Ameren Outlines Plan for Net-Zero Carbon Emissions
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Ameren Corporation published a series of five reports last week chronicling the frameworks most desired by investors on the path to sustainability, insight into environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, and the foundation for its net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 plan. The reports include Ameren’s current progress toward sustainability through its 2021 Sustainability Report and a climate risk report on the changes needed to achieve net-zero emissions.
Xcel Energy’s New Mexico utility said that its customers can now choose electricity generated by the state’s most abundant resource – the sun. The utility’s Solar*Connect program has opened for enrollment, providing customers with the option to invest in solar energy by purchasing all or part of their monthly electricity needs from a newly constructed solar facility near Clovis.
The Maryland Public Service Commission approved this week two battery storage projects proposed by Potomac Edison. A response to the Maryland Energy Storage Pilot Program, the projects would consist of one 1.75 MW battery project in Allegany County and a second 500 kW battery at the Maryland Department of Transportation Park and Ride Lot in Frederick County. The latter will bundle battery energy storage with a $1.1 million EV charging system.
Technology companies Itron and Microsoft have formed an alliance aimed at ensuring that utilities take full advantage of advanced metering infrastructure and data. The aim of the partnership is to develop highly scalable cloud-based meter data management services to help utilities fully leverage data acquired from AMI and expand smart meter use cases.
The U.S. Department of the Interior issued a Record of Decision on Tuesday granting final approval for Vineyard Wind to move ahead with an 800 MW offshore wind installation off the coast of Massachusetts, marking the first approval of a commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the U.S. After closing financing on the project in the second half of 2021, construction of on-shore components will begin immediately, according to Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pedersen. Vineyard Wind expects to begin installing offshore turbines in 2023.
In the future, our vehicles and homes will be in constant conversation with the power grid. Smart thermostats will send information about how much energy the home is using or potentially wasting to heat or cool itself. Solar panels will say how much energy they have on hand, while electric vehicles will share information about when and where they’re charging and how much juice they need for their travels. Solar and EV batteries might even offer up the energy they’re storing in case it’s needed elsewhere.
Hawaiian Electric is looking for feedback on its strategy to increase the use of rooftop solar and other forms of customer energy resources. Customer energy resources are technologies and devices on the customer-side of the meter that can alter energy use. The strategy is laid out in Hawaiian Electric’s Customer Energy Resources for Hawaii: A Customer-First CER Strategy for a 100% Clean Energy Future, which is filed with the state’s Public Utilities Commission.
Measured by the intensity of media interest, it would seem the automotive world is in the midst of an electric vehicle boom. However, some recent research has caught my attention because it tells a much different and nuanced story pointing toward a “build it and they will come” mentality. A recent J.D. Power & Associates survey highlights an absence of consumer interest in EVs and self-driving technologies.