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Glossary

Page last modified 07:35, 19 Sep 2014 by rob.mckenna@confluenc.com

    Glossary

    General Terms

    Term Definition
    Business-as-usual (BAU) The business-as-as usual (BAU) scenario is meant to represent the scenario where the University continues to grow at historical average rates and growing energy demand is supplied with a utility supply philosophy consistent with the current philosophy and infrastructure. This scenario becomes the "reference case" for comparing the other scenarios.
    Forecast Horizon The forecast horizon for this model is through 2050. Values shown under the "Forecast Horizon" title are shown as present values.
    FYE Fiscal year end. At MSU the fiscal year end is June 30.
    Integrated Energy Planning Model An excel based dynamic, integrated planning model that is designed for use by MSU decision makers to efficiently gain insights with respect to the current and alternative energy related courses of action available. Model and detailed history can be found at http://msu.energystrat.com/index.php/scenario.
    Scenario A case in which the BAU case has been altered in some way to reflect an alternative MSU utility future.

    Key Metrics

    Fiscal Stewardship
    Cost of Utility Service The cost of utility service includes the annual costs associated with fuel, purchased power, utility related labor and non-fuel operation and maintenance, water and debt service.
    Required Capital Required capital includes the capital amounts necessary to continue a viable utility operation under each scenario. The BAU required capital, for example, includes the capital required to expand the central plant when the forecasted peak load exceeds capacity as well as the capital required to replace equipment in the case of obsolescence.
    Impact on Tuition The impact on tuition is meant to capture any time a specific scenario would require the University to increase tuition above an anticipated annual increase in tuition. If the cost of utility services, for example, were to increase faster than the rate of tuition increases the model calculates what the additional tuition increase would need to be if the entire utility cost increase needed to be covered entirely by tuition increases.
    Operational Excellence
    Capacity Tipping Points A capacity tipping point is the year in which the forecasted peak load imposed upon the central plant (steam or electrical) exceeds the available capacity in the central plant. Available capacity is defined as the N-1 capacity. N-1 capacity is defined as the capacity still available to meet the peak load when the largest unit is offline. This is a methodology used for capacity planning and reliability planning purposes.
    Overall Plant Efficiency This is calculated by dividing the useful energy sent out to the campus from the central plant in the form of steam and electricity divided by the primary energy imported into the central plant, i.e. natural gas, coal, oil and purchased electricity.
    Environ./Health Stewardship
    % Reliance on Coal This is the % of the primary energy imported into the central plant that is from coal. NOTE: The BAU case illustrates this declining over time. This is due to the assumptions that current coal boilers will by requirement be replaced with natural gas boilers upon retirement.
    GHG Emissions GHG emission are the combination of scope 1 emissions resulting from on-site combustion of fuel and scope 2 emissions resulting from purchased electricity. Scope 3 emissions, e.g. indirect emissions related to commuting and air travel, are not included in the scope of this analysis.

    Financial Terms

    Present Value (PV) The amount of cash today that is equivalent in value to a payment, or to a stream of payments, to be received in the future accounting for the time value of money and other factors such as investment risk.

