    Head of Energy and Environment
    Institution of Mechanical Engineers

    Abstract
    UK and European Union (EU) policy on climate change mitigation is driving an increase in the proportion of UK electricity supply derived from renewable energy sources. To date, relatively small proportions of wind, solar and biomass based power have been installed in comparison to conventional generation. However, the UK Government expect this proportion to increase by an order of magnitude in the next ten years, with a particular focus on exploitation of wind resources. As wind is an intermittent source of energy in the UK, when the proportion of this source increases in the generation mix, additional measures such as energy storage will be needed to maintain a safe and efficient balance between electricity supply and demand on the nation’s power system. This presentation will describe current UK thinking on electricity storage technology as part of a decarbonisation strategy, consider its potential to build network resilience and enable community level engagement with renewables, as well as explore ideas about added value through cost saving and increased asset utilization. The energy policy developments needed to enable storage to realise its full potential in a future UK power network will be discussed and comparisons will be made with developments in Germany, where aspirations of the Energiewende to achieve 80% of electricity generation from renewables by 2050 means energy storage is rising up that nation’s policy agenda.


    7/11/2013

    "ARPA-E: Funding and Catalyzing Game-Changing Energy Innovations"

    Ilan Gur
    Program Director and Technology to Market Senior Advisor
    ARPA-E

    Abstract
    The Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) focuses on funding game-changing R&D aimed at reducing U.S. foreign energy dependence and emissions. This presentation will introduce the agency, offering an under-the-hood look into the ARPA-E innovation model and the future of battery technology for vehicles and the grid.


    5/3/2013

    "The Exxon Mobile Energy Outlook: A View to 2040"

    David Khemakhem
    Energy and Technology Advisor
    ExxonMobil

    Abstract
    Our world runs on energy – it’s fundamental to our way of life and growing our economy. But as the world changes, global and regional energy landscapes will continue to evolve and transform. Providing reliable and affordable energy to support human progress -- safely and with minimum impact on the environment -- is an on-going challenge around the world. The scale and nature of this challenge is readily apparent in ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040, our long-term global forecast of energy supply and demand trends. The Outlook reveals key findings about how we use energy, how much we will need in the future and what types of fuels will meet demand. For example: -Energy demand in developing (Non OECD) nations will rise 65 percent by 2040 compared to 2010, reflecting growing prosperity and expanding economies. Overall, global energy demand will grow 35 percent, even with significant efficiency gains, as the world’s population expands to nearly 9 billion people. -Today, electricity generation represents the largest driver of demand for energy. Through 2040, it will account for more than half of the rise in global energy demand. -Growth in transportation sector demand will be led by expanding commercial activity as our economies grow. However, global energy used for personal vehicles will gradually peak and then begin to fall as cars become much more fuel-efficient. -Technology is enabling the safe development of once hard-to-produce energy resources, significantly expanding available supplies. Oil and natural gas will supply about 60 percent of global energy demand in 2040. Use of nuclear power and renewable energy will also grow, while demand for coal will peak around 2025 and then gradually decline. -Evolving demand and supply patterns will open the door for increased global trade opportunities. The changing energy landscape, in conjunction with an abundance of free trade opportunities, will help lead to more choices and creation of value that helps fuel economic growth and improve living standards worldwide. -Gains in efficiency across economies worldwide through energy-saving practices and technologies will significantly reduce demand growth and curb emissions. Global energy-related CO2 emissions will peak around 2030, and then gradually decline. The Outlook provides a window to the future, a view that ExxonMobil uses to guide our own strategies and investments. The information contained in the Outlook regarding energy markets is also crucial for individuals, businesses, and policymakers. We hope that by sharing this Outlook, we can enhance understanding of energy issues so that we can all make informed decisions about our energy future.

    Additional Information: http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/energy/energy-outlook


    4/24/2013

    "Electricity Generation Optimization in a Period of Surplus Baseload Generation"

    Bruce Boland
    Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations & Environment
    Ontario Power Generation Inc.

    Abstract
    Seminar includes: --Introduction to Ontario Power Generation and the Ontario power market --Transformation to “Clean and Green” --Coping with Surplus Baseload Generation --Implied CO2 cost of Renewables in Ontario --Sizing the nuclear fleet for the Ontario System --The value of storage to the Ontario System --Key messages.


    4/11/2013

    "Temperature-based Model-predictive Cascade Mitigation in Electric Power Systems"

    Mads Almassalkhi
    PhD Candidate, Power & Control Systems Laboratory
    University of Michigan

    Abstract
    This talk proposes a novel model-predictive control scheme for transmission-level operation, which combines both economic and security objectives to mitigate the effects of severe disturbances in electrical power systems. A linear convex relaxation of the AC power flow is employed to model transmission line losses and conductor temperatures. Then, a receding-horizon model predictive control (RHMPC) strategy is developed to alleviate line temperature overloads and prevent the propagation of outages. The RHMPC strategy seeks to alleviate temperature overloads by rescheduling generation, energy storage, and other network elements, subject to ramp-rate limits and network limitations. The RHMPC strategy is illustrated with simulations of an augmented IEEE RTS-96 network with energy storage and renewable generation.


    4/10/2013

    "UK Electric Market Reform Application to Texas Power Market"

    Ingmar Sterzing
    Director, Commercial Operations for Nuclear Power Plants
    Westinghouse Nuclear

    Abstract
    Both the UK and Texas power markets have similar power infrastructure and operate with restructured generation and retail markets. Each market is facing generation capacity reductions driven by aging infrastructure, relatively low power prices, and increasing environmental controls. The UK is proposing electric market reforms to encourage generation development, improve energy security, and improve emissions. Texas has recognized that low marginal power prices and an “Energy Only” market may not be sufficient to encourage new generation development and that market changes are needed to assure generation adequacy. Aspects of the UK electric market reform may be applied to the Texas market as a means to promote new generation while maintaining the critical aspects of the restructured power market and minimizing cost and risk to stakeholders.


    3/27/2013

    "Grid Connected Solar Power in India: Status and Prospects"

    Rangan Banerjee
    Forbes Marshall Chair Professor in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering
    Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

    Abstract
    Most parts of India have good solar insulation (more than 1900 kWh/m2/year) with about 300 days of sunshine. The Indian government launched the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission in 2010 with plans to establish 20 GW of grid connected solar power by 2022. We review the status of progress in Solar Photovoltaics and Solar Thermal for grid connected power in India. The existing capabilities for technology development and research in solar power in India are reviewed. IIT Bombay has been involved in setting up a MW scale National Solar thermal power demonstration facility. A consortium of industries is involved in this project which plans to enable the development of future cost effective solar thermal power plants. We describe the experience involved in setting up the consortium and the facility and evolution of the plant design. The plant is a combination of parabolic trough collectors to heat a heat transfer oil and a linear Fresnel reflector field to generate steam. The two solar fields have being integrated using a heat exchanger. The plant has buffer oil storage. This talk will describe some of the design trade-offs involved and the decisions taken related to operations and control strategy. A simulator has been built to analyse the performance of alternative solar thermal power plant configurations. We outline the challenges for technology development and research for concentrated solar power in India.


    2/20/2013

    "Understanding 'Informational-Friction' for Green Communication and Computation"

    Pulkit Grover
    Assistant Professor, ECE
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    Just as there is friction when an object is moved on a surface, there is friction when information is moved on a link, whether wirelessly, through cables, or through on-chip wires. Surprisingly, this ``informational friction'' has been mostly ignored in fundamental study of communications, computer science, and even physics. But informational friction matters: it is one of the major reasons why there is energy consumed in today's Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), such as the data-centers, laptops and personal computers, and networking equipment. ICTs themselves are slated to soon consume > 15% of the total electricity generated in the world. I will start with a fundamental approach to this energy consumption problem. I will first motivate and present a model of information-frictional losses in computation and communication. Focusing on communication systems, frictional losses are incurred not only in transmission across the communication channel, but also in processing at the transmitter and the receiver. In today's short-distance communication systems (e.g. in data-centers, or even on-chip information transfer), processing energy dominates transmit energy. Even so, the existing theory of information focuses almost exclusively on the transmit energy. I will describe how our informational-friction model helps us adapt traditional information theory results to include this computation power. This adaptation is leading us to a new fundamental understanding of "green" communication and computation that combines ideas from Shannon's information theory, thermodynamics, and computer science. I will discuss how this fundamental understanding has the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption in data-center ethernet, chip-to-chip and on-chip communication (I/Os), indoor wireless, etc., even without accounting for energy reductions with technology improvements.


    2/13/2013

    "Dynamic Management of Integrated Residential Energy Systems"

    Matteo Muratori
    Ph.D. Candidate & Graduate Research Associate
    Center for Automotive Research, The Ohio State University

    Abstract
    Nowadays, energy-related expenditures, fossil fuel dependency, the need for greater energy security, and concern about climate changes call for a radical paradigm shift in the energy industry. Solutions for such a complex problem cannot be obtained through simple reasoning or one-dimensional thinking. Comprehensive and accurate models of the next-generation energy systems are needed to face this challenge. This research aims at developing a highly-resolved model of a Residential Energy Eco-System (REES). Such a system captures all the energy consumption of an individual, to include all household appliances, HVAC systems, and charging of plug-in electric vehicles. It comprises several energy carriers, including electricity, gasoline and natural gas. The REES model is composed of several sub-models, which are detailed enough for the purpose of this study and have been validated against measured data. The proposed model allows for the simulation of different “what-if?” scenarios and evaluation of different technology adoptions. Further, a dynamic energy management framework is developed to intelligently manage energy consumption in the Residential Energy Eco-System in order to minimize total energy-related cost, subject to pertinent positive and negative externalities. This tool will serve as a virtual laboratory for investigating fundamental economic and policy-related questions regarding the interplay of individual consumers with energy-use aspects including but not necessarily limited to: interaction with the power grid, demand-side energy management and demand response, domestic distributed power generation and storage, and residential charging of natural gas or plug-in electric vehicles.


    1/28/2013

    "Temporal and Spatial Heterogeneity in Marginal Emissions: Implications for Electric Cars and Other Electricity-Shifting Policies"

    Erin Mansur
    Associate Professor, Department of Economics
    Dartmouth College
    Research Associate
    National Bureau of Economic Research

    Abstract
    In this paper, we develop a methodology for estimating marginal emissions of electricity demand that vary by location and time of day across the United States. The approach takes account of the generation mix within interconnected electricity markets and shifting load profiles throughout the day. Using data available for 2007 through 2009, with a focus on carbon dioxide (CO2), we find substantial variation among locations and times of day. Marginal emission rates are more than three times as large in the upper Midwest compared to the western United States, and within regions, rates for some hours of the day are more than twice those for others. We apply our results to an evaluation of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The CO2 emissions per mile from driving PEVs are less than those from driving a hybrid car in the western United States and Texas. In the upper Midwest, however, charging during the recommended hours at night implies that PEVs generate more emissions per mile than the average car currently on the road. Underlying many of our results is a fundamental tension between electricity load management and environmental goals: the hours when electricity is the least expensive to produce tend to be the hours with the greatest emissions. In addition to PEVs, we show how our estimates are useful for evaluating the heterogeneous effects of other policies and initiatives, such as distributed solar, energy efficiency, and real-time pricing.


    12/12/2012

    "Taking the Information Infrastructure and the Human Factors into Account when Assessing the Risk of Blackouts"

    Daniel Kirschen
    Donald W. and Ruth Mary Close Professor of Electrical Engineering
    University of Washington

    Abstract
    Supplying electric power requires a large and very visible electrical infrastructure made of transmission lines, substations and generating plants. Nowadays however, these components cannot operate without the assistance of a much more concealed information infrastructure of communication links, instrumentation and control centers. Questions have begun to be raised about the negative impact that this increasing reliance on the information infrastructure might have on the resilience of the power system. Reports on major incidents have mentioned malfunctions or inadequacies in the control and communication systems as contributing factors to the degradation of the situation which ultimately led to blackouts. It is therefore important and urgent to understand the mechanisms through which failures in the information infrastructure can endanger the security of the power system. Once these mechanisms are understood, we must quantify their potential impact. Finally, on the basis of this quantification we must then develop techniques to maintain or enhance the overall robustness of the system. The framework that is traditionally used to assess the security of power systems is not suitable for these tasks because it does not consider explicitly the information infrastructure. The main purpose of this presentation is thus to propose a new framework that clarifies the interactions between the primary “electrical” and the secondary “information” infrastructures in terms of security. Based on this framework, we will then outline a set of research issues and challenges that deserve attention.


    12/6/2012

    "Oxycombustion CCS Demonstration Technology Development Center at CIUDEN (Spain)"

    Dr. Monica Lupion
    International Affairs Director
    CO2 Capture, Transport and Storage Technology Programme

    Abstract
    One of the current European R&D initiatives focusing on carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the Technological Centre for CO2 Capture and Transport, which is supported by the Spanish Government through the Fundación Ciudad de la Energía (CIUDEN). CIUDEN is a research and development institution created by the Spanish Administration in 2006 and fully conceived for collaborative research in carbon capture, transport and storage. The Technology Development Centre for CO2 Capture comprises two different technologies on oxycombustion: Pulverized Coal (PC, 50 MWth) and Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB). Focusing on oxy-CFB, the 30 MWth unit, provided by Foster Wheeler, achieved first fire on coal in September 2011 and underwent initial oxy-mode commissioning in December 2011. Initial commissioning activities have been concluded, and testing has begun. The CFB unit is fully operational and already booked for testing during 2012-2013. The first experimental test runs, including integrated operation with the CPU and transport rig, are already ongoing (2nd semester of 2012). A wide variety of fuels and blends are to be tested during this time, including local anthracite, petcoke, bituminous coal, and biomass co-firing. This oxy-CFB installation, which is the first of its class, will provide a real basis for the design and operation of flexible and competitive oxycombustion facilities at the demonstration scale. The results achieved here aim to validate the design of a 330 MWe supercritical Oxy-Combustion Power Station (EEPR OXY-CFB-300 Compostilla Demo Project, developed by ENDESA, CIUDEN and Foster Wheeler) intended to demonstrate the CCS technology in commercial scale. This presentation includes the description of the facility, the testing program, initial experiences during the commissioning period and first preliminary results of the 30MWth oxy-CFB. A brief description of the Compostilla Project, one of the 6 demo projects funded by the European Commission, is also included.


    11/28/2012

    "Economic Analysis of Baseload Power Plants Meeting Current & Possible Future GHG Regulations"

    Nick Siefert
    Mechanical Engineer
    Separation and Fuels Division, DOE/NETL/ORD

    Abstract
    We present exergy and economic analyses of two advanced fossil fuel power plants configurations: an integrated gasification combined cycle with advanced H2 and O2 membrane separation including CO2 sequestration (Adv. IGCC-CCS) and an integrated gasification fuel cell cycle with a catalytic gasifier and a pressurized solid oxide fuel cell including CO2 sequestration (Adv. IGFC-CCS). The goal of the exergy analysis was to evaluate the power generation and the exergy destruction of each of the major components. We estimated the capital, labor, and fuel costs of these power plants, and then calculated the internal rate of return on investment (IRR) and the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). This talk will also present a detailed economic analysis of other baseload fossil fuel power plants that can meet existing EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and possible future regulations on CO2 emissions. Current EPA regulations limit the carbon dioxide emissions from new, large-scale power plants to less than 1 lb of CO2 per kWh of electricity generated. We compare the values of LCOE and IRR for the two advanced gasification power plant configurations with the IRR and LCOE of the following configurations: NGCC (natural gas combined cycle), NGCC-CCS, PCC-CCS (pulverized coal with CCS), IGCC-CCS (conventional integrated gasification combined cycle with CCS), and IGFC-CCS (conventional integrated gasification fuel cell with CCS.) Currently, a conventional NGCC power plant configuration yields the lowest baseload LCOE. In addition to analyzing the economic viability of these power plant configurations under the current EPA regulations and the current price of natural gas, we also analyze what type of baseload power plant configuration yields the lowest LCOE as a function of the price of natural gas and the price of emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. In this presentation we will present calculations of the price of natural gas and the price to emit carbon dioxide for which Adv. IGCC and Adv. IGFC power plant configurations yield the lower baseload LCOE.


    11/14/2012

    "Distributed PV Monitoring Plant Performance and Voltage: Observations Using High Resolution Field Data"

    Chris Trueblood
    Sr. Project Engineer
    Electric Power Research Institute

    Abstract
    EPRI has partnered with a number of U.S. utilities to monitor distributed PV systems and provide a detailed characterization of their output variability in a variety of local environmental conditions. Detailed, high resolution (one-second) solar input and ac power output data is currently being collected at several 1MW PV plants and 150+ single-module PV monitoring systems. These PV monitoring systems are deployed on specific distribution circuits to capture solar variability and service voltage variations. This presentation will deliver insights into the importance of field monitoring and how measurement data can be used to benefit PV research and integration into utility distribution systems. The variable output from 1MW PV plants can impact the distribution service voltage, and measured results showing the extent and severity of this effect will be shared. Because EPRI has deployed single-module PV monitoring systems in close proximity to several 1MW PV plants, output from a single PV module (with a micro-inverter) can be compared to the overall output from a 1MW plant. EPRI will offer insight into PV plant performance and balance-of-system implications.

     


    10/24/2012

    "Energy Technology R&D Policy in Response to Climate Change"

    Erin Baker
    University of Massachusetts at Amherst


    10/17/2012

    "Climate Change Energy Technology R&D Policy under Uncertainty"

    Erin Baker
    Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Abstract
    Human induced climate change is a major public policy problem today. One vexing problem faced by policy makers is how to allocate research budgets across a variety of energy technologies, in order to reduce the future costs of controlling climate change. We develop a framework that allows us to apply science to science policy, investigating energy technology R&D portfolio management in the face of climate change. We apply a multi-model approach, implementing probabilistic data derived from expert elicitations into a stochastic programming version of a dynamic integrated assessment model. We find that the optimal technology portfolio for the set of projects considered is fairly robust to different specifications of climate uncertainty, to different policy environments, and to assumptions about the opportunity cost of investing. We also conclude that policy makers would do better to over-invest in R&D rather than under-invest. Finally, we show that R&D can play different roles in different types of policy environments, sometimes leading primarily to cost reduction, other times leading to better environmental outcomes.


    10/10/2012

    "Transmission Issues and Planning in the Western Grid"

    Rich Bayless
    Director of Transmission Services and Technical Spokesman
    Northern Tier Transmission Group (NTTG)
    Principal
    Comprehensive Power Solutions (CPS), LLC

    Abstract
    Popular belief is that while electrification and development of the transmission grid was the single most important achievement of the 20th century, the grid hasn’t changed fundamentally since its inception well over a century ago. The belief is that computer, microprocessor, and other technologies have soared; wind and solar variable generation development has sky-rocketed; but the grid hasn’t kept pace with the requirements for a more robust and flexible transmission grid.

    New transmission expansion is very expensive and intrusive. It brings large issues of NIMBY, and NIMPC (Not In My Backyard, Not In My Pay Check). However, some believe it is critical for facilitating US technology, clean energy, security and global competitiveness. Also, the transmission grid a little understood part of the electricity infrastructure. The industry is now trying to decide the “where, what and how” new transmission infrastructure should be developed, but it is a complex planning issue given policies, technology, development timelines, customer requirements, and new energy supplies. My discussion will be titled Overview of Western Transmission System (especially the Northwest) – Planning, Issues and Integration of Variable Energy Resources. Outline (Draft 1):

    • The Western Transmission System
      • Types of Transmission Planning & Roles
      • NW & the Western Interconnection
    • Basics
    • Brief History of Western Grid
    • Dependencies & synergies
    • Evolution of Planning in NW
    • FERC Orders
      • 888, 889
      • 2000 & RTOs
      • 890
      • NTTG Example
    • Transmission Planning organizations in the West
    • Industry changes & Emerging Issues
      • Wind, Solar and other Renewable Energy development
    • Order 1000
      • Status
      • Implications for the NW and West

    10/5/2012

    "Insights From the Recent India Blackout – Opportunities for Energy Storage, DR and Microgrids"

    Rahul Walawalkar
    VP, Emerging Tech & Markets
    Customized Energy Solutions


    9/26/2012

    "Building an Informatics of Personal Energy Consumption"

    J. Zico Kolter
    Assistant Professor
    School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon

    Abstract
    An important characteristic of many modern energy domains is that they can produce large amounts of data, such as detailed personal consumption information, on an unprecedented scale. The ability to understand this data, to make inferences and predictions about energy information, can play a transformative role in the future of energy systems. In this talk I will discuss how recent advances in machine learning and data analysis can be brought to bear on such problems, and now these problems can themselves motivate new statistical methods. In particular, I will highlight new algorithmic work on energy disaggregation, the task of taking an aggregate power signal and decomposing it into separate devices. This ability helps us understand how energy is consumed in a building, and studies have shown that just presenting this information to users can often lead to large energy savings. I will also discuss work on city-level energy analysis, and how this can inform both customers and cities about the relative energy consumption between homes.


    9/12/2012

    "The Pecan Street Project"

    Roger Duncan
    Research Associate
    University of Texas at Austin
    President
    Pecan Street Project

    Abstract
    Preliminary research results from the smart grid research effort, The Pecan Street, Inc., will be presented. The Pecan Street, Inc. project includes the largest concentration of distributed solar PV and Electric Vehicles in the U.S. Preliminary findings look at South vs. West facing solar, the impact of concentrated PV and EV on transformers and the local distribution grid, and modeling of community energy storage. The presentation will also outline future research on home energy management systems, the integration of gas, electric and water smart grids, dynamic pricing and other smart grid research.


    8/29/2012

    "AVESTAR Center for Operational Excellence of Electricity Generation Plants"

    Stephen E. Zitney, Ph.D.
    Director, AVESTAR Center
    Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation
    Training and Research
    Office of Research & Development
    U.S. Department of Energy
    National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)

    Abstract
    To address industry challenges in attaining operational excellence for electricity generation plants, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has launched a world-class facility for Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research (AVESTARTM). This presentation will highlight the AVESTARTM Center simulators, facilities, and comprehensive training, education, and research programs focused on the operation and control of high-efficiency, near-zero-emission electricity generation plants.

