SCE Contracts Huge Storage Portfolio
Top consumer smart energys news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Southern California Edison has signed seven contracts for a combined 770 megawatts of grid battery projects, one of the biggest single procurements of its kind. The utility wants to switch them on by August 2021, which would be a record-fast turnaround for projects of that magnitude. The seven energy storage projects, which still need approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, will help meet a fall CPUC order for 3.3 gigawatts of carbon-free resources to help meet the state’s grid reliability needs.
Charging an electric truck or bus at a fleet depot – or an electric car at an apartment, workplace or a public fast-charging station – should be far cheaper than filling up on gasoline or diesel. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case at sites that receive electricity under utility rates designed for commercial buildings and industrial operations that don’t reflect the flexible nature of electric vehicle (EV) charging. Fortunately, a newly-released report explains how utilities can remedy that mismatch by offering rates designed for commercial EV charging.
Salt River Project has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe service. The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.
Rapid climate change is already bringing new challenges to utilities. These challenges directly and indirectly impact multiple dimensions of the utility business, whether it’s physical damage to infrastructure from extreme weather or changing customer behaviors in response to warming temperatures. Factor in the stress on operations and the pressure of regulatory reform (along with the fact that climate change is projected to accelerate through the century), and it becomes evident that planning for these challenges is more important than ever to the bottom line — and that utilities should be acting now.
While many industries are struggling to navigate COVID-19, the U.S. wind industry appears to have found a way forward, installing more than 1,800 megawatts of new capacity in the first quarter and setting a record for projects under construction. The profitable news comes from the American Wind Energy Association, which filed the Wind Powers America First Quarter Report 2020 earlier this week. According to its assessments, developers installed more than double the amount of wind capacity against the same quarter last year and began work on 4,124 MW more.
Supportive policies in China, North America and Europe have led to rapid development of public and residential electric vehicle charging markets. As electric vehicles climb to 13.8 percent of new vehicle sales globally by 2030, these regions will see their EV charger markets grow as well. From a 2019 starting point of approximately 1 million EV chargers each in Europe and China and 1.3 million in North America, charger installations will climb over the next ten years.
Why – given its comparatively low cost and wide-ranging benefits – has energy efficiency typically been an afterthought when it comes to power sector investments? This conundrum has caused much head-scratching and consternation among energy efficiency proponents and policymakers. While trillions of dollars of capital flow to power supply options like gas power plants or wind and solar farms, and to energy delivery options like transmission lines and pipelines, energy efficiency is relegated to funding accrued from small add-on charges paid by ratepayers.
Utility Dominion Energy is planning a major shift toward renewable energy and batteries as it looks to comply with Virginia's ambitious new clean energy law. Dominion Virginia’s new integrated resource plan, announced last Friday, represents a potentially historic shift for the state’s largest utility, which has seen previous plans rejected by Virginia regulators for their over-reliance on fossil fuel power plants and infrastructure to be paid for by ratepayers.