Xcel to Eliminate Carbon Emissions by 2050
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Xcel Energy recently announced plans to eliminate carbon emissions from its power plants by 2050, making it what company officials call the first major multi-state U.S. utility with a commitment to completely phase out the planet-warming pollutant. Xcel will reduce carbon emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 on its way to the goal, adding renewable energy and retiring fossil fuel generators while continuing the operation of its Monticello and Prairie Island nuclear plants.
Austin Energy is looking holistically at how storage can serve customers and the grid across the city of Austin, Texas. The Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar Photovoltaics program is harnessing utility-scale storage, distributed storage, smart inverters and data to help the local grid integrate more solar power. How is it going since it launched earlier in the year?
CSU has been actively adding renewable energy to its generation portfolio, particularly solar energy. In July, the utility said that it had signed agreements with developers for two utility-scale solar projects that will total 95 megawatts. More recently, the CSU Board approved an additional 150 megawatts of solar generation plus battery storage to its system by 2024.
Tendril has gone through a lot of changes over its 14 years, including a near-death experience and a slow-but-steady climb into the top tier of customer engagement and energy intelligence providers for U.S. utilities. Now the company has hit a new milestone for the venture investors who’ve put more than $100 million into it to date: an exit.
The 2018 Utility Dive Awards recognize the utility industry’s top disruptors and innovators. These executives and companies are key leaders in the sector’s pivotal transition. Winners for 2018 include Xcel Energy as the Utility of the Year and REV Connect as the Project of the Year.
A new pilot program, launching under the Nissan Energy Share initiative, will research whether the energy stored in EVs can help companies save on electric utility costs. The program will partially power Nissan’s North American headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., and Nissan’s design center in San Diego, Calif., with bi-directional EV-charging technology. Bi-directional charging technology charges an EV while also partially powering external electrical loads, such as buildings and homes while pulling energy stored in the EV’s battery.
Utility customers have seen their services upgrade over the past several years, from analog meters to smart meters, for electric, gas and water. But on the back end of all those upgrades, utility companies themselves are facing their own modernization challenges, particularly when it comes to their internal software systems.
There are now just over one million EVs on the streets of the U.S., but to add even more, there needs to be greater infrastructure investments and more emphasis on raising customer awareness. Those were some of the major takeaways from a one-day summit hosted by EEI in Washington, DC recently. The event served as a celebration of the one million vehicle mark and a look ahead at EEI's projections of two million EVs on U.S. streets by the end of 2020.