    The AVESTAR Center brings together state-of-the-art, real-time, high-fidelity dynamic simulators with full-scope operator training systems (OTSs) and 3D virtual immersive training systems (ITSs) into an integrated energy plant and control room environment. AVESTAR’s initial offering combines--for the first time--a “gasification with CO2 capture” process simulator with a “combined-cycle” power simulator together in a single OTS/ITS solution for an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture. IGCC systems are an attractive technology option for power generation, especially when capturing and storing CO2 is necessary to satisfy emission targets.

    The AVESTAR training program offers a variety of courses that merge classroom learning, simulator-based OTS learning in a control-room operations environment, and immersive learning in the interactive 3D virtual plant environment or ITS. All of the courses introduce trainees to base-load plant operation, control, startups, and shutdowns. Advanced courses require participants to become familiar with coordinated control, fuel switching, power-demand load shedding, and load following, as well as to problem solve equipment and process malfunctions. Designed to ensure work force development, training is offered for control room and plant field operators, as well as engineers and managers. Such comprehensive simulator-based instruction allows for realistic training without compromising worker, equipment, and environmental safety. It also better prepares operators and engineers to manage the plant closer to economic constraints while minimizing or avoiding the impact of any potentially harmful, wasteful, or inefficient events.

    With support from the NETL Regional University Alliance (RUA), the AVESTAR Center is also used to augment graduate and undergraduate engineering education in the areas of process simulation, dynamics, control, and safety. Students and researchers gain hands-on simulator-based training experience and learn how the commercial-scale power plants respond dynamically to changes in manipulated inputs, such as coal feed flow rate and power demand. Students also analyze how the regulatory control system impacts power plant performance and stability. In addition, students practice start-up, shutdown, and malfunction scenarios. The 3D virtual ITSs are used for plant familiarization, walk-through, equipment animations, and safety scenarios.

    To further leverage the AVESTAR facilities and simulators, NETL and its university partners are pursuing an innovative and collaborative R&D program. In the area of process control, AVESTAR researchers are developing enhanced strategies for regulatory control and coordinated plant-wide control, including gasifier and gas turbine lead, as well as advanced process control using model predictive control (MPC) techniques. Other AVESTAR R&D focus areas include high-fidelity equipment modeling using partial differential equations, dynamic reduced order modeling, optimal sensor placement, 3D virtual plant simulation, and modern grid.

    NETL and its partners plan to continue building the AVESTAR portfolio of dynamic simulators, immersive training systems, and advanced research capabilities to satisfy industry’s growing need for training and experience with the operation and control of clean energy plants. Future dynamic simulators under development include natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) and supercritical pulverized coal (SCPC) plants with post-combustion CO2 capture. These dynamic simulators are targeted for use in establishing a Virtual Carbon Capture Center (VCCC), similar in concept to the DOE’s National Carbon Capture Center for slipstream testing. The VCCC will enable developers of CO2 capture technologies to integrate, test, and optimize the operation of their dynamic capture models within the context of baseline power plant dynamic models. The objective is to provide hands-on, simulator-based “learn-by-operating” test platforms to accelerate the scale-up and deployment of CO2 capture technologies.

    Future AVESTAR plans also include pursuing R&D on the dynamics, operation, and control of integrated electricity generation and storage systems for the modern grid era. Special emphasis will be given to combining load-following energy plants with renewable and distributed generating supplies and fast-ramping energy storage systems to provide near constant baseload power.

     


  • 2011-2012 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    4/25/2012

    "Regulatory Fragmentation in the US Electricity Industry: Perspectives and Insights from the Regulated"

    Emily Fischer
    Lawrence Berkley Laboratory


    4/11/2012

    "Is there a future for Coal Gasification (Clean Coal Technology)?"

    Douglas Heguy
    Commercial Leader - Gasification
    GE Energy

    Abstract
    Coal gasification technology is often referred to as “clean coal technology”. There will be a brief review of coal gasification technology and why it has earned the monikor “clean coal”. The presentation will provide an overview of global market dynamics, where coal gasification is being applied, and why, followed by a discussion of market dynamics in the United States. The United States is a tough market for coal plants in general. Earlier in this decade numerous government programs and incentives were created to promote coal gasification and carbon sequestration, yet few plants have been built. The issues facing developers of coal projects in the United States will be presented and discussed using actual case examples of projects currently being developed. A question and answer session will follow.


    3/21/2012

    "Atmospheric Turbulence and Geographic Diversity in Wind-Powered Electricity Generation"

    Dr. Mark Handschy
    Partner
    Enduring Energy, LLC

    Abstract
    Variability of electric generation from renewable wind and solar resources poses a challenge for regulation and stability of the electric grid. It has been widely suggested that this variability can be reduced by aggregating geographically diverse generators, with a benefit determined by the degree of correlation between sites. Here, we propose a general quantitative form for site-to-site correlation using a simple model that equates horizontal wind with fully developed turbulence. The proposed model shows how the geographic size of an aggregation region affects the time scale of electric-grid regulation requirements for wind and solar power. The model is based on the similarity of k‒5/3 Kolmogorov power spectra for wind and turbulence. This allows classic results for turbulence correlation functions to be carried over to wind. According to these results correlation falls off with distance between measurement sites according to a universal form, with a spectral cut-off at low wave number or outer scale determining the correlation length. Wind speed exhibits the same dependence on temporal frequency (f‒5/3) as on spatial wave number (k‒5/3), which suggests a characteristic velocity connects space and time domains even when atmospheric turbulence is not “frozen” as required by Taylor’s hypothesis. With this connection, the temporal cut-off frequency below which trends are removed from time-series data substitutes for the outer spatial scale in determining correlation length. Some previously published results for wind-speed correlations seem to agree with this conjecture. Data for solar irradiance also show similar scaling, indicating that wind influence on cloud size, shape, and motion may determine solar power variability statistics.


    2/22/2012

    "Assessing the Domestic Industrial Base for Coal-based Electricity Generation Equipment"

    Constantine Samaras
    Engineer, RAND Corporation Professor
    Pardee RAND Graduate School

    Abstract
    Coal-fired electricity generating units (EGUs) provide approximately 46 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, yet most of the existing coal-fired electricity generating fleet is 25–45 years old. Deploying new coal-fired EGUs and maintenance of the existing fleet requires an industrial capacity to provide equipment, skilled labor, and project management expertise. This research addresses the concern about whether the industrial base for the U.S. domestic coal-based electricity generation industry can maintain the capability to design, construct, operate, and maintain coal-fired EGUs within reasonable cost, schedule, performance, environmental, and quality expectations. The authors reviewed existing reports and databases, conducted interviews with a variety of stakeholders, and collected and analyzed data describing key elements of industry capability and validation or verification of concerns. By first describing the capability that is inherent in the existing coal-fired fleet, this work takes a first step toward addressing the larger policy questions of how to develop, deploy, and maintain an advanced, low-carbon electricity-generation industry capability into the future.


    1/18/2012

    "Importance of an Integrated System Design in Offshore Wind Projects"

    Dr. Denis Ozkan
    Project Coordinator
    Atlantic Wind Connection

    Abstract
    In general, a system is defined as "a process that converts inputs to output". It is also a collection of independent and interrelated entities that interact with each other to form a complex whole. An offshore wind plant is a perfect example of a complex system that works in a complex environment. It contains several subsystems that work closely together. Any design choice can have significant impacts on both the energy output and the cost of a specific component or subsystem. And this impact does not only affect the component under consideration. A change in a specific component can have indirect effects on the other components costs and performances too. For this reason, an offshore wind power plant system should ideally be optimized for the selected site characteristics including meteorological, topographical, oceanographic, power network, environmental policies etc. The integrated system design analysis including modeling challenges, affected entities and potential benefits will be discussed and sample findings from the Atlantic Wind Connection project will be presented.


    12/14/2011

    "A Framework for Sustainable Clean Energy Investment: Key Elements of a Federal Clean Energy Standard"

    Michael H. Schwartz, PhD
    Chief Executive Officer
    New Wave Energy Capital Partners, LLC

    Abstract
    Propelling new private sector investment in the energy sector can act as an important element of a comprehensive federal initiative to drive economic recovery, job creation and to enhance US technology competitiveness. Dr. Schwartz proposes that a properly structured, market-based federal Clean Energy Standard (“CES”) can create a sustainable platform for investment in the clean energy sector. He outlines five key “Principles” upon which a CES should be founded and describes how the “Principles” can be reconciled with contemporary political considerations and drivers so as to create momentum toward legislative success in the Congress.


    10/26/2011

    "An Overview of the Public Utility Commission and the State of Energy Policy in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania"

    Kim Pizzingrilli
    Government Relations Professional
    Harrisburg Government Relations Center

    John Povilaitis
    Shareholder
    Harrisburg Government Relations Center

    Abstract
    The presentation by Kim Pizzingrilli and John Povilaitis will provide an overview of the role of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and a context for a discussion about the current state of Pennsylvania Energy Policy.


    10/12/2011

    "Designing Markets for Pollution When Damages Vary Across Sources : Evidence from the NOx Budget Program"

    Meredith Fowlie
    University of California at Berkeley


    9/28/2011

    "Offshore Renewables"

    Ye Li
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory


    9/14/2011

    "Habitat Impacts and Conservation Opportunities From Energy Development in the Central Appalachians"

    Nels Johnson
    Deputy State Director, Pennsylvania Chapter
    The Nature Conservancy

    Abstract
    Natural gas development and wind power have rapidly emerged as conservation challenges in Pennsylvania. The Nature Conservancy and partner organizations assessed the potential forest habitat impacts of current and future Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling and wind turbine locations in Pennsylvania (www.nature.org/paenergy). We used maximum entropy modeling to produce a surface representing the probability of conversion to wind or Marcellus gas development and then generated and mapped low, medium, and high scenarios for future Marcellus drilling and wind sites. By 2030, sixty thousand new Marcellus gas wells could be drilled in Pennsylvania alone, directly clearing between 38,000 to 90,000 acres of forest and creating between 91,000 and 220,000 acres of additional forest edge habitats where the risk of predation, changes in light and humidity, and expanded presence of invasive species could threaten forest interior species. This development could transform the region’s iconic forests and impact many thousands of acres of key habitat for songbirds, salamanders, and trout. The Nature Conservancy is partnering with conservation groups, energy companies, and research/training organizations to conduct a larger-scale assessment of energy development impacts in other Central Appalachian states, and develop a decision support tool for integrating conservation data into Marcellus gas infrastructure planning.


    8/31/2011

    "Multi-Vendor Penetration Testing in the Advanced Metering Infrastructure: Challenges for Regulation"

    Stephen McLaughlin
    PhD. Candidate, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
    Penn State University

    Abstract
    The advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is made up of hardware, software, and networks from an increasingly large pool of vendors. There are currently no regulations imposed on AMI vendors or utilities to test the security of such products. At the same time, the criticality of large scale AMI deployments is approaching that of traditionally more well-regulated infrastructures like generation and transmission. Ours and other research has shown that attacks against smart electric meters can lead to large scale losses of electric service and utility revenue. In this talk, we review some examples of currently standardized security auditing, and make the case that penetration-testing needs to be an added requirement of any serious security audit process in AMI. We then review the results of our efforts in pen-testing smart meters using attack trees to organize our efforts. Finally, it is argued that attack trees are a useful tool for standardized pen-testing efforts as they provide necessary levels of abstraction and act as form of institutional memory.

     


  • 2010-2011 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    5/11/11

    "Wind Power Forecasting"

    Bri-Mathias Hodge
    Post-Doctoral Researcher National Renewable Energy Laboratory

    Abstract
    Wind power forecasting is an important consideration in integrating large amounts of wind power into the electricity grid. The wind power forecast error distribution assumed can have a large impact on the confidence intervals produced in wind power forecasting. We have examined the shape of the error distributions for different short-term forecasting techniques (persistence, ARMA, ARIMA) for wind plants in the ERCOT system over multiple timescales. Comparisons are made between the experimental distribution shapes and that of some commonly assumed distributions, including the normal, beta and Weibull distributions. The shape of the distribution is found to change significantly with the length of the forecasting timescale and the forecasting technique used. The Cauchy distribution is proposed as a model distribution for the forecast errors associated with the persistence model and model parameters are fitted. Non-parametric kernel density estimation techniques are applied to model the errors produced by the statistical techniques. The differences in confidence intervals obtained using the newly characterized distributions and the commonly assumed normal distribution are compared. The practical implications of these different confidence intervals are then examined through their use in a stochastic unit commitment and economic dispatch model.


    4/27/11

    "California's Energy Future Study: Portraits of the Energy System in 2050"

    Jane Long
    Principal Associate Director at Large
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Abstract
    The California Council on Science and Technology has undertaken a study of California's energy system in 2050. By executive order, the state is to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The study identifies energy system descriptions (called "portraits") from a technical perspective that would meet this standard and allow for population and economic growth. The requirement for growth means that the energy system should have nearly zero emissions. The portraits are constructed by evaluating four key questions: How much can we control demand? How much heat and transportation will be electrified? How will electricity be de-carbonized? How much sustainable biofuel could be available? Results show an energy system that dramatically different than today, but largely relies on technology we know about.


    3/23/11

    "Predicting the Wind"

    Dr. John Zack
    President and Senior Research Scientist
    MESO, Inc.
    Director of Forecasting
    AWS TruePower, Inc.


    2/16/11

    "FutureGen 2.0" 

    Don Langley
    Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
    Babcock & Wilcox


    2/9/11

    "Designing, Building, and Operating Power Lines in South Florida"

    Bala Kattappuram
    Masters Student
    School of Public Policy and Management at the Heinz College
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    In this seminar I will attempt to showcase the day‐to‐day activities and functions of a transmission line engineer. I will focus primarily on the transmission side of the utility, and showcase some of the projects that I was involved with during my time at FPL. I will also highlight some of the tools of the trade, and address some of the more pressing concerns that transmission engineers face from a field perspective. I will use various transmission line design examples from Miami‐Dade. I hope to use a working model of PLS‐CADD to show how high‐voltage lines are sited and designed across the country. The overall purpose of this seminar is to help the audience get a glimpse into the world of transmission line design and inform future policymakers on how decisions made in DC can have significant downstream impacts to projects, and project timelines, directly or indirectly.

    Outline
    1. Everyday Transmission Engineering – a focus on job functions, tools and outlook
    2. PLS‐CADD
    3. Transmission corridor constraints and rights‐of‐way optimization
    4. Transmission structure material type – steel, concrete, wood 5. Post‐storm restoration strategy – Hurricanes Andrew and Wilma (Photographs)
    6. Outlook and concerns from a transmission line engineer’s perspective


    1/12/11

    "Development and Financing of Utility Wind Farms"

    Mas Ogiso
    Analyst
    EverPower Wind Holdings

    Ed Humes
    Project Development Manager
    EverPower Wind Holdings

    Abstract
    The presentation will feature a comprehensive overview of the development and financing process required to construct wind farms in the United States. Attendees will be taken through the land acquisition and permitting process necessary to finance a project and begin construction. And the presentation will end with the challenges of financing wind farms in the current economic environment.


    12/8/10

    "Prism 2.0: Preliminary Insights from EPRI’s Regional Model"

    Francisco de la Chesnaye
    Senior Economist, Global Climate Program
    Electric Power Research Institute

    Abstract
    In 2007 the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released its first Prism and MERGE analyses. The purpose of these analyses was to provide a technical and economic feasible roadmap as the electricity sector seeks to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next few decades. The Prism analysis provided a comprehensive assessment of potential CO2 reductions in eight key technology areas of the electricity sector. The MERGE analysis identified a cost-effective technology portfolio in response to a given CO2 emissions constraint. Both analyses have been cited in numerous national and international publications and provided thought leadership for the electric power industry. One limitation of the MERGE model used in the 2007 analyses (and subsequent updates) is that it did not take into account regional differences in technologies, policies and economic costs. As a result, in 2009 EPRI initiated a multi-year effort to develop a new regional model to provide greater technical insights into how regional differences impact the electricity sector as it seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Preliminary insights from this new regional model, Prism 2.0, confirm the importance of assessing energy resources at a regional level and that responses to possible future national climate/energy policies -- from economic and technical standpoints -- would vary greatly across major regions of the country with different mixes of generation and efficiency programs.


    11/10/10

    "Clean Energy in New York State"

    Gil Quinones
    Chief Operating Officer
    New York Power Authority

    Jill Anderson
    Director of Supply Acquisition and Renewable Energy
    New York Power Authority

    Abstract
    The presentation begins with an introduction to electricity markets, summarizes New York’s clean energy initiatives and the role the New York Power Authority (NYPA) plays in meeting energy goals. The potential for offshore wind in New York is discussed along with two projects NYPA is evaluating, one in the Great Lakes and the other in the Atlantic Ocean. Challenges and opportunities for clean energy development are reviewed.


    11/3/10

    "Moving North American Energy Markets Forward: Delivering Innovation and Choice to Consumers"

    Chris Weston
    President and CEO
    Direct Energy

    Abstract
    Why do competitive energy markets make sense for North America and how best to support jurisdictions across North American through this complex evolution? Chris Weston, President & CEO, Direct Energy, North America’s largest competitive energy and services company, makes the case for what retailers must deliver in the coming decade in order to move energy markets forward. Chris will speak to the latest technology innovations in downstream and address ways to create the ideal market structure to support competition.


    9/22/10

    "Gasification Project Development…Progress and Challenges"

    The Hon. William Rosenberg
    e3 Ventures


    9/8/10

    "Towards Energy-Aware Facilities: Inferring Appliance-Level Consumption"

    Prof. Mario Berges
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    Global climate change, record-high oil prices and the decreasing availability of fossil fuels are forcing all of us to rethink the way we deal with our energy needs. Out of the 99.2 quadrillion BTU (quads) of total annual primary energy consumption in the United States, 40% is used to generate electricity. Residential and commercial buildings use 68% of this energy. Thus, reducing the consumption on any or both of these types of facilities can have a significant effect on the total energy savings for the country.

    Studies have shown that by providing building occupants with real-time energy use feedback, even at the aggregate level, savings of up to 10-15% may be achieved. Larger savings are potentially achievable if more detailed data were available not only to the user but also to automated building control systems or to electricity suppliers, allowing them to reward peak-shifting loads or subsidize equipment upgrades. However, the granularity of the power consumption data is typically proportional to the price of the solution required to obtain it. Nevertheless, there are ways to circumvent this relationship and this is the main topic of my work.

    Specifically, my research is on enabling awareness of the electricity consumption of buildings by exploiting low-cost data streams for high-value information, particularly through the use of signal processing tools and machine learning techniques. I envision a scenario where facilities can perform inference and automatically learn from different data sources in the building, in order to provide relevant and specific feedback targeted at influencing behavior and reducing consumption.

    In this talk I will present some of the work I have been doing towards this goal. In particular, I will present a Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring prototype system that we have developed and installed in four buildings around Pittsburgh, along with preliminary results and early findings from our deployments. I will also describe some of the possible uses of appliance-level data and discuss future research directions.

     


  • 2009-2010 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    4/28/10

    "Control of Power Flow Control Devices in the Electric Power System"

    Prof. Gabriela Hug
    ECE
    CMU


    4/21/10

    "A Technical Overview of the Texas Power Market"

    Ingmar Sterzing
    Director, Risk Management
    Nuclear Power Plants
    Westinghouse Electric Company

    Abstract:
    Ingmar will present a technical overview of the Texas power market, including a description of the restructured power market and the current supply and demand situation, as a backdrop for the challenges of developing new generation in Texas. Attending this presentation is an ideal way to learn about how competitive power markets function, how investors determine which generation to develop, and some of the principle challenges facing new generation development in today's environment.


    4/14/10

    "Implications of GHG Offset Policy on Corporate Strategy"

    Delavane Diaz
    Project Manager
    Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

    Abstract:
    This presentation will describe the impacts of greenhouse gas offset supply assumptions on an electric company's strategy for compliance with a climate policy. The quantity and cost of emission offsets are poorly understood, yet their ultimate supply will fundamentally affect the cost of emission allowances in a cap-and-trade program. The seminar will combine analysis of alternative assumptions about offset availability on regional dispatch and strategic investments in the power sector with a look at impacts to a hypothetical power company. This work explores how different offset supply scenarios might influence utility decision-making in anticipation of future climate legislation and highlights the fact that offset provisions in recent US climate proposals make international policy a domestic compliance issue.


    3/3/10

    "Negotiating in China - An Oil Persons Experience"

    Bill Brant
    Former Regional Director of M&A
    BP

    Abstract:
    In China negotiation is considered a national sport. The cultural protocols are different, personal relationships are important and ‘face’ must be managed carefully – foreigners are forgiven for some things, but not everything. Successful relationships start with an understanding of each party’s interests and always keeping a sense of perspective.

    The business development process can be described as understanding the parties interests (diplomacy) followed by problem solving to bridge gaps (negotiating) and finally making concessions (haggling). It is important to gather good intelligence and obtain an understanding of the issues for both parties. Good commercial diligence, permits one to be more creative at the negotiating stage creating a solution that is more than the sum of the parts. Culture is an important element of any discussion and it is here that the phrase ‘know thyself’ is as important as ‘know the other side’. Many commercial discussions require diplomatic as well as negotiating skills.

    In China, the negotiating process is dependent on what goes on ‘outside of the box’ and ‘inside of the box’. The government drives strategy, particularly in oil and gas. Commercial entities compete with each other for specific commercial opportunities that fit the government's strategy. Understanding the complex networks of government permissions and commercial competition is important in managing expectations around the outcome of any negotiation.

    Negotiating in China is similar to negotiating everywhere. The speed of the negotiation is dependent upon the quality of the negotiators, the need for an outcome, an understanding both parties interests and finally the relevant gap between the positions. Negotiation success is dependent upon preparation, creativity, inventive ways of framing, power and leverage. Sometimes progress can be quick if for example, negotiators are under time pressure. Sometimes progress can be painfully slow if the negotiators are tough-minded and not prepared to make concessions. Ultimately, success is about building 'trust' between the two parties.

    Bill will speak about his negotiating adventures in China. He will discuss planning frameworks, team roles and responsibilities, culture and the many surprises faced in real situations.


