Ameren Looks to Harness Wind, Solar and Batteries
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Ameren Missouri, the largest investor-owned utility in the Midwestern state, has filed a $7.6 billion grid modernization plan that includes smart meters for its nearly 1.3 million customers by 2025, adding nearly 700 MW of wind power, plus more solar and battery storage systems to boost rural reliability. Ameren’s Smart Energy Plan, filed recently with the Missouri Public Service Commission, will direct most of its spending toward replacing aging poles and wires, undergrounding high-priority circuits and other infrastructure improvements.
Two dozen Con Edison employees were honored with the Technology Transfer Award from the Electric Power Research Institute. The 24 honorees were cited for their work to improve electrical service, enhance worker and public safety, and help energy companies fend off cyberattacks. The winners were honored for their work on six different projects. On one of them, a team found radio frequency emission levels from electric smart meters were well within the safety standards set by the Federal Communications Commission and a European regulatory agency.
The North Carolina city aims to power municipal buildings with zero-carbon energy by 2030. After months of planning, Charlotte, North Carolina, has made it official: The city will meet a quarter of its municipal building electricity needs with solar power. An agreement approved unanimously Monday night allows the state’s largest city to buy the output of a 35 MW solar farm in Iredell County, using Duke Energy as a go-between.
DNV GL, a risk management and system assurance company, has launched a venture fund responding to the “decade of transformations.” The company believes that the upcoming energy transition and industrial revolution may trigger a transition in the industry. As a result, the new company, DNV GL Ventures, plans to build a portfolio of between 15-20 startups in the upcoming years, taking stakes of up to 20 percent in the companies.
Wind generation exceeded hydroelectric generation in 2019, marking the first time that has happened, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Electric Power Monthly. Wind energy has now surpassed hydroelectricity as the top renewable source of electricity generation in the country. Annual wind generation totaled 300 million MWh last year, topping hydroelectric generation by 26 million MWh.
A new report finds cities and towns are lowering residents’ electric bills and emissions by negotiating for green power. The growing number of Massachusetts cities and towns that have negotiated community-wide rates for green energy have saved millions of dollars while also shrinking their carbon footprints, according to a new report released last week.
The Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved a 1,490 MW community solar program by Florida Power & Light, the largest in the nation, on Tuesday. FPL’s SolarTogether program reserves 75 percent for the commercial and industrial sector and 25 percent for the residential sector. The project more than doubles community solar capacity in the United States, according to FPL.
Burlington Electric is partnering with a software company on a pilot program to spur charging at apartment buildings. Electric vehicles have long been the domain of the single-car garage, but more and more, apartment renters are looking to plug in, too. In Burlington, Vermont, renters will soon have access to more charging stations through a pilot program led by the city’s electric utility.