[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: Innovative Strategies for Electric Utilities



All,

	I think electric utilities realize there are methods to optimize their operations - like with most industries.  Too little demand for the product results in lost revenue.  Too much demand, and costs to supply power can easily increase to the point where generation is uneconomical.  I believe that's why many power companies often work with (large) industrial users to reduce energy use - it helps the user control energy costs, makes for a better business relationship, and also helps the utility control excessive costs to supply power.  Capacity is preserved.
	Excessive costs come from the usual sources...increased labor, need for increased maintenance (unit down-time results in no product), increased fuel costs (power companies are also subject to market fluctuations in fuel costs), as well as increased waste management and utility (water) costs.
	One local power supplier adopted the approach of extending maintenance intervals (minimizing unit shutdowns) by working to extend the life of equipment and systems.  Probably 90 percent of their waste (maybe more) is generated during shut-down maintenance on a unit.  Most plants have two generating units so ideally one is always up and running.  I believe maintenance used to be performed yearly - or basically every other year for each unit - provided no major problems develop.  Now, maintenance intervals have been extended to nearly once in 3 years per unit and the waste generated is less hazardous as well as reduced in volume.  More materials are recycled.

	There are many ways power generators can, and do, reduce waste generation.  The largest barrier I've seen is getting them to reduce energy usage.  They don't seem too concerned about energy reduction since they get their power at cost.  They're not much different than any other business.

Best Regards, Ric   




	 


-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Miller [mailto:gmiller@wmrc.uiuc.edu]
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2002 8:59 AM
To: Thomas Vinson; nppr@great-lakes.net; p2tech@great-lakes.net
Cc: Grace Hsieh; Ken Zarker; Susan Roothaan; raulg@utep.edu
Subject: RE: Innovative Strategies for Electric Utilities


Thomas,

You make an excellent point.  Perhaps we need to "sell" electric utilities 
on the concept that they are providing a service - not just a 
commodity.  With a service approach the less materials (in this case 
electricity) required by the customer the more money the vendor makes.  The 
vender's focus changes to producing less commodities through improvements 
in transmission and end use efficiency.  Some chemical suppliers are taking 
this approach now.  It seems to me that this concept could work with any 
commodity including electricity.  I have greatly oversimplified this 
concept and what it would take to make such a paradigm shift in this 
particular industry.  You would have to find just the right innovative 
mindset in order for a utility to adopt such a radical approach.  Some good 
articles have appeared in P2 Review on the topic of innovative supplier 
contracts or chemical management systems.  The automotive industry has been 
adopting this approach.

Has anybody come up with a way to promote this approach with utilities in 
the U.S.?