    Other Energy Related Terms

    Availability Factor The time frame in which a power plant is available for service, regardless of whether it is actually operating. It is expressed as a percentage - the ratio of time available to the total hours in a year. For instance, a power plant that is available for 8,000 hours in a year has an availability factor of 8,000/8,760 = 0.913 or 91.3%.
    Base Load The minimum amount of electric power delivered or required over a given period of time at a steady rate.
    Base Load Generation Generating facilities on a utility's system that are operated to meet the minimum constant level of electric demand. These facilities operate to the greatest extent possible in order to maximize system efficiency and minimize system operating costs.
    Bcf The abbreviation for 1 billion cubic feet.
    Boiler A device for generating steam for power, processing, or heating purposes or for producing hot water for heating purposes or hot water supply. Heat from an external combustion source is transmitted to a fluid contained within the tubes in the boiler shell. This fluid is delivered to an end-use at a desired pressure, temperature, and quality.
    Btu (British Thermal Unit) A standard unit for measuring the quantity of heat energy equal to the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
    Capacity The amount of electric power delivered or required for which a generator, turbine, transformer, transmission circuit, stations or system is rated by the manufacturer.
    Capacity Charge An element in a two-part pricing method used in capacity transactions (energy charge is the other element). The capacity charge, sometimes called Demand Charge, is assessed on the amount of capacity being purchased.
    Capacity Factor The degree to which the capacity of a generating unit is being utilized during a certain period of time. It is the ratio of the average kilowatt- or megawatt-hours produced in a given time frame to the rated capacity of the unit during that period [kWh / (kW x hours operated)].
    Citygate The interconnection point between an inter- or intra-state pipeline system and a local distribution company system.
    Coal A black or brownish-black solid combustible substance formed by the partial decomposition of vegetable matter without access to air. The rank of coal, which includes anthracite, bituminous coal, subbituminous coal, and lignite, is based on fixed carbon, volatile matter, and heating value. Coal rank indicates the progressive alteration from lignite to anthracite. Lignite contains approximately 9 to 17 million Btu per ton. The contents of subbituminous and bituminous coal range from 16 to 24 million Btu per ton and from 19 to 30 million Btu per ton, respectively. Anthracite contains approximately 22 to 28 million Btu per ton.
    Cogeneration The production of electricity and useful heat from a common source of energy.
    Coincidental Demand The sum of two or more demands that occur in the same time interval.
    Coincidental Peak Load The sum of two or more peakloads that occur in the same time interval.
    Combined Cycle An electric generating technology in which electricity is produced from otherwise lost waste heat exiting from one or more gas (combustion) turbines. The exiting heat is routed to a conventional boiler or to a heat recovery steam generator for utilization by a steam turbine to generate electricity. This process increases the efficiency of the electric generating unit.
    Cost of Service The traditional utility pricing concept for designing electric rate schedules. This concept attempts to correlate costs incurred and revenues received with the service rendered to each of the various customer classes.
    Demand (Electric) The rate at which electric energy is delivered to or by a system, part of a system, or piece of equipment, at a given instant or averaged over any designated period of time.
    Demand-Side Management The planning, implementation, and monitoring of utility activities designed to encourage consumers to modify patterns of electricity usage, including the timing and level of electricity demand. It refers only to energy and load-shape modifying activities that are undertaken in response to utility-administered programs. It does not refer to energy and load-shape changes arising from the normal operation of the marketplace or from govern ment-mandated energy-efficiency standards. Demand-Side Management (DSM) covers the complete range of load-shape objectives, including strategic conservation and load management, as well as strategic load growth.
    Distillate Fuel Oil A general classification for one of the petroleum fractions produced in conventional distil lation operations. It is used primarily for space heating, on-and-off-highway diesel engine fuel (including railroad engine fuel and fuel for agriculture machinery), and electric power generation. Included are Fuel Oils No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4; and Diesel Fuels No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4.
    Distributed Generation A distributed generation system involves small amounts of generation located on a utility's distribution for the purpose of meeting local peak loads and/or displacing the need to build additional local distribution lines.
    Distribution The process of delivering electricity from central points on a utility's transmission or bulk power system to end-use consumers.
    Distribution Service The delivery of electricity to a retail consumer through wires, transformers, and other devices that are not classified as transmission service subject to the jurisdiction of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
    Distribution System The portion of an electric system that is dedicated to delivering electric energy to an end user.
    Electric Generator A device that converts one form of energy - either thermal, mechanical or chemical - into an end-use form of energy called electricity.
    Electric Plant (Physical) A facility containing prime movers, electric generators, and auxiliary equipment for converting mechanical, chemical, and/or fission energy into electric energy.
    Electric Power Generation The process of converting a primary form of energy into electric energy. It usually involves the large-scale production of electricity from a central utility plant, an independent power plant, or a cogeneration plant or an on-site
