PG&E Begins 7,500-Port EV Pilot
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
When it comes to electric vehicles, California's utilities are a lot like therapists: They want to help drivers overcome range anxiety. For the last few years, the state's three largest IOUs have been rolling out plans, pilots and ports in their bid to push transportation electrification. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has set a goal of five million zero-emission vehicles on the state's roads by 2030, and new research indicates it will take about a quarter million new charging ports to get there.
Itron signed a contract with NWE to modernize its electric and gas systems in South Dakota and Nebraska with Itron’s OpenWay Riva IoT solution. With the solution, NWE aims to reduce operating costs while improving service to customers and laying the foundation for future smart grid applications in South Dakota and Nebraska.
The wooden utility pole has changed little since it was first used in the mid-19th Century to string telegraph line between cities. At a test site in Champaign, Illinois, though, researchers are getting a glimpse at how the humble utility pole could get a reboot for the smart grid era. Ameren is piloting sensors that connect transmission poles to the internet as part of its newly built microgrid project.
Xcel Energy is continuing to transition its fleet to carbon-free energy in the Upper Midwest with the addition of the Foxtail Wind Energy Center. The 150 MW wind farm is part of the company’s vision to achieve 85 percent clean energy by 2030 by adding low-cost, clean energy with 1,850 MW of renewable energy located in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.
Smart Energy GB published “Smart Energy Outlook”, largest independent survey of national public opinion on energy and smart meters. The biannual nationwide poll into the opinions of almost 10,000 people in Great Britain, carried out by Populus, provides clear evidence that the overwhelming majority of customers who have smart meters installed in their homes are happy with them.
DTE Energy recently released its 2018 Renewable Energy Plan, proposing to double the utility's renewable capacity by 2022 largely through the addition of large-scale wind resources. The utility says its plan would drive $1.7 billion in investment and grow its renewable energy capacity from 1 GW to 2 GW, largely through the addition of wind power.
Converting Hawaii’s transportation sector to electricity could facilitate increased renewables in the state while lowering overall costs, according to a “roadmap” drafted by the Hawaiian Electric Companies. By 2045, most vehicles in Hawaii will be electric and the state will be powered by a clean energy ecosystem.
Net metering compensates solar customers for the power they contribute to the grid, but if they route the electrons through a battery, they’re out of luck. Utilities understandably don’t want to pay net-metering rates for batteries charged by grid power. So far, that means solar generation stored in batteries for later use doesn’t earn net metering dollars either. That could change, once the CPUC responds to a petition that, unusually, drew support from both the solar industry and utilities.