Solar Arrays on International Space Station (Credit: NASA)
Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (ESA) photographed the giant solar arrays on the International Space Station.
The space station's solar arrays contain a total of 262,400 solar cells and cover an area of about 27,000 square feet -- more than half the area of a football field. A solar array's wingspan of 240 feet is longer than a Boeing 777's wingspan, which is 212 feet. Altogether, the four sets of arrays can generate 84 to 120 kilowatts of electricity. This is more than enough to power the space station.
This is the week that was in Smart Energy:
EPA Clean Power Plan is making headlines. The House held Hearings on the EPA overreach in the Clean Power Plan proceeding. ERCOT has laid out strategy options States can pursue if they are forced to comply with the EPA Plan. The Case that 15 States had brought against EPA on the Clean Power Plan was heard in the DC District Court. It seemed Judges were reluctant to rule against EPA since its proposal is not yet a rule. Professor Tribe has raised a constitutional question, and not on the specifics of the rule itself. It will be interesting to see how the Court rules on this
The draft legislation against the CPP proposal seeks to empower states to protect families and businesses from higher electricity rates and other harmful effects of EPA’s proposed rule regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, referred to by the agency as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Testimonies were mostly critical of the EPA rule as unworkable. EPA continues to defend its proposal as it would help the U.S. combat Climate Change. (House Subcommittee Reviews Legislation to Protect Taxpayers from EPA’s Overreach -Spotlight)
The analysis document Highlights State Strategies for Meeting New Federal Carbon Regulations for Power Plants. It includes a description and discussion of state-level considerations when choosing a policy pathway to achieve EPA-prescribed emission reduction goals. The paper also offers several step-by-step “straw men” examples to provide policy makers and stakeholders a clearer sense of how various policy pathways may be implemented. (State Strategy Options for Meeting New EPA Carbon Regulations for Power Plants – Spotlight)
This week the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments in two separate lawsuits challenging the legality of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. The suits were brought by Murray Energy and a coalition of Attorneys General from 15 states, led by West Virginia. The EPA has made clear that it plans to finalize this rule and regulate based upon a section of the Clean Air Act where it lacks legal authority to do so, said the WV AG Patrick Morrissey. Professor Laurence Tribe said: The EPA proposal is akin to burning the Constitution. ” EPA’s defense is; Greenhouse gas pollution threatens Americans’ welfare by causing “damaging and long-lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of severe negative effects on human health and the environment.” Judges seem to feel it is premature to challenge a proposal until it is adopted by the EPA. (Legality of EPA’s Use of Section 111(d) Takes Center Stage in the Court- Spotlight)
Congressman Schuster introduces legislation to invalidate EPA’s WOTUS Rule when it is released. This subject has been controversial and drawn much criticism that EPA is taking control of private and public water resources
The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act requires the withdrawal of the deeply flawed rule. In addition, it requires the administration to consult state and local governments, along with industries that will be affected before drafting a new rule. (Congressman Shuster Introduces Legislation to Withdraw EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS)–Utility News)
FERC took several actions of importance to the Utility industry at its monthly meeting. Two of the actions involved Reliability standards proposed by NERC
The two Reliability Standards revised by NERC will enhance reliability by, among other things, requiring adoption of predefined communication protocols, annual assessment of those protocols and operating personnel’s adherence thereto, training on the protocols, and use of three-part communications. In addition, the Commission directs NERC to develop a modification to Reliability Standard that addresses internal communications capabilities that could involve the issuance or receipt of Operating Instructions or other communications that could have an impact on reliability. (FERC Approves NERC’s Two Revised Reliability Standard Protocols –Utility News)