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  1. Kevin Kircher: Graduating Researcher of the Hydro Research Foundation

    Editor's Note: This is the most recent  in a series of profiles  provided by the Hydro Research Foundation that highlight potential future members of the hydroelectric power industry and their accomplishments. The Hydro Research Foundation is actively supporting graduate students to conduct research related to conventional and pumped storage hydropower. These students are funded through the Department of Energy’s Water Power Program and industry partners through a three-year grant. Biography Kevin Kircher is a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at Cornell University. He is interested in control and estimation problems related to the reliable integration of stochastic renewables into power systems. In past work, he developed energy efficiency strategies for complex building types. He has also contributed to water and energy projects in Honduras and Nicaragua through Engineers for a Sustainable World. Kircher is completing his research in January with the support of Dr. Max Zhang and has been working with Erin Foraker at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Jay Mearns with Pacific Gas & Electric. The title of his research is Coupling Hydropower, PV and Flexible Loads in a Carbon Free Microgrid . Per his research, the State of Hawaii currently imports 85% of its food and relies on fossil fuels for 95% of its energy. Most of these fuels are imported, making Hawaiian electricity costs (about $0.42/kWh) the most expensive in the nation. These facts, coupled with the state’s excellent water and solar resources, make sustainable energy and agriculture projects in Hawaii extremely attractive. The state's regulatory environment, however, often makes grid-connected renewable projects politically infeasible: the utilities place hard caps on the amount of distributed generation capacity allowable in their networks. Many communities have already reached these caps. Additionally, much arable land is located far from existing electrical distribution infrastructure, making the cost of interconnection significant. Since agricultural activities such as irrigation, refrigeration and processing are often energy-intensive, the lack of affordable access to electricity is a challenge. In this work, the research team will extend the initial site assessment to design a microgrid including a lower reservoir and a pumped-storage system, a PV array, and direct control of flexible electric loads. This design will include control algorithms to optimally balance seasonal variations in water flow rates; seasonal, diurnal and real-time fluctuations in PV output; and the time-varying costs and constraints of a diverse portfolio of flexible loads. Estimation and prediction algorithms will be required in order to anticipate changes in resource availability and in electricity demand. This work will be conducted in collaboration with Hawaiian partners, who have taken steps toward implementing such a system. The hope is that the development of this microgrid will highlight the potential of small-scale hydropower and pumped storage to ‘firm up’ the less reliable (but more scalable) renewables. Kevin is actively seeking work in the hydropower industry. To connect with Kevin or learn more about the Research Awards Program please email info@hydrofoundation.org or visit the website www.hydrofoundation.org

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 12 Jan 2017

  2. Trinidad and Tobago to divest part of Petrotrin

    The Trinidad and Tobago government said it will divest part of state-owned Petrotrin as it tries to increase crude production, increase efficiency, and return the company to profitability.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 12 Jan 2017

  3. EIA: US crude stockpiles gain 4.1 million bbl

    US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 4.1 million bbl during the week ended Jan. 6 from the previous week’s total, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Petroleum Status Report.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 11 Jan 2017

  4. NNPC restarts refineries, resumes production of diesel, kerosine

    Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) subsidiaries Port Harcourt Refining Co Ltd. (PHRC), Warri Refining & Petrochemcial Co. Ltd. (WRPC), and Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (KRPC) have restarted operations and resumed stable production of diesel and kerosine at the country’s four ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 12 Jan 2017

  1. ITC wins DOE permit for Lake Erie transmission project

    Online Articles

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    Fri, 13 Jan 2017

  2. Brexit uncertainty affecting interconnector prospects

    A total of nine power interconnector projects are being lined up to further enable UK energy security, however there is currently a pause in developments as managements wait for clarity to emerge from Brexit negotiations.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 9 Jan 2017

  3. Mexico, U.S. sign framework on power grid

    Mexico has also started relying on imports of U.S. natural gas to run cleaner power plants 

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 9 Jan 2017

  4. EIA: US to become net energy exporter in outlook to 2050

    According to the US Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2017 (AEO 2017), which has projections through 2050, the US will become a net energy exporter in most cases as petroleum liquid imports fall and natural gas exports rise.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 5 Jan 2017

  5. EIA: US crude inventories exited 2016 with 7.1 million-bbl drop

    US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, declined 7.1 million bbl during the week ended Dec. 30, 2016, compared with the previous week’s total, the US Energy Information Administration reported.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 5 Jan 2017

  6. Obama triumphant despite election’s ‘seismic repudiation’

    Per custom, the president who pressed an 8-year regulatory siege against the US oil and gas industry is scripting his legacy. But the political legacy can't be ignored.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 6 Jan 2017

  7. California agencies says expanded transmission key to meeting renewable mandate

    The report also seeks to identify opportunities to develop electric transmission

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 28 Dec 2016

  8. Oil and Gas: Long gas lines, price hike mar holiday season in Mexico

    The holiday season has been a little less merry for car owners in Mexico as gasoline shortages in many parts of the country have forced grumbling customers to contend with hours-long lines.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 4 Jan 2017

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