    12/16/09

    "Perspectives of a Treasurer at a Major Utility"

    Charles E. Zebula
    Senior Vice President and Treasurer
    American Electric Power


    12/14/09

    "The Smart Grid, Entry, and Imperfect Competition in Electricity Markets"

    Hunt Allcott
    Columbia University

    Abstract:
    Most US consumers are charged a near-constant retail price for electricity, despite substantial hourly variation in the wholesale market price. The Smart Grid is a set of emerging technologies that will facilitate "real time pricing" for electricity and increase price elasticity of demand. This paper simulates the effects of this increased demand elasticity using counterfactual simulations in a structural model of the Pennsylvania-Jersey-Maryland electricity market. The model includes a different approach to the problem of multiple equilibria in multi-unit auctions: I non-parametrically estimate unobservables that rationalize past bidding behavior and use learning algorithms to move from the observed equilibrium counterfactual bid functions. This routine is nested as the second stage of a static entry model that captures an important institution called the Capacity Market, which acts in equilibrium as a minimum constraint on system capacity and transfers the shadow price to capacity owners.

    There are three central results. First, I find that an increase in demand elasticity could actually increase wholesale electricity prices in peak hours, contrary to predictions from short run models, while decreasing Capacity Market prices and total entry. Second, although the increased demand elasticity from the Smart Grid reduces producers' market power, in practice this would be a second-order channel of efficiency gains relative to forestalled entry. Third, I find that the gross welfare gains from the Smart Grid, under the assumed demand parameters and before subtracting out the initial infrastructure costs, are about 10 percent of total wholesale electricity costs.


    12/2/09

    "Real World Challenges of Developing Major Coal and Petcoke to SNG gasification plants that Capture CO2 Emissions”

    William G. Rosenberg
    President
    E3 Gasification
    Senior Fellow
    Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
    Kennedy School of Government
    Harvard University

    Don Maley
    Vice President
    Leucadia International Corporation


    11/10/09

    "Polymer Separator Film for Lithium Ion Batteries: Past, Present, and Future"

    Patrick Brant
    Global R&D
    ExxonMobil Chemical Company

    Abstract
    Due to their excellent energy and power-to-weight ratios, as well as (benefit/cost), lithium ion batteries (LIB) are the power source of choice for portable electronics such as cell phones, cameras, and notebook computers. LIB's and lithium batteries (LB’s) are also used extensively in biomedical and military applications. More recently, LIB's are driving rapid growth in portable power tools and e bikes. Due to their key role in so many markets, LIB's have enjoyed robust growth since their commercial launch 18 years ago. Now, combined market, political, and environmental forces suggest that prospects are bright for widespread use of LIB's in transportation - hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrids (pHEV), as well as electric vehicles (EV). In order to meet the market demands for increased energy, power, safety, longevity, and reduced cost, research and development on all aspects of LIB materials, design, and function have accelerated. LIB's have three critical solid components - cathode, anode, and a thin (typically 7-30 micron) microporous polyolefin separator film – along with liquid or gel electrolyte. EM Chemical pioneered separator design and commericialization for LIB and continue to improve separator performance for the evolving array of applications.

    In this talk, we review:

    (1) genesis of the LIB separator and focus on its roles in LIB as well as the increasing demands put upon it. Briefly, separators must be: (a) chemically inert and separate the anode and cathode electrically (b) flexible, tough, and dimensionally stable (c) microporous to allow ion transport between cathode and anode yet prevent particulate transport (d) act as a safety device that maintains separation between anode and cathode in the event of an exotherm from abuse or a potential battery flaw and, in most cases, helps shut down the battery through designed pore closure.

    (2) Prospects for LIBs in transportation, with attention to some of the key factors involved in wider deployment.


    11/4/09

    Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)

    Dr. Frederick H. Morse
    Senior Advisor
    Abengoa Solar
    Chairman, USP Division
    Solar Energy Industries Association

    Abstract
    Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) is emerging as a major renewable energy resource in the United States and of growing interest in many other countries. This presentation will provide an overview of the important aspects of CSP. The solar resource will be addressed, leading to how the prime solar radiation areas for CSP plants can be identified. Then the family of CSP technologies will be presented and their key operational characteristics highlighted, including thermal energy storage and cooling options. An overview of the current CSP proposed projects will be presented along with some specifics of several Abengoa Solar projects plus an overview of the CSP industry. The factors that influence the cost of electricity generated from CSP plants will be summarized. The presentation will close with a forecast and outlook for CSP.


    10/14/09

    "The New Energy Market: How Innovation Drives Customer Behavior"

    Stephane Kirkland
    Direct Energy

    Abstract
    Electricity end-users are embracing technology and innovation in ways that influence their day-to-day business operations. As an energy retailer, we see that customers have responded to the ability to make decisions about their electricity supply and have adopted innovative products, allowing them to have more control over their energy spend and giving them more transparency into the market. For example, by coupling market-based products on the supply side with load management programs on the demand side, customers receive real-time price signals that they can manage their business around. This type of active participation in the energy market is driven by the availability of information and the flexibility to alter consumption patterns. How is innovation changing the way that sophisticated customers buy and use electricity?


    9/30/09

    "Carbon Offsets in HR 2454"

    Adam Diamant
    Senior Project Manager
    EPRI Global Climate Change Program


    9/23/09

    "Solar Thermal Demonstration Program"

    Cara Libby
    Project Manager
    EPRI

    Abstract
    As fossil fuel prices rise and emission allowances are implemented, solar thermal hybrids may be an attractive option for energy companies. The system utilizes steam generated by a concentrating solar thermal mirror field paired with a conventional fossil fuel-powered steam cycle, offsetting some of the fuel required to generate power. Many energy companies are interested in adding solar power to their generating mix, but today most solar applications are not cost-competitive with other power generating options. Solar augmentation potentially is the lowest cost option for adding solar power to the generation fleet. It also provides a hedge against fuel price fluctuations and reduces plant emissions. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducted two studies (one natural gas combined cycle plant and one pulverized coal plant) to determine the technical and economic feasibility of various solar thermal hybrid designs. The projects investigated the best options for adding concentrating solar thermal energy to existing fossil fuel-powered steam cycles, including site evaluation considerations, solar technology selection, fossil plant equipment limitations, operations and maintenance requirements, and economic implications.


    9/9/09

    "Energy pPolicy Behind the Metal Detectors"

    Lester Lave
    CMU

     


  • 2008-2009 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks  (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    6/18/09

    "Stochastic Modeling for Wind Integration"

    Prof. Dr. Christoph Weber
    Chair, Department of Energy
    Professor, Institute for Energy Economics
    University of Duisburg-Essen

    Abstract
    The rise of wind and solar energy as ecological, emission free energy sources has always been accompanied by the question, whether the inherent fluctuations in their production don't make them very poor substitutes of conventional, controllable electricity production from coal, gas and other power plants. Put in other terms, the question is whether their installation, being costly by itself, does not induce further costs necessary for the fluctuating renewables to be able to contribute to the overall power supply system. These costs are often summarized under the general term of "integration costs".

    The presentation aims at providing in a first step a systematic approach to the categorization of various types of integration costs. In a second step, the focus is to use concepts of stochastic optimization to quantify the costs of variability and of (partial) impredictability associated with wind energy. Rolling planning is used to simulate the arrival of new information and a detailed model of the power system allows accounting for increases in start-up costs, reduced part load efficiency and network congestions.

    Finally, the approaches developed are applied in a case study for European power systems.


    5/13/09

    "The Role of Energy Storage in the Present and Future Electric Grid"

    Paul Denholm
    Senior Analyst
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory

    Abstract
    Energy storage is seen by many as a valuable source of energy and capacity services to existing utilities, and as an important component of a future grid, which may derive a large fraction of its energy from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Yet no large scale energy storage facilities have been built in the U.S. in over a decade, and wind energy advocates point to extensive studies that downplay the role of energy storage in the near future. This talk will attempt to cut through the hype surrounding energy storage and discuss the potential role of energy storage in the current and future grid, beginning with current utility perspectives on energy storage and the reasons for limited deployment of existing electricity storage technologies. The potentially increased role of energy storage due to large scale deployment of renewable energy will then be discussed and quantified, using the latest studies about the actual grid integration costs of RE, and the fundamental limits of RE to supply a very large fraction of the nation’s electricity supply. The presentation also will discuss current storage technologies, those under development, and competitors to energy storage such as demand response and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.


    4/29/09

    Rodney Andrews
    Director
    Center for Applied Energy Research
    University of Kentucky


    4/22/09

    "Leveraging Historical and Real-Time Data to Meet the Challenges of Wind Generation"

    Jon Peterson
    Vice President, Marketing
    OSIsoft

    Abstract
    Wind power generation faces many of the challenges that face fossil generation. Plus the challenge of dealing with an intermittent energy source. Leveraging real-time and historical data are the only way to efficiently meet these challenges. This paper will discuss challenges such as:

    · Forecasting

    · Markets

    · Maintenance/Uptime

    This presentation explores real world examples of these challenges and the role the OSIsoft PI System plays in meeting them.


    4/1/09

    "Testing Theories of Scarcity Pricing and Price Dispersion in the Airline Industry"

    Steve Puller
    Associate Professor Department of Economics
    Texas A&M University

    Abstract
    This paper uses a unique new dataset - ticket transaction data - to test between two broad classes of theories regarding airline pricing.
    The first group of theories postulates that airlines practice scarcity based pricing. This theory suggests that in an industry with high capacity costs and perishable goods, firms facing demand uncertainty set prices in a manner that reflects both the probability of selling and the cost of capacity.
    These theories predict that variation in ticket prices and ticket restrictions is driven by differences between high demand and low demand states. In particular, the theories predict that more discounted "advance purchase" seats are sold in off-peak demand periods and that higher shares of low price tickets are sold for off-peak versus peak flights. The second group of theories, as advanced in the yield management literature, indicate that fare variation is driven by differences in ticket characteristics which can be used as fencing devices to price discriminate. We use a census of ticket transactions from one of the major computer reservation systems to study relationships between fares, ticket characteristics, and flight load factors. We find only modest support for the scarcity pricing theories - the fraction of discounted advance purchase seats is only slightly higher on off-peak flights and fare dispersion is nearly the same. However, ticket characteristics that are associated with second-degree price discrimination drive much of the variation in ticket pricing.


    3/23/09

    "Operating Options for Power Plants with CO2 Capture"

    Hannah Chalmers
    Energy Technology for Sustainable Development Group Mechanical Engineering Department
    Imperial College London

    Abstract
    A number of significant changes in electricity generation and supply systems are likely in the future as countries respond to a global effort to mitigate the risk of dangerous climate change. This seminar will review the role that power plants with CO2 capture could play in the electricity generation mix in the short, medium and longer term. In particular, increased deployment of relatively inflexible power generation options such as intermittent renewables (e.g. wind) and, in some jurisdictions, nuclear is likely to require that fossil-fired power plants are able to operate flexibly. A range of options that should allow power plants with CO2 capture to provide necessary support (ancillary) services in the electricity network will be introduced. Some likely impacts of these potentially important operating modes on power plant economic performance will be identified and possible implications for the design of CCS regulations will be discussed.


    3/17/09

    "Assessing the Ultimate Production of Oil, Gas, and Coal, and the Implications for Fossil-fuel Alternatives and Climate Change"

    David Rutledge
    Tomiyasu Professor of Electrical Engineering
    California Institute of Technology

    Abstract
    An accurate estimate of the ultimate production of oil, gas, and coal would be helpful for the ongoing policy discussion on alternatives to fossil fuels and climate change. By ultimate production, we mean total production, past and future. It takes a long time to develop energy infrastructure, and this means it matters whether we have burned 20% of our oil, gas, and coal, or 40%. In modeling climate change, the carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the most important factor. The time frame for the climate response is much longer than the time frame for burning fossil fuels, and this means that the total amount burned is more important than the rate of burning. Oil, gas, and coal ultimates are traditionally estimated by government geological surveys from measurements of oil and gas reservoirs and coal seams, together with an allowance for future discoveries of oil and gas. We will see that where these estimates can be tested, they tend to be too high, and that more accurate estimates can be made by curve fits to the production history.


    3/5/09

    "Appetite for Consumption: The Rise and Fall of the Pennsylvania Ratepayer"

    Eric Epstein
    Coordinator
    EFMR Monitoring, Inc.

    Abstract
    Since the deregulation of the electric industry in Pennsylvania, the processes and agencies charged to encourage, solicit, and facilitate public participation have failed to connect or create viable and sustainable platforms. With rates set to spike, a dramatic rise in the number of delinquent customers, and the number of customers losing power at record levels, can we afford to lockout public participation?


    2/25/09

    "Decoupling"

    Brandi Colander
    Natural Resources Defense Council


    2/17/09

    "Uncertainty and Variability in Accounting for Grid Electricity in Life Cycle Assessment"

    Christopher Weber, PhD
    Assistant Research Professor
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    The electricity sector is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases and conventional pollutants worldwide. It has long been a focus in life cycle assessment (LCA), both as an object of LCA studies as well as a major component of the life cycle inventory of producing nearly any product or service. Despite the seemingly broad study of this important sector, considerable variation still occurs in how electricity is accounted for in LCA and greenhouse gas accounting methods. Issues of spatial and temporal averaging, as well as marginal vs. average generation mixes will be discussed, with implications for the resultant emissions factor of grid electricity. This presentation will review the status of electricity in LCA, discuss the inherent assumptions in current accounting methods, and discuss recommendations for future modeling and standard-setting.


    2/4/09

    "Grid Integration of Large Fluctuating Power Generation with Plug-in Vehicles"

    Willet Kempton
    Center for Carbon-free Power Integration Director
    University of Delaware

    Abstract
    Because most carbon-free power is today captured near the surface of the planet, using power conversion devices that lack inherent storage, their electrical power output fluctuates at time scales from seconds to seasons. Where might we find storage to level these fluctuations? As industrialized countries electrify the vehicle fleet, as a byproduct we will create 20 to 50 kWh of load-proximate storage per adult, connected to the grid at 3 - 20 kW, yet tapped for mobility on average only 1 h/d, using on average only 10 kWh/d. The economic, engineering, policy, and grid topology rationales for making this storage available to the electric system are compelling.

    This seminar will discuss basic principles and report briefly on the industrial consortium working to implement this technology.


    1/28/09

    Howard Herzog
    MIT


    12/17/08

    Steve Day
    Sr. Director of Marketing
    Powercast Wireless Power


    12/10/08

    "So We Think We Understand Energy Efficiency!"

    Arshad Mansoor
    Vice President, Power Delivery & Utilization
    Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

    Abstract
    Energy efficiency is an important resource for achieving a low carbon future. Traditional energy efficiency measures have focused on reducing the use of electricity through conservation measures and increasing the efficiency of end use appliances and processes. Most of the existing utility or state administered energy efficiency programs are focusing on energy audits, rebates for efficient lighting and HVAC technologies in addition to an active customer education and awareness campaign. This seminar will engage the attendees to think broadly when defining energy efficiency and look into non-traditional energy efficiency opportunities that in some cases could be more cost effective and more practically achievable than traditional measures.


    11/19/08

    "The Politics of Climate Change: An inside Account from our Nation's Capital"

    Robert Kaminski
    Master of Science, Public Policy and Management
    H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    As oil shot up past $150 per barrel this past summer, gasoline above $4 per gallon and record global temperatures were recorded, the U.S. federal government went on something of climate safari. All branches had different fingers in the climate change pie - the result being a once-delicious pastry treat, now uneatable.
    - The Congress seriously mangled the politicking of a substantial legislative proposal for a cap-and-trade system;
    - The Environmental Protection Agency attempted to strike out on its own to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under dubious authority;
    - A functioning emissions trading market was struck down by the courts and;
    - Top it all off, President Bush finally decided (after 8 years) that the U.S. should pledge to emissions reduction, along with the rest of the developed world

    All of this activity happening within the span of less than 2 months had something of a reverse-Midas effect. Everything touched turn to mud. In this presentation, I show how misguided leaders, legislators, regulators, and companies and the political jockeying between them led to the shelving of the climate issue until next year - when cooler heads might consider taking it up again. Providing, of course, that our economy is still intact.


    10/31/08

    "Unique Operational Experiences of the Korea Electric Industry"

    Kim Chi Wan
    Director of the Power Generation Division
    Korea East-West Power Company

    Abstract
    I’ll present an informal presentation on the unique operational experiences of the Korea electric industry. The agenda will be as follows;
    - Overview of Korea Electric Industry
    - Operational experience on 500MW Korea-Standard coal-fired power plants
    - Technical introduction on the first world-largest CFB (Circulating Fluidized-Bed) plant


    10/22/08

    "Risks and Associated Monitoring and Mitigation Strategies for Geologic Sequestration"

    Grant Bromhal
    Research Group Leader of the Sequestration, Hydrocarbons, and Related Projects Group
    NETL’s Geosciences Division

    Abstract
    Given the current projections of our energy mix for the next 50 years and longer, fossil fuels will still be a major energy source. If we are to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to levels suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and others, then carbon dioxide sequestration will likely be a necessity. However, before injecting massive volumes of CO2 into the ground, the public, as well as the private companies who perform the injections and certify the permanent storage of CO2, will need assurance that sequestration is safe and effective. Various monitoring, modeling, and mitigation techniques will need to be developed to deal with the risks inherent in CO2 sequestration. This talk addresses the risks involved in putting millions of tons of carbon dioxide underground, addresses the change in risk over time, and discusses many of the monitoring and mitigation technologies for CO2 sequestration that are currently under development.


    10/8/08

    "What I learned about energy efficiency during my summer 'vacation: An informal report on travels in German, China and Japan"

    Volker Harkopf
    School of Architecture
    Carnegie Mellon University


    10/3/08

    "Transmission in AEP"

    Susan Tomasky
    President
    AEP Transmission


    9/26/08

    "Leveling the Carbon Playing Field: Addressing Climate Change in a Global Economy"

    Trevor Houser
    Director, Energy & Climate Practice
    The Rhodium Group

    Abstract
    Momentum towards federal climate policy is building in the US and the international community has kicked off a new round of climate talks. In both crafting national legislation and negotiating national targets, policymakers are grappling with how to address the role of international trade and investment in either advancing of impeding progress towards addressing climate change. Washington and Brussels are concerned that aggressive action to reduce emissions, in the absence of similar steps by China and India, will put industry in the developed world at a competitive disadvantage and undermine the effectiveness of policy as that industry migrates abroad. Beijing and Delhi argue that much of their emissions already come from exports to the West, for which the US and Europe should shoulder the burden. Trevor Houser will address how globalization is shaping the carbon footprint of major emitting countries, how it impacts both national climate policy and international climate negations and what it means for the global trading system in the years ahead.


    9/24/08

    Troy Hammond
    Plextronics


    9/17/08

    "Fueling the Future of Nuclear Power"

    Joe Belechak
    Westinghouse Nuclear Fuels

    Abstract
    As the possibility and probability of a resurgence in nuclear power emerges, it is imperative that there be a robust, reliable and economical fuel supply available. Today, the nuclear fuel value chain represents billions of dollars in products and services. The current market has excess capacity and downward pressure on pricing yet the suppliers face a significant challenge from our customers and their regulators to dramatically improve product quality to a "flawless" level. But, the increase in demand that will help improve capacity utilization and margins, will not materialize for 5-10 years. The challenge we face as an industry sector is how to improve the viability, profitability and performance of the business during a time of downward pressure on pricing and slow to no growth so that there is ample capacity to meet the longer term anticipated demand that will be created downstream in the nuclear renaissance.

     


  • 2007-2008 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Adam Loucks  (aloucks@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    6/11/08

    "Law Firms and Congressional Action on Climate Change"

    L. Doug Carter
    Senior Energy Advisor
    VanNessFeldman

    Ben Yamagata
    Member
    VanNessFeldman


    5/14/08

    "Public Perceptions of Carbon Capture and Sequestration and Other Low-Carbon Electricity Technologies"

    Lauren Fleishman
    PhD Student
    EPP, Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    My research focuses on public perception and communication of technologies for carbon capture and geological sequestration (CCS). Previous studies have shown that the public is reluctant to accept CCS and that they want to consider CCS in comparison with other technologies that might achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions (Palmgren et al., ES&T, 2004).

    I will present a set of communication materials developed to gain a clearer understanding of how the public views the risks and benefits of CCS as compared with other low-carbon technologies, when given a full understanding of the costs and benefits of each. The communication materials use an experimental test bed in which lay participants are presented with a hypothetical situation in which they advise the Pennsylvania Governor's Office on how best to reduce electric industry carbon emissions by 50%. Participants are given a choice between different, realistic carbon-reducing electric utility portfolios, which have different combinations of electric power generation technologies (e.g. natural gas, wind power, nuclear, coal with CCS, etc.). For each portfolio and technology, detailed information is provided, including cost and environmental indicators. Results from an initial pretesting of the materials will also be discussed.


    5/8/08

    "Towards Sustainable Coal Power in India"

    Dr. Ananth Chikkatur
    Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project
    Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
    Kennedy School of Government
    Harvard University

    Abstract
    As one of world’s fastest growing economies, India’s appetite for energy has been steadily increasing. At the same time, India faces several different energy challenges. This talk will focus on the role of coal in meeting India’s current and future energy needs, particularly in power generation.

    India stands poised on the edge of significant growth in coal power, and it is critical now to assess how increasing coal use fits into the larger sustainability aspirations of the country. While global discussions on coal and sustainability are primarily focused on cleaner coal technologies and greenhouse gas mitigation, coal use in India is embedded within a more complex environment. The talk will highlight the various challenges and constraints in the Indian coal power sector and the role of advanced technologies in meeting the key challenges. Finally, policy options for transitioning the Indian coal-power sector onto a cleaner and more sustainable path will be discussed.


    4/30/08

    "The CO2 and NOX Impacts on Plants as a Result of Regulation Cycling"

    Ralph D. Masiello
    Sr. Vice President
    Energy Systems Consulting
    KEMA, Inc.

    Abstract
    The hourly and minute by minute volatility of renewable generation, especially wind, poses operational problems for grid operators. System control area regulation or Automatic generation control is adversely affected. Also, the real time dispatch or balancing energy markets can be adversely affected. Several recent intermittent generation studies have identified the problem but not analyzed in it detail. KEMA has recently performed work that dynamically simulates grid operations in some detail and which allows the study of the performance implications of renewable generation. The study also demonstrates the applicability and effectiveness of storage technologies to mitigate wind volatility.


