Energy Finance Report

Mid-Atlantic: Distributed Energy Opportunities

Posted by Jeffrey Karp on 11/3/15 11:58 AM

Solar panels at a roof with sun flowersThe Mid-Atlantic region (Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia) is currently at the forefront of discussions regarding the next generation of distributed electricity markets. Notable developments pushing the region into the spotlight recently include M&A activity, creativity on the part of public service commissions, local innovations in PACE finance, and increasing flexibility on the part of local utilities.

Programs and developments of particular note include:

- Net metering and renewable portfolio standards in Maryland

- PACE financing in Montgomery County, Maryland

- Discussions around undertaking a REV-like proceeding in Maryland

- Interconnection standardization in D.C.

- Microgrid studies being undertaken in D.C.

- Potential third-party bidding for large-scale solar in Virginia

- Renewable portfolio standards and net metering in Delaware

- Community solar innovations and discussions throughout the region

Please join SEIA and Sullivan & Worcester’s Energy Finance team on November 5th live in SEIA’s new offices, or by dial-in, as we host a roundtable discussion on developments in the region and the unique business opportunities they could present. After Rhone Resch’s introductory remarks, Elias Hinckley will moderate a panel comprised of industry experts with unique opinions, including Maryland PSC Commissioner Anne Hoskins, Dana Sleeper of MDV-SEIA, Anmol Vanamali of the DC Sustainable Energy Utility, Bracken Hendricks of Urban Ingenuity and Rick Moore of Washington Gas. Interested parties can register here.

Topics: Water Energy Nexus, Utilities, Water, Carbon Emissions, Energy Security, Thermal Generation, Energy Policy, M&A, Structured Transactions & Tax, Energy Storage, Energy Efficiency, Power Generation, Microgrid, Energy Finance, Distributed Energy, Energy Management, Solar Energy, Renewable Energy, Wind, Oil & Gas

Hydropower Technologies Evolve In The Face of Increasing Water Scarcity

Posted by Administrator on 10/20/15 7:15 AM

Water rushing through gatesParticularly in the West, hydropower long has provided a significant portion of the energy required to meet the needs of a growing population. Increasingly, however, the circumstances that led to the dominant role played by hydropower generation in providing nearly boundless energy supplies in many parts of the country are changing. Factors that were not known about or anticipated in the decades when much of our existing hydropower infrastructure was constructed are creating challenges both to the long-term reliability and continued cost-effectiveness of traditional hydropower. Climate change and other factors are predicted to alter both the timing and pattern of precipitation and associated runoff that largely determines the availability and amount of hydropower.

The magnitude of the contribution that hydropower historically has made to our Nation’s energy abundance can be seen in the statistics maintained the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which has shared jurisdiction over federal hydropower generation. The Bureau is the Nation’s second largest producer of hydroelectric power, with roughly 58 power plants and 194 generating units in operation accounting for an installed capacity of more than 14 million kilowatts.

However, the large-scale dams that historically have supplied enormous amounts of hydroelectric power, particularly in the Colorado River Basin and the Pacific Rim states, are no longer being built. Although they continue to operate, and some have been retrofitted with more efficient turbines resulting in marginal increases in output, our traditional reliance on hydroelectric generation no longer is sustainable. Water supply availability increasingly is being limited by the effects of climate change and other factors, while increased water demand for energy production, agricultural production, and municipal development continues unabated.

Efforts to secure the future sustainability of our energy and water resources are leading to dramatic changes in how we address what has come to be known as the “water/energy nexus.” These changes range from the adoption of alternative cooling technologies for thermoelectric power plants to greater emphasis on energy efficiency and increased use of non-traditional energy and water resources.

The impacts of climate change and other factors on the availability of traditional water supplies have posed some unique challenges with respect to the continued use of hydropower for energy generation. Reservoirs, particularly large ones, are increasingly susceptible to evaporation due to warming, with the result that less water is available for all uses, including hydropower.

The implications of reduced water levels in many of the reservoirs on which we rely for the generation of hydropower has spurred, at least in part, an entirely new technological approach to hydropower generation which is largely immune to the increasing variability of reservoir water levels. The trailblazer of this new approach has been a Portland, Oregon-based startup, Lucid Energy. Several years ago, Lucid conceived an alternative, highly sustainable model of hydropower generation that is in the process of being adopted in communities across the country. The system pioneered by Lucid involves the installation of small turbines in water distribution systems (i.e., pipes) which generate energy when the turbines spin in the flowing water.

