Jan 29, 2016

[VIDEO] Smart Grid 101: how it works

1 min
Built in the 1890s, today’s current grid consists of more than 9,200 electric generating units with more than one million megawatts of generati...

Built in the 1890s, today’s current grid consists of more than 9,200 electric generating units with more than one million megawatts of generating capacity connected to more than 300,000 miles of transmission lines. And while the grid has improved over time with advances to technology, it is now stretching its patchwork nature to its capacity.

A Smart Grid incorporates digital technology for two-way communication between the utility and its customers. According to SmartGrid.gov, the grid works like the Internet and will consist of controls, computers, automation, and new technologies and equipment working together to respond digitally to our quickly changing electric demands.

The benefits associated with the Smart Grid are immense. They include more efficient transmission of electricity, quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances, and reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers.

• Related: Energy Leaders: Most Influential People in 2016

In addition, Smart Grids will reduce peak demand, which will also help lower electricity rates, and increase integration of large-scale renewable energy system, including customer-owned power generation systems with improved security.

Once in full effect, Smart Grid will likely transform the way we live, work, play, and learn, much like the Internet did.  

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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