May 11: Ameren Plans to Lower Grid Voltage, Raise Efficiency

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Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.

Energy News Network | Study: Money Trumps Morals for Getting Customers to Save Energy
If utilities want to lower peak electricity loads, they might want to consider rate structures similar to the surge pricing used by ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. A new study from the University of Chicago concluded that “dynamic” pricing is more effective than moral persuasion on its own for changing customer behaviors in the long run.

Utility Dive | How Can U.S. Utilities Be Ready When Everything Changes?
EY, together with a leading global analyst house, has modeled three critical tipping points that mark utilities’ potential journey toward a new energy system. In most regions analyzed, these tipping points are staggered over a number of years, allowing utilities time to learn lessons from adapting to one to prepare for the next. But the U.S. is different.

Public Power Daily | SRP Launches Residential Storage Incentive Program
SRP has initiated a program to support the installation and use of battery storage systems for its residential customers. The battery storage incentive program will provide up to $1,800 ($150 per DC-kWh) for customers who purchase and install qualifying lithium ion battery technologies. The program will be available for up to 4,500 SRP residential electric customers on a first-come, first-served basis.

Utility Dive | Tesla's Musk Talks 'Gigawatt-Hour Scale' Storage Project
In a conference call with analysts recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company could announce “a gigawatt-hour scale” energy storage project “within a matter of months.” Musk said the ability of Tesla's South Australia storage project to respond to millisecond changes in grid voltage levels is drawing the attention of utilities and creating demand for even larger projects.

SECC Member News
Utility Dive | Illinois OKs Ameren Plan to Lower Grid Voltage, Raise Efficiency
Illinois regulators have approved Ameren's voltage optimization plan, which aims to reduce energy consumption and system losses by operating the grid at lower voltages. New, cost-effective sensors, controls and communication systems now allow utilities to maintain lower voltage levels than they previously could.

Oracle Utilities | PG&E Turns Direct Outreach into a Bump in SMB Customer Happiness
In the wide-ranging discussion about the wants and needs of the utility customers, we often forget the small and medium-sized business segment. It’s not large enough to get the big interests that large commercial and industrial does, nor does it see the political or cultural discussions of residential customers.

Public Power Daily | Colorado Springs Utilities Will Consider Storage as Part of Renewables RFP
CSU recently issued a request for proposals for projects up to and beyond 250,000 MW hours of renewable energy per year. The solicitation will consider a number of technologies, including energy storage solutions in combination with renewable resources. CSU notes that renewable resources for the RFP are those that meet the definition contained in the Colorado Renewable Portfolio Standards requirements and any potential combinations that include storage options.

Utility Dive | PG&E Taps EVBox to Build up to 2.5K Charging Stations
PG&E announced recently its first supplier of utility-owned EV charging stations will be EVBox. The manufacturer will supply up to 2,560 charging stations that will be owned by the utility, as part of PG&E's EV Charge Network program. PG&E's program will include 7,500 new stations in their service area, of which 35 percent will be utility-owned stations in disadvantaged communities and multifamily residences.

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