Gary Miller



At 12:44 PM 7/24/2002 -0500, Thomas Vinson wrote:
>It is a very interesting discussion.  It has moved to an area that I have 
>had on my mind for a number of years...how do we "sell" electric utilities 
>on P2?
>
>The Electric Utilities is an area I have always wanted to address.  With 
>so many sectors we have applied P2 principles and seen enormous benefit to 
>the environment and the economy.
>
>But like the proverbial salesman who can't get his foot in the door I seem 
>to be at a loss with Electric Utilities.
>
>Mark and LCRA are very open to change; in fact I have a great deal of 
>respect for LCRA's innovative mindset.
>
>In every other sector I have seen resistance to P2 change, but there is 
>also some acknowledgement that P2 is a good idea. It is simply a matter of 
>convincing them that the approach is feasible (sort of along the five 
>factors that Gary Miller mentioned.)
>
>But with this sector I seem to be missing something.  There seems to be 
>some key factor that I am not addressing.  Discussions on P2 are ussually 
>met with indifference and all my usual strategies seem ineffective.
>
>I think I see the barriers:
>
>1. Source reduction is nearly impossible.  This process is simple.  Burn 
>stuff, convert it to electricity.  Without changing that paradigm it is 
>hard to offer solutions.  LCRA found some options that involved using 
>fuzzy logic (this is a math term not an assessment) to set a plants 
>operating conditions at optimal working conditions.  But so far I have 
>seen no interest from other utilities.
>
>2. Source reduction from a use standpoint is economically detrimental to 
>the utility company. Programs to reduce generation (like those discussed 
>by Burton) of electricity are not in the better interests of the 
>sector.  After all, they get more revenue as electric use increases.  I 
>once heard a city manager lamenting the cool summer because it was cutting 
>into his budget.  Energy conservation was the furtherest thing from his mind.
>
>3. The politics are intense.  If you offer a solution to a metal finishing 
>shop you affect at most a couple hundred people. But offer a change at a 
>utility and you are talking about millions of people.  Energy issues tend 
>to be highly charged.
>
>4. Environmental department not integrated?  Perhaps Mark can offer some 
>insight on this.  When talking with other sectors I get the impression 
>that the environmental departments are ussually integrated into their 
>business.  But sometimes I get the feeling electric utilites have 
>segregated environmental departments.  Is this the case?  If so, what is 
>the motivation for a utility to integrate it.
>
>So does this group have sector specific ideas about how to approach this 
>sector?
>
>It seems to me there is enormous opportunity here to help the environment 
>and save money if we could just get some momentum.
>
>I think Burts discussion of strategies gets to the heart of the 
>issue.  While we may get good results with the "you will save M O N E Y!" 
>pitch, we are probably not at 100% effectiveness.
>
>So, I put it to the group.  How do we practically implement the other 
>areas Burt mentioned, and specifically how would this approach work for 
>utilities.
>
>Tomas Vinson
>www.srwm.org
>
>Fax: 512/239-3165
>Phone: 512/239-3182
>
>Engineering Specialist
>TNRCC - Pollution Prevention
>MC112
>PO Box 13087
>Austin, Tx 78711-3087
>tvinson@tnrcc.state.tx.us
>
>
>Disclaimer:  Regulatory guidance  e-mails are provided to quickly get you 
>an answer to legal requirements.  They are not a substitute for compliance 
>with the regulation, but guidance based on the best information available 
>to the staff of TNRCC at the time.
>
>
> >>> <jlmartinezp@repsolypf.com> 07/22/02 01:40AM >>>
>Very interesting discussion
>
>I am writing form Europe. Here, we have a an internal law called IPPC 
>(Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control); the idea was to 
>have  something like PPAct but  being a bit more flexible. We are trying 
>to combine  making a trade off between Prevention and Control of the Pollution
>
>I think we, process, design or environmental engineers,  should be able to 
>think about a trade off between  PP or Pollution Control following a case 
>by case procedure.  Does Pollution Prevention pay? The answer should be 
>yes, but applying  concepts like best available technologies not 
>entailing  excessive costs.
>I remember a paper form Bob Pojasek titled: "For PP be descriptive not 
>prescriptive" so let us  select scrubbers when necessary  or let us select 
>any source reduction measure when available at economic good conditions
>
>I agree that we should avoid to transfer pollutants from  air to land (for 
>example) but this is not always technical  or economical feasible.
>I am studying  petroleum refineries cases and believe me that  it is 
>harder to  decide when  to apply Pollution prevention or pollution control 
>measures that go to your PP recipe book and select one of them
>
>Jose-Luis Martinez
>
>
>
>  -----Mensaje original-----