The power generated by the turbines either can be used to off-set a utility’s own power demands, or be sold into the grid as a separate source of revenue for the utility. Portland’s local water utility was the first to install the new technology into its water distribution system, but a number of other cities, including San Antonio and Riverside California, quickly followed suit.

In addition to addressing challenges to our domestic hydropower industry posed by climate change and other factors, the Lucid technology also would seem to offer a promising model for power generation in developing countries, many areas of which often do not have access to an established electricity grid.

Topics: Hydroelectric, Water Energy Nexus, Water, Energy Security, Energy Policy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Management

Nation’s Capital Explores Modernized Energy Distribution

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 8/11/15 12:34 PM

Co-author Morgan Gerard

The District of Columbia’s Public Service Commission (PSC) opened Formal Case No. 1130 in June 2015 to explore modernizing energy distribution and the associated impacts of distributed generation and microgrids on the existing grid system. The PSC is soliciting comments on the docket until August 31, 2015. It appears that at this stage, the PSC’s interest is purely informational and that the PSC is interested in making the process collaborative. The PSC will be holding a kick off event on October 1, 2015 to set out an initial overview of the current energy distribution system in the District and to discuss the future plans of the Commission’s investigation.

DC ThinkstockPhotos-477221723The process of lighting up homes and businesses under the purview of the PSC can be divided into two components - generation and delivery. Generation was modernized in 1999 as the District was transformed into a non-utility competitive market. Today, District residents have the right to choose which company generates their electricity and can even opt-in to community solar or virtual net metering arrangements. Improving electricity distribution is the next challenge for the PSC and the city where grid resiliency, distributed generation, and energy efficiency concerns need to be balanced against maintaining grid safety, reliability, and cost-effective standards. These concerns are at the center of the PSC’s latest formal case.

The PSC is interested in distributed generation and microgrids because the nation’s capital suffers from that same challenge as other major U.S. cities - there simply isn’t enough vacant and available land to develop large scale projects. For cities to modernize and upgrade generation to cleaner resources, distributed generation in the form of residential and commercial rooftop solar, in-house combined heat and power systems (CHP), and demand-side energy efficiency upgrades may be the only options. To develop these resources, the PSC and the city must look to both incentivize the on-site generation resources and ensure their interconnectivity to the grid.

Emerging Electricity Delivery Modernization Concerns

One impact being explored in the formal case is the affect distributed generation and microgrids may have on the safety and reliability of the existing grid system as a whole. In many competitive generation states and jurisdictions like the District, the local utility maintains the distribution lines that connect grid level power producing assets to homes and businesses. As many smaller distributed generation assets come online, two concerns emerge that must be addressed. First, the distribution lines may become overwhelmed by the influx of new generation. Second, long transmission and distribution lines may no longer be the most efficient form of electricity delivery. Instead, localized distribution may be the answer to increase the efficiency of electricity production and consumption.

Microgrids play a major role in the idea of localized distribution. A microgrid is a smaller grid system that carries local distributed energy resources along local distribution lines. Microgrids can isolate or “island” themselves from the larger utility grid, thus improving resiliency as macrogrid events will not jeopardize power reliability within a particular microgrid. For example, an islanded microgrid system would have been useful in the District when an outage of a Potomac Electric Power Company (“PEPCO”) transformer in Maryland caused power disruptions in downtown D.C. and at the White House. If a system of localized generation and distribution networks had been in place, the transformer outage may not have plunged these areas into darkness.

The evolution of privately owned microgrids may be particularly challenging since the utility currently owns the entire fixed wire distribution network. Additionally, regarding distributed generation, the utility is the sole arbiter of what assets are able to come online without a regulatory or legislative mandate. Thus, the proceeding initiated by the PSC may look to address the barriers that inhibit the proliferation of these efficiency measures in the District.

