What’s Working in the Smart Grid Era?
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
With many utility service territories in the US now post-AMI deployment, consumer programs enabled by the smart grid have now had several years to mature. Pilot programs have been shelved, tweaked based on participant response and, in some cases, rolled out to the full customer base. Looking back at the experiences of the past decade, what have we as an industry learned about creating successful smart grid-enabled consumer programs?
AEP plans to invest $18.2 billion from 2018 through 2020, with most of the investment, 72 percent, in its transmission and distribution operations. AEP also expects to invest $1.8 billion in renewable generation, including about $1.3 billion in competitive, contracted renewable energy projects. The utility said it has a 3,570 MW pipeline of wind and solar projects over the next seven years, not including a 2,000 MW wind project that is awaiting regulatory approval.
After a record-breaking hurricane season and catastrophic wildfires in California, the vulnerabilities of our electric system – and the urgent need to upgrade it – have never been clearer. It took more than 10 days of around-the-clock work to restore electricity to 350,000 customers after fires struck California wine country last month. Returning service to all 4.4 million power customers in Florida after Hurricane Irma took almost as long.
It’s been nearly two years since the release of the GridWise Alliance’s last Grid Modernization Index (GMI-3). The results of the just-released GMI-4, GridWise’s latest tracking of grid modernization efforts across all 50 states and DC, demonstrates increased participation in and acceleration of grid modernization efforts across the nation – as clean energy, distributed resources, smart meters and other technology adoption expands.
The spread of DERs is driving the creation of new analytics and IT ecosystems for utilities. These ecosystems have become critical for utilities looking to enable broad range of functions from data management to DER planning. The first wave of data and analytics was enabled through the deployment of AMI and utility-owned grid hardware.
The Energy Storage Association on Monday released a paper that charts a path toward reaching 35 GW of new energy storage systems by 2025. The “35x25: A Vision for Energy Storage” white paper, created in conjunction with Navigant Research, outlines the market drivers behind the rapid growth of energy storage and the value of a “disruption-proof grid.”
Storm restoration is a dangerous process requiring the efforts of thousands of people to rebuild what the storm destroyed. It requires lots of boots on the ground and a huge support network feeding materials and equipment to the workers restoring power to the customers, but some innovative technologies are making the process faster.
A new survey from GTM Research and EnergySavvy concludes that utilities with the best cost-to-serve and regulatory outcomes score higher in customer engagement maturity, helping to highlight how the customer experience remains tied to utility success — and vice versa. While customer satisfaction remains an important metric, the survey also found that many utilities are placing increasing emphasis on proprietary measures of satisfaction.