    4/23/08

    "Coping with Competing Energy Strategy Directions"

    Kenneth Kern
    Director of the Office of Systems, Analysis and Planning
    National Energy Technology Laboratory

    Abstract
    The United States is confronting an energy policy dilemma that involves the need to simultaneously address three fundamentally different energy strategy directions, each with alternative solutions that potentially conflict with the objectives of the others. These coincident energy strategies include:

    • Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions related to our nation's energy consumption,
    • Improving the energy security of the nation and
    • Maintaining a healthy, globally competitive U.S. economy.

    In parallel, U.S. energy supply forecasts have been falling and energy commodity price forecasts have been escalating dramatically, over the last few years. What are the implications for developing an effective U.S. energy strategy direction that doesn't harm U.S. interests in other areas and what options may be available to help address these disparate energy strategies, simultaneously?


    4/2/08

    "Mercury Contamination in the Northeastern US: The Importance of Regional versus Global Sources"

    Tom Holsen
    Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Clarkson University

    Abstract
    This presentation will discuss the sources of mercury to the atmosphere and the relative contributions of anthropogenic and natural emissions. The forms and concentrations of mercury commonly found in the atmosphere and how the form of mercury influences it’s cycling through the environment will be presented. Techniques that can be used to link ambient measurements to potential sources will be described, and potential sources of mercury found in New York State discussed. Current EPA Hg regulatory strategies and how these strategies relate to current understanding of mercury movement in the environment will be presented.


    3/26/08

    "Impacts of Electricity Generation on Water Resources"

    John Bistline
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    Reconciling increasing demand for electric power with the numerous environmental and regulatory constraints associated with electricity production presents one of the most daunting technical, economic, and societal challenges confronting the U.S. and the global community over the next fifty years. While the coupling of climate change and energy production has been the dominant issue in recent years, the water needs associated with electricity production have received significantly less research attention.

    This seminar will discuss research conducted as part of the Thomas H. Johnson Engineering and Public Policy Washington Fellowship with the Electric Power Research Institute. The focus of this seminar will be the complex interdependencies and tradeoffs associated with the composition of an electricity generation portfolio designed to reduce CO2 emissions and its associated water needs. Qualitative and quantitative examinations of the dependency of the U.S. electricity generation portfolio composition on nationwide water withdrawal and consumption until 2030 will be discussed.


    3/19/08

    "The Role of Carbon Dioxide Capture from Ambient Air for Achieving Ambitious Climate Protection Targets"

    Dr. Elmar Kriegler
    Visiting Researcher
    EPP and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

    Abstract
    CO2 capture from ambient air acts directly on the atmospheric CO2 concentration, and thus provides increased leverage to control the carbon cycle. We ask the question whether and to what extent CO2 air capture would be utilized for achieving ambitious temperature and concentration targets in an interactive climate-economy system, if it becomes available in addition to conventional mitigation options: increasing energy efficiency, substitution of fossil fuels, and carbon capturing and storage at point sources. The analysis is conducted with the coupled climate-economy-energy model MIND1.2 that allows the calculation of cost-effective mitigation policies under climate constraints. The model was upgraded with a stylized CO2 air capture module based on the work of Josh Stolaroff and David Keith (J. K. Stolaroff, Capturing CO2 from ambient air: A feasibility assessment, PhD thesis, Carnegie Mellon University). We use the upgraded model to explore the cost-effective use of CO2 air capture vs. conventional mitigation options for various climate sensitivities and socio-economic parameters.


    3/5/08

    "Does Electricity Restructuring Benefit the Environment? Theory and Evidence from Intertemporal Emission Trading in the U.S. SO2 Allowance Market"

    Fan Zhang
    Assistant Professor in Energy Policy and Economics
    Pennsylvania State University

    Abstract
    Intertemporal trading of emission permits allows for the banking of permits for future use or sale. In this paper, I explore the effects of increased uncertainty over future output prices, input costs and productivity levels on the temporal distribution of emissions. In a dynamic programming setting, the permit price is a convex function of each of these three sources of uncertainty. Increased uncertainty about future market conditions increases the expected permit price and causes risk-neutral firms to reduce ex ante emissions to smooth out marginal abatement costs over time. The convexity results from the asymmetric impact of changes in counterfactual emissions on marginal abatement costs. Empirical analysis corroborates the theoretical prediction. I find that increased price volatility induced by electricity market restructuring could explain 7-10% of the allowances banked during Phase I of the U.S. sulfur dioxide trading program. Numerical simulation suggests that high uncertainty may generate substantial initial compliance costs, thereby deterring new entrants and reducing efficiency; sharp emission spikes are also more likely to occur under high uncertainty scenarios. These results are subjected to a number of robustness tests.


    2/27/08

    "New Technology at PJM"

    Ken Huber
    PJM Interconnection

    2/20/08

    "Lowering Green House Gas Emission through Better Buildings -- What is Possible?"

    Prof. John Scofield
    Oberlin College

    Abstract
    Energy Security and Global Climate Change are two of the greatest problems facing our nation, and indeed, the world at large. Solving these problems will require huge technological advancement and investment in transportation that is not powered by petroleum and alternate energy sources for buildings and industry, as well as carbon capture and storage technologies. Such solutions will take years to develop and require major technological breakthroughs. Meanwhile, the cheapest and fasted route to reduce GHG emissions is to improve the efficiency with which we presently use energy.

    Buildings offer the greatest opportunity for efficiency gains. An intensive national effort to fully deploy existing, cost-effective technologies could substantially reduce our nation’s energy consumption and GHG emission at significantly lower cost than any other option. Moreover, research and development into promising technologies can provide a steady stream of energy savings through efficiency for years to come.

    These are the issues I will address in my talk from the perspectives of a physicist.


    2/13/08

    "Intelligent Control of Distributed Energy Resources; the Case of Micro Combined Heat and Power Systems"

    Michiel Houwing
    PhD student
    Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

    Abstract
    Distributed energy resources (DER) combined with the introduction of novel ICT systems will enable smarter power systems. This PhD research deals with the design and analysis of DER coordination regimes in order to provide insight into possible economic benefits of the regimes for households and load serving entities. The research focuses on domestic combined heat and power systems (=microCHP) and domestic energy storage options (hot water storage and batteries). MicroCHP units (based on Stirling, internal combustion or fuel fell technology) are expected to become important next generation home heating systems in certain developed nations. The large-scale adoption of microCHP can substantially contribute to meeting energy efficiency and CO2 reduction policy objectives. Results from simulation studies explicate the economic benefits of the intelligent application of microCHPs and local storage systems.


    2/5/08

    "Realistic Regional Energy Efficiency and Conservation Supply Curves for the Residential Sector: First Steps"

    Inês Lima Azevedo
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    Global climate change is becoming an increasingly important problem and an enormous amount of effort has been devoted to understanding potential mitigation policies. In addition to climate change, concerns of affordability, security and reliability of energy supply provide grounds for directing attention towards energy efficiency and conservation. Although energy efficiency and conservation strategies are now beginning to be included in the portfolios of carbon mitigation strategies, there is still large uncertainty concerning the magnitude of the impact that conservation could achieve and the associated cost of implementation of such strategies. This work provides a first attempt to model energy efficiency potential savings and respective costs for the US residential sector, up to 2030, at the Census Division level. The model has several particular features: (i) it accounts for different agents' perspectives on the cost of efficiency; (ii) it is built in a modular form, to facilitate its posterior implementation in Analytica® and the subsequent addition of new data; (iii) it provides a user interface to allow a change in the main parameters of the model. The model is at an early stage of development. Over time as better data become available and the model is refined, it should be possible to improve the results.


    1/30/08

    "Electric Power Generation and Air Quality"

    Daniel Cohan
    Assistant Professor
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Rice University

    Abstract
    Electric power generation is among the leading contributors to air pollution. However, the impact of a power plant on ambient air pollution depends not only on its emission rates, but also upon spatially and temporally variable factors such as meteorology and biogenic emissions. Thus, there may be opportunities to improve air quality by targeting the location of new generation facilities and of emissions controls for existing facilities. The High-order Decoupled Direct Method (HDDM) offers a powerful and computationally efficient tool for examining atmospheric responsiveness to perturbations in emission rates and quantifying the uncertainty of pollutant sensitivities. Recent studies have applied HDDM to examine the nonlinear impacts of power plant emissions on air quality. A multi-disciplinary study recently initiated at Rice University is exploring how air quality analyses can be considered together with economic and reliability factors to jointly inform planning for power system growth.


    1/24/08

    "Generation, Transmission, and the Load Pocket Problem"

    Dr. Richard Benjamin
    FERC

    Abstract
    Restructured energy markets face the dual problems of mitigating market power and providing the incentive for the efficient mix of transmission and generation additions in load pockets. This paper starts with a survey load-pocket-management practices used by PJM, ISO-NE and the CAISO, and it continues with a discussion of the frictions facing generation and transmission additions in load pockets. It concludes that the toolset of restructuring lends quite nicely to the model of mitigated VIU operations in load pockets. It reaches this conclusion because the short-run incentives of VIUs are better aligned with the goal of providing electricity at "just-and-reasonable" rates in load pockets. It then provides a mechanism for aligning the long-run incentives of VIUs with socially optimal coordination of load-pocket generation and transmission expansion.


    1/16/08

    "Managing Emissions from Fossil Energy Resources"

    Klaus Lackner
    Professor
    Columbia University

    Abstract
    Without a revolution in energy infrastructures, the world faces a stark choice between economic growth and a healthy environment. The world must stop the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere while improving energy services to a growing world population which strives for a high standard of living. New energy technologies must reduce CO¬2 emissions by more than an order of magnitude. Among the different options that range from nuclear energy to solar energy, only carbon capture and storage can maintain access to the vast resource base of fossil carbon. Fossil fuels by themselves are plentiful enough to satisfy energy demand for centuries, but the associated CO2 emissions would be intolerable. Technologies for CO2 capture at concentrated emission sources like power plants, steel plants or cement plants already exist. However, optimizing a new generation of efficient and clean power plants that could capture their CO2 and deliver it for safe and permanent carbon dioxide storage will promote dramatically different designs. Even after addressing the large concentrated sources of CO2, the remaining half of present-day CO2 emissions from distributed and mobile sources is too large to be ignored. Either one replaces carbonaceous energy carriers with carbon free energy carriers like hydrogen or electricity, or one must compensate for their CO2 emissions by capturing an equivalent amount of carbon from the environment. Biomass growth offers one such option; direct capture of carbon dioxide from the air provides another. Carbon capture and storage technologies enable a closure of the anthropogenic carbon cycle and thus provide one possible avenue to a world that is not limited by energy constraints.


    12/10/07

    "Energy Efficiency Models and Results"

    John A. "Skip" Laitner
    Senior Economist for Technology Policy
    American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)


    11/30/07

    "Protecting the Planet: New Strategies for Cooling the Climate and Solving other Global Problems"

    David Victor
    Director
    Program on Energy and Sustainable Development
    Senior Fellow
    Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
    Professor of Law
    Stanford University


    11/28/07

    "The Power to Reduce CO2 Emissions: The Full Portfolio"

    Revis James
    EPRI

    Abstract
    The large-scale CO2 reductions envisioned to stabilize, and ultimately reverse, global atmospheric CO2 concentrations present major technical, economic, regulatory and policy challenges. Reconciling these challenges with continued growth in energy demand highlights the need for a diverse, economy-wide approach.
    EPRI conducted a three-part analysis to assess the technical feasibility of substantial CO2 emissions reductions from the U.S. electricity sector; to identify technology development pathways and associated research, development and demonstration (RD&D) funding needed to achieve this potential; and to evaluate the economic impact of realizing emissions reduction targets. Three major conclusions emerge in this study:

    • The electric sector should focus on a technology-based strategy for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. A technology-based strategy is sustainable, minimizes costs to the U.S. economy, and creates opportunities for other industries and the transportation sectors to reduce emissions through increased electrification.
    • A diverse portfolio of advanced technologies will be required. No single technological “silver bullet” will suffice. Rather, a full portfolio is needed that includes efficiency, renewable energy resources, nuclear, coal with carbon capture and sequestration, and other technologies enabled by expanded and enhanced transmission and distribution system capabilities.
    • Significant RD&D will be needed over a sustained period, and technology development lead times demand immediate action. Timely, sustained investment in public and private RD&D could lower the cost of emissions reductions on the order of $1 trillion, and significantly reduce increases in wholesale electricity costs.

    11/14/07

    "Fuel Cell Technology and Public Policy"

    Gong Zhang, Ph.D.
    Senior Engineer
    Stationary Fuel Cells
    Siemens Power Generation

    Abstract
    As an emerging power generation technology fuel cell is catching increasing attention due to its strategic importance to the modern society. In this presentation fundamentals of fuel cells and their operating principles are introduced with focus on high-temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and low-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The unique technical characteristics determine their diverse applications ranging from lab top computers, automobiles, auxiliary power unit (APU) to central power plants. Though it is very promising fuel cell technology is still at the early stage of pre-commercialization facing many technical, financial, political hurdles, most of which share the “egg-and-chicken” type of dilemma. In order to break the vicious cycle the path forward for fuel cell technology development will be discussed under the context of national research, energy, and environmental policies.


    11/7/07

    "Developing Gasification Projects in a Difficult Environment"

    Conrad Anderson
    Madison Power Corporation

    Abstract
    1. Brief intro to the world gasification industry
    2. Identification of the current gasification market drivers and market hurdles
    3. A description of four gasification projects currently under development by Madison Power
    • A Phased IGCC Project on the Illinois River
    • A Substitute Natural Gas (SNG) Project on the Illinois River
    • A Heavy Oil Polygeneration Project at an oil refinery in Louisiana
    • A Heavy Oil Upgrading and Syngas Refueling Project for two oil fields in California.


    11/2/07

    "Weather Derivatives on Prediction Errors for Wind Power Energy Trading"

    Yuji Yamada
    Graduate School of Business Sciences,
    University of Tsukuba

    Abstract
    Wind power energy has been paid much attention recently for various reasons, and the production of electricity with wind energy has been hugely increasing for a few decades. One of the most difficult issues for using wind power in practice is that the power output largely depends on the wind condition, and as a result, the future output may be volatile or uncertain. Therefore, the prediction of power output in the future is considered important and may become responsible for electric power generating industries to make the wind power electricity market work properly. However, the use of predictions may cause other problems due to "prediction errors."

    In this work, we will propose a new type of weather derivatives based on the prediction errors for wind speeds, and estimate their hedge effect on wind power energy businesses. At first, we will investigate the correlation of prediction errors between the power output and the wind speed in a Japanese wind farm, which is a collection of wind turbines that generate electricity in the same location. Then we will develop a methodology that will optimally construct a wind derivative based on the prediction errors using nonparametric regressions. A simultaneous optimization technique of the P/L and payoff functions for wind derivatives is demonstrated based on the empirical data.


    10/31/07

    "Geological Storage of CO2 from Coal-Fired Plants"

    Jim Rawson
    GE Global Research

    Abstract
    The concept of geological storage of CO2 (a.k.a. sequestration) from coal-fired plants will be reviewed. The various options for CO2 storage will be compared and contrasted. These options consist of using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and storage of CO2 in either saline aquifers or coal beds. Both the technical challenges and the potential benefits of each option will be summarized.


    10/26/07

    "Renewable Energy and the Electric Future of Texas"

    Mark Kapner
    Senior Strategy Engineer
    Austin Energy

    Abstract
    The presentation will explain the current electric generation mix in Texas (the state with the highest electric energy consumption, even though it has about half the population of California). It will describe the essential characteristics of the renewable energy resources that are playing a growing role in the State's energy future: wind, solar, and bio-energy, the current status of these technologies, their deployment in Texas, and their likely expansion. It will discuss the economics of renewable energy technologies, with focus on Texas, major barriers to deployment (from a utility perspective) and speculate on the maximum level of penetration of each technology in the State's generation mix. The presentation will conclude with a brief description of the Plug In Partners campaign and the impact of plug-in vehicles on the electric grid.


    10/10/07

    "The Life of a Geologic CO2 Storage Site"

    John Tombari
    Vice President North & South America
    Schlumberger Carbon Services

    Abstract
    This presentation will cover the life of a CO2 storage project from conception to closure using a saline formation as the target. The evolution of total cost and uncertainty is discussed along with the specific activities which need to occur along the way, and their relative costs. A suggested path to site certification is proposed with emphasis on activities that should occur prior to injection. Risk management is an integral part of the entire workflow, driven by our understanding of injectivity, capacity and containment. The data requirements for understanding these are noted with the stakes being the impact on HSE, costs & image.


    10/3/07

    "Model Predictive Control for Traffic Networks"

    Eduardo Camponagara
    Professor, Department of Automation and Systems Engineering
    Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil

    Abstract
    A method for controlling urban traffic networks is proposed. The method uses a traffic-responsive strategy. A store-and-forward traffic flow model and linear-quadratic theory are applied to compute network-wide control signals, at the cost of sub-optimality for not considering constrains explicitly. In order to attain an improved controller, a model predictive control (MPC) approach is designed. Simulated results for a sample network are shown. The results are also compared through a mean queue criterion. Finally, conclusions are drawn and future work is outlined.


    10/2/07

    Accelerating IGCC with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

    Norm Shilling
    Carbon Leader for GE Gasification
    GE Power Systems

    Abstract
    Global climate change has taken a central position in political debate globally. In some regions regulatory policy has already been enacted such as the European Trading Scheme (ETS) establishing a market for CO2. In other regions the debate is accelerating with likely legislation to follow. Industrial sectors such as refining and power generation are seeking solutions to sky rocketing oil and natural gas prices as well as changes in fuel availability and quality. The impact is potential growth in the use of coal and refining bottoms leading to a potential increase in CO2 emissions.

    Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an essential part of the plan to mitigate this potential increase in CO2 emissions. Action must be taken now to accelerate the adoption of CCS through the development of commercial scale projects demonstrating CCS, advancing technology for the long-term improvement in cost and performance and developing policy monetizing CO2 and certifying the storage of CO2 in geologic formations.

    This presentation will review the CCS challenge for coal and how IGCC is prepared to provide a solution for uninterrupted coal build while details of carbon legislation are developed. It will also discuss how GE is taking steps to accelerate the use of CCS by partnering globally, investing in technology and establishing policy support for the development of the industry.


    9/26/07

    "Cost and Performance of Fossil Energy Power Plants: Current-Day Designs"

    Julianne Klara
    Senior Analyst
    Office of Systems, Analysis and Planning at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of the Department of Energy (DOE)

    Abstract
    Over the next two decades, our nation will need to add a substantial amount of new power generation capacity. Sustained high prices for natural gas and the possibility of more stringent environmental regulations, including carbon controls, have opened a unique window of opportunity for clean fossil-energy power plants to participate significantly in this expansion. This presentation will provide the performance and cost data for fossil energy power systems, specifically integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), pulverized coal (PC), and natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plants all with and without carbon capture and sequestration. The analyses were performed on a consistent technical and economic basis that accurately reflects current market conditions for plants starting operation in 2010. These results are considered to be the most comprehensive set of cost and performance data available in the public literature to date.


    9/12/07

    "Photovoltaic Technology Options for Addressing Climate Change: An Expert Elicitation"

    Dr. Aimee Curtright
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    Climate Decision Making Center

    Abstract
    Expert elicitation has been used to assess the future performance of 26 current and emerging photovoltaic (PV) technologies. 18 leading experts in the field have estimated the likelihood of each technology achieving specific module price thresholds within given time frames. For a subset of the technologies, 14 experts provided insight into technical barriers to success, plausible ranges of efficiencies and prices in 2030, and appropriate policy levers for optimizing PV performance. Development of the survey and results will be discussed.

     


  • 2006-2007 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Candace King (cvking@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    7/18/07

    "Process Measurements in Powerplants"

    Ravi Jethra
    Industry Manager - Power
    Endress+Hauser

    Abstract
    The seminar will provide an overview of different process parameters monitored in a powerplant and measurements related to the same. Typical measurements made relate to monitoring of Pressure, Temperature, Level, and Flow. The presentation will cover the areas where each of the parameters need to be monitored in different areas of a powerplant and their importance to smooth operation. Different applications within a powerplant will be reviewed in terms of what works and what doesn't without getting too technical.


    5/16/07

    "Air Pollution Control in the U.S.Today"

    Michael A. Sandell
    Vice-President, Technology
    Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control Inc

    Abstract
    The air pollution control industry in today’s world is significantly different than when the first Clean Air Act was passed. Air emissions are much more tightly controlled today than in 1972. Most industries are affected and a larger number of flue gas constituents are regulated. The selection and design of the equipment utilized to achieve air emission requirements has evolved to be unique for each facility. There is no one size fits all in today’s market place.

    This short presentation will introduce the listener to Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control, a Siemens company. Wheelabrator’s products are used to aid our customers in meeting their specific requirements. The driving forces behind the selection of these specialized product selections, the range of current emission limits, economics of supply, marketplace constraints, engineering requirements and how we meet them and typical installation schedule examples will also be discussed. A special emphasis will be placed on the electric generating market as this is by far the largest segment in today’s air pollution control market.


    5/9/07

    "Motivating Municipal and Co-operative Utilities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Case of Energy Efficiency and Conservation"

    Dr. Elizabeth Wilson
    Assistant Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy and Law
    The Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota

    Abstract
    Approximately 39% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions originate from the production of electricity and any global policy to limit greenhouse gas emissions must target this sector, yet almost all research has focused upon Investor Owned Utilities (generating roughly 80% of electricity), and ignored unique challenges facing rural cooperatives and municipality owned utilities (with 20% of generation, varying significantly by state). Munis and co-ops are important for several different reasons: 1) overall, they are more dependent on coal and thus produce more CO2 per kWh, 2) the rural co-operatives are simultaneously experiencing high demand growth due to land use change and suburban sprawl into previously rural service territories and declining demand in rural zones experiencing population out-migration and 3) both munis and co-ops are less subject to government regulation than Investor Owned Utilities, with only seven states actively regulating and are motivated by a significantly different set of concerns than IOUs. As a case study, we seek to understand how implementation of efficiency and conservation occurs in munis and co-ops. For the electric sector’s Investor owned utilities, much research has addressed this problem and identified institutional considerations for program implementation. However, energy efficiency in municipal and co-operative utilities is only sparsely studied and this research effort begins to fill this gap. We examine implementation of energy efficiency and conservation programs in municipal and rural electric utilities in Minnesota. Minnesota established its “Conservation Improvement Program” (CIP) in 1982, and requires electric generators and natural gas providers in the state to dedicate a percentage of their revenues to energy efficiency programs and conservations efforts. An analysis in 2005 by the Office of the Legislature found that additional programs could be cost-effectively implemented. Additionally, while municipality and co-operative organizations generate roughly 32% of electricity in the state, the CIP from these organizations is not subject to the same level of scrutiny and evaluation as the Investor Owned Utilities. Curiously, estimated energy savings per CIP dollar spent by the Municipal and Co-operative Utilities vary several orders of magnitude ranging from 0.06 – 26.19 kilowatt-hours saved per CIP dollar spent, suggesting a lack of accounting consistency across programs. After first describing the relative importance of municipal and co-operative utilities, we present an analysis that identifies the unique challenges and managerial constraints facing programmatic implementation and present results of a survey of muni and co-op managers.