PSC—Eyes on REV

In an age of carbon consciousness, energy efficiency and cyber attacks, the PSC is interested in figuring out how to make distributed generation and microgrids a part of the modern strategy. Given the early stage of this proceeding, it is unclear how energy delivery modernization will be accomplished, but the District will likely keep a close eye on the New York process for lessons learned with its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) docket. REV is revamping incumbent utilities as “platforms for distributed technologies,” and envisions these platforms as a transmission line “gatekeepers” with grid demand response, energy efficiency, and distributed generation coordination under the utilities’ purview. The modest four page PSC Order initiating the delivery modernization proceeding is not yet proposing measures of REV proportion, but notably the New York process has been thus far a cooperative proceeding with the incumbent utilities, which may serve as a model for collaboration in the nation’s capital.

Topics: Utilities, NY REV, Energy Security, Energy Policy, Energy Efficiency, Microgrid, Distributed Energy, Solar Energy, Renewable Energy

EDGE Distributed Energy in Focus: How Can Hybrid Resources and Microgrids Overcome Financing Challenges?

Posted by Jim Wrathall on 7/8/15 2:48 PM


In Sullivan & Worcester’s most recent quarterly newsletter, the EDGE Advisory, we address one of the major advancements in distributed energy clean-tech, the microgrid. This year has seen major headway in the deployment of hybrid distributed energy resources and microgrids, along with accompanying innovation in financing for these solutions. Several leading players in solar, battery storage and advanced power management automation have announced major investments in new microgrid adaptable technologies.

Expanding sources of financing will be critically important to achieving growth in this emerging sector. However, hybrid distributed generation and microgrid projects raise unique operational, technology and regulatory issues that must be carefully assessed in evaluating and structuring financing. The ability of the financial markets to understand, accept and properly price these factors will impact the pace and breadth of deployment of these technologies.

Financial investors focus on several key gating and due diligence items in evaluating microgrid and hybrid projects. Major considerations include:

Wind turbine and small town in Germany• Resource evaluation and costs—economic returns on these projects are somewhat different than the standard renewable energy installation as microgrids involve an interplay of various technologies to create a small grid eco-system that may involve innovative pricing for maintaining distribution fixed-wire channels, regulatory overlay and cyber-security concerns.

• Power control technology assessment—advanced software controls are necessary to deploy multiple, and sometimes diffuse, generation sources to meet grid demand. Additional cyber-security measures may become a compulsory added cost feature.

• Portfolio aggregation—financing a microgrid entails an aggregation of assets that may be attractive to investors as a grid system may be pooled into a yieldco structure.

• Valuation of grid services—the public benefit of supplementing the macrogrid for added services like demand management may be difficult for PSCs to quantify, but may allow for opportunities for utility partnerships and perhaps supplemental income to power generation for investors.

• Valuation of grid resilience and security functions—the added resiliency and security benefits may be difficult to quantify. Valuation metrics need to be developed to determine the overall macrogrid public benefit that added energy security provides.

Microgrids present complex regulatory issues, as they involve the erection of wires, substations, conduits and other facilities that require rights of way, easements and interconnection to the larger grid. Unlike utilities, private microgrid owners do not enjoy the powers of eminent domain. Nor can they “rate base” their investments like utilities. Microgrids should be incorporated in a manner to avoid redundancies and overlaps with utility planning and facilities. Other obstacles include lack of an existing regulatory framework, unclear safety standards, utility opposition and permitting delays. With respect to utility opposition, three factors can be particularly problematic: (1) excessive fixed and stand-by charges; (2) interconnection barriers; and (3) restrictions on rights to sell back to the grid.

Financing frameworks for hybrid distributed energy and microgrid projects present unique considerations and may require time to gain acceptance by money center banks and other financial institutions. Leasing, shared savings, and portfolio models can borrow from existing approaches used for single-technology solar and wind transactions. Developers and investors looking at particular states or projects also should identify existing programs seeking to establish standard rules and procedures for addressing the regulatory issues cited above. To the extent such efforts are in process, there may be opportunities to shape the standards and ultimately to optimize prospects.

For other insights on microgrids and the future of distributed energy please see our EDGE Advisory for a full report.

Topics: Energy Security, Power Generation, Microgrid, Energy Finance, Distributed Energy, Energy Management, Renewable Energy

Economics of Installing Combined Heating and Power Systems

Posted by Merrill Kramer on 6/10/15 6:47 AM

With states adopting programs to encourage energy users to install combined heating and power (CHP) systems, building owners and asset managers are asking themselves the bottom line question - how can CHP increase my operating income and asset value?

