PG&E Solar Power Program Lowers Cost of Entry
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
PG&E announced the cost to participate in its 100 percent solar energy program has dropped by 30 percent for residential customers and by nearly 50 percent for some business customers. This cost reduction in the company’s Solar Choice program is thanks in part to PG&E’s continued investment in clean energy infrastructure throughout its service area, including eight new solar sites being built for the program.
Con Edison has selected consulting firm ICF for the planning and management of its energy efficiency programs for residential customers. Con Edison said it signed a $13.6 million contract for ICF to design and market the utility's energy efficiency programs for residential consumers for the next three years. The consulting firm will help the utility manage its call center operations and other IT services.
Alameda Municipal Power recently launched a significant new technology program that includes the deployment of smart meters and is expected to result in a variety of benefits for the utility’s customers. For the utility’s customers, they will have new mobile options and account management tools, while the utility and its customers will be able to derive several benefits from new rate design options that may flow from the program.
With two grid-scale batteries newly in place, Arizona Public Service is learning the elements of energy storage operation that you can't read in a book. The utility is using the pair of 2-megawatt/2-megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery systems from AES to test how the technology performs in the desert climate of the greater Phoenix area, where summer temperatures routinely crest 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tesla recently announced it has begun taking orders for the company's highly anticipated Solar Roof systems. The Tesla website now provides more details about the cost and durability of the tiles and allows interested homeowners to place a $1,000 deposit for the system. For those who understand solar, however, the announcement of the new solar roof has prompted more questions than answers.
Minnesota regulators recently heard proposals from Xcel Energy to introduce a sophisticated new electric grid software platform and to build an energy storage system instead of a substation. The PUC certified the need for the $27 million software platform while requesting more information on the storage project to determine whether it would be a good deal for ratepayers.
Honeywell will provide three power providers in the U.S. with managed smart grid services that offer a simpler way to manage technical smart grid networks, and enable improved electricity service and reliability for their customers. The Honeywell subscription services offer an alternative for smaller utilities, which typically have fewer IT resources, that choose not to own and manage their own AMI software.
BPA is taking its first step into “non-wires alternatives” for power grid investments -- not necessarily by choice, but certainly with a lot of preparation in advance. The federal agency that manages the Columbia River hydropower complex and power grid across the Pacific Northwest announced it has given up its nearly decade-long effort to build a new transmission line. Instead, BPA will turn to demand-side resources like efficiency and demand response, as well as distributed energy such as rooftop solar -- as one of several parts of its replacement plan.