    Electric Rate Schedule A statement of the electric rate and the terms and conditions governing its application, including attendant contract terms and conditions that have been accepted by a regulator body with appropriate oversight authority.
    Electric Service Provider A company supplying, marketing, or brokering of retail electric services.
    Electric Utility A corporation, person, agency, authority, or other legal entity or instrumentality that owns and/or operates facilities within the United States, its territories, or Puerto Rico for the generation, transmission, distribution, or sale of electric energy primarily for use by the public and files forms listed in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 18, Part 141. Facilities that qualify as cogenerators or small power producers under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) are not considered electric utilities.
    Energy Charge That portion of the charge for electric service based upon the electric energy (kWh) consumed or billed.
    Energy Efficiency Refers to programs that are aimed at reducing the energy used by specific end-use devices and systems, typically without affecting the services provided. These programs reduce overall electricity consumption (reported in megawatthours), often without explicit consideration for the timing of program-induced savings. Such savings are generally achieved by substituting technically more advanced equipment to produce the same level of end-use services (e.g. lighting, heating, motor drive) with less electricity. Examples include high-efficiency appliances, efficient lighting programs, high-efficiency heating, ventilating and air conditioning(HVAC) systems or control modifications, efficient building design, advanced electric motor drives, and heat recovery systems.
    Firm Gas Gas sold on a continuous and generally long-term contract.
    Firm Power Power or power producing capacity intended to be available at all times during the period covered by a guaranteed commitment to delivery, even under adverse conditions.
    Firm Transmission Service Point-to-point transmission service that is reserved and/or scheduled for a term of one year or more and that is of the same priority as that of the Transmission Provider's firm use of the transmission
    Flue Gas Desulfurization Unit (Scrubber) Equipment used to remove sulfur oxides from the combustion gases of a boiler plant before discharge to the atmosphere. Chemicals, such as lime, are used as the scrubbing media.
    Flue Gas Particulate Collectors Equipment used to remove fly ash from the combustion gases of a boiler plant before discharge to the atmosphere. Particulate collectors include electrostatic precipitators, mechanical collectors (cyclones), fabric filters (baghouses), and wet scrubbers.
    Fly Ash Particule matter from coal ash in which the particle diameter is less than 1 x 10-4 meter. This is removed from the flue gas using flue gas particulate collectors such as fabric filters and electrostatic precipitators.
    Gas Turbine Plant A plant in which the prime mover is a gas turbine. A gas turbine consists typically of an axial-flow air compressor, one or more combustion chambers, where liquid or gaseous fuel is burned and the hot gases are passed to the turbine and where the hot gases expand to drive the generator and are then used to run the compressor.
    Gigawatt (GW) One gigawatt equals 1 billion watts, 1 million kilowatts, or 1 thousand megawatts.
    Gigawatthour (GWh) One billion watthours.
    Greenhouse Effect A term often used synonomously with global warming or global climate change that refers to changes in the earth's climate, particularly those related to increases in temperature. Since the term refers to the ability of the earth's atmosphere to retain heat (and thus, sustain life), scientists have theorized the increased accumulation of heat-retaining gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and trophosheric ozone may be accelerating the warming of the earth's surface and lower layers of the atmosphere.
    Grid The entire interlocking system of delivering electricity from generating station to ultimate customer.
    GSF (Gross Square Feet) The sum of all areas on all floors of a building included within the outside faces of its exterior walls, including all vertical penetration areas, for circulation and shaft areas that connect one floor to another.
    Heat Rate The amount of thermal energy input required to create a unit of electric energy output, usually expressed in Btu/kWh. It is a proxy value for the efficiency of electricity production.
    Independent Power Producer (IPP) An entity, other than an electric utility, that produces electric energy, that falls outside traditional utility cost-of-service regulation, and that does not qualify for special treatment under the PURPA regulations. Over time, this term has achieved common usage or generic status and has evolved into the industry standard. It has become largely synonymous with cogenerator, non-utility generator, private power producer and exempt wholesale generator.
    Interconnection In an independent power or cogeneration context, the point at which the transmission lines carrying the electric output of a private power facility connect with the utility grid, usually the local utility's nearest substation.
    Interruptible Gas Gas sold to customers with a provision that permits curtailment or cessation of service at the discretion of the distributing company under certain circumstances, as specified in the service contract.
    Interruptible Load Refers to program activities that, in accordance with contractual arrangements, can interrupt consumer load at times of seasonal peak load by direct control of the utility system operator or by action of the consumer at the direct request of the system operator. It usually involves commercial and industrial consumers. In some instances the load reduction may be affected by direct action of the system operator (remote tripping) after notice to the consumer in accordance with contractual provisions. For example, loads that can be interrupted to fulfill planning or operation reserve