    5/2/07

    "Electrochemical Approaches to CO2 Capture"

    John Kitchin
    Assistant Professor
    CMU Department of Chemical Engineering

    Abstract
    CO2 capture and sequestration will be required in the future to limit the impact of CO2 emissions on the global environment. The massive scale of the capture requirements makes the energetic efficiency of the system and the recycling of reagents two of the most critical parameters in evaluating competing systems. The equilibrium efficiencies of electrochemical processes are very high. Any operating capture process would not operate under equilibrium conditions, however, and consequently would have a lower overall efficiency than expected from simple thermodynamics. We will discuss an electrochemical CO2 capture system we have been investigating as well as some alternative electrochemical schemes and the technology developments that will be necessary to make them competitive with existing technologies.


    4/26/07

    "Power Plant Economics"

    Carl R. Bozzuto
    Executive Consultant, Power Environment Sector, Alstom Power, Inc

    Abstract
    The presentation will include a brief overview of a coal fired power plant, including the major cost elements. Project finance will be discussed including the sources of uncertainty and their financial impacts. Sample results will be shown, demonstrating some of the implications for choices going forward relating to CO2 control from coal fired power plants.


    4/18/07

    "Challenges in Developing Coal to SNG Gasification Projects"

    William Rosenberg
    President, E3 Gasification LLC
    Professor of Practice, EPP, Carnegie Mellon
    Senior Fellow, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard

    Abstract
    In 2003 and 2004, Mr. Rosenberg led research at the Kennedy School to develop financial and regulatory proposals called “3Party Covenant” to accelerate the development of coal gasification plants in the U.S. . Congress enacted several of the proposals ( tax credits and federal loan guarantees) in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Mr. Rosenberg then joined a development group to build a fleet of coal/petcoke to substitute natural gas (SNG) plants in Midwest and Gulf Coast states , with SNG sold to gas distribution and electricity utilities under loan term contracts. He will address major regulatory, financing, government, fuel acquisition, technology, environmental and CO2 disposal issues in making the 3Party Covenant work in practice.


    2/28/07

    “Principles of Inter-regional Transmission Expansion”

    Rich Benjamin
    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

    Abstract
    Over the past two decades Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) policy has sought to promote a robust transmission network in response to the advent of competition in the wholesale marketplace. Its policy has primarily relied on regional transmission organization (RTO) development and merchant transmission to build up the grid and minimize intraregional (seams) problems. These efforts have been largely ineffective to date, however. This article reviews the problems facing interregional transmission projects, and FERC transmission policy, particularly as it relates to interregional transmission expansion. It then suggests principles that the Commission ought to consider to foster such projects. In particular, it suggests that the Commission seek to tie transmission incentives to verifiable measures of reliability improvements and congestion reduction. Further, it outlines a “regional cost recovery tariff” for financing interregional lines. It concludes that FERC policy needs to establish tighter links between performance and incentives, and it should more carefully evaluate the obstacles facing transmission siting.

    Paper


    2/21/07

    "Exciting R&D Activities at the Electric Power Research Institute"

    Dr. Robert B. Schainker
    Strategic Planning, EPRI Office of Innovation

    Abstract
    This presentation will cover an overview of the U.S. Electric Power System, the role of EPRI in electric utility R&D, key drivers of R&D, a scenario-based approach for R&D planning, key R&D opportunities, and examples of recent EPRI R&D project results. The presentation is not intended to include an exhaustive list of technology R&D projects and priorities; instead, it presents the approach used and presents R&D needs perceived to be particularly important today. The presentation will briefly describe U.S. technology.

    R&D needs in the following seven areas: power generation (nuclear and fossil based), electric energy storage, environment, power delivery (transmission and distribution), efficient end uses of electricity, power and fuel markets, and technology innovation/emerging technologies (e.g., biotechnology, nanotechnology, smart materials and sensors and advanced information technology).

    EPRI plans to periodically update the R&D approach used, as needed to reflect new technological advances, regulatory realities, market changes, and economic factors facing the U.S. electric power industry. Future work will include developing a plan to prepare for, and react effectively to, scenario “wild cards” – additional institutional, political, financial, technical, or social changes not explicitly addressed in this presentation – that will likely have a major impact on future R&D in the U.S.

    EPRI Office of Innovation Strategic Planning Report

    Volume 1
    Volume 2


    1/25/07

    "Effects of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles in California Energy Markets"

    Alexander E. Farrell
    Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley

    Abstract
    Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) can run in all-electric mode with grid-supplied electricity or in hybrid electric mode with liquid fuels. We use 1999 California electricity market data to show that millions of PHEVs could charge economically during both peak and off-peak hours with real-time electricity pricing and modest gasoline prices. However, the present value of fuel cost savings at current prices is probably smaller than the magnitude of potential marginal vehicle costs. We simulate the effects of large PHEV fleets on the system load curve under three charging scenarios and find that 1 million compact car PHEVs would not significantly affect the system peak. Larger fleets could require the expansion of system capacity if not charged during the hours of lowest demand. Our forecasts of possible PHEV adoption suggest that only in the most aggressive transition scenarios would there be several million PHEVs in California within a decade.


    12/13/06

    "The Value of Using Coal Gasification as a Long-Term Natural Gas Hedge"

    David C. Rode
    CMU and DAI Management Consulting

    Abstract
    Natural gas has become a commodity of extraordinary volatility, with a growing share of demand met by imports. Demand growth resulting from the rapid expansion of gas-fired power-generation capacity over the last decade has introduced a substantial element of fuel price risk into basic goods (natural gas and electricity) required by consumers, exacerbating the already-high level of price volatility in natural gas used for heating.

    Because of the highly inelastic nature of both electricity and home-heating demand, volatility in natural gas prices can be a particular burden to residential and commercial consumers. Despite the potentially significant value to be gained from developing a means of limiting price risk for consumers, there are very few alternatives available for long-term hedging of natural gas prices. Coal gasification represents not only a means of obtaining a large long-term supply of natural gas at a reasonable price, but also one of the few alternatives available as a long-term physical hedge for natural gas price volatility. In this paper we determine the value of using coal gasification as a long-term hedge to consumers and discuss the potential value to gas utilities. Although the results presented in this paper can be applied generally, our analysis focuses specifically on the value to Indiana residential and commercial heating consumers of a proposed SNG project in Southwest Indiana.


    11/29/06

    “A Practitioner's Perspective: Policy Driven Technology Development for Energy Resources"

    Pramod Kulkarni
    California Energy Commission


    11/10/06

    "Siting Difficulty and Renewable Energy Development"

    Shalini Vajjhala, PhD
    Fellow
    Resources for the Future

    Abstract
    Recent efforts to site renewable energy facilities have provoked as much, if not more, opposition than conventional energy projects. Because renewable energy resources are often located in sensitive and isolated environments, such as pristine mountain ranges or coastal waters, siting these facilities is especially difficult. Moreover, the viability of different renewable energy projects depends not only on complex economic and environmental factors, but also on the availability of supporting infrastructure, such as transmission lines. As a result, the difficulties associated with siting transmission lines provide an important benchmark for the siting problems facing new renewable energy development. This paper examines the spatial relationships between four types of renewable energy resources – wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass – and an empirical measure of state-level transmission-line siting difficulty. Analyses explore the locations of renewable resource potential relative to areas of high siting difficulty, state electricity demand and imports, and state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs). Major results reveal that state resource potential varies, but transmission line siting is significantly more difficult in states that import electricity and those with RPSs. These results suggest that states with the greatest incentives to develop renewable energy also face the most serious obstacles to siting the necessary transmission capacity to support these new facilities.


    11/8/06

    “Life in the (Electrical) Trenches”

    Ben Louw

    Abstract
    We will describe the project delivery process for SCADA/EMS systems.
    Mention will be made of the primary vendors encountered and the role of consultants.

    Included will be:
    - The customer request for proposal (RFP)
    - The vendor proposal
    - The evaluation and contract award
    - Implementation and Factory acceptance testing
    - Field installation and commissioning
    - Final acceptance (...hopefully)

    We will comment on some of the most interesting and the most difficult projects encountered, as well as two of the most recently implemented (for Egypt and Iraq).


    11/1/06

    "Energy Efficiency In A Needy State: How Efficiency Programs Helped the Vermont PSB Reduce the Burden of Electric Costs Even As Market Prices Rose"

    Michael Dworkin
    Professor of Law and Director, Institute for Energy & the Environment
    at Vermont Law School


    10/25/06

    “Why is Nuclear Energy Making a Comeback in the U.S.? (And what is so special about Westinghouse's AP1000?)”

    Howard Bruschi
    Executive Consultant
    Westinghouse Electric Company

    Abstract
    The presentation will cover the topics of:

    1. Nuclear Energy Industry Issues.
      This will embrace historical issues as well as present day concerns of utilities, suppliers (such as Westinghouse), and the public.
    2. Westinghouse's AP1000.
      This will address some of the Issues from above and describe the development goals of the AP1000 as well as its safety technology and economics.
    3. US Government Incentives.
      The government is planning to provide incentives to the industry to move forward with new nuclear plant construction.
    4. Market Outlook.
      With Industry Issues addressed, I will discuss the market outlook for a nuclear energy renaissance in the US and the implications on a global basis.

    10/11/06

    "PJM’s Pricing Allocation Model"

    Andy Ott
    Vice President, Markets
    PJM Interconnection Inc.

    Abstract
    This presentation will discuss the development of the competitive wholesale electricity market in PJM. The discussion will outline the fundamental features of the PJM Day-ahead Electricity Market and Real-time Electricity Market and will include an introduction to futures and forward markets, discussion of locational pricing concepts, risk management and hedging alternatives. Actual PJM market results will be used to illustrate the concepts and to demonstrate the benefits of transparent and liquid commodity markets in promoting efficient supply of electric generation. The presentation will cover the interaction of the wholesale electricity market with the transmission rights markets that PJM has developed. Finally, the discussion will comment on the measurements of the effectiveness of the market and lessons learned during implementation.

    PJM Interconnection ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 51 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. PJM coordinates and directs the operation of the region’s transmission grid, which includes 6,038 substations and 56,070 miles of transmission lines; administers the world’s largest competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion. Visit PJM at www.pjm.com.


    9/28/06

    "Oxyfuel CO2 Capture"

    Professor Olav Bolland
    NTNU


    9/26/06

    "The Regulation of Critical Technical Functions in Infrastructures"

    Dr. R.W. Künneke
    TU Delft

    Abstract
    The ongoing liberalization of the electricity sector is generally perceived as an issue of an institutional restructuring of this sector, including privatization of essential facilities and re-regulation in order to allow for more competition and less governmental involvement. However, it becomes increasingly evident, that liberalization has a very distinctive influence on the technical functioning of this industry. The well-known California energy crisis illustrated, among others, that strategic behavior of market parties and ill incentives can result in a partial technical collapse of the electricity system. Institutional restructuring needs to take into account the technical specificities and coordination needs of this industry. The technical functioning of the electricity sector needs to be supported by suitable institutional arrangements. It will be argued that there is a need for coherence between the technical and institutional coordination of this infrastructure.

    Against this background the paper focuses on critical technical control mechanisms that are essential to guaranty the satisfactory technical functioning of the electricity infrastructure. These critical technical control mechanisms are subsequently related to different institutional arrangements that could effectively and efficiently support them. This approach is summarized by the following problem statement:

    What are critical technical control mechanisms in the electricity system and how are they related to critical transactions that support the technical functioning of the system?

    Based on this analysis it will be possible to pinpoint to specific mismatches between technological requirements and their supporting institutional arrangements. This contributes to a better understanding of the technological and institutional functions that are needed to support liberalized energy markets.

     


  • 2005-2006 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series on Thursdays at 12:00 PM in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 129) or in Hamburg Hall 2503. These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Candace King (cvking@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    5/30/06

    "Towards Systemic Analysis of Building Energy Systems"

    Chris Marnay
    Berkeley Lab

    Abstract
    Currently building energy systems are designed and built almost in isolation one from another. The heat and electricity supplies, for example, are not obviously interconnected, except to the extent that electricity it needed to drive pumps and fans, etc. While not really a disruptive technology, small-scale (< 1-2 MW electric) combined heat and power for buildings necessitates a rethink of the traditional approach. In this work, a systemic model of building energy use is developed and demonstrated. The Distributed Energy Resources Customer Adoption Model (DER-CAM) is a pure cost minimizing approach that minimizes the total energy bill of a building over a test period, typically an historic year. Because occupancy is low in commercial buildings, the economics of self-generation is often not compelling and cooling which is endogenous to electricity use is typically the most lucrative load to serve by CHP, solving building energy systems to find optimal on-site generation, heat recovery, and cooling equipment proves very challenging.


    4/20/06

    "Fuel Cells, an Emerging High-Technology Industry"

    Rodger McKain
    President, SOFCo-EFS Holdings LLC

    Abstract
    The science for fuel cells has been established for a long time, and specific applications have been developed, dating back to the 1930’s. But, so far fuel cell technology has not moved into general use because of cost and advances in competitive alternatives. However, the needs for high efficiency energy conversion at all scales, reduction of emissions and the growth in non-traditional energy uses have created a growing opportunity for fuel cells. To move from a niche technology to a widespread disruptive technology, fuel cells must become rooted in strong businesses that meet the expectations of customers as well as financial stakeholders. This presentation describe some of the factors that favor fuel cells and the challenges that must be addressed.


    4/6/06

    "Latest Advances in Superconducting Power Apparatus for Electric Utilities"

    Dr. Stephen Kuznetsov
    President, Power Superconductor Applications Corp.

    Abstract
    Recent advances at the DOE National Laboratories in superconducting wire technology have yielded new conductors which operate in AC magnetic fields and at temperatures from 27 to 77 K. Two new devices which enhance power system stability and load flow are currently being developed by Power Superconductor for use on the power grid at voltage levels of 5 kV to 500 kV. These new devices are the superconducting synchronous condenser and the SC current fault limiter. The talk will describe both of these devices and the implication for enhancing power system stability of both large interconnected systems and smaller isolated power systems such as wind energy power generation.

    The Superconducting Synchronous Condenser (SSC) is a high- speed rotating machine with a superconducting field wound with either YBCO or MgB superconductor and cooled with liquid nitrogen or liquid neon. A rotating magnetic field is established at a high field ( 5-7 Tesla ) and the stator is an air-core helical wound unit with 5 kV to 15 kV, 3 phase output. The machine acts to compensate for lagging power factor on a long transmission line or large inductive loads and is commonly referred to as a “rotating capacitor” for it produces current which leads the voltage by 90 degrees. These machines at very high power levels e.g. 8-200 MVAR are much more compact than a static capacitor bank and offer infinite controllability of VARS from zero to the maximum rating of the machine. The SSC currently under development at PSA is an 8 MVAR machine at 5 kV with a 3600 rpm rotating field. The newest technology is geared to YBCO conductors at 77 K. When in use on systems up to 500 kV, the SSC allows greater flow of real power in a large system without the problems of sub-synchronous resonance and instabilities which have been found to exist with large utility capacitor banks on the West Coast. The SSC also increases the critical fault clearing time (CFCT) of both distribution and transmission systems.

    The Superconducting Current Fault limiter (SCFL) is a compact device being developed for use in 5 kV to 115 kV power systems that rapidly impedes the flow of current upon sensing a high rate of rise of utility line current. The SCFL development at PSA has both copper and superconducting coils and automatically inserts inductance into the power line upon reaching a threshold level in dI/dt or absolute current. The response time is geared to produce maximum inductance in 4 ms, consistent with utility operating parameters. The new technology does not allow the superconductor to quench and consequently the device reset time is 10 ms rather than 3 minutes since there is no need to re-cool the cryostat. The advantage of the SCFL to the utility operator is the ability to eliminate lossy power station series air-core reactance that have both real and reactive power losses. Alternately the SCFL allows the utility to reduce the main transmission step-up transformer internal reactance to a minimum adding to the overall power system stability.


    3/16/06

    "Electricity Deregulation - A Political Failure"

    Peter Behr
    The Washington Post

    Abstract
    The talk will trace the expansion of electricity deregulation in the 1990s, a process that would grow into "one of the largest single industrial reorganizations in the history of the world", according to the U.S. General Accounting Office. Despite the huge stakes for a $2 trillion dollar industry and its consumers, for elected state and federal officials across the nation, and for an essential linchpin of the economy, this great leap forward lacked anything resembling a political consensus.

    There was no mandate from Congress to support vast changes in the grid's operation, which some industry heavyweights welcomed and others opposed. Nor was there any general public understanding of what was taking place. The advocates and agents of restructuring expected to fix their experimental craft in mid-air. They have not, or at least, not yet, and the prospects for success don't look hopeful.

    The designers of deregulation failed to appreciate the consumer's view of reasonably priced electricity as a public entitlement, like potable water. As electric markets erupted in volatility, regulators given the legal responsibility to assure "just and reasonable" wholesale prices for power failed in that task. Now, public confusion and anger over rising electricity prices adds to the resistance that may obstruct essential investment.

    The events of this decade of electricity deregulation echo two deep historical themes that figure in this talk: One is the influence of regional political power in national policy debates. The second is the ideological battle between the forces of regulation and competition that have struggled to control electric power and its bounty since the industry's birth.

    There were several main drivers of deregulation. One was the plausible view that competition would foster innovation and better prices and values for consumers in electricity markets, as it had elsewhere An influential chorus of academic experts declared that the century-old system of utility monopolies providing cost-based electricity was inefficient and not worth saving. The self-interest of power companies and large industrial and business customers in states with high power costs was a potent force. A critical enabler of this movement was the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, whose commissioners and staff had embraced deregulation ideology but were not willing to enlist in active oversight of the process.

    Deregulation was brought up short by the California crisis in 2000-01. This debacle had many fathers -- a fatally flawed plan, weak and conflicted state elected leadership, and collusive, predatory behavior by a large segment of the power industry. But the refusal by FERC to fulfill its oversight role -- an ideological and political decision -- was a pivotal failure of duty.

    FERC's focus was elsewhere: Its attempt to establish independent regional transmission organizations to fulfill its goal (dream) of open-access transmission. Here it was done in by regional political power. In 2003, FERC's chairman was rebuffed by an improbable alliance between senators from the Southeast and Northwest states whose politics were poles apart, but who shared access to cheaper power and refused to accept federal dictates over their electricity systems. Had FERC persisted, Congress was prepared explicitly to block the commission through a stunning exercise of legislative nullification.

    The Northeast blackout of 2003 was about much more than vegetation management under Ohio transmission lines. It revealed weaknesses in industry self-regulation and a failure by federal and state regulators to closely examine the consequences of deregulation on a heavily-loaded transmission system

    Although deregulation's expansion has halted, the industry's restructuring upheaval continues. More and larger mergers are anticipated. Policies are not yet set for the critical regulation of congestion and enforcement of reliability laws. FERC appears content to rely fundamentally on market pressure to create the competitive wholesale power system it seeks.

    The debates about the merits of deregulation continue between theoretical advocates and disbelievers. But the argument now must contend with political protests from consumers in parts of the country who are getting a taste of the California price shock today. If tougher price controls are imposed, and if the industry's sense of direction is scrambled again, will there be adequate investment in grid reliability, security and the capacity needed for competition?

    More than ever, the electricity markets need the reassuring hand of an independent regulator's rigorous oversight. The game needs honest referees. It is a central challenge to political leadership.


    3/9/06

    "Improving Environmental Performance in the Midst of Financial Recovery: I'm scrubbing as fast as I can"

    David C. Cannon Jr.
    Vice President, Environment, Health and Safety
    Allegheny Energy, Inc.


    3/2/06

    "Investment Incentive Issues and the Interactions between Engineering Reliability Standards and Competitive Electricity Markets"

    Paul Joskow
    MIT

    Abstract
    This paper seeks to bridge the gap between economists focused on designing competitive market mechanisms and engineers focused on the physical attributes and engineering requirements they perceive as being needed for operating a reliable electric power system. The paper starts by deriving the (second-best) optimal prices and investment program when there are price-insensitive retail consumers, but when their load serving entities can choose any level of rationing they prefer contingent on real time prices. It then examines the assumptions required for a competitive wholesale and retail market to achieve this optimal price and investment program. The paper analyses the implications of relaxing several of these assumptions. First, it analyzes the interrelationships between regulator-imposed price caps and capacity obligations. It goes on to explore the implications of potential network collapses, the concomitant need for operating reserve requirements and whether market prices will provide incentives for investments consistent with these reserve requirements.


    2/23/06

    "Temperature Effects on Residential Electric Price Response"

    Karen Herter
    Lawrence Berkeley Lab

    Abstract
    Deregulation efforts and electric system failures in the U.S. and around the world have inspired a heightened interest in electric reliability issues. While system planners push for increased supply capacity, conservation advocates lobby for methods of controlling demand. This talk will summarize the results from an exploratory analysis of residential customer response to a dynamic rate that was designed to reduce peak electricity consumption. Under the critical peak pricing (CPP) experiment, local electricity distribution companies dispatched high peak prices fifteen times per year and measured household electricity use in 15-minute intervals. We found statistically significant load reduction for participants both with and without automated end-use control technologies.