Every building varies in energy use, energy efficiency and fuel supply arrangement. Large users such as hospitals, universities, hotels, offices and residential buildings each have unique considerations. CHP presents an integrated alternative to (a) using on-site oil or gas boilers for heating while (b) purchasing electricity from the local utility. CHP generally provides a cost effective way for a building to generate its own electricity, heating and cooling by sequentially running a single fuel input through a combined power and heating system. CHP can increase a building’s operating income, and in turn increase its asset valuation. CHP will make the most economic sense when (1) a building’s thermal requirements are high, (2) its boilers are aging, (3) electricity prices are greater than $0.10/kWh, or (4) major boil retrofits are needed to satisfy new environmental regulations. Typically natural gas fueled CHP systems can achieve system efficiencies of around 80%, depending on steam load.


To understand the economics of CHP, assume a commercial building with 500,000 square feet charging rent to its tenants at $50/sq. ft., inclusive of energy. We assume delivered natural gas at $11.00 mmBtu ($5.50 commodity), and electricity purchases from the local utility at $0.20/kwh.

Using the assumptions set forth in Table 1, the building will spend approximately $3 million annually in energy expenses, and have an annual net operating income of approximately $16 million. If the building’s revenue increases by 6% per year, the asset would be valued at approximately $271 million:

Table 1: Assumptions

Actual savings will be determined based on the actual consumption and load patterns of the building, what it actually pays for its electricity and gas or steam, how energy efficient the building is, the availability of natural gas to the building and other site-specific factors.

2 Screen shot 2015-06-10 at 10.15.52 AM
By installing a CHP system, the building will begin to generate its own electricity while using the waste heat from electricity production to meet its thermal demands (heating, domestic hot water and potential absorptive cooling). The higher the building’s thermal requirements, the more cost effective CHP will be as the cost of electricity per mmBtu of fuel declines. The corollary is that the cost difference between buying electricity and generating it on-site increases, thereby reducing utility expenses and increasing operating income.

The key economic relationships determining the profitability of CHP are: 1) the grid price of electricity; 2) the efficiency of the CHP unit (expressed as a “heat rate” in mmBtu/kwh), and 3) the price of fuel. This relationship is shown in Table 2. Based on our usage assumptions, by installing CHP the building would increase its net cash flow by approximately $830,000 annually. This in turn will increase the asset value by approximately $14 million. The CHP system payback would be approximately 7 years, based solely on energy savings without considering incentives or tax credits, compared to the cost of installing new boilers, which would be approximately 10 years.

Avoiding Upfront Capital Costs

Given the financial attractiveness of using CHP in our building, there remains the question of whether it makes business sense to incur the higher costs to install CHP rather than replacing or retrofitting the system boilers. Most building owners want to avoid making major capital improvements as they represent a lost opportunity cost for alternative investments. Building owners also get deterred by the uncertain risks and costs associated with power production and performance. These risks, along with the necessity of deploying the incremental capital costs of CHP, can be avoided by entering into an Energy Services Agreement (ESA) with a third party developer who will agree to design, build, finance, own or lease, and operate the system for a specified term. The building owner will then acquire the asset at the end of the term at an agreed-upon price.


A third party project finance arrangement typically encompasses the following:

  • Developer agrees to design, engineer, permit, finance, build, own (or lease) and operate the CHP system for a specified term. The developer takes on the risk of construction cost overruns, delays, forced outages and system performance.
  • Developer and owner agree on a price at which electricity and heating/cooling will be sold to the building. Operating and maintenance services are often included in the price. The price will be negotiated at a discount or provide a guaranteed savings to the annual energy costs (heating/cooling, fuel and electricity) the building otherwise would expend. The contract would include penalties for non- or under-performance by the system.
  • The developer takes on the financing obligations, which is done on an “off-balance sheet” basis to the building. The developer also provides insurance to cover construction and performance risks. Energy payments made to the developer begin only once the CHP system is in commercial operation.

In addition to increasing net operating income using the above off-balance sheet arrangement, the building owner or asset manager obtains a predictable long-term operating budget and increases its energy security. The incremental value associated with mitigating or avoiding power supply disruption in areas subject to frequent utility outages (e.g., Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy), cannot be over-estimated.