    KBTU/GSF Thousands of British thermal units of energy consumed per gross square foot (GSF)
    Kilowatt (kW) One thousand watts.
    Kilowatt-hour (kWh) The basic unit of electric energy. It refers to actual electricity usage or consumption and is equal to one kilowatt (one thousand watts) of electricity steadily supplied to or taken from an electric circuit in one hour.
    LDC Local distribution company. Lower pressure/diameter utility lines serving retail customers in a franchised service territory.
    Load (Electric) The amount of electric power delivered or required at any specific point or points on a system. The requirement originates at the energy-consuming equipment of the consumers.
    Load Diversity The practice of attracting customers whose peak consumption of electricity occurs at different times of the day so that the cumulative difference between peak and off-peak demand levels are reduced. Load diversity reduces the cost of operation the system and reduces the capital investments needed to ensure its reliability.
    Load Factor The ratio of average load to peak load, a number that is typically in the 40-60 percent range. The higher the load factor, the better able a utility or independent power producer is to spread its fixed investment over a larger production base.
    Load Shifting The process of moving electricity consumption from time periods of peak demand to periods of lesser demand.
    Losses A term applied to power (expressed in kilowatts) and energy (expressed in kilowatt-hours) that has been lost in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Such losses occur largely as energy is transformed from kilowatt-hours to waste heat in electrical equipment.
    Marginal Cost The cost to the utility of providing the next (marginal) kilowatthour of electricity, regardless of sunk costs.
    Mcf One thousand cubic feet.
    Megawatt (MW) One million watts.
    Megawatthour (MWh) One million watthours.
    MMBtu One million British thermal units, a measure of heat content. One MMBtu equals ten therms (100,000 British thermal units), thus the equivalent Dekatherm (Dth). Mmbtu can be converted from the volumetric measurement Mcf (thousand cubic feet) based on the average heat content of the gas in the system, generally slightly above a factor of 1.
    MMcf One million cubic feet.
    Negawatt A watt of electricity that is created by conservation rather than generation.
    Non-Firm Power Power or power-producing capacity supplied or available under a commitment having limited or no assured availability.
    Non-Firm Transmission Service Point-to-point transmission service that is reserved and/or scheduled on an as-available basis and is subject to interruption. Non-firm Transmission Service is available on a stand-alone basis as either Hourly Non-firm Transmission Service or Short-Term Non-Firm Transmission Service.
    Non-utility generators (NUGs) NUGs are facilities for generating electricity that are not owned exclusively by an electric utility and that operate connected to an electric utility system. Included are qualifying cogeneration and independent power productions facilities under PURPA, facilities installed under competitive bidding processes and other IPPs.
    North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) A council formed in 1968 by the electric utility industry to assure the reliability and adequacy of the bulk power supply in the electric utility systems of North America.
    Nuclear Fuel Fissionable materials that have been enriched to such a composition that, when placed in a nuclear reactor, will support a self-sustaining fission chain reaction, producing heat in a controlled manner for process use.
    Nuclear Power Plant A facility in which heat produced in a reactor by the fissioning of nuclear fuel is used to drive a steam turbine.
    NYMEX New York Mercantile Exchange
    NYMEX Futures Contract A physically settled contract for gas cleared by NYMEX for delivery at Henry Hub, LA at an agreed upon price for a given future period. Very few contracts go to delivery and are unwound at expiration. Standard contract size is 10,000 Mmbtu/month. Currently futures trade 60 months ahead.
    Open Access A term commonly applied to access to the transmission system for all generators and wholesale customers. Also, the use of a utility's transmission and distribution facilities on a common-carrier basis at cost-based rates.
    Outage The period during which a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility is out of service.
    Peak Demand The maximum load during a specific period of time.
    Peaking Capacity Capacity of generating equipment normally reserved for operation during the hours of highest daily, weekly, or seasonal loads. Some
    Power Factor The method of representing how the alternating current drawn by a power plant is out of phase with the existing voltage. AC electricity carries tow types of power - true or real power (actual watts) and reactive power or vars, which is the magnetism generated within the generating
    Power Pool Two or more utility electric transmission and distribution systems that are interconnected and operated as an integrated unit. A power pool is set up to handle the combined load requirements, including maintenance of the utilities' systems, thereby enhancing the reliability and economic distribution of electricity throughout the affected region.
    Power Purchase Agreement The long-term contract signed between an independent power producer and a purchasing utility. It is the primary source of revenues for the life of the project.It is also the primary asset on which debt financing is based. PPAs assume different forms, depending on the utility's needs and the type of plant to be built. They can be based on "must-run" or "baseload" plants, on "fully dispatchable" plants, or on "peaking" plants. Also know as power sales contracts, power sales agreements, power supply contracts, or power supply agreements.
    Primary Voltage The voltage of the circuit supplying power to a transformer.
    Prime Mover The engine, turbine, water wheel, or similar machine that drives an electric generator; or, for reporting purposes, a device that converts energy to electricity directly (e.g., photovoltaic solar and fuel cell(s)).

