How Utilities Can Meet Millennials’ Needs
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Zuckerberg's law has made it to the energy industry. In 2008, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the Web 2.0 Summit, “I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and the next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before.” Coming from the 24-year-old founder of a nascent startup, this claim might have seemed ridiculous. But it had a ring to it.
A savings of 13.2 percent or $86.63 annually could have been saved by consumers if they had participated in a “real-time pricing” program, says a new research report released by EDF. Ninety-seven percent of a sample of ComEd customers would have saved money if they had participated in a program in which power prices change hourly. EDF and the Citizens Utility Board analyzed anonymous energy-usage data from over 300,000 smart meters installed by ComEd.
National Grid plans to install a 48 MWh battery energy storage system on Nantucket, Massachusetts, to help address some of the island’s unique energy challenges. National Grid plans to install a new backup diesel generator on the island and augment with a 6 MW battery system from Tesla. Nantucket is experiencing strong electricity demand growth, but is dependent on two submarine cables the run to the mainland.
Itron signed a three-year contract extension with SMECO. Following a 10-year contract, Itron will continue to provide SMECO with a fully outsourced and pay-for-performance demand response solution that helps the cooperative ensure reliable power and lower rates for its members.
As the Trump administration throws its weight behind legacy power assets, states and utilities are busy building the grid of the future. The Department of Energy’s recent proposed rulemaking at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would provide cost recovery to merchant coal and nuclear plants that keep 90 days of fuel supply onsite. The plan would provide support to many of the oldest generators in the country and observers worry it would unravel wholesale markets if enacted.
As part of a sweeping grid modernization proposal, Rhode Island agencies are recommending that the state shift its utility regulation to a pay-for-performance model, build a “connected” distribution grid and take steps to improve the efficiency of the grid system. In March, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo directed the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to develop a “more dynamic” regulatory framework to foster a cleaner, less expensive and more reliable power system.
California utilities are well-ahead of the state's renewable portfolio standards — already the most aggressive in the nation — and by some accounts may be supplying 50 percent carbon-free energy a decade ahead of schedule, according to a new report from CPUC. As of this year, 43.2 percent of SDG&E’s energy supply comes from renewable resources; 32.9 percent for PG&E; and 28.2 percent for SCE.
When severe storms roar into a utility’s service territory, they often wreak havoc and then dissipate, enabling linemen to begin restoration. Hurricane Harvey, however, unleashed its wrath on electric utilities’ entire systems, inflicting unprecedented destruction. “Harvey proved to be unlike anything I have experienced in my 28 years in the utility business,” said Frank Shannon, line superintendent for Entergy Texas Inc. in Beaumont, Texas.