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Shultz Student Blog

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September 1, 2021 | Madalsa Singh PhD ‘23, Energy Resources Engineering

My summer project is helping out the office of Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves at California Public Utilities Commission as the commission revisits the net energy metering (NEM) tariff for distributed energy resources (such as rooftop solar, on-site electricity storage, etc). Previously, under Net Energy Metering (NEM2.0), if a customer generated a kWh of energy from their solar panels, they would be compensated at the retail rate of...

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August 24, 2021 | Carlos Ciudad-Real ‘21, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Before this fellowship, I severely underestimated the role of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in shaping energy policy in the state. From my studies at Stanford, I understood, at least in theory, what the CPUC does. The CPUC is tasked with regulating investor-owned utilities (IOUs). Subsequently, the CPUC determines how much revenue utilities are allowed and how those revenues are collected via rates. However, this initial...

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August 20, 2021 | Kaitlin Highstreet MS '22, Civil Engineering, Sustainable Design & Construction

It seems like every week there is a new paper about the projected impacts of climate change or a new natural disaster impacting the world. With climate change’s effects becoming more frequent and intense, it’s easy to lose hope that the world can even make the necessary changes to decarbonize. This summer at WECC, I’ve built back some optimism that the electricity sector is moving toward a zero-emission future and that the talented and...

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August 19, 2021 | Awoenam Mauna-Woanya (Awoe he/him/his) Master's student, Sustainable Design and Construction program

This summer, I am working with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research — specifically with its Planning and Community Development Team to write a 2022 update to the state's Environmental Goals and Policy Report (EGPR). This document is meant to guide the state in managing growth (population, urban, etc.) and investment decisions. This work is made even more pivotal due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, the increasing...

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August 19, 2021 | Emily Klingaman ‘22, Environmental Systems Engineering

Here we are, a year and a half into shutdowns, social distancing, and virtual everything. Most aspects of life were put on hold. Climate change across the American West did not stop for COVID-19, however--if anything, its shadow over daily life intensified. Wildfires burn across old forests, limited water falls from the western skies, and each summer continues to be hotter than the last. This feeling of climate anxiety and burden loomed over...

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August 17, 2021 | Mo Sodwatana PhD '25, Energy Resources Engineering

One of the main current projects at the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Power and Risk Office, of which I am a part, is the Flexible Resources Study. The aim of the study is to assess improvements and strategies that add sustainable operational flexibilities to the State Water Project (SWP) to meet future power market opportunities and to help California achieve its climate and energy goals.

My focus for the...

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August 16, 2021 | Folasade Ayoola, PhD Candidate '23, Energy Resources Engineering
Most of my work is centered around energy equity, particularly with the sustainable energy transition needed to mitigate climate change. The value of distributed energy resources (DERs) in facilitating resilient, reliable, and affordable electricity supply to communities in a low-carbon, highly electrified future is undeniable, making it important to adapt regulation and policy, as...
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August 16, 2021 | Tony Cruz '22, Chemical Engineering

Nearly two months after I began my work with the California Air Resources Board, I have made significant progress on a backup for ARBER (the Air Resources Board Equipment Registration system) and have attended many of the Chair's private meetings with important stakeholders.

I came into my position in the Chair's office with a cynical view that CARB's role was totally adversarial to business interests. Regulatory agencies evoke the...

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August 13, 2021 | Bella Meyn ‘23, Public Policy

While my project this summer primarily involves the transmission industry, the ultimate goal of the research I’m doing has the interests of the people and lands of the American west at its forefront. Dynamic line rating (DLR) technology is simple in its philosophy: maximize load without compromising safety. The amount of current that can pass through a transmission line--its ampacity--hinges on various factors, including the actual physical...

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August 4, 2021 | Shoja Jahangard MS '22, Civil Engineering, Sustainable Design & Construction

This summer I have been working with the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) to investigate the resiliency consequences (positive and negative) that can arise from decarbonizing or electrifying single-family residences. So, what does decarbonization actually entail? Simply put, it means reducing or eliminating the carbon intensive fuels which are burned in homes, which for Palo Alto, primarily includes burning natural gas for space heating,...