PG&E Proposes World’s Biggest Batteries
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
PG&E wants to prove that massive batteries can replace gas peaker plants and save ratepayers money. The company asked regulators to approve four energy storage plants to provide local capacity for the South Bay/Moss Landing sub-area. The request includes two of the largest battery systems ever proposed: a 300-megawatt/1,200-megawatt-hour project by Vistra Energy and a 182.5-megawatt/730-megawatt-hour project from Tesla.
Avangrid recently unveiled a 10-year, $2.5 billion resiliency program targeting its Northeast utilities, outlining a “comprehensive” look at its grid, vulnerabilities and modernization solutions. The company's utilities in Maine, New York and Connecticut have suffered $450 million in storm damage in the last 16 months. The “Transforming Energy” plan would consider a range of solutions, from pole replacement to microgrids.
Energy efficiency and conservation are a big deal for big businesses. IBM, for instance, implemented more than 3,000 energy conservation and efficiency projects in 2015 and saved nearly $30 million. In 2016, Microsoft spent $2.5 million on efficiency measures plus green power and saved more than $3 million that year. But, what about the little guys, the small businesses with fewer than 500 employees?
Ohio is a very complex state, Asim Haque will tell you. As chair of PUCO, he is keen to recount changes to the generating mix of the past decade, the way formerly vertically-integrated utilities have spun off or retired generating capacity and the ongoing legislative battle about renewable energy mandates.
With electric vehicle sales around the world picking up, many companies are looking to vehicle-to-grid applications. So far, however, V2G has largely been stuck in pilot mode — and it could be a long time before electric cars become two-way distributed power plants. So far, efforts to test and deploy V2G have also focused largely on cars. But are buses a better way to scale?
Retiree William M. Williams lives on Susquehanna Street in Homewood, in a three-bedroom house. “This house gets real cold in the winter,” said Mr. Williams, who retired after working as a maintenance man and ironworker. “You can feel the drafts coming through the doorways. ... More than likely, I need some insulation” in the attic.
An EVgo electric vehicle charging station in Union City, Calif., is now using second-life BMW i3 batteries to reduce its reliance on the electric grid during times of peak demand. The company has already tested the technology in a pilot program at UCSD and says the commercial installation is a first for second-life batteries at a public DC fast-charging station.
The IoT and analytics market for utilities will generate $5.1 billion in revenue in 2028, according to Navigant. Utilities have been trying to improve their operations using data generated from grid-connected distributed generating assets, T&D system equipment and smart meters connected to the grid. Neil Strother, principal research analyst, said, “Many of the tools are outdated, sit in silos and were never designed for the complexities of today’s smart grid.”