Electrical grid gets a jolt from DOE
DOE to invest in grid integration systems for solar energy.
The Dept. of Energy (DOE) has announced that it plans to invest up to $24 million over a number of years to develop products that connect solar power systems with the electrical grid in an interactive way.
DOE has selected 12 industry teams that will receive $2.9 million in current fiscal year funding to develop conceptual designs and market analyses for such Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) projects. The projects will focus on solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and will involve such efforts as developing systems that can communicate with an interactive utility grid and advanced power meters to respond to power price changes over the course of a day, systems that can work with energy storage devices and "smart" appliances to respond to utility price signals, and systems that can interact with building energy management systems.
The goal is to maximize the value of PV systems and offer consumers greater control over their electric consumption and costs. In the future, and subject to congressional appropriations, additional funding will be provided for the projects that achieve the most promising technological advancements while demonstrating a high likelihood of commercial success. The SEGIS projects are integral to President Bush's Solar America Initiative (SAI), which aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity by 2015.
See the DOE press release for more information.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.