Report Highlights Use of Digital Tools
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Early in 2018, SECC produced a research report, “Consumer Platform of the Future”, that surveyed about 1,300 consumers, with nearly half saying they were interested in using a digital platform for energy use and management. For a follow up, SECC teamed up with SEPA to produce “Consumer Platform of the Future: Industry Insider Perspectives,” a report that explains how consumer platforms are commonly structured and how utilities are using them to engage customers in their energy use.
The New York PSC last week authorized Con Edison to offer an “innovative pricing pilot program” aimed at helping to better align energy use with time-based price signals. Con Edison will recruit about 67,000 customers with advanced metering infrastructure from Staten Island, Westchester County and Brooklyn. For small commercial customers and some residential customers, the utility will use an opt-out enrollment strategy, which it says will allow it to collect more useful information to help design rates in the future.
A decade ago, Maine regulators faced dueling proposals to meet projected load growth north of Portland: upgrade a long-distance transmission line to carry more power, or strategically install batteries and distributed generation. The state’s utility commission ended up accepting a compromise. Central Maine Power upgraded its transmission system in some areas, while a local clean energy developer, GridSolar, constructed a 1.85-megawatt solar and storage project.
As part of the release of the Grid Modernization Index (2018-2019) Summary Report, GridWise Alliance presented California and Illinois with Leadership Awards and Ohio and Rhode Island for Outstanding Progress Awards. GridWise, an organization that represents stakeholders that design, build and operate the electric grid, has long worked to education about the need to modernize the nation’s electricity system.
NYPA will invest $250 million to upgrade the electric grid to give residents greater access to renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar power. The $250 million investment will add up to 150 MW of grid flexibility projects between now and 2015, NYPA officials said. It will help the state achieve its clean energy goals laid out in the Governor Andrew Cuomo’s REV strategy that sets a goal of having 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.
A Texas municipal utility last week announced a new power purchase agreement for 255 MW of solar energy at less than $25/MWh, one of the nation's cheapest ever solar deals. New Braunfels Utilities signed the 15-year PPA with Engie Long Draw Solar, which the utility said would deliver power during peak electricity demand hours and “allow NBU to maintain one of the lowest retail electric rates in the country.”
Public power utilities in the Midwest, South, and West were among the utilities that earned high marks for business customer satisfaction in a J.D. Power study. Results of the study were released on Dec. 12. Within each of the four geographic regions included in the study – East, Midwest, South and West — utility providers are classified into one of two segments: large (serving 85,000 or more business customers) and midsize (serving 40,000-84,999 business customers).
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday pledged to bring New York to 100-percent carbon-free electricity by 2040 in a speech laying out his agenda for the first 100 days of 2019. The pledge follows the New York PSC’s order approving plans to implement the third stage of its Clean Energy Standard, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, with 50 percent of the state's electricity coming from renewables by 2030.