Minnesota governor accelerates state’s carbon-free power target 10 years, to 2040

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UtilityDive – Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, D, on Thursday proposed a series of policies that would bring the state to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, a decade earlier than the goal he proposed in 2019.

His proposed policy goals follow a report from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued earlier this month, finding the state is not on track to meet its previous goals of reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2025, and 80% by 2050. Overall, greenhouse gas emissions have declined 8% since 2005, according to the agency’s latest data, which measures emissions through 2018.

Minnesota’s largest investor-owned utilities (IOUs) — Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power — are pursuing 100% carbon-free energy by 2050 targets, and said their plans are more realistic.

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Chattanooga EPB’s Gigabit Generated $2.7 Billion in Economic Benefits

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Telecompetitor – EPB of Chattanooga’s gigabit broadband infrastructure has generated $2.69 billion in economic benefits to the community during its first decade of operation, according to a gigabit economic benefits report from the Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The study, which was conducted by Bento Lobo, Ph.D., head of the Department of Finance and Economics, identified five ways in which EBP of Chattanooga has benefited the community:

The infrastructure created and retained 9,516 jobs, which is about 40% of jobs created in Hamilton County during the study period.

The project kept unemployment down. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. The network enabled businesses to transition quickly to remote work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the county’s unemployment rate in November 2020 was 4.7%. That’s a lower rate than the state of Tennessee overall and also lower than in the U.S. overall (5.3% and 6.7%, respectively).

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Importance of Electrical Construction Permit Inspections

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THE PERMIT AND INSPECTION PROCESS IS ESSENTIAL TO ENSURE THAT CODES, REGULATIONS, AND SAFETY ARE ENFORCED TO HELP PREVENT FAULTY OR POOR INSTALLATIONS THAT COULD JEOPARDIZE HUMAN LIFE. IN MOST CASES, ENGINEERING BLUEPRINT DRAWINGS ARE REQUIRED TO BE SUBMITTED ALONG WITH THE PERMIT REQUEST WHICH MUST BE SEALED BY A REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER (PE). OTHER PERMITS WITH SEALED DRAWING PLANS ARE REQUIRED FOR EACH DISCIPLINE, SUCH AS, ARCHITECTURAL, CIVIL, ELECTRICAL, FIRE PROTECTION, MECHANICAL, PLUMBING, STRUCTURAL, ETC.

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Why Grid-Tied Solar Power Systems Are Recommended Over Other Solar Systems?

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by the 3 Phase Associates “TEAM”
Renewable energy and distributed energy resources (DERs) continue to flood the electric utility grid providing cleaner and more sustainable energy. As the traditional power grid evolves into a smarter electric grid, environmental regulations push for more cleaner renewable energy sources. Solar PV electric power systems are leading the path in this effort with improvements in technologies, efficiencies, and cost reductions. The grid-tied solar systems are gaining popularity and becoming more favored over other solar electric systems. 
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Researchers Create Lab-on-a-Chip for Quick Infection Testing

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All About Circuits – As the pandemic resurges in many parts of the world, researchers have found a way to bring the speed and accuracy of infection testing to mobile devices with a lab-on-a-chip.

A new lab-on-a-chip has been developed by researchers at Imperial College London who hope it can pave the way for low-cost portable diagnostic testing. The lab-on-a-chip (LoC) technology, known as TriSilix, is a “micro laboratory” that can reportedly perform a scaled-down version of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on the spot, presenting its results in just a few minutes. PCR, which detects viruses and bacteria in biological samples, is usually performed in a laboratory, meaning that test results don’t become immediately available. 

Each LoC device contains a DNA sensor, temperature detector, and heater so that the testing process can be automated. According to the researchers’ published findings in Nature Communications, a standard smartphone battery is capable of powering up to 35 tests on a single charge.

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The EV Market Is Accelerating

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T&D World – Will utilities lead, follow, or get out of the way?

The electric vehicle (EV) wave has come ashore. EV penetration is transitioning from its embryonic stage to the market growth stage across many transportation industry segments: cars, light trucks, buses, light commercial vehicles (LCVs), even Class-8 trucks (those more than 33,000 pounds). Although some segments are electrifying faster than others in terms of market penetration, overall this change will be the single most transformative event in the transportation sector since Henry Ford invented automobile assembly-line manufacturing. This change impacts everything — how far vehicles travel before requiring refueling (recharging in this case), the time recharging takes, where and when vehicles recharge — the very nature of replenishing the vehicle’s energy reserves. With this change comes opportunities for a new set of players to enter the marketplace, with the most impacted entity, the electric utility. These new market entrants will also bring new business models into a marketplace that is still evolving and will take some time to mature.

Over the past decade, following significant advances by the European Union (EU), upwards of two dozen investor-owned and municipal utilities in the United States have launched significant EV charging network infrastructure pilots. Initially, state governments drove these initiatives to achieve aggressive carbon reduction targets, but now EV charging capability is rapidly expanding into a national priority.

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