SCE’s Vision for Achieving Carbon Neutrality
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Natural gas consumption is set for a sharp drop in California as the state pushes to achieve carbon neutrality by midcentury, according to utility Southern California Edison. SCE, the state’s second-largest utility, anticipates California investing up to $250 billion into clean energy and grid investments by 2045. “Delivered power is going to need to be all zero-carbon," Drew Murphy, SVP of Strategy and Corporate Development at Edison International, told GTM. Edison International is SCE's parent company.
Consolidated Edison is preparing to roll out a curbside electric vehicle charging network pilot across New York City's five boroughs, and expects 60 dual-charger posts (for a total of 120 Level 2 plugs) to be available beginning this fall. The network is a Reforming the Energy Vision demonstration project and is being rolled out in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation and charging network developer AddEnergie. According to the utility, a lack of publicly-available charging is a barrier to consumer adoption of EVs in the city.
As New Mexico shifts to an emissions-free energy future, its utility PNM is also shifting the way it interacts with customers. The state’s largest energy provider serves 530,000 customers throughout New Mexico, which translates to a staggering amount of interactions between customers and the PNM Contact Center. New communication methods are being implemented at PNM to make it easier for New Mexicans to do business with the energy company while improving the customer experience.
With the new year and decade came a new push for the use of renewable energy and carbon reduction in California. Specifically, as of January 1, 2020, the 2019 Building Standards took effect and included a requirement for the use of solar in all California new home construction in the form of rooftop solar or community solar programs. As a long-time leader in supporting clean energy, SMUD developed an off-site community solar program, Neighborhood SolarShares, as one option to help home builders comply with the requirement for solar on all new homes.
As utility proposals grow for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployments, power system regulators are demanding evidence that the real-time distribution system data AMI produces justify the billion-dollar costs, causing deployment to slow. But some utilities have begun demonstrating granular AMI data can be used to lower customer bills and lower power system costs, utilities, private sector partners and analysts told Utility Dive.
Under new rules, utilities will identify customers who qualify and automatically enroll them for shared solar projects. Utilities – not solar developers – will be tasked with signing up lower-income customers under final rules for a Connecticut shared solar program. The model, recently adopted by state regulators, is meant to simplify the subscription process and better protect consumers while improving access to solar savings for low- to moderate-income households.
The Public Utility Commission of Oregon on Feb. 14 accepted Portland General Electric's (PGE) transportation electrification plan, opening an avenue for the utility to propose residential and public charger programs and make infrastructure investments that will help to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles in its territory. PGE officials say there are as many as 25,000 emissions-free vehicles in its territory, but it is anticipating 100,000 in five years and up to one million by 2050.
Over the past decade, Utilidata has been taking the energy-saving technology known as conservation voltage reduction deeper and deeper into the power grid, with an unusual combination of real-time power flow modeling and real-time grid controls that has allowed greater visibility and insight into the edges of distribution networks. Now the company is starting to apply its technology to what’s expected to be utilities’ biggest challenge over the coming decade.