A third party ownership and operation arrangement also can provide the building owner with the following additional benefits:

  • Decreased Property, Casualty, and Disaster Recovery Insurance costs
  • Increased Balance Sheet and Debt Capacity
  • LEED points for up to 50% energy cost reduction over Baseline
  • More Competitive rental space due to reduced tenant costs
  • Increased Building Sustainability and Reduced Carbon Footprint
  • Potential additional operating revenues by selling demand response and other energy products into the regional power pool

Mitigating the Impacts of Electric Supply Disruption

It is difficult in our model to precisely estimate the economic impact of power-related outages. Various studies estimate the costs from power-related outages to the U.S. economy to be between $104 billion and $164 billion annually. During Hurricane Sandy Manhattan alone suffered $20 billion in damage that left millions of New Yorkers without power, heat and hot water. In the aftermath of the storm, the City could not even meet the energy demands of essential facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, public housing – and even evacuation shelters. Hotels, casinos, schools and businesses shut down.

CHP systems are designed to operate independently of the grid and automatically “island” themselves from the utility grid during grid emergencies. This is important as external events, such as storms or failed substation transformers, can shut down the electric grid for extended periods of time and disrupt operations of customers. In addition, Emergency Backup Generators are insufficient as extended outages fully utilize the fuel stored ‘on-site’ in a matter of hours. Facilities dependent on a stable electric supply may incur costs due to loss of production, compensation to customers, and equipment damage. Biotechnology research facilities risk the destruction of irreplaceable research materials when refrigeration or climate control systems fail. Medical centers and nursing homes may be unable to continue to provide essential patient care. Many CHP systems at hospitals, universities, and other facilities operated continuously during major storms like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, as nearby buildings lost power for days and even weeks. This is possible as CHP systems are primarily run on Natural Gas. The Natural Gas pipeline supply is not dependent on local electricity to maintain gas pressures to continue delivery in the pipeline.


Special thanks to our guest co-author, Craig Gontkovic. Mr. Gontkovic is the CEO of Grid Energy Services, LLC., which advises companies on integrating distributed energy systems into buildings on a turn-key, off-balance sheet basis. He can be reached at, 917-273-2360.

Topics: Energy Security, Energy Efficiency, Energy Finance, Distributed Energy, Energy Management

Opening the Multi-Trillion Dollar Market for Energy Management

Posted by Elias Hinckley on 6/9/15 5:55 AM

Energy management is one of the most important parts of our changing energy landscape. It is a market made up of part energy efficiency, part Big Data solution and part Internet of Things. Energy management will be a multi-trillion dollar industry that will reverberate across industrialized economies. The competitive advantage in virtually every economic sector will be redefined by companies’ ability to manage volatile energy prices. It will change how we consume energy. Significant reductions in energy use are an obvious outcome (with corresponding pressure on energy companies), but even more exciting are the social and economic benefits of being able to preform significantly more work with our existing energy resources.

With the trends towards corporate resilience, sustainability, and social responsibility, energy management has evolved beyond the realm of engineers and energy nerds. The growth of Big Data and promise of the Internet of Things is giving rise to exciting, easily used, and powerful energy management tools. The energy management industry is poised to explode in size over the coming years –affecting every aspect of the economy.

If this is going to be so big, why is the market so small today?

Historically, only facility managers of commercial and industrial facilities, and a handful of individuals that were exceptionally excited about energy use or its environmental impact purchased energy management tools. As a result, the tools were developed by engineers, for engineers – they provided only data, and that was typically raw and unmanageable, as the target audience was assumed to have the necessary knowledge and capability to effectively make use of, and act on, the raw data. Not only was the audience tiny, but also existing technology did not provide a viable way to bridge the gap between data and useful information or, more importantly, action. As a result, the market for energy management tools has been had only a handful of success stories.

What will success look like?

Even as the tools and interest have matured, clear success stories remain few, while stories of high-profile failures abound. What we can learn from these recent stories of success and failure are that four key characteristics will separate winners from losers. These lessons will provide guidance on what the energy management tools of the future will be, who the market winners will be, and how these tools will eventually change how we use energy.