>De:     Snyder, Mark [mailto:mark.snyder@moea.state.mn.us]
>Enviado el:     viernes 19 de julio de 2002 20:53
>Para:   nppr@great-lakes.net; p2tech@great-lakes.net; 
>scott.butner@pnl.gov; 'Mark Johnson'
>Asunto: RE: Innovative Strategies for Electric Utilities
>
>
>This certainly sounds like a good step forward for cleaner air in Texas, 
>but after reading the press release, I'm left with some questions.  Is 
>this project to install scrubbers an example of pollution prevention or is 
>it an example of more stringent pollution control?  Given that scrubbers 
>have been around for a number of years and have been required for a number 
>of facilities in different areas, what exactly makes this permit 
>innovative?  Or is there something I'm missing from the press release?
>
>Mark Snyder
>Pollution Prevention Specialist
>Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance
>mark.snyder@moea.state.mn.us
>
> > ----------
> > From:         Mark Johnson[SMTP:Mark.Johnson@lcra.org]
> > Sent:         Friday, July 19, 2002 12:02 PM
> > To:   nppr@great-lakes.net; p2tech@great-lakes.net; scott.butner@pnl.gov
> > Subject:      Innovative Strategies for Electric Utilities
> >
> > A shameless plug for my organization Lower Colorado River Authority 
> (LCRA) and the Texas Natural resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) and 
> EPA Region 6!
> >
> > We recently submitted an application for a Flexible Air Permit to the 
> TNRCC for our 1,500 MW coal fired power plant in La Grange Texas.   The 
> innovative air permit will allow our facility to implement many P2 
> projects that would have not been possible without the Flex Permit (most 
> of these P2 projects would have triggered NSR).   The Flex permit will be 
> put in motion over the next 10 years.
> >
> > This innovative permit strategy can be followed by most other utilities 
> if the states are able to provide the flexibility.  It can provide some 
> near term benefits and long term reductions without waiting for CAA 
> reforms or implemntation of the Bush Clear Skies initiative.
> >
> > For more details please visit this link
> > http://www.lcra.org/about/news/2002/07/plan.html
> >
> >
> > Mark L Johnson, REM.
> > Senior Environmental Coordinator
> > Lower Colorado River Authority
> > Email: mark.johnson@lcra.org
> > Phone (512) 473- 3200 ext 2868
> > Fax: (512) 473-3579
> > Fax (512) 473-3579
> >
> >
>
>* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>p2tech is hosted by the Great Lakes Information Network:
>http://www.great-lakes.net
>To unsubscribe from this list: send mail to majordomo@great-lakes.net
>with the command 'unsubscribe p2tech' in the body of your message. No
>quotes or subject line are required.
>About : http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/p2tech/p2tech.info
>* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>
>
>* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>p2tech is hosted by the Great Lakes Information Network:
>http://www.great-lakes.net
>To unsubscribe from this list: send mail to majordomo@great-lakes.net
>with the command 'unsubscribe p2tech' in the body of your message. No
>quotes or subject line are required.
>About : http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/p2tech/p2tech.info
>* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>
>* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>p2tech is hosted by the Great Lakes Information Network:
>http://www.great-lakes.net
>To unsubscribe from this list: send mail to majordomo@great-lakes.net
>with the command 'unsubscribe p2tech' in the body of your message. No
>quotes or subject line are required.
>About : http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/p2tech/p2tech.info
>* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*******************************************************************
Gary D. Miller, Ph. D.
Assistant Director
Illinois Waste Management and Research Center
Department of Natural Resources
One East Hazelwood Drive
Champaign, IL  61820
www.wmrc.uiuc.edu/
www.pneac.org
www.glrppr.org
www.p2rx.org
www.elsevier.nl/locate/issn/0959-6526

217/333-8942 phone
217/333-8944 fax
gmiller@wmrc.uiuc.edu
******************************************************************************


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
nppr is hosted by the Great Lakes Information Network:
http://www.great-lakes.net
To unsubscribe from this list: send mail to majordomo@great-lakes.net
with the command 'unsubscribe nppr' in the body of your message. No
quotes or subject line are required.
About : http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/nppr/nppr.info
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
p2tech is hosted by the Great Lakes Information Network:
http://www.great-lakes.net
To unsubscribe from this list: send mail to majordomo@great-lakes.net
with the command 'unsubscribe p2tech' in the body of your message. No
quotes or subject line are required.
About : http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/p2tech/p2tech.info
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *