Statewide Electric Utility Infrastructure Efficiency and Carbon Saving Potential Study
Carl Nelson — Mar 2017
Why this research is needed
The electric power industry is the largest single user of electric power, higher than any other industry, consuming an estimated 12-15% of the nation’s electricity production. Losses occur from plant auxiliary loads, transmission and distribution, and substation consumption.
Consequently there is significant potential to increase electric supply-side, or electric utility infrastructure (EUI), efficiency by decreasing conversion losses, improving plant operations, and mitigating transmission and distribution losses throughout Minnesota’s electric grid. It is important to quantify the energy and carbon savings potential resulting from EUI improvements to inform future state policies and programs.
Project Process and Expected Outcomes
CEE staff and project partners will work with stakeholders to help quantify the potential for improving efficiency and reducing carbon emissions through EUI improvements in Minnesota. Researchers will examine the potential to increase efficiency by decreasing conversion losses, improving plant operations, and mitigating transmission and distribution losses throughout Minnesota’s electric grid.
EUI efficiency studies are an emerging field, so the team will have to draw on all stakeholders to ensure useful, accurate results. Because of the atypical nature of the project adjustments to the proposed methodology may be necessary as the research progresses. The team will work together to manage stakeholder communication, with an emphasis on coordinating with other ongoing projects.
This study is being conducted alongside another CARD potential study looking at energy saving potential on the demand-side. The study will also explore and make policy recommendations as part of a stakeholder process funded through a U.S. Department of Energy grant. Together these studies will help Minnesota consumers and businesses save energy, cut energy bills, and reduce air pollution in Minnesota. They are intended to maximize energy efficiency in homes, commercial buildings, power companies, farms, new construction, and much more.
Visit the website: Statewide Energy Efficiency Supply-Side Study
This project is supported by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources through the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program, which is funded by Minnesota ratepayers. CEE is a subcontractor to GDS Associates on this project.