Weekly Update: July 24th, 2017

Howdy all! Here’s a little newsletterin’ to ward off those Monday blues:




Weekly Update: July 17th, 2017


People keep telling me “winter is coming”, but it feels like the exact opposite as far as I’m concerned. I’m going to try to write this post as quickly as I can before I melt.


Weekly Update: July 10th, 2017

Power Trip is delighted to announce that there will be a happy hour Tuesday July 11th (tomorrow), 6 PM at John Collins on 138 Minna St. Hope to see everyone there! Bring your fine selves and electricity-related opinions.

In the news this week:

Mini-update: July 6th, 2017

Hi everyone,

A short (and late) newsletter for a short work week. No news this time, just a quick announcement that our next event will be a happy hour next Tuesday, July 11th at 6PM at John Colins (138 Minna St.). Hope to see you all there! And if you’re coming from Intersolar, feel free to invite anyone from the conference who might be interested!

Weekly Update: June 26th, 2017

It’s now officially summer! I believe it was Mark Twain who once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was that summer in San Francisco when the Power Trip newsletter was posted late. Oh, what bleak days, what horrible and bleak days.”

In the news:

Weekly Update: June 19th, 2017

The top story from this weekend is that the Earth has deviated from its orbit and is now flying directly into the sun, as you might have figured based on the weather from the past few days. Haha, not really! It’s just global warming.

Thanks to everyone who came out to our round table last week. Special thanks to Alana Lemarchand for leading our discussion on the locational value of DERs. As requested, I’m providing a link to the Nexant report on the topic: http://www.nexant.com/resources/addressing-locational-valuation-challenge-distributed-energy-resources

On to the news!

Weekly Update: June 12th, 2017

Hi there! A reminder that tomorrow (June 13th) we will be hosting a round table at 6pm in the Nexant office (101 Second St, 10th floor). Alana Lemarchand, a senior consultant at Nexant, will be discussing the locational value of distributed energy resources. If you plan on attending, please RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/zp9EnbypJN27YpSS2

In this week’s non-Comey/Sessions news:

Here in our California IOU bubble, we tend to take it for granted that total utility revenues are dependent on an authorized rate of return on investment, not total kWh sold. However, this idea is far from universally accepted in the US. Xcel energy is just now considering implementing this policy (known as revenue decoupling):

Regulators and utilities are rethinking their plans to invest in gas-fired plants after an LA Times investigation found that California has over-invested in these plants. My guess is, we probably need less old-school base load and peaker plants, and more flexible ramping generation to deal with that pesky duck curve:

It’s like that Portlandia sketch where they “put a bird on it,” but in this case the “bird” is solar PV, and “it” is a big old lake, and instead of Fred Armisen and Carrie Browstein it’s China: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-solar-farm-china-energy-ambitions.html

Weekly Update: June 5th, 2017


First, a quick announcement about our next round table, which will take place Tuesday, June 13th at 6pm in the Nexant office (101 Second St, 10th floor). Alana Lemarchand, a senior consultant at Nexant, will be discussing the locational value of distributed energy resources. If you plan on attending (or are considering it), please RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/zp9EnbypJN27YpSS2

On to the news!

Weekly Update: May 29th, 2017

First off, thanks to Thomas Yu and Audrey Lee of Advanced Microgrid Solutions for their very educational and entertaining talk on the economics of energy storage, and to the good folks at E-Discuss for hosting. Here’s to many more future events!

In this week’s news:

Wrathful Egyptian sun-god Ra, displeased with California’s hubris in attempting to harness His power with our puny photovoltaic arrays, has ordered a solar eclipse to teach us all that we exist at His pleasure:

A comparison of solar adoption forecasts to actual data, showing that even the best get it very very wrong. An interesting reminder that 1) forecasting is hard, 2) never blindly accept what experts say, 3) humility and retrospectives are important to get better at forecasting. http://www.visualcapitalist.com/experts-bad-forecasting-solar/

One of the United States’ first working microgrids is going into service in Illinois. Cool stuff-it will be interesting to see how much value microgrids add, and if they are worth pursuing as a public policy goal.

Weekly Update: May 22nd, 2017

It’s time for electricity news, everybody! Electricity news is the best type of news for two reasons: 1) It involves a highly antiquated business model that is being tested in unexpected ways by rapidly evolving technology, and 2) it DOESN’T serve as a constant reminder of our fragile political system or embarrassing national history. Let’s all read some electricity news and forget about our troubles!

Oh, but first an announcement. Our very own Thomas Yu of Advanced Microgrid Solutions will be hosting an E-Discuss along with Audrey Lee, AMS VP of Analytics and Design, this Wednesday. They’ll be discussing economic optimization of DERs. More info below:

As VP of Analytics and Design, Audrey leads design and engineering of AMS’s software platform, Armada, which optimizes fleets of distributed energy resources as a grid resource. Thomas sees it all first-hand as AMS’s NOC Operator.  AMS deploys large networks of battery systems in buildings and industrial facilities where electric utilities need grid support, and our duo will be speaking about serving customers and the electricity grid via economic optimization of distributed energy resources.

What:  Economic Optimization of DER
Who: Audrey Lee & Thomas Yu (AMS)
When:  Wednesday, May 24th, 6:30p mingling, 7:15p discussion
Where:  ECO-SYSTM @  540 Howard St
Potluck theme:  Spring Harvest
RSVP:  here
# to call if you’re locked out:  617-257-4136

On to the news!