PSE&G Improves Reliability in 2021
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
New Jersey utility PSE&G reported its best reliability performance in 10 years in 2021, as customers experienced fewer outages. The utility attributes such progress to the $4.8 billion investment the company has made in strengthening and modernizing its infrastructure, including its Energy Strong I and II programs and its Gas System Modernization Program I and II.
With the hot summer months likely to produce higher electric usage and potentially severe weather, FirstEnergy Corp.'s Ohio electric companies – Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – recently completed inspections and conducted equipment maintenance expected to enhance service reliability for customers.
There is still the potential for as much as 3.5 terawatts (TW) of 10-hour energy pumped storage hydropower in the United States, according to a new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Pumped storage hydropower comprises 23 GW of the nation’s 24 GW of energy storage capacity, nonetheless, no new large, pumped storage hydropower station has been built in the United States since the 1990s.
CenterPoint Energy in Minnesota announced it would be partnering with eight technical colleges and community nonprofit organizations to expand training for the next generation of energy efficiency workforce. The workforce development initiative, approved through the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, would increase the number of skilled trades professionals with energy efficiency expertise and increase the diversity of the energy efficiency workforce with a focus on historically underrepresented groups.
Maine’s utility regulators have approved the state’s latest three-year energy efficiency plan, a set of programs and incentives that environmental and community advocates say will make it easier for low-income and rural residents to weatherize their homes and access electric vehicle chargers. In total, the plan calls for spending just under $300 million over three years and projects a lifetime benefit totaling $1.5 billion for the state.
Toyota is launching a residential 5.5 kWh battery storage system, which uses the company’s electric vehicle battery technology, the company announced on June 2. The small system can power a home day and night when connected to a photovoltaic rooftop system, encouraging solar installations, according to Toyota. Homeowners with EVs capable of bidirectional electricity flows can provide supplemental power to their homes, including during outages.
Last year, battery-powered cars made up 8.6 percent of global new car sales, a trend that is only set to continue as prices come down and their technology improves. The White House wants half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be electric; Europe is advancing a ban on sales of combustion cars by 2035, while California has an executive order with the same target.
NextEra Energy announced Monday that its plan – Real Zero – would eliminate carbon emissions from its operations no later than 2045 while leveraging low-cost renewables to drive energy affordability for its customers. The plan is the most ambitious carbon-emissions reduction goal by an energy producer, the company said. Reaching its goal will require significant investment to transform its generation fleet.