    During five-hour critical peak periods, participants without control technology used up to 13% less energy than they did during normal peak periods. Participants equipped with programmable communicating thermostats used 25% and 41% less for five and two-hour critical events, respectively.

    Thus, this study offers convincing evidence that the residential sector can provide substantial contributions to retail demand response, which is considered a potential tool for mitigating market power, stabilizing wholesale market prices, managing system reliability, and maintaining system resource adequacy.


    2/9/06

    "Developing a Gasification Plant under the 3Party Covenant , Utilizing Federal Loan Guarantees and Investment Tax Credits Incentives Enacted in EPACT 2000"

    William Rosenberg
    CMU


    2/2/06

    "From Edison to Enron"

    Richard Munson
    Northeast Midwest Institute


    1/19/06

    "Blackout of August 14, 2003 - Power System Forensic Analyses"

    Bob Cummings
    North American Electric Reliability Council


    12/8/05

    "The Contrasting Policies of the FCC and FERC Regarding the Importance of Open Transmission Networks in Downstream Competitive Markets"

    Harvey Reiter
    Stinson Morrison Hecker, LLP., Washington D.C.

    Abstract
    Over the last 20 years, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has adopted and promoted open access regimes to govern the use of electric transmission networks and natural gas pipeline systems. Its aim has been to foster and protect competition in sale of natural gas and electric power by giving independent suppliers equal footing with network owners selling the same products and services. For years, the Federal Communications Commission followed a similar course in its regulation of communications networks, requiring telecommunications carriers to make their networks available to competing internet service providers and others. Last June the Supreme Court ruled that the FCC was within its authority to free cable companies from any duty to make their broadband networks available to competing internet service providers. Two months later the FCC chose to free telecommunications companies of this same obligation. The talk will explore and critique the rationales articulated by these agencies for their dramatically different policy choices.


    12/1/05

    "Technical Advancements and Public Policies Affecting Wind Power's Past, Present and Future"

    Constantine Samaras
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    Wind power has evolved from its mechanical "windmill" roots to become a viable zero emission utility-scale energy source, with costs that are now close to competitive in commercial power markets. With the nexus of concerns about energy security, high fossil fuel prices, and carbon dioxide emissions, wind power today is a focus of great interest. This presentation asks how did wind get to the point that it may be poised to become a serious player in supplying electricity, and how can the lessons learned from the past be utilized to ensure the future of wind energy?

    Specifically it explores the relative role played by governmental R&D, incremental design innovations, and advances in and transfers from industries outside of wind energy in bringing wind to its current status.

    Through both a careful review of the academic literature and trade publications, and interviews with officials, both in government and across the wind industry, this work examines the portfolio of engineering and public policy sources of cost reductions experienced by the utility-scale wind energy industry. By examining wind power’s development in this context, insight is gained on how to continue and expand the cost and design advancements that have enabled wind power to succeed.


    11/10/05

    "Power Market Overview"

    Hamid Elahi
    Global Director
    GE Energy - Energy Solutions

    Abstract
    GE Energy's view of the global electric power market, with a more in depth examination of trends in the US, including new technologies and potential outcomes and consequences of the US 2005 Energy Policy Act.


    11/8/05

    "Business Interruption Impacts of a Terrorist Attack on the Electric Power System of Los Angeles: Customer Resilience to a Total Blackout"

    Adam Rose
    The Pennsylvania State University

    Abstract
    We estimate the direct and indirect economic impacts of an extended electric power outage caused by a terrorist attack in a major U.S. city--Los Angeles, California. Several simulations are run relating to damage to various components of the electric power system. Given the ability to target maximum damage, the simulations involve a two-week period until the system is fully restored. The analysis extends beyond the approaches prevalent in the recent literature, which have omitted resilience and indirect effects. The simulations are performed with the use of a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model that addresses these often omitted factors and incorporates special features relating to terrorism. The CGE framework has been successfully applied to electricity and water disruptions from natural hazards (Rose and Guha, 2004; Rose and Liao, 2005), as well as from technical/regulatory failures (Rose et al., 2004), and has several advantages over other approaches in being applied to utility lifeline disruptions from terrorist attacks (Rose, 2005).


    11/3/05

    "'Gaming' the Global Climate Change Issues"

    Dale Simbeck
    SFA Pacific, Inc.


    10/31/05

    "The Nucon Biomass plant: permits and finance in India"

    Bill Goldsmith
    Nucon Energy


    10/27/05

    "U.S. Scene for Electric Power and Future Energy Systems -- Tipping Point or Opportunity for Clean Coal Technologies?"

    Michael Eastman
    Senior Manager
    Strategic Center for Coal
    National Energy Technology Laboratory

    Abstract
    A high-level and fast-paced presentation will be given that portrays coal as the most abundant fossil energy resource both in the United States and throughout the world. Coal is expected to play an important part in comprising the U.S. energy portfolio and continue to provide about half of our electric power well into the future. However, environmental emissions from coal have increasingly become a target of public concern and regulations. Due to a series of continuing advances in coal mining and coal utilization technology, coal remains an economically and environmentally viable fuel of choice for electric power generation in many developed and developing countries. Through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (U.S. DOE’s) Coal & Power Programs, a number of technologies are being developed and demonstrated to meet the environmental challenges of coal usage for electric power generation applications. These programs span a broad spectrum of research (e.g., bench-scale), development (e.g., pilot & proof-of-concept scale), and demonstration (e.g., commercial scale) activities. Applicable technologies include coal combustion, gasification, and conversion, as well as technologies for the control of SO2, NOx, Hg, and fine particulate emissions, and byproduct utilization processes. A variety of promising ideas are being fostered among these technology categories under the coal R&D programs, where U.S. DOE typically bears up to 80% of the R&D project costs. Large, commercial-scale projects are conducted under U.S. DOE’s Clean Coal demonstration programs, where the government can cost-share up to 50% of the demonstration project costs. These demonstration programs include 36 projects demonstrated under the Clean Coal Technology (CCT) program of the 1980s and 1990s, 6 projects under the Power Plant Improvement Initiative (PPII), and 12 projects have been selected under the first two rounds of the Bush Administration’s Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI). The U.S is confronting many challenges with respect to its energy an economic future paper as it prepares to make investments in its infrastructure to address the continuing priorities of a cleaner environment and assure the reliability and affordability of its energy resources. Important keys to a strong economy are affordable energy and electricity. RD&D has resulted in a variety of clean coal technologies that have proved successful in mitigating concerns associated with acid rain precursor emissions (i.e., SO2 and NOx), a new generation of highly efficient power plant technologies, supplemented by carbon sequestration, may allow us to address climate change concerns while continuing to utilize the world’s abundant coal reserves. Toward that end, U.S. DOE is now embarking on new research priorities with a new initiative known as FutureGen, which will feature an advanced, nearly emissions-free coal power plant capable of co-producing electricity and hydrogen, in combination with CO2 sequestration.

    With opportunity comes challenge; the challenge of addressing an unknown future with an energy supply infrastructure that meets society’s expectations of a clean environment, is secure in an insecure world, is affordable and such enables a strong economy and is robust enough to shield the economy from rapid swings in energy prices. It is a complex problem, are we facing a tipping point? How can we tell?


    10/20/05

    "State Estimation"

    Kevin Clements
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute


    10/6/05

    "Real-world Advice to Congress: How Gasification Tax Credits Became Law"

    William Rosenberg
    Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard Kennedy School of Government

    Background Material

    Final Report submitted to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation by the IGCC Financing Project

    Final Report Appendix A

    Financing IGCC for Near-Term Deployment

    Gasification as a Strategic Energy and Environmental Option

    National Gasification Strategy


    9/29/05

    "LIquefied Natural Gas"

    Paulina Jaramillo
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    Department of Energy (DOE) estimates suggest that in the coming decades U.S. demand for natural gas will increase. Estimates also suggest that supply of this natural gas will increasingly come in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced in countries like Russia and South Africa , and brought by oceanic tankers. During the same period, the awareness of global climate change will become more noticeable and the importance of reducing emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to this climate change will equally increase. Natural gas has been widely identified as a cleaner alternative to coal for electricity generation, as it has lower combustion emissions. Although emissions at the power plant make up most of the natural gas fuel cycle emissions, it is important to identify emissions from the entire fuel cycle.

    Several studies have performed emission inventories for the natural gas lifecycle from production to distribution. Usually these analyses have been performed for domestic natural gas, so that emissions from the liquefaction to LNG, tanker transport, and re-gasification have not been considered. If, as the DOE estimates suggest, larger percentages of the supply of natural gas will come from these imports, emissions from these steps in the fuel cycle could influence the total fuel cycle emissions. Thus, comparisons between coal and natural gas that concentrate only on the emissions at the utility plant may not be adequate. The objective of this study is to perform an analysis of the natural gas fuel cycle greenhouse gas emissions taking the emissions from LNG into consideration. Different scenarios for the percentage of natural gas as LNG will be analyzed. Moreover, a comparison with the coal fuel cycle greenhouse gas emissions will be presented, in order to have a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantage of using coal versus natural gas for electricity generation. Our preliminary life cycle estimates suggest that advanced natural gas technologies produce lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to advanced coal technologies, even with high percentages of natural gas as LNG being used. However if the full fuel cycle is considered the difference in emissions decreases. While coal combustion at a power plant emits on average 54% more greenhouse gases (measured in pounds of CO2 equivalents) than natural gas combustion, on a full life cycle basis coal generation emits on average 44% more than what is emitted with a natural gas mix that contain 20% LNG. In addition if 90% carbon capture and sequestration is achieved at the power plant, the range of emissions from natural gas is larger than the range of emissions from coal. These results should be considered when pursuing fuel and carbon policies at the national level when broader considerations such as energy dependence are relevant.


    9/22/05

    "Nuclear Power Plants, Reactive Power, and FERC: a summary of work performed during a summer internship at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission"

    Paul Hines
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    In the last few years several Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) studies have argued that increasing transmission system stress has increased the frequency with which Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) disconnect from the transmission network. This problem is important for two reasons: when a nuclear power plant loses its connections to the transmission network the risk of a dangerous failure increases significantly, and secondly the loss of a large power plant can have a destabilizing effect on the grid. In this talk I plan to discuss (in necessarily general terms) some related research from my summer working with the FERC reliability group, and pass on some observations about the structure and operation of FERC.


    9/15/05

    "Investment Decisions under the Uncertainty of Carbon Legislation"

    Dr. Joule Bergerson
    Carnegie Mellon University


    9/8/05

    "The EPRI Summer Study and the NRECA Research Meeting"

    Prof. Granger Morgan
    Carnegie Mellon University

     


  • 2004-2005 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series on Thursdays at 12:00 PM in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 109). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Candace King (cvking@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    5/19/05

    "The Rise and Fall of the Manufactured Gas Industry in the United States"

    Joel A. Tarr
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    From approximately the 1850s through the 1950s, gas produced from the heating of coal or other organic substances provided a major source of energy in U.S. urban areas. Initially used most widely for lighting, it subsequently became an important energy source for other household and industrial uses. This talk will provide an overview of the development of the industry and its critical innovations and transitions as it competed with other sources of energy. It will also examine the importance of regulatory standards in hindering the move of manufactured gas from primarily a lighting fuel to a provider of energy for industry as well as households. The demise of the industry occurred primarily in the period from the 1920s through the 1950s with the shift from manufactured gas to natural gas as a major energy source. I will conclude with a discussion of the impacts of the MGP industry on the environment and their implications for the present.


    5/12/05

    "Steps Toward a Wide-area Protection System for Power Grids"

    Khoi Vu
    Power Technology Department
    ABB US Corporate Research Center

    Abstract
    As it becomes difficult to install new transmission equipment, power-grid owners and operators are relying more on the use of information technology (IT) for better utilization of their existing assets. Proper implementation plans will lead to controls that allow for much more flexible grid operations than those available today. This presentation covers the philosophy (central vs. local) of designing an IT infrastructure for monitoring, control and protection of the power grid. It also covers the practicalities of implementing and testing of smart algorithms. Speaker: Khoi Vu (M) received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He has been with ABB Corporate Research since 1993, and works in wide-area protection, protective-relay algorithms, power quality, energy markets, demand response, and power-system analysis.


    4/28/05

    "An Overview of Carbon Sequestration in Pennsylvania"

    John Harper
    Geologist Supervisor
    Pennsylvania Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey

    Abstract
    The Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP), of which the Pennsylvania Geological Survey is a research partner, was formed in 2003 to develop robust solutions that will help reduce CO2 emissions while simultaneously protecting the industrial economy of the region. MRCSP consists of numerous government, industry and academic institutions in seven states, led by Battelle in Columbus, OH. During 2004 and 2005, MRCSP identified sources of CO2 in the region, assessed the problems and costs of carbon capture, identified and mapped potential carbon sinks, and built public and political support for sequestration through a public outreach program (Phase I). If funding continues for Phase II, during 2005-2008 the partnership will focus on developing practical applications through a series of field validation tests (pilot projects) to determine the efficacy of carbon sequestration in specific subsurface geological formations, farmlands, and reclaimed minelands. At the same time, MRCSP will further refine and characterize the data and mapping begun in Phase I. This talk will focus largely on the Pennsylvania Geological Survey’s efforts in Phase I.


    4/21/05

    "Impacts of Global Warming on Consumers"

    Sonny Popowsky
    Consumer Advocate of Pennsylvania


    4/14/05

    "Perspectives on ISO-New England's proposed Locational Installed Capacity Market"

    John S. Rohrbach
    Lukens Energy Group

    Abstract
    FERC Docket ER03-563-030 is a proceeding to institute a locational installed capacity (LICAP) pricing system for New England. LICAP is the offshoot of the work of Dr. Steven Stoft (www.stoft.com) and Dr. Paul Joskow of MIT. The general theory of LICAP is that because it is postulated that generators would not cover costs if there were just enough generators around, a system of locational installed capacity prices is needed to procure reliability. Dr. Joskow's April 4, 2003 paper "The Difficult Transition to Competitive Electricity Markets in the U.S.", provides the support for the idea that current 'energy-and-ICAP markets' are allegedly inadequate to support generation adequacy.

    Given this background, and the recently concluded ISO-New England hearing at FERC, John's talk will address the following:

    • Introduction & Disclaimer
    • What is the Locational Installed Capacity (LICAP) debate about?
    • FERC Docket ER03-563-030
    • General Positions of the Parties
    • Assessment of the problem LICAP is trying to solve
    • Generation overbuild lowers overall energy revenues
    • Inadequate revenue for seldom-run units
    • Transmission constraints & RMR contracts
    • Solutions (Ranging from LICAP to 'Trust-the-Market')
    • Concluding Remarks

    4/7/05

    "IGCC and PUCs"

    David Hadley
    Indiana Public Utility Commission


    3/31/05

    "Workforce Issues in the Electric Power Industry"

    Michael Ashworth


    3/24/05

    "Power technology research at NASA Glenn Research Center"

    Geoffrey A. Landis
    NASA Glenn Research Center


    3/17/05

    "Considerations of LNG"

    Melanie Kenderdine
    GTI


    2/24/05

    "3- Party Covenant for Financing IGCC"

    William Rosenberg
    Harvard University


    2/10/05

    "PJM West and the Future"

    Karl Pfirrmann
    President PJM West


    2/3/05

    "Demand Response as a Substitute for Electric Power System Infrastructure Investments"

    Jason W Black
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Abstract
    I will discuss the system-wide implications of regulatory policies to promote demand response as a substitute for investments in system capacity (generation, transmission, and distribution). Investments in demand response technologies, such as smart thermostats for thermal energy storage, have the potential to improve the efficiency of operations and investments in the electric power system. Reducing the magnitude of demand fluctuations will allow the utilization of the generation, transmission, and distribution systems to be increased and the levels of ancillary voltage and frequency support and reserves reduced. An analysis of the long term effects of demand response on electricity pricing and generation investment is modeled. This analysis enables a general comparison of the potential for avoided costs in generation, transmission, and distribution that could be expected from active regulatory support of demand response investments.


    1/20/05

    "Electricity Financial Transmission Rights as Hedging Instruments"

    Dalia Patino Echeverri
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    Deregulation of the electricity markets has made participants face much larger uncertainties in a competitive environment. In this paper we focus on one aspect of this problem: transmission congestion costs, which represent a significant fraction of the total cost of electricity and are difficult to predict. A system of auctions of Financial Transmission Rights (FTR) has been implemented in different regions to allow market forces to alleviate the burden of uncertain congestion costs to market participants. Data from NYISO and PJM markets show that in practice market participants are paying a fixed cost with a large premium to minimize their exposure to the uncertainty of the congestion costs. We developed an option theory based framework to quantify the value of the risk reduction and illustrate how it can be applied to the case of the premium paid for FTRs to hedge against the volatility of the congestion costs.


    12/9/04

    "Making a Fortune in the 21st Century"

    Phillip G. Harris
    President and CEO, The PJM Interconnect, Inc.


    12/2/04

    "Wide Open Load Following (WOLF): As Applied to Reactive Power"

    Mark B. Lively

    Abstract
    WOLF creates a financial feedback loop using a quantification of the quality of a public good to price a relevant commodity as part of controlling a system and improving its reliability. For reactive power, the public good is local area voltage. A measurement of that voltage is one of the independent variables in the WOLF pricing formula for unscheduled amounts of reactive power. Other independent variables can include the local price for active power. The CMU presentation will include a discussion of the effectiveness of financial feedback loops for improving the quality of public goods as has been demonstrated in India in the pricing of active power and the consequent improvement in the frequency of the electric grid.

    Mark Lively is an independent consultant specializing in the design of financial systems involving electricity and natural gas. He has a SB in Electrical Engineer from MIT and a SM in Management from MIT's Sloan School. He worked for American Electric Power Service Corporation in NYC for five years and for Ernst & Ernst (and successors) in its Washington Utility Group for fifteen years. He developed the Committed Unit Basis (CUB) for evaluating long term contracts between utilities and Qualifying Facilities such as cogenerators. He has testified before several state commissions and has had consulting assignments in South Africa, Australia, Kazakhstan, and Oman.


    11/18/04

    "Aftershock: Deregulation and Stranded Cost Recovery"

    David Rode
    Director, DAI Management Consultants
    Doctoral Candidate, Dept. of Social and Decision Sciences

    Abstract
    Part of electric market deregulation is experienced as a delayed reaction: recovery of stranded costs. Nationally, estimates of total potential stranded costs run well into the tens of billions of dollars -- all of which, if utilities are successful, will be borne by ratepayers. For many formerly regulated utilities, recovery of these costs represents their last grasp at the stability of a regulated asset. Texas, as one of the earliest markets to consider deregulation, is now beginning to deal with the stranded cost consequences of that legislation.

    Texas's electric market deregulation legislation -- PURA, the Public Utility Regulatory Act -- called for stranded costs proceedings to begin this year. In March, CenterPoint Energy filed a $4.4 billion stranded cost request with the Texas PUC. During this proceeding, I served as an expert witness for the Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel (the government agency that represents small ratepayers before the PUC). In this presentation, I will give an overview of the proceedings as a means of exploring how the traditional stranded cost recovery process has changed under deregulation. Additionally, the presentation will address issues particular to serving as an expert witness and appearing before utility regulators.


    10/28/04

    "Comparative Assessments Of Fossil Fuel Power Plants With CO2 Capture And Storage"

    Prof. Ed Rubin
    CMU

    Abstract
    Studies of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) costs necessarily employ a host of technical and economic assumptions regarding the particular technology or system of interest, including details regarding the capture technology design, the power plant or gas stream treated, and the methods of CO2 transport and storage. Because the specific assumptions employed can dramatically affect the results of an analysis, published studies are often of limited value to researchers, analysts and industry personnel seeking results for alternative assumptions or plant characteristics. In the present paper, we use a generalized modeling tool to estimate and compare the emissions, efficiency, resource requirements and costs of PC, IGCC and NGCC power plants on a systematic basis. This plant-level analysis explores a broader range of key assumptions than found in recent studies we reviewed. In particular, the effects on cost comparisons of higher natural gas prices and differential plant utilization rates are highlighted, along with implications of financing and operating assumptions for IGCC plants. The impacts of CCS energy requirements on plant-level resource requirements and multi-media emissions also are quantified. While some CCS technologies offer ancillary benefits via the co-capture of certain criteria air pollutants, the increases in specific fuel consumption, reagent use, solid wastes and other air pollutants associated with current CCS systems are found to be significant. To properly characterize such impacts, an alternative definition of the "energy penalty" is proposed in lieu of the prevailing use of this term.


    10/21/04

    "The Impact of CO2 Allocation on Electricity Prices"

    Karsten Neuhoff
    Cambridge University


    10/14/04

    "Mean-Variance Portfolio Analysis of the Locational Value of Generation Assets"

    Serhiy Kotsan
    West Virginia University Department of Economics

    Abstract
    I will address the problem of optimal investment in generation based on mean-variance portfolio analysis. It is assumed the investor can freely create a portfolio of shares in buses on the electrical network. Investors are risk averse, and seek to minimize the variance of the weighted average Locational Marginal Price (LMP) in their portfolio, and to maximize its expected value. I conduct simulations using a commonly used IEEE 68-bus network that approximately represents the New York - New England system and calculate LMPs in accordance with the PJM methodology for a full AC optimal power flow solution. Results indicate that the network topology is a crucial determinant of the investment decision as line congestion makes it difficult to deliver power to certain nodes at system peak load. Determining those nodes is an important task for an investor in generation as well as the transmission system operator.


    9/30/04

    "Power System Restoration after Failures"

    Mike Adibi
    IRD, Inc.

    Abstract
    Given, that blackouts are likely to occur, one might ask what are being done to reduce their impact, i.e., their extent, intensity and duration? Immediately after the initial event, the power system frequency rise and decay are arrested automatically by load rejection, load shedding, isolation scheme and controlled islanding. The success rate of these automatic schemes has been over 50%! The challenge has been to coordinate the control and protective systems between the generating plants and the electrical system which have up to two orders of magnitude response differences.

    In the subsequent restoration phase, plant operators in coordination with system operators attempt to manually maintain a balance between load and generation by using the available initial sources of power and supplying the critical loads by priority. The duration of these manual procedures has invariably taken much longer than the equipment limitations. In view of the industry's breakup, the concern is that the power plants - power system manual coordination may no longer receive the due attention, resulting in a greater blackout impact.

