California Research Booms

E SOURCE, an Internet-based energy research company reports on its mid-winter research findings:On-site power. While standby power generators can be used to breach gaps in supply, emissions from the diesel-fired units aren't welcome. "Cleaner distributed-generation technologies will need to be developed.

06/01/2001


E SOURCE, an Internet-based energy research company reports on its mid-winter research findings:

On-site power. While standby power generators can be used to breach gaps in supply, emissions from the diesel-fired units aren't welcome. "Cleaner distributed-generation technologies will need to be developed. Microturbines, fuel cells or better reciprocating-engine technologies may hold potential for changing the equation enough."

Load curtailment. "In contrast to interruptible rate service, which leaves a bad taste in the customer's mouth, incentive-based programs allow everyone to get some advantage from the situation, and customers are left happy," according to Pamela Milmoe, managing director for the company's industrial, utility and corporate energy programs. According to Milmoe, incentive-based voluntarily load curtailment programs work better in cutting utility loads and do not cause as much customer-end disruption as interruptible-rate programs.

Outage cost. "In continuous-process manufacturing… the estimate of routine losses [due to power outages] comes to more than $3 billion annually across the U.S. The retail sector is estimated to be losing around $1.25 billion annually as the result of outages," an E SOURCE report noted.

Bill LeBlanc, a company vice president, provided this perspective: "Although it is difficult to determine actual figures on losses, we estimate that if all medium-to-large businesses in California were without power for two hours each, the accumulated losses could fall in the range of $500 million to $750 million."

Data centers. The company has embarked on a new study on what it calls "high-density electronic loads," or HiDELs. "Many utilities can't make up their mind whether they've won the lottery or they're being taken to the cleaners," says Jay Stein, the company's director of technology. E SOURCE notes that "although some HiDEL developers have requested as much as 40 times as much electricity as a comparably sized office building, new data is emerging that their real power demand is probably much less than that."

From Pure Power, Summer 2001.





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