    Qualifying Facility (QF)

    A cogenerator or small power producer using specified alternative energies, as defined by PURPA. A QF is entitled to special regulatory treatment an exemptions, including the right to sell electric power to electric utilities.
    Rate Base The value of property upon which a utility is permitted to earn a specified rate of return as established by a regulatory authority. The rate base generally represents the value of property used by the utility in providing service and may be calculated by any one or a combination of the following accounting methods: fair value, prudent investment, reproduction cost, or original cost. Depending on which method is used, the rate base includes cash, working capital, materials and supplies, and deductions for accumulated provisions for depreciation, contributions in aid of construction, customer advances for construction, accumulated deferred income taxes, and accumulated deferred investment tax credits.
    Rate of Return Generally this is the annual rate of return allowed to an investor-owned utility by its state public utility commission. It is the ratio of allowed operating income (as determined in the utility's most recent rate case) to the utility's rate base, expressed as a percentage.
    Ratemaking Authority A utility commission's legal authority to fix, modify, approve, or disapprove rates, as determined by the powers given the commission by a State or Federal legislature.
    Real Time Pricing The instantaneous pricing of electricity based on the cost of electricity available for use at the time of electricity is demanded by the customer.
    Reliability the degree to which electric power is made available to those wbo need it. Reliability may be measured by the frequency, duration, and magnitude of adverse effects on consumer services.
    Replacement Cost The cost to replace existing facilities, usually with new technologies that have been perfected since the original facility was built. The stimulus to replace an existing facility can result from the need to supplant faulty equipment or from the need to have lower operating costs (even though the current piece of equipment is operating satisfactorily).
    Reservation Charge A daily, weekly or monthly demand charge per Mmbtu of contracted volume for a portion of available firm capacity on a pipeline system. Essentially "use it, or lose it".
    Reserve Margin (Operating) The amount of unused available capability of an electric power system at peakload for a utility system as a percentage of total capability.
    Retail Wheeling The transmission of electricity from a wholesale supplier to a retail customer by a third party.
    Scheduled Outage The shutdown of a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility, for inspection or maintenance, in accordance with an advance schedule.
    Scope 1 GHG Emissions Emissions occurring directly from sources that are owned or controlled by the institution and resulting from on-campus stationary combustion of fossil fuels
    Scope 2 GHG Emissions Indirect emissions from the purchase of electricity, heat, or steam
    Scope 3 GHG Emissions Indirect emissions other than those classified as "Scope 2" that are a consequence of the activities of the institution, but result from sources not owned or controlled by the institution. Scope 3 emissions include, for example, those related to air travel and line loss from electricity transmission and distribution.
    Short Ton A unit of weight equal to 2,000 pounds.
    Spinning Reserve That reserve generating capacity running at a zero load and synchronized to the electric system.
    Standby Service Support service that is available, as needed, to supplement a consumer, a utility system, or to another utility if a schedule or an agreement authorizes the transaction. The service is not regularly used.
    Stranded Cost Net, non-mitagatable costs, liabilities, or investments prudently incurred in connection with generation or ancillary services that a utility could reasonably have expected to recover under existing regulations but that it may not recover as a direct result of customer choice. Stranded costs do not include future revenue or profits that may not be realized as a result of competition.
    Substation Facility equipment that switches, changes, or regulates electric voltage.