    It is concluded that research and development efforts in the automatic coordination of power plants - power system is more expedient and in near term more advantageous resulting in a reduced blackout impact.


    9/23/04

    "Alternative Models for Deregulating the Electric Power Industry"

    Bruce Edelston
    Director, Policy and Planning, Southern Company

    Abstract
    The electric power industry, partly because it is regulated at both the state and federal levels and partly because of the fallout from the Enron and California experiences, is evolving into different structures in different regions and states. Wholesale competition (and retail competition in some states) is driving changes in regulation and the traditional vertically-integrated nature of the industry, but because there is no national consensus on how markets should evolve, there are multiple frameworks that have developed across the country. Southern Company, following the lead of its own state regulators, has decided that the traditional vertically-integrated model with competitive procurement to serve incremental needs and a strong continuing role for state regulators is the best model for the region it serves. But Southern Company's position has been quite controversial with wholesale market participants and federal regulators. Mr. Edelston will discuss Southern Company's view of the evolving industry and compare and contrast its' view with other models of deregulation.


    9/16/04

    "Generation Adequacy and Investment Incentives in the UK: from the Pool to NETA"

    Fabien Roques
    PhD Student, Judge Institute of Management, Cambridge University

    Abstract
    There is no consensus among academics on which market design provides the least distorting long term investment incentives. Theoretical rationale and practical experience suggest that ‘energy-only’ markets such as NETA in the UK with spot prices that are allowed to reflect scarcity rents will generate sufficient income to allow capacity cost recovery by generators. However different market designs, with separate payments for capacity or reserve obligations have the advantage of not relying on infrequent price spikes to remunerate reserve capacity. Three years after the controversial change of the UK market design from the compulsory Pool with capacity payments to the decentralised energy-only NETA market framework, we contrast the two market designs in terms of investment incentives. We review the biases of the Pool capacity payments design, the draught of investment under NETA, and the reaction of the market during the first “stress-test” of NETA during the winter 2003. In an energy only market such as NETA, it is essential that price signals are right and the system operator has a crucial role in contracting ahead for reserve. We thus recommend that NETA comes back to a single marginal imbalance price as dual imbalance pricing conjugated with an average price calculation biases price signals in times of scarcity. We then turn to the current hedging and financing difficulties of power projects and show that vertical and horizontal reintegration compensate for the lack of long term contracting. Lastly we investigate the case for the re-introduction of a capacity payment in the UK, and argue that this is essentially a policy issue depending on the degree of volatility which is considered as being acceptable, but that it is not necessary as long as the flaws of NETA balancing mechanism are fixed.


    9/9/04

    "The EPRI Summer Study: The Future of Electric Power"

    Granger Morgan and Lester Lave
    EPP & Tepper School


    9/2/04

    "Costs of the Texas Renewables Portfolio Standard"

    Katerina Dobesova
    Visiting Fulbright Scholar in EPP from the University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic

    Abstract
    Texas implemented a renewables portfolio standard (RPS) in January 2002. The seminar will discuss the impacts of the federal production tax credit for renewables, transmission curtailment, construction of new transmission lines to relieve congestion, price of renewable energy credits (RECs), and RPS administration in 2002. The RPS has resulted in a cost premium for renewable power of 3.4 (US) ¢/kWh in 2002, which may fall to 2.8 (US) ¢/kWh after transmission constraints are relieved (these do not include the costs associated with buffering the intermittent generation from renewable sources with storage or backup generation). If the costs of the RPS are allocated to carbon emission reduction, the Texas RPS carbon mitigation cost is 60% higher than that of an integrated gasification combined cycle plant with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), but below that of pulverized coal or natural gas combined cycle plants with CCS.

     


  • 2003-2004 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series on Thursdays at 12:15 PM in the EPP conference room (Baker Hall 109). These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Marilyn Walgora (walgora@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003).


    6/10/04

    "Retail Choice in New Zealand"

    Chris Lindell
    Alliant Energy


    6/3/04

    "Do We Understand the Risks in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems?"

    Clyde Chiltister
    Software Engineering Institute
    Yacov Haimes
    University of Virginia

    Abstract
    Data collection, control, communication, and management, all of which are essential for the effective operation of large-scale infrastructures, are increasingly being performed by supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. These are complex communications systems, interactive between human and hardware/software components, and highly vulnerable to the threat of cyber-terrorism. Critical infrastructures, such as railways, water, electric power, oil and gas pipes, and telecommunications, are interdependent and interconnected. Thus, a terrorist intrusion into the SCADA system that controls, for example, a railway system, may be able to transmit malicious disinformation that can result in a major disruption and loss of lives and commerce.

    This paper, addresses the risk-assessment process associated with SCADA systems. To fully explain the risk-assessment process, the basic configuration of SCADA systems is described, leading to their inherent vulnerabilities associated with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware components, communications, and human supervisory control, among others. The risk-assessment process is performed with Hierarchical Holographic Modeling (HHM) to systemically identify the myriad sources of risks. Three major sub-HHMs are identified: hardware and software of SCADA systems, human supervisory control associated with SCADA systems, and the environment within which SCADA systems function.


    5/13/04

    "Structural Reliability of Electric Transmission Lines - Is it a Problem?"

    Anthony M. DiGioia, Jr.
    GAI Consultants, Inc.

    Abstract
    Do electric transmission lines in the United States and around the world experience structural failures? What are the potential causes of failures? Are the risks and associated costs of failures significant? Can the risk and associated costs be quantified? These questions will be discussed at the meeting. Current transmission line structural reliability design criteria will be discussed and examples of structural failures from around the world will be presented. Finally, an open discussion will be held concerning the future role that CMU could play in resolving this issue.


    5/12/04

    "Is it all about Economic Profitability? Insights on the Diffusion of Building-integrated Photovoltaic Technologies into Urban Areas Following an Innovation-diffusion Theory Approach"

    Maria João Rodrigues
    Visiting Scholar in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and Researcher at the Centre for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research, IN+ at IST, Technical University of Lisbon

    Abstract
    The introduction of renewable energy technologies into the electricity systems is being fostered by governments worldwide mainly as a response to climate change. In Europe these policies are seen to be more stringent given its commitment to the Kyoto protocol goals. As a consequence ambitious development strategies can be found both at local, regional, national and European levels, while being commonly differentiated by technology. With respect to photovoltaic (PV) solar technologies, the systems focused in this paper, Germany is undoubtedly leading the way in installed capacity, both in absolute and capitation terms. At the end of 2002, Germany attained an impressive 277 MW PV cumulative installed capacity, about 20% of the world installed capacity, and a capitation of 3,37 W per person. Besides Germany, both Switzerland and the Netherlands ought to be referenced in the European context, with capitations of 2,67 and 1,64 W per person respectively. These countries share one common feature in this unquestionable success: the existence of ambitious and concerted public policies targeted at the same PV market segment ? grid-connected distributed applications. Although consisting of very different approaches, namely concerning the dichotomy between public intervention and the marketplace, these policies recognize the outstanding opportunities offered by PV technologies in the built environment. Unlike other electricity-generation technologies, the use of PV as an integral part of a building (commonly referred to as building-integrated PV applications or BiPV) provides unique opportunities for exploiting both energy and non-energy benefits, both believed to add value to the electricity generated.

    Despite of the impressive increase in installed capacity of BiPV systems worldwide, mainstream commercialization has not been achieved yet nor has the market potential been substantially realized. In other words, the technology is still in its first stages of the diffusion process.

    The discussion on how to mainstream PV technologies into the urban environment is presently at the top of the research agenda in Europe and, to some extent, internationally, in particular at the International Energy Agency (IEA) level. This presentation aims to contribute to the above discussion by providing an interpretation of BiPV diffusion into urban areas in the light of the theory of diffusion of innovations of Rogers (1995). The analysis provides new insights to factors and actors that may accelerate or influence the technology rate of adoption other than the value of the electricity generated.


    4/29/04

    "Statistical Characteristics of Cascading Failures in Power Networks"

    Huaiwei Liao
    CMU ECE

    Abstract
    Electric power systems consist of thousands of interacted components, distributed geographically. On the one hand, it is the interactions among components that realize long-distance economic transmission of electrical energy and complete the service to millions of customers. On the other hand, the interactions may introduce unexpected consequences to the interconnected power systems under certain unfavorable circumstances, such as defected structure of the system, extreme weather, abnormal load variations, hidden failures of protection systems. In some cases, it causes collapse of the power systems. In this talk, after briefly reviewing the scenarios of August 2003 Blackout in US, some statistical characteristics of the cascading failures of power systems are investigated in a regular resistor network and a 3357-bus practical power system respectively by extensive computer simulation. To represent the cascading sequences and the relationship among element failures, a graphical representation based on Boolean networks is used, which could be a promising way to depict the vulnerability of power networks under adversary disturbances.


    4/26/04

    "Electric Cooperatives: An International Success Story"

    Steven Lindenberg
    Executive Director of Research and Technical Services National Rural Electric Cooperative Association


    4/22/04

    "Creation of US Industry Sector Consumption Mixes: Disagregating Electricity Generation and Estimating Interstate Electricity Transfers"

    Joe Marriott
    CMU EPP and CEE


    4/15/04

    "Blackouts and Electric Reliability - What Should We Learn?"

    Alison Silverstein
    FERC

    Abstract
    The August 14, 2003 blackout and the investigation that followed illuminated many problems with current electric system operations and reliability practices. Alison will talk about what caused the blackout, what needs to be done to improve grid reliability in North America, and what it will take for those solutions to be implemented.


    4/8/04

    "The Operation of Distributed Generation in the Restructured Power Industry"

    Judith Cardell
    Smith College

    Abstract
    Small-scale distributed generating technologies are gradually replacing conventional generating technologies for some applications in the electric power system. The prospect of independent ownership for these distributed technologies is being encouraged by the current deregulation of the industry, and it is likely that these new generators will be independently operated as well as independently owned. This presentation investigates locating numerous small-scale generators in distribution feeders and the possible impact of these facilities on the stability of the distribution system. Simulations demonstrate, unexpectedly, that a small load disturbance is capable of causing frequency instability in the primary dynamics of the distributed generators. Eigenanalysis of the instability suggests that it is a system, rather than individual facility, phenomenon. A method to regain system stability along with an example of implementing this method is presented.

    With respect to the emerging competitive markets, there is interest in developing both the technologies and market structure necessary to allow distributed generators to participate in energy and ancillary service markets. This presentation introduces the use of a closed loop price signal designed to coordinate generator actions in the competitive market while also maintaining the desired level of system reliability and stability. Price signals are one mechanism available to coordinate the operation of the power system in the emerging competitive market. Results presented will demonstrate the role of price in coordinating both the engineering and the economic aspects of distributed generator operation in a restructured power system. This paper demonstrates the ability of the distributed generators to participate in a future competitive energy market via a price signal coordinating system operation.


    4/1/04

    "Energy Infrastructure and Security"

    Alex Farrell
    UC Berkeley

    Abstract
    Concerns about how to safeguard key infrastructures (energy, communications, banking, roads, etc.) from deliberate attack are longstanding, but over the last decade increasing emphasis has been placed on the possible impacts of terrorism. Activities to address these concerns are sometimes called Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), which is somewhat different from the longstanding concept of ‘energy security,’ which focuses on politically- and economically motivated supply interruptions. Energy infrastructures differ somewhat in their principal security concerns. Electricity systems are among the most difficult of infrastructures to safeguard because of the infeasibility of storage, their complexity and the potential for cascading failures. Parts of the oil and gas infrastructures are among the most concentrated in the world, especially production and refining. Nuclear infrastructures pose risks that are uniquely global and dreaded by the public. This review discusses how energy infrastructure and security are related, how it differs from most traditional energy security terms, and what it may mean for private and policy decisions. Key concepts include redundancy, diversity, resilience (or security), storage, decentralization, and interdependence. The concept of CIP is still relatively new and is likely to evolve over time, possibly away from a ‘guards, gates, and guns’ defensive approach and towards a design approach that yields systems that are inherently harder to successfully attack. Such survivable systems may feature distributed intelligence, control, and operations.


    3/26/04

    "Investment in U.S. Electric Utilities under Regulation and Natural Gas Price Uncertainty: Timing of Plant Retirement and New Technology Choice"

    Peter Reinelt
    Fredonia College

    David Keith
    CMU EPP

    Abstract
    Electric utility managers confront impending replacement of an aging coal generation fleet in a business environment characterized by volatile natural gas prices and uncertain future regulation of greenhouse gases and conventional pollutants. Generation technology choice and the timing of investment are examined with a stochastic dynamic programming model, which minimizes the present value of future power generation costs. Regulatory uncertainty combined with irreversible investment decisions creates an incentive to delay coal plant retirement with associated power generation cost and pollution consequences. The programming model provides a platform to examine these expected welfare loses arising from regulatory uncertainty. Conversely, irreversible investment prior to resolution of regulatory uncertainty can impact the effectiveness of eventual regulations.


    3/18/04

    "Market Power and Mitigation in Deregulated Electricity Markets"

    Seth Blumsack
    Carnegie Mellon University, Engineering and Public Policy and Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Abstract
    Conventional measures of market structure used by economists, such as the Herfindahl Hirschman Index (HHI), give a misleading picture of the competitiveness of electric power markets, since these metrics do not consider the special properties of electricity as a commodity. This paper uses an alternative metric, based on the interplay between the system capacity as a whole, the capacity of individual suppliers, and the level of demand, to evaluate the competitiveness of three recently-deregulated electric power systems. Since it is possible for sufficiently large suppliers to set prices arbitrarily high by threatening to withhold generation, it is possible to see the exercise of market power even in times of surplus capacity. An analysis of California, PJM, and New York between June 2000 and June 2001 finds that none of them can be regarded as highly competitive, contrary to what conventional measures of market power would suggest. Five candidate market-power mitigation measures are discussed within the context of the California, PJM, and New York electric power systems. All five options will raise electricity costs, though the benefits from deregulation in some cases may outweigh the costs of mitigation. More importantly, different mitigation options will be less costly in different power systems. The likely success rate of each mitigation scheme also varies depending on the properties of the system to which it is applied. For example, building additional transmission to stifle market power through increased imports is likely to be more successful in California, whose neighbors experience noncoincident peak demands, and less successful in New York and PJM. The lessons for regulators is that decisions on deregulation of electric power markets and market-power mitigation should be made on a system-by-system basis, and that applying one set of rules to all systems will increase costs and decrease operating efficiency.


    3/4/04

    "A Multi-Layered Approach to Transmission Provision and Pricing in the Electric Power Networks"

    Marija Ilic
    CEIC, Engineering and Public Policy and Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Abstract
    In this talk, I review three qualitatively different mechanisms of delivering electric power under open access. The first approach is based on optimizing power dispatch under transmission constraints, and providing a bundled electricity price signal which incorporates both energy and systems support charges. This approach is based on the original notions of spot electricity prices [1] underlies today’s spot markets in several parts of the U.S. electric grid and is recommended by Professor Hogan at Harvard [1a]. The second approach allows for the electricity trading process to be separate from the transmission system support needed to deliver the traded power. This was introduced by several Berkeley faculties in [2]. The only constraint is that the market participants trade under the technical constraint that the transmission limits are not exceeded. There is no transmission price signal in this method. Finally, the so-called two-level transmission provision and pricing was introduced by Ilic et al at MIT in [3]. This method is based on iterative information exchange between the market participants and the transmission system provider: The market participants inform a system provider concerning the location and amount of power they wish to inject into particular locations within the electric grid, and the system provider, based on all given requests, optimizes use of the available transmission capacity and sends the transmission price signal to the market participants. The market participants adjust their requests, the delivery price gets adjusted, and the transactions are implemented. It is documented in [3] that at the equilibrium all three schemes result in the same optimum under several simplifying assumptions.

    In this paper we review the assumptions under which these transmission provision and pricing schemes are designed and compared to:

    • Analyze current industry proposals for transmission provision and pricing in light of the three methods.
    • Propose a generalization of the method described in [3] which allows for a multi-layered reliability-related risk management and valuation of system support.
    • Summarize recent simulation results [4, 5, 6] illustrating typical outcomes of the multi-layered transmission provision and pricing.

    2/26/04

    "Re-Regulation in California"

    Dmitri Perekhodstev
    CEIC

    Abstract
    The California energy crisis in 2000-2001 and the discovery of the Enron gaming strategies applied in CA showed that the California energy markets are far from efficient. The California ISO is currently working on a new market design (MD02, with its final implementation date delayed until 2005) which is supposed to fix the drawbacks of the old one. I will compare the current market design with the proposed one and examine some implications for California utilities.


    2/19/04

    "Efficient Pricing of a Bundled Product of both Real and Reactive Power"

    Serhiy Kotsan
    West Virginia University Department of Economics

    Abstract
    This paper examines price mechanism with one price assigned for each level of bundled real and reactive power. This pricing approach is simulated on the simple 3-bus system power auction where generators provide their bids on the bundle of real and reactive power. System operator (SO) is able to dispatch generators efficiently when the generators bid competitively. Incentives to exercise market power with respect to reactive power are tested on the auction. In addition, 30-bus network was tested, with the purpose of identifying generators willing to raise reactive power bids.


    2/12/04

    "The Regulators"

    Cindy Skrzycki
    The Washington Post


    2/5/04

    "Cyberspace Influence on the Aug 14 Blackout"

    Tom Longstaff
    Software Engineering Institute

    Abstract
    Of the many indicators, causes, and participating factors that existed in the US and Canadian electric infrastructures, one of the most neglected is the role Cyberspace plays in the proper operation of the power grid. Many "root causes" have been blamed for the Aug 14 NE blackout, but the true point of no return for this event appears to have been caused by a software fault in the EMS system for one particular company. Although there is no evidence in this case of an external cause for this fault, study of the fault can illustrate how vulnerable the grid is to Cyberspace manipulation. This presentation and discussion will focus on the interaction of the electricity and cyberspace infrastructures.


    12/18/03

    "The Future of Nuclear Power"

    Ernest Moniz
    Professor of Physics and Director of Energy Studies, MIT


    12/11/03

    "Duquesne Light Operations and Business Model"

    Joe Belechak
    Senior VP and Chief Operations Officer of Duquesne Light


    12/4/03

    "The Pittsburgh Supersite Program: Characterization of Aerosols"

    Cliff Davidson
    Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at CMU

    Abstract
    In 2000, EPA established seven temporary Supersite Airborne Particle Monitoring Stations around the U.S., one of them in Pittsburgh. Additional funding for the Pittsburgh supersite was provided by DOE for sampling major sources. The monitoring program here operated from July 1, 2001 to September 30, 2002. Besides baseline sampling conducted continuously over the 15-month period, there were two intensive sampling runs during July 2001 and January 2002. More than 30 samplers were used during baseline and intensive sampling to obtain data for various aerosol and gaseous chemical species. Instrumentation included time-integrated monitors, such as filters that sampled for later chemical analysis, as well as continuous and semi-continuous monitors to capture short-term variability in concentrations. Results in a few categories of sampling are presented in this seminar. First, we will explore the relative importance of local sources versus long-range transport influencing PM2.5 concentrations in Pittsburgh (PM2.5 = particulate matter with diameters less than 2.5 micrometers). Then we will compare continuous and time-integrated data, investigating what we can learn from highly time-resolved information. Finally, we will consider the chemical composition of aerosols in Pittsburgh. We will explore what this information can tell us about developing control strategies to reduce PM2.5 concentrations.


    11/20/03

    "How to Write an Op-Ed Piece"

    Lester Lave
    CMU Tepper


    11/13/03

    "Autonomous Agents in Electricity"

    Sarosh Talukdar and Paul Hines
    ECE

    Abstract
    Systems of autonomous agents (also called distributed decision-making systems, and complex adaptive systems) have many natural and the artificial manifestations. Immune systems, insect societies, artificial life, electric grids and economies are some examples. In this talk, Sarosh will explain some of the open questions in designing systems of autonomous agents, particularly, questions about emergent behaviors, phase-transitions, task-decomposition, and cooperation. Paul will describe
    his progress in answering the questions on task-decomposition and cooperation.


    11/6/03

    Peter Skantze
    Caminus/SunGard Energy


    10/30/03

    "Regulation"

    Cindy Skrzycki
    The Washington Post


    10/9/03

    "An Examination of Capacity Markets in Electricity"

    Alex Galatic and Frank Lacey
    Strategic Energy

    Abstract
    Demand for electricity constantly fluctuates and depends a great degree on one unpredictable factor - the weather. Tomorrow's weather might be relatively certain, but next summer's weather is less so. At the same time, supply is vulnerable to equipment failure that may, at least temporarily, remove a significant source of electricity from the market. As millions of people experienced the blackout on August 14th, 2003, electricity is an important, if not essential, commodity.

    Uncertain demand coupled with uncertain production capability for a valuable commodity indicates a need for storage, but electricity is consumed at the same instant that it is generated, and it cannot be stored in significant quantities. In other words, electricity supply cannot be inventoried - at least not directly. Generating facilities fill the role of inventory, so, although electricity in its final form is not stored, in a way, it is stored as fuel in coal piles, natural-gas storage fields, and oil tanks, standing ready to be converted into electric energy.

    We depend on the idle production capacity of generators to provide the inventory necessary to compensate for the loss of a large production facility or an abnormal increase in demand due to extreme weather - and keep the lights on.

    Some regions in the Northeast have attempted to create "capacity markets" intended to encourage the development of supply reserves adequate to protect reliability, but they have been ineffective at best, and perhaps even create disincentives to build reserve capacity. This discussion examines why capacity markets in the Northeast fail to encourage the development of new generating capacity, and even worse, how they harm competition.


    10/2/03

    "A Comparison of the Ongoing Restructuring of the Domestic Natural Gas and Electricity Industries"

    Tim Merrill
    Energy Center Pittsburgh

    Abstract
    The premise of this presentation is that the federal and state efforts to restructure the electricity industry haven't adequately taken into account the different 20-year history of federal and state efforts to restructure the natural gas industry; and, yet, the current failures to create viable competitive retail markets in both industries have common roots or causes.

