Xcel Considers Battery Storage to Reach Zero-Carbon System
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Battery energy storage is just one technology that will help Xcel Energy reach its clean energy transition goals, said Xcel Energy Colorado President Alice Jackson earlier this week. The power provider currently is on track to reduce carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, with a goal to provide customers with 100-percent carbon-free electric energy by 2050, Jackson said.
If the clean energy industry has shown us anything the past few years, it’s that it’s booming and ready to power our economy long into the future. The price declines in solar, wind, and battery storage have shown that renewables are available, economical and growing. However, what’s been even more evident within the clean energy industry recently is the unstoppable trend toward the electrification of transportation.
The pairing of photovoltaic solar power with battery storage is growing but represents a small portion of the market and cannot be fully explained by economics, according to a new report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The report found that out of the 3,200 MW of battery storage installed in the U.S. through 2020 about 1,000 MW, or 30 percent, was behind-the-meter and 550 MW of that was paired with solar power.
Duke Energy Florida is expanding its renewable generation portfolio with plans for four new solar power plants. The four new sites include the Hildreth Solar Power Plant in Suwannee County; the Bay Ranch Solar Power Plant in Bay County; the Hardeetown Solar Power Plant in Levy County; and the High Springs Solar Power Plant in Alachua County. Combined, the plants will produce about 750 MW of solar power.
Earlier this month, Tesla quietly launched a call to customers equipped with its Powerwall batteries: join what could become the biggest behind-the-meter battery aggregation in California and help support the state’s grid during what’s expected to be a tough summer for keeping the lights on.
The Electric Highway Coalition (EHC), a group of electric utilities working together to install fast-charging EV stations along major interstate highways, has doubled its members. Membership in the EHC has now grown to include AVANGRID, Consolidated Edison, DTE Energy, Eversource Energy, Exelon, FirstEnergy Corp., ITC Holdings Corp. and National Grid.
Connecticut announced Wednesday that it will offer incentives for residential and business customers to purchase and install energy storage systems as part of an Equitable Modern Grid initiative. As part of the initiative, the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) established a nine-year Electric Storage Program with a goal of deploying 1,000 MW of energy storage statewide by the end of 2030.
Portland General Electric kicked off a new program this week known as PGE Fleet Partner, and it’s designed to help Oregon businesses and organizations electrify their vehicle fleets. “With PGE Fleet Partner, we do the work for them on planning and logistics to build the charging infrastructure, so they can focus on buying the right EVs for their fleet,” Luke Whittemore, Transportation Electrification Engineer with PGE, said.