Xcel’s Transportation Electrification Plan Approved
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Colorado regulators on Monday approved Xcel Energy’s $110 million transportation electrification plan, which will install up to 20,000 charging stations, provide rebates for the purchase of an EV and add programs and rates to help manage the new charging load. Xcel’s plan also includes an emphasis on ensuring EV adoption benefits all customers, with approximately 15 percent of the program budget directed toward equity-focused programs.
Today’s consumers expect personalization from the companies that they do business with, whether it’s in finance, travel, retail or other sectors. They want a seamless, “one-click” experience with offers that are relevant to their lifestyles, values and preferences. Companies that meet these expectations and focus on the customer journey often see increased trust, satisfaction and engagement from their customers as a result.
The Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative recently announced a national search for its next president and chief executive officer, following Patty Durand's decision to step down after 10 years as the organization's first and only president. Since being appointed president by the SECC's board of directors in January 2011, Durand has grown the organization from an idea on paper to an international nonprofit with more than 160 members.
Southern California Edison recently completed the largest Charge Ready electric vehicle charging project to date at the site of the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona — on time and under budget, even amid challenges related to COVID-19. A total of 200 EV charging ports have been installed at Fairplex, the 487-acre site that the L.A. County Fair Association uses for the county fair and other year-round business.
Homes need a lot more digital smarts nowadays to manage rooftop solar, backup batteries and electric vehicle chargers. It’s nice if those distributed energy resources (DERs) can be integrated with household electrical load controls via smartphone or Alexa or Google voice-activated devices. Then there’s the need to optimize these DERs and loads against utility time-of-use rates, net-metering tariffs and EV charging rate structures.
In an inventory of electricity generators for 2021, the Energy Information Administration predicts that the bulk of 39.7 GW of new electricity generating capacity for the year will come from renewable sources. Solar stands to gain the most this year, representing 39 percent of new capacity, but it will be closely followed by wind generation, at 31 percent. Another 3 percent will come from a new nuclear reactor at the Vogtle power plant in Georgia.
Minnesota Power is aiming to generate 100 percent of its electricity from carbon-free resources by 2050, the company announced Tuesday. Under the plan, the utility will generate 70 percent of its electricity from renewable power by 2030 and eliminate coal entirely by 2035. Its proposed path would add 400 MW of new wind and solar and stop burning coal from its remaining two coal-fired units by 2030 and 2035, respectively.
Two EV promotional groups are pushing to get new muscle into teaching consumers about EV ownership. Their idea: that electric utilities should be able to recover the costs, via customers’ electric rates, of EV education and outreach programs. This cost recovery, if approved by state public utility commissions, would augment and solidify programs to advance EV ownership.