Con Edison Unveils Unique Smart Energy Pilot
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Con Edison has selected Sunverge to implement its integrated smart home, demand response, energy storage and clean energy initiative. Sunverge will supply its integrated energy storage and dynamic virtual power plant platform for the utility’s Smart Home rate project. The pilot will combine advanced residential time-of-use energy tariffs, battery energy storage and solar PV to improve consumer and grid efficiency and reliability.
Energy ratepayers and other customers make the move to renewables and smart devices for different reasons, and a new report from SECC focused on those customers who are right in the middle. According to SECC’s report, “Consumer Values: Moving the Needle on Engagement,” there are three different energy consumers: those that are always engaged, those that are selectively engaged, and those that are rarely engaged.
Smart thermostats promise higher energy efficiency, precise control and personalized comfort. If sales numbers are any indication, contractors and homeowners are believers. Of the 40 million thermostats sold in 2015, 40 percent were “smart,” offering features like internet connectivity, occupancy sensing and learning capabilities.
Duke Energy announced recently the opening of its new 74.9-megawatt (MW) Hamilton Solar Power Plant in Jasper, Fla. The Hamilton plant is part of the company’s commitment to install or acquire 700 MW of solar energy in Florida through 2022, Duke Energy Florida currently owns and operates nearly 100 MW of solar energy resources throughout its service territory. The carbon-free plant will power more than 20,000 homes in Duke Energy Florida’s service territory.
JD Power expects that electric utilities this year will begin to focus on time-of-use pricing as a way to consume more renewables and balance the grid, but the firm cautioned that any rate changes are likely to impact customer satisfaction in one way or another. Customers don't want new rates forced onto them, the firm warned, though they can be more accepting if the changes come as part of a broader environmental initiative.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of a "Green New Deal" initiative Tuesday, responding to pressure for bold climate action from progressives and clean energy advocates. The plan, outlined in Cuomo's 2019 Justice Agenda, calls for a "globally unprecedented" ramp-up in renewable energy deployments as New York seeks to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040, and ultimately to eliminate its entire carbon footprint.
23.7 GW of new U.S. electric generating capacity, mostly from wind, natural gas and solar, are expected in 2019, according to the U.S. EIA inventory of electric generators. In addition, EIA data shows 8 GW of primarily coal, nuclear and natural gas generation are expected to retire this year, though that number could increase as utilities continue to evaluate their generating portfolios.
Looking for new ways to manage electricity services, Reliant Energy is now offering its Texas customers a plan that comes with a Google Home Hub, granting them a smart display to control their electricity use. “By joining forces with Google, our customers now have access to the newest digital technology that not only provides an energy management solution but also helps simplify their lives,” Elizabeth Killinger, president of Reliant and NRG Retail, said.