Chuck Ross

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Entries Tagged as 'Utility business'

Hybrid Technology: It’s Not Just for Cars

February 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

Conversations about renewable energy often come down to a comparison — solar versus wind, for example, or hydroelectric versus geothermal — as though one technology, alone, could provide the single answer to our need for safe, emissions-free electricity production. However, a new utility-scale approach to renewable-energy generation is turning this idea on its head, bringing [...]

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Current Technology: Interest in Direct Current Increases

February 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

DC power is becoming a player again, in settings ranging from high-voltage transmission down to commercial-building and data-center distribution systems. In many cases, its revival also has brought back the Edison versus Westinghouse either/or debate, as though DC’s newly re-appreciated qualities will somehow push AC aside. But what we likely will see moving forward will [...]

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Validating the Smart Grid

January 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

While the smart grid has been the topic of much conversation lately, specifics on what this supposed technical marvel will do, cost or look like in actual utility installations have been notably lacking. The largest smart grid demonstration project to date has just gone live in the Pacific Northwest to provide those specifics. It could [...]

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Two Needs, One Turbine: Combined Heat and Power Could Help Reduce – and Meet – Energy Demand

November 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

It’s no news that coal-fired electricity generation is in decline in the United States. Falling natural gas prices and increasing pollution regulations are combining to put aging plants in many states out of business. While natural gas-fired generation likely will pick up much of the slack, energy-efficiency advocates say more efficient and distributed generation should [...]

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Charged for Success: Residential Energy Storage Installations Grow

August 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

U.S. solar-panel manufacturers might be hurting these days, but installers’ business is going gangbusters. In 2011, more than 1,800 megawatts (MW) of utility, commercial and residential capacity were installed, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), more than doubling 2010’s record figure of 877 MW. The Solar Electric Power Association says 89 percent of [...]

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Giving Efficiency Its Due

June 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing

Energy efficiency is often the ugly stepsister in alternative-energy conversations because quantifying its potential effect is difficult; how do we determine the real value of all those avoided kilowatt-hours? Two current efforts to answer this question are drawing on a fast-growing digital resource—data—and they could help decision-makers compare and document efficiency’s environmental value against other [...]

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Wired: One Word Describes the Transmission Construction Forecast

March 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

Business still may be slow for many electrical contractors, with much of the construction industry remaining in the doldrums, but electrical pros specializing in major transmission work are experiencing a boom. Utilities and other transmission-line developers are scrambling to upgrade line reliability and bring mandated solar and wind energy to market before a number of [...]

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To Infinity and Beyond

February 20th, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

In some ways, it seems as though nuclear power plants are the Energizer Bunny of electric-generating technology—they just keep going. Constructed between 1969 and 1996, the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors were licensed initially for 40 years of operation. Almost 60 of these plants already have been granted operating licenses for an additional 20 years, and [...]

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Follow the Money

October 20th, 2010 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

So, you’ve heard this before, but solar power today is really on the verge of going mainstream. How do we know that, this time, the odds are better than ever? By following the money. This article originally ran in the October issue of Electrical Contractor Magazine. Follow the money

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More Than Just a Meter

August 20th, 2010 · No Comments · Feature writing

The term “smart grid” is getting a lot of use these days, with related stimulus funding reaching into the billions of dollars and the popular press promising Jetsons-like advances; it has been predicted to enable our control of home appliances from our office desktops and allow us to supply electricity back to the grid and [...]

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