Three Steps to Making Utilities Formidable Energy Providers in the On-Demand Era
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Change is here, and utilities recognize that. They aren’t waiting to see how other service providers might address the evolving energy market, and they aren’t slowing down in the wake of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Rather, proactive utilities are shaping their own fates and setting themselves up to be leaders in a decarbonized and efficient energy future.
AEP soon will start the regulatory approval process related to its plans to buy and invest $4.5 billion in the 2,000-MW Wind Catcher Energy Connection wind farm being built by Invenergy in Oklahoma. The project also includes construction of a transmission line to deliver the wind energy.
ComEd has rolled out a new marketplace where customers can purchase discounted thermostats as part of the utility's "One Million Smart Thermostats" initiative. Customers can receive up to $150 in rebates on the purchase, which ComEd says could help consumers cut cooling costs by 10-20 percent. ComEd targeted 25,000 thermostats during the first year of the program, with an average 300 kWh saved annually for every home with a smart thermostat. There are now about 50,000 smart thermostats in its territory.
OG&E and SunPower Corp. announced the two companies have signed a contract to build a 10 MW (AC) solar photovoltaic power plant in Covington, Okla. Construction on the plant is anticipated to commence next month. SunPower will design and build a SunPower Oasis Power Plant system at the Covington site. The Oasis system is a complete power plant solution that installs quickly to maximize value for customers.
According to new reports, Navigant said that the energy storage systems market has experienced significant growth in developed economies which adopted the technologies in its nascent phases. The organization’s new reports analyzing the global utility-scale energy storage systems and distributed energy storage systems markets found that the adoption of energy storage systems is also increasing in new markets or developing economies.
Tesla and its entrepreneurial billionaire leader Elon Musk, knows how to dazzle an audience. At the back of Tesla’s Fremont, Calif. factory last Friday night -- surrounded by thousands of Tesla employees and under the spotlight of cameras and a video live stream -- Musk showed off the first 30 of the company’s new Model 3 electric cars, awaiting pickup by customers, including many employees.
In its latest “New Energy Outlook”, Bloomberg New Energy Finance describes a world where the energy system looks fundamentally different from today. But that doesn’t mean natural gas won’t have a place. While renewables will dominate the generation mix, Seb Henbest, lead author and BNEF’s head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, said gas peakers will remain an integral part of the landscape.
While the growth of distributed energy resources has resulted in public power utilities rethinking their relationships with customers and developing new ways of interacting with them, at the end of the day the focus of the utilities remains on how best to provide value to customers, officials with the NYPA and SMUD said recently.