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Project Explores Using NASA Earth Science Data For Enhanced Utility Load Forecasting

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by Staff Writers
Columbus OH (SPX) Apr 10, 2008
NASA and Battelle plan to save consumers money on their electric and gas bills. Using high-tech data made available from Americas space agency, Battelle will help utility companies better predict when energy supplies will be needed. Battelle recently won a three-year, $640,000 contract from NASA that focuses on applying high-resolution, weather-related Earth science data to key systems used by energy utilities for short-term load forecasting.

Load forecasting is required by energy utilities to balance supply and load on the electric grid or to dispatch natural gas.

Currently, end users of an existing Decision Support System (DSS), developed and maintained by Ventyx (the worlds largest private software provider to the utility industry), rely on weather data that is constrained by the spatial scales of ground-based weather stations.

However, the DSS is flexible enough to accept finer resolution data and model outputs that are uniquely provided by NASA, such as air temperature, relative humidity, and offshore winds. Battelle will lead the effort to incorporate the additional satellite data into the forecasting system.

Under this project, which officially begins in May 2008, a customer group also will be formed. The group will provide input on load forecasting, address upcoming data needs driven by climate change, and help guide the transition of results from this project to the nationwide energy utility community.

We expect to enhance the performance of these decision support systems, said Christopher Pestak, Battelles Manager of NASA Programs. This work should result in cost savings to residential, commercial, and industrial energy users while improving long-term energy conservation.

Battelle leads the team of experts in utility forecasting software, utility operations, meteorology, and application of satellite data which includes representation from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA Langley Research Center, Ventyx, Avista Utilities, and NationalFuel.

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Harris Ground System For GOES-R Weather Satellite On Display
Colorado Springs CO (SPX) Apr 10, 2008
Harris has completed and successfully demonstrated a prototype of a total, end-to-end solution for the ground segment of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - Series R (GOES-R) program. Harris demonstrated the prototype earlier this year during the American Meteorological Society Conference in New Orleans, and this future-proof solution is on display at the company's GOES-R lab in Melbourne, Florida.

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