1) Intuitive. As awareness of energy spreads to a larger and more diverse group of consumers, many of whom know virtually nothing about energy, products and services need to become increasingly intuitive to the non-expert. This can be seen in Nest’s success. Designers focused on making the product intuitive. Other advanced thermostats require complex sets of directions for effective use – Nest was designed for obvious use and integrates easily with existing systems. Opower has similarly tapped into intuitive design. Opower’s detailed reports on behavior changes are simple, obvious, and most importantly are easy to integrate into daily life.

As the target user becomes increasingly less sophisticated on energy usage the products and services must become increasingly intuitive. Look for more “plug-and-play” systems that require limited customization and no training, which will integrate without instruction into all of our energy consuming systems and devices.

2) Low/no time-intensity. Energy management is not a primary focus for all but a handful of people even in today’s changing world (and this isn’t likely to change as market coverage expands). The time commitment required to understand and effectively use energy management products or services must be correspondingly low. Nest achieves this low-time intensity through automation: the Nest thermostat adapts and self-programs. Opower decreases the time requirement for its energy management suggestions by providing short, relevant, and easy tips about how changing a behavior will result in energy savings. The company then recommends fast and easy behavior changes.

Products that have failed in recent years, such as Google Power Meter (Google subsequently bought Nest for $3.2 billion) often required residential users to put significant time into observing and altering their energy usage in order to see results, which most people simply aren’t interested in doing. Businesses have been unwilling to adopt products and services that require more than limited and occasional participation, despite the potential value of full-time monitoring in real-time pricing markets.

3) Value. Energy management customers are a diverse group with varying needs, but in every instance a product must deliver value in a way that is easily recognized by the consumer, and often in multiple ways. A commercial or industrial energy management solution must address the vastly different needs of the CFO (cost savings), the Chief Sustainability Officer (environmental impacts), and the facility engineer (the facility running smoothly). On the residential side, segmenting the market and either choosing a single group to focus on, as Nest initially did, or tailoring your service to various segments, as Opower does, also allows companies to address these diverse needs.

As technology allows more advanced control functions, there are additional layers of value that will be realized. Managing energy consumption provides tremendous access to operational data – from simple aspects like use patterns for appliances in a home, to products like those being developed by ECurv, which combines data collection and controls that can substantially improve efficiency, not just of energy use, but for all of a company’s operations.

4) Desirability. Consumers (including corporate consumers) buy products and services based on appeal. While Nest benefited significantly from customers who wanted to try out a cool new product (developed by former Apple designers), a better example, especially as we factor in changing demographics in the energy consumer market, may be “gamification” – adding a gaming element to new technologies. Simple Energy has been able to increase the amount of time its users spend thinking about energy by introducing an element of competition among friends. These consumers wouldn’t otherwise have cared about how they use energy, but Simple Energy makes the energy usage choices engaging and cool. Eventually an energy management company will create a full-blown Prius-effect, where a product becomes desirable simply for the transformational effect of the product within society.

What happens next?

With today’s information security challenges, consumers have begun to exhibit significant anxiety about giving up information, which will certainly grow as they relinquish control of energy-consuming systems. These concerns have come out in both residential settings, with privacy concerns over something as innocuous as a smart meter, and in commercial settings, where customers have resisted automated demand response because of concerns over the inability to opt-out and the impact on everything from product quality to looking bad in a VIP visit. Much of this will be solved through better tools (to allow simple consumer over-rides), better data and system security, and education. But these concerns will be an important and growing influence the market (a Microsoft executive acknowledged this at a recent EIA conference, noting that with energy data they could determine not just that your television was on, but what program you were watching).

The energy management industry is ripe for the application of design thinking and human-centric design principles – to drive new products that are intuitive and easy to use, while providing multiple layers of value and tapping into the desirability that will excite consumers. As energy management companies capture and evolve these concepts the industry will accelerate into a period of explosive adoption and growth, creating massive potential for market success and public good.

Article republished from the Energy Collective.

Special thanks to my co-author: Therese Miranda-Blackney is currently in Rwanda solving low carbon energy finance for Africa and is preparing to return to the University of Michigan to complete her MBA/MS as an Erb Institute Renewable Energy Scholar. Previously, Therese worked with Deloitte Consulting in energy management and at EnerNOC.

Photo Credit: Data and Energy Management/shutterstock

Topics: Energy Security, Energy Efficiency, Distributed Energy, Energy Management

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