    The gas industry restructuring or deregulation process commenced in the late 1970's as a result of gas shortages during that decade. The gradual deregulation of gas wellhead prices occurred as the result of federal legislation. During the 1980's, as the industry reacted to unexpected surpluses of gas and lower than anticipated prices, various pieces of federal and state regulation provided for an evolution to wholesale and retail markets, the infrastructures of which took years to put in place. This process was aided by the fact that the retail market being created was for industrial and large commercial customers only (until the mid 1990's).

    Though the antecedents for the power industry restructuring do go back to 1970's federal legislation and a Supreme Court decision, it was the action of various state legislatures in the mid 1990's that really made electricity restructuring take off. Legislators were convinced that lower prices could be experienced for all retail customers - residential, commercial, and industrial alike - instantaneously, with the passage of legislation and the writing of enabling regulations. The proper development of wholesale markets, let alone the necessary infrastructure, was not considered.

    At this point, both gas and power competitive retail markets in just about every state are almost non-existent. If any market is functioning at all, it is doing so marginally. The reasons for this set of circumstances are basically twofold. First, state regulators were unable to change their historic command and control regulation model to one that would allow markets to function and thereby protect consumers better than could regulation. Secondly, the growth of competitive retail markets floundered on the inability of federal regulation to complete the creation of wholesale markets. In gas, though the commodity wholesale market was reasonably well established, the capacity wholesale market never came into being. In power, the evolution from loose power pools to tight power pools, to ISOs, to rational RTOs with well-functioning capacity markets, though still proceeding in some parts of the country, may never develop as federal regulators intended into a Standard Market Design.

    Certainly, there are other reasons for the loss of the power and gas restructuring or "deregulation" momentum, such as the proliferation of price caps, the actions of incumbent gas and power utilities, the meltdown of wholesale trading in both gas and power, and the accusation of improper or illegal activities by certain entities. But, to this presenter, the two mentioned above are the more basic causes of the current situation.


    9/24/03

    "Information Technology and Power Distribution/Consumption"

    Rahul Tongia

    Abstract
    In this talk, I will present on the potential and role of information technology (IT) for the power sector. Specifically, I will examine the interaction of IT with power distribution and consumption -- setting aside issues of IT usage at the pool (transmission) level. I present a brief overview of the technology, desired services, and current status, and highlight some issues. Beyond automatic meter reading (AMR), I consider IT capabilities for control, operations, and new services. Extending real-time control to the appliance level might have dramatic impact on power system stability and costs. According to one estimate, reducing the peak load by a few percent can reduce the costs of electricity by over 20%.

    While many of the new technologies are gaining commercialization, integrated solutions are not widespread. In this environment, I present a preliminary analysis of the potential of such technologies for developing countries. Here, given they often lack what is traditional equipment in the West (like automatic reclosers, capacitor banks, Universal metering etc.) there might be an opportunity for leapfrogging. In addition, I introduce a new idea (preliminary thoughts only!) on the directionality of information flow for power distribution management

     


  • 2002-2003 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series at noon on Tuesdays in the EPP conference room. These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below. When possible the slides for the talk are also available.

    If you plan on attending a seminar, please contact Marilyn Walgora (walgora@andrew.cmu.edu), so we can order sufficient food for lunch.

    If you would like to give a seminar, or have a good idea for a seminar topic, please contact Jay Apt (apt@cmu.edu or 412-268-3003412-268-3003).


    6/16/03

    "Comparison of Options for Distributed Generation in India"

    Dr. Rangan Banerjee
    Visiting Faculty EPP

    Abstract
    The Indian power sector has an energy and peak shortage. In this talk we evaluate the feasibility of distributed generation in the Indian power sector. The options considered are Internal Combustion Engine- fuelled by diesel, Internal Combustion Engine- fuelled by natural gas, Micro-Turbine- fuelled by natural gas, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell with reformer fuelled by natural gas ,Wind Turbine, Solar Photovoltaic (PV), Biomass Gasifier connected to a spark ignition engine (dedicated gas engine) and Bagasse Cogeneration in sugar factories. The annualized life cycle costs for each of these options and the cost of generation is computed for different system load factors. The Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources plans to mandate 10% renewables by 2012. We examine the status of these alternatives, policies and barriers to their implementation.


    5/13/03

    "Solid Oxide Fuel Cells - An Engineering Economic Analysis"

    Anshu Bharadwaj
    Center for Energy and Environmental Studies,
    Dept of Engineering and Public Policy,
    Carnegie Mellon University

    Abstract
    This presentation discusses the present state of technology of SOFCs for stationary power generation. Process models are developed for SOFC power plants to predict performance for different cycle design options, including those proposed by Dept of Energy's Vision 21 program such as SOFC - gas turbine hybrids. The presentation also discusses the issues in design of a cell. A finite difference computational model is developed to study the impact of cell dimensions on cell performance and costs.


    5/06/03

    "Market Surveillance at Stock Exchanges: Lessons for the Electricity Industry"

    Santosh Ananthraman
    Chief Executive Officer, Pulse Metrics


    5/01/03

    "Soil Sequestration of Carbon"

    Dr. Rattan Lal
    School of Natural Resources
    The Ohio State University


    4/22/03

    "Coal Gasification and the Meaning of Life"

    Ed Rubin
    Alumni Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science, Carnegie Mellon University


    4/15/03

    "Recent Developments in Electric Power Transmission Technology"

    Dr. Kalyan K. Sen
    Fellow Engineer at Curtiss-Wright Electro-Mechanical Corporation and IEEE
    Distinguished Lecturer

    Abstract
    With the transmission lines becoming loaded to their capacity and new lines being hard to site and build, the ever-growing need for transporting more electricity can be met either by installing new transmission lines or by using the existing ones in a more efficient way. The latter approach is to maximize the active power flow that generates revenue while minimizing the reactive power flow that only heats up the line and contributes nothing to the useful energy delivered. Traditional solutions, such as the shunt compensator, the series compensator, and the phase-shifting transformer affect both the active and the reactive power flow in the transmission line simultaneously. With the use of a Unified Power Flow Controller (UPFC), which is based on Voltage-Sourced Converter (VSC) technology, the active and the reactive power flow in the line can be regulated independently. All VSC-based Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS) controllers have two major drawbacks. These are their high installation and operating costs. In order to address these two issues, a new concept in FACTS controller is proposed. The new concept is more reliable, more cost-effective, and based on proven technology of transformers and load tap changers. The Sen Transformer (ST) is a new family of power flow controlling transformers that provides the same independent active and reactive power flow control as the UPFC, but with a 5:1 reduction in equipment cost and 10:1 improvement in operational cost.


    4/08/03

    "India's Power Sector: (De)regulation and Reforms"

    Dr. Rahul Tongia
    EPP

    Abstract
    This talk presents an analysis of India's power sector, focusing on its structure, reform, and (de)regulation. This informal talk will also leave lots of questions for discussion on how technology, DG, grid design, IT, etc. might have a role for power sector analysis and evolution, especially with regards to emerging economies like India.


    4/01/03

    "Integrated Assessment of Science and Economics for Designing Air Pollution Policies"

    Dallas Burtraw
    Senior Fellow, Quality of the Environment Division,
    Resources For The Future

    Abstract
    Integrated assessment extends benefit-cost analysis to account for uncertainties in the links between environmental science and economics. In recent applications we use the Tracking and Analysis Framework to couple a detailed simulation model of the U.S. electricity markets with an integrated assessment model that links changes in emissions with atmospheric transport, environmental endpoints, and valuation of impacts. This framework has been used to evaluate the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, and to develop new estimates of efficient emission fees for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions in the U.S. electricity sector. National quantity caps that are equivalent to these fees are found to approximate proposed new lower caps under consideration in the current multi-pollutant debate in the U.S. Congress. We also explore whether regional differentiation of caps on different pollutants is likely to enhance efficiency and protect local hot spots.


    3/18/03

    "Investment in Generation Assets under Uncertainty in Restructured Power Markets"

    Audun Botterud
    Visiting doctoral candidate
    MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment

    Abstract
    One of the consequences of power market restructuring is that power generation companies are faced with increased uncertainty concerning future electricity price and income from their generation assets. We also see a move away from the traditional cost minimization objective in expansion planning towards maximization of future profits within the restructured electric power industry. This research focuses on how these fundamental changes in power system planning are likely to influence investment behavior, and how this can affect the power system’s performance in a long-term perspective.

    A multi-stage model for optimal timing of an investment in a new power generation plant is under development. Stochastic dynamic programming is used to calculate under what conditions it is optimal to invest in order to maximize the expected future profit from the project. The project’s profitability is dependent on the price in the electricity market, which is modeled as a function of underlying state variables such as installed capacity and electricity demand. The optimal investment decision also depends on the prevailing market rules and on the level of competition in the power market. Results from the model show that the inclusion of long-term uncertainties into the investment problem can result in postponement of investment decisions. As long as the option to postpone an investment exists, it can be optimal to do so and thereby learn more about future uncertainties, even if the project’s expected net present value is positive. Delayed investments could have serious consequences for the power system, in terms of lower system reliability and higher frequency of undesired price spikes.

    Related experience from power market restructuring in Scandinavia, where the deregulation of the power markets started as early as in 1991, will also be discussed in the presentation.


    3/11/03

    "Transport of Coal by Rail vs. Transmission for Electricity Generation: An Application of Hybrid LCA Comparative Analysis"

    Joule Bergerson
    CEIC, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy

    Abstract
    The USA mines almost one-billion tons of coal each year to produce 52% of its electricity supply. A major question for the industry is whether to build generating plants near the mine or near electricity customers. I examine the most important example, the shipment of coal from the Powder River Basin (PRB) in Wyoming to Texas. Currently, 50 million tons of PRB coal is shipped annually to generation plants in Texas by unit trains. I investigate whether a new 1,000 megawatt plant (producing electricity to meet demand growth) burning 3.3 million tons of PRB coal annually should be built near the minemouth or near the Texas customers in terms of the cost and environmental implications. I assume that new transmission lines are required but that the existing railroad bed has sufficient capacity to accommodate the increased traffic. I find that the annualized cost of building this new transmission system is roughly equal to the cost of maintaining and operating the existing rail system (between $92 and $117 million/yr). This is primarily due to the high capital costs involved in constructing the transmission system. I also find that the additional power that would be required in order to compensate for the losses of electricity from the transmission lines would add to the cost of the transmission system and the environmental emissions significantly. In addition, there is an equity issue involved in this decision, should the residents of Wyoming bear power plant emissions and a power line to provide power for residents of Texas? There are some key assumptions which, if changed could impact this analysis. Examples of these include carbon sequestration, reduction of transmission losses and new rail construction.


    3/4/03

    "Transmission Line Siting: A Quantitative Analysis of Transmission Demand and Siting Difficulty"

    Shalini Vajjhala
    CEIC, Engineering and Public Policy

    Abstract
    Recent events, such as the California energy crisis, have focused national attention on the growing demand for electricity in the United States and the simultaneously lagging development of electricity transmission infrastructure. In spite of recurring examples of the nation's ailing grid and the widespread call for new transmission construction, transmission line siting is universally described as a difficult and time-consuming process often resulting in construction delays or cancellations of new lines. Problems with individual transmission projects have been attributed primarily to lack of investment incentive, public opposition, regulatory roadblocks, and geographic or environmental constraints. However, most of the information about siting difficulty is anecdotal and project-specific, and there is little comprehensive empirical analysis on the factors affecting transmission line siting. This research addresses the three most fundamental questions of the siting problem: How difficult is siting? What makes it difficult? And finally what can be done to ease the problem? This paper presents four unique measures of the need for transmission capacity and associated siting difficulty, and based on these measures develops a preliminary model for quantitatively evaluating the factors affecting transmission line siting at the state-level.


    2/24/03

    "An Engineering/Economic Analysis of Solar Photovoltaic Power"

    Bert N. Davis, Ph.D., P.E.
    Bert Davis & Associates Consulting Engineers

    Abstract
    Concerns about the environmental impacts of energy use have focused increasing attention on the potential for solar and other renewable energy systems to provide economically priced energy services with reduced environmental impacts when compared to conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels. This research focuses on the use of photovoltaic power production for the commercial buildings sector via roof-integrated PV panels.

    The potential for building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) power production to reduce the current U.S. reliance on fossil fuel power generation is examined from a technical and economic analysis of prototype buildings in various U.S. locations. This research first reviews current methodology involved in simulating building energy use and photovoltaic (PV) power production. These tools are then used in a combined fashion to improve current energy simulation capability. In particular this research includes the dynamic effect of PV panels on a building's mechanical and electrical systems, and their effect on peak electrical load reduction. This improved modeling capability is applied to analyzed prototype one, two and three-story office structures. These structures are evaluated with and without PV system integration. The buildings are modeled in several different geographical regions in the United States (U.S.) to evaluate building energy use and PV energy production in different climates. Associated differences in regional fuel mixes for conventional power generation also are included in the analysis.

    After building energy flows are modeled and analyzed, their economic impacts are studied. The ability of the building-integrated PV system to compete financially with conventional energy production methods is evaluated for the years 2000, 2010 and 2020. The economic analysis considers the hour-by-hour production for a simulated year of operation, including the capability of the BIPV system to reduce electrical demand. The economic impact of environmental externalities is also analyzed in the context of regional power systems.

    The results of this research are then used to build a policy framework.


    2/18/03

    "The Cost of Regulatory Uncertainty in Air Emissions for a Coal-fired Power Plant" 

    Dalia Patiño Echeverri
    Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

    Advisors: Paul Fischbeck, Benoit Morel, and Alex Farrell

    Abstract
    Uncertainty about the extent and timing of changes in environmental regulations for coal fired power plants makes the difficult problem of selecting a compliance strategy even harder. Capital investments made today under uncertainty can limit future compliance options or make them very expensive. In this paper, we present a method for computing the cost of operating a moderate-sized, coal-fired power plant under different conditions of future regulatory uncertainty. Using a Multi-Period Decision Model (MPDM) that captures the decisions (both capital investment and operating) that a power plant owner must make each year, the framework employs a Stochastic Optimization Model (SOM), nested in the MPDM to find the strategy that minimizes the expected net present value (ENPV) of plant operations over a fixed planning horizon. By comparing model runs under different uncertainty conditions, the cost of regulatory uncertainty can be calculated.


    2/11/03

    "Multipollutant Emissions Reduction and CO2 Control: The Costs of Regulatory Uncertainty"

    Tim Johnson
    Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
    tjohnson@andrew.cmu.edu

    Abstract
    Tighter controls on electric sector SO2, NOX, mercury, and fine particulate emissions would impose cost and performance penalties that, in turn, influence technology choices. Stricter regulation of conventional pollutants, for instance, could accelerate retirement of existing coal plants and favor investment in new gas units and renewable energy sources. The advent of a CO2 control regime could have similar effects. Important interactions between the reduction of criteria pollutants and CO2, however, may lead to the opposite outcome - especially if the latter is achieved via carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).

    While proposed CCS technologies would increase capital and operating costs, they also decrease conventional pollutant emissions (post-combustion amine coal plant retrofits are perhaps the sole exception, with higher NOX emissions on a per-kWh basis). As a result, the costs of CCS technologies are likely to be less for electric power plants that must meet stronger criteria pollutant control standards than for those that do not, and plausible scenarios of more stringent environmental regulation could accelerate the adoption of CCS technologies.

    The timing and integration of any new criteria pollutant and CO2 regulations, however, will affect the extent to which technological synergies lower control costs. More stringent reductions in SO2 and NOX, for instance, if required in the near future, might lead the electric power industry onto a technology path that would be suboptimal should higher-than-anticipated reductions in CO2 emissions be necessary, say, a decade or two later. Technology choices made on this basis ("lock-in") could yield higher emission control costs should assumptions about either be in error and stranded costs become significant. Path dependencies and the costs of regulatory uncertainty therefore deserve further analysis.

    The work to be described extends the capacity planning and dispatch model I developed for my EPP Ph.D. dissertation to examine CCS in a multipollutant framework, once again focusing on a regional electricity market (the MAAC NERC region). In particular, I have adopted a value of information framework to examine optimal technology paths and the costs of regulatory uncertainty under a variety of emission control regimes.


    2/3/03

    “Making Electric Power Systems both Secure and Efficient: Protocols for Dynamic Energy Control (PDEC)”

    Professor Marija Ilic
    Electrical and Computer Engineering and Engineering Public Policy
    Carnegie Mellon University
    milic@ece.cmu.edu

    Abstract
    In this talk we pose the problem of secure and efficient electric power systems as a control-engineering problem. An electric power system is viewed as a dynamical system with well-defined system states, disturbances, feedback and feed-forward signals and outputs. In addition, the performance metrics at the various levels of this complex system are defined.

    Particularly interesting aspect of this formulation is that the signals of interest are a mix of technical (voltage, frequency, line flows, real, and reactive power), economic (price) and policy signals (regulated, partially regulated, industry in transition, ultimate state).

    Three different industry structures are analyzed: Fully regulated, top-down managed industry; industry in transition, which is characterizable as a hybrid system; and, fully distributed electric power industry. For each of these industry structures we review current challenges, and indicate possible ways forward.

    A notion of an ``optimal'' architecture for security and efficiency is introduced. It is shown that while such architecture is initial design dependent, its performance is greatly affected by the type of supporting control and communications schemes. We stress the critical role of a sufficiently controllable and observable architecture if the same electric power system is to meet secure performance (i.e. be capable of localizing the effects of high impact extremely low probability events), and to, at the same time perform efficiently under relatively normal conditions (i.e. be able to deliver the most efficient services/products to the right places). This is a fundamentally orthogonal concept to the concept to the top-down management in which end-users; distributed generation and the delivery system are basically passive parts of the architecture. We describe so-called Protocols for Dynamic Energy Control (PDEC) as a possible control/communications system for managing an electric power system by active decision making in order to achieve flexibility and security at the same time.


    12/5/02

    "Analysis of Distributed Generation in Metropolitan Chicago, Including Load Flow Analysis"

    Richard Silberglitt
    RAND


    11/25/02

    "Structure and Outlook for the U.S. Coal and Power Industries"

    Ellen Ewart
    Senior Consultant, Platts/RDI


    11/5/02

    "Valuing Renewables and Other New Technology (Coupled With a Digression on T&D Network Organization, Regulation and Pricing)

    Shimon Awerbuch
    International Energy Agency


    11/1/02

    "Optimizing the Operation of Power System Open Markets"

    Bruce Wollenberg
    University of Minnesota


    10/21/02

    "R&D Strategies for the Electricity Industry"

    Tom Schneider
    Private Consultant (ex-EPRI)


    10/15/02

    "Introduction to TVA and power supply planning, plus issues for Standard Market Design"

    Kate Jackson
    Executive Vice President,
    River System & Environment,
    Tennessee Valley Authority


    10/10/02

    "Energy Supply Options for CMU"

    Alex Farrell
    E.P.P.


    9/30/02

    "Regulatory Reform in the U.K. Electricity Industry (Co-Sponsored with the History Department)"

    Bill Lukin
    The Bolton Institute


    9/26/02

    "Power quality and Distributed Generation: What Problem Are You Asking It To Solve?" 

    Dave Loucks
    P.E., EATON|Cutler-Hammer


    9/23/02

    "Pivotal Firms and Market Power"

    Seth Blumsack and Lester Lave
    GSIA


    9/19/02

    "Biomass Gasification for Rural Distributed Generation: Engineering and Economic Analysis"

    Anshu Bharadwaj
    Post-Doctoral Fellow, Mechanical Engineering & Engineering and Public Policy


    9/9/02

    "Politics and Markets: The Situation in California and its Implications for the Future"

    Barbara Barkovich
    Principal, Barkovich & Yap


    9/5/02

    "Measuring Market Power in Deregulated Generation Markets"

    Dimitri Perkehodstev, Seth Blumsack, and Lester Lave
    Tepper School of Business

     


  • 2001-2002 Seminars

    The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center sponsors a weekly seminar series at noon on Thursdays in GSIA 388. These seminars provide an informal means of presenting research, listening to outside speakers, and learning about the electricity industry. Upcoming and past seminar speakers and topics are listed below.


    Thursday, May 11

    "PJM West - Expanding the Mid-Atlantic Energy Market"

    Karl Pfirrmann
    Vice President, System Planning & Operations, Allegheny Power


    Thursday, March 28

    "The Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) and Some Grand Challenges"

    Sarosh Talukdar
    Electrical and Computer Engineering


    Wednesday, March 20

    "ABB's Vision of the Future of the Electricity Industry"

    Markus Bayegan
    Chief Technology Officer, ABB


    Thursday, March 7

    "The Next Hurdle - Mercury Control for Coal-Fired Power Plants"

    Mike Berkenpas
    Department of Engineering and Public Policy


    Thursday, February 28

    "Evaluating the Financial Performance of Power Generation Assets (2): Cash Flow Risk Analysis and Portfolio Optimization"

    David Rode
    Dept. of Social and Decision Sciences and DAI Management Consultants

    Paul Fischbeck
    Dept. of Social and Decision Sciences and Department of Engineering and Public Policy


    Thursday, February 21

    "The Next Hurdle: Mercury Controls"

    Michael Berkenpass
    EPP

    Abstract
    Mike will discuss recent research on these issues, focusing on the next big hurdle for coal-fired power plants - controlling mercury emissions. He will discuss the data analysis and modeling that has been conducted at CMU over the last several years and its role in underpinning the major studies that are being relied by Congress as they consider this problem.


    February 15

    "Presented in conjunction with EPP's "How Washington Works" seminar"

    Linda Stuntz
    Former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy

    Abstract
    Ms. Stuntz will discuss current policy issues in electricity and other areas.


    February 7

    "Wind Power"

    Joseph DeCarolis and David Keith
    EPP


    January 24

    "Evaluating the Financial Performance of Power Generation Assets: Applications of Neural Networks, Autonomous Agents, and Variance Reduction Methods"

    Paul Fischbeck and David Rode


    January 17

    "How Environmental Regulations will Shape The Future of the U.S. Utility Industry"

    Ed Rubin
    EPP


    December 11

    "Electricity Industry Security and Survivability"

    Alex Farrell
    EPP


    December 6

    "Urban Power Distribution Planning"

    Chengshan Wang
    ECE


    November 15

    "Commoditization in North American Power Markets"

    Seth Blumsack
    Tepper School of Business


    November 8

    "Distributed Generation: Business and Policy Implications"

    Neil Strachan
    EPP