121The US Transmission System

The North American transmission system has historically provided relatively open, non-competitive bulk power supply across the continent through voluntary compliance of public and privately owned electric utilities. Deregulation of the electric utility industry has eroded that spirit of cooperation, transforming the transmission and distribution (T&D) network from a delivery vehicle into a competitive tool. For DG technologies, the physics and financing of the U.S. power transmission system is a key element for market access.

Transmission costs represent about 2% of major investor-owned utilities' operating expenses and 12% of plant investment (distribution, 29%; power generation, 55%). Despite its minority share of the total utility budget, the transmission system provides price signals to encourage efficiencies in the power generation market. Transmission prices, if correctly calculated, send signals to add transmission or generation capacity or indicate where to locate future load. Adding transmission capacity to relieve transmission constraints can allow high-cost generation to be replaced by less expensive generation. Also, following trends in the bulk power supply system can identify regions or utilities most susceptible to problems covering native load, where distributed generation technologies can have the most positive impact, and competitive pricing signals for new capacity may be much higher than currently anticipated.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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