AEP Ohio Earns Approval for Smart Grid Expansion
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Work will proceed on the third phase of AEP Ohio’s more than $220 million, seven-year plan to modernize its grid after a settlement in the affiliated case was approved this week by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). While more than 900,000 smart meters were already installed across the utility’s service area in phases 1 and 2 of the plan, phase 3 will see it roll out another 475,000 smart meters across Ohio.
Last week, microinverter supplier Enphase Energy announced its participation in Arizona Public Service’s (APS) residential battery pilot grid services program. SolarEdge is also participating and more will be added soon, according to APS. The distributed energy resource (DER) program offers two options for homeowners in APS’s service territory with batteries from participating vendors to earn money through one-time, upfront incentives.
Customer education is a “consistent predictor of participation” in residential energy efficiency programs, more so than income, race or ethnicity, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) concluded in a report published in November. The study can help utilities and program administrators understand who is benefiting from energy efficiency offerings and make changes to achieve more equitable outcomes, researchers said.
There are a lot of first-time EV owners out on the road right now, given that 2021 was an epic year for EV sales. Their experiences have likely varied widely, depending on where they live. As BlastPoint’s new 2022 EV Adoption Outlook makes clear, the U.S. is a patchwork of areas that are ready to adopt (green), will soon be ready (yellow) or experience roadblocks to adoption (red).
More than 50 utilities, primarily investor-owned power companies, have banded together to install electric vehicle (EV) fast charging infrastructure along major U.S. highway corridors by the end of 2023, the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC) announced Tuesday. The coalition is led by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which has increased its previous estimates and now anticipates there will be 22 million EVs on U.S. roads in 2030, requiring more than 100,000 fast chargers.
DTE Energy will boost its renewable energy capacity by 40 percent this year, thanks to three wind farms and one solar park have been brought online in 2021. The three wind farms began operating in the spring, while the solar park will go live by the end of the year. In all, the four projects will generate 535-megawatts of energy. With these facilities included, Detroit-based DTE now operates 1,862 megawatts of wind and solar – enough to power nearly 700,000 homes.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order to make the federal government carbon-neutral by 2050, aiming for a 65-percent reduction in planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and an all-electric fleet of car and trucks five years later. The White House said the order shows how the government will “leverage its scale and procurement power to lead by example in tackling the climate crisis.”
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is in the process of installing smart meters in Fort Wayne with the goal of putting in 195,000 by the end of 2022. Since September, I&M crews have already installed nearly 30,000 smart meters in the area. By the end of January, the company will have installed 57,000 on its way to 195,000. I&M has launched a robust marketing campaign utilizing social media, radio, billboard and newspaper advertisements to inform and educate customers about smart meters.