    Sulfur One of the elements present in varying quantities in coal which contributes to environmental degradation when coal is burned. In terms of sulfur content by weight, coal is generally classified as low (less than or equal to 1 percent), medium (greater than 1 percent andless than or equal to 3 percent), and high (greater than 3 percent). Sulfur content is measured as a percent by weight of coal on an "as received" or a "dry" (moisture-free, usually part of a laboratory analysis) basis.
    Therm A unit of the heat content for natural gas that is equal to 100,000 Btu.
    Transformer An electromagnetic device that increases (steps up) or decreases (steps down) the voltage level of alternating-current electricity.
    Transmission The movement or transfer of electric energy over an interconnected group of lines and associated equipment between points of supply and points at which it is transformed for delivery to consumers, or is delivered to other electric systems. Transmission is considered to end when the energy is transformed for distribution to the consumer.
    Transmission Service The delivery of electricity through the interconnected system of electric transmission lines and associated equipment for the transfer of electric energy in bulk between points of supply and points of demand. Transmission Service is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
    Transmission System An integrated electrical delivery system that allows electric power to be transmitted from the point of generation to the end-use customer.
    Turbine A machine for generating rotary mechanical power from the energy of a stream of fluid (such as water, steam, or hot gas). Turbines convert the kinetic energy of fluids to mechanical energy through the principles of impulse and reaction, or a mixture of the two.
    Unbundled Service Electric service elements provided and priced separately, including, but not limited to, such service elements as generation, transmission, distribution, and ancillary services.
    Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed financial rules and regulations established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for utilities subject to its jurisdiction under the authority granted by the Federal Power Act.
    Useful Thermal Output The thermal energy made available for use in any industrial or commercial process, or used in any heating or cooling application, i.e., total thermal energy made available for processes and applications other than electrical generation.
    Volatility The rate of change in prices over a given period expressed as the annualized standard deviation of the change in price over the given period, typically 20 days.
    Voltage The measure of the potential difference or "pressures" in an electric circuit that causes electricity to flow. Voltage is normally expresses in volts or kilovolts (kV). One kilovolt equals one thousand volts.
    Volumetric Charge A nominal charge per Mmbtu of gas transported over a pipeline system. Essentially "pay as you go" pricing for interruptible service.
    Watt The basic expression of electrical power or the rate of electrical work. A watt measures power in a circuit. One watt is the power equivalent of one ampere flowing through one ohm of resistance. One watt is also equivalent to approximately 1/746
    Watt-hour The basic unit of measurement of electrical consumption. It is the amount of electrical power delivered multiplied by the amount of time taken to consume that power, measured in hours. For instance, a 100-watt light bulb that burns for 10 hours will consume one kilowatt-hour of electricity. Electricity is commonly sold by the kilowatt-hour.
    Wheeling The transmission of electricity by an entity that does not own or directly use the power it is transmitting.
    Wholesale Competition A system whereby a distributor of power has the option to buy its power from a variety of power producers and the power producers would be able to compete to sell their power to a variety of distribution companies.

    Hourly Test Year

    The hourly test year represents one year of hourly steam and electricity production and sendout from the T.B Simon Power Plant. It is found in the attached Microsoft Excel file. Macros must be enabled in order to use the included buttons used for viewing a few load duration variations.
    Hourly Test Year (MS Excel File)

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