Xcel Energy Talks Ending Coal Use by 2030
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
In a major revamp of its plans, Xcel Energy proposed to up the timescale for coal retirement this week, allowing it to potentially cease the use of coal entirely by the end of 2030. This acceleration would be helped by moving the retirement of the 1,067 MW Texas Tolk Generating Station forward by more than four years to 2028 and the retirement of the Colorado-based Comanche 3 coal unit in 2030.
Salt River Project (SRP) in Arizona has signed contracts with Plus Power for two battery storage systems totaling 340 MW that are expected to be online early in the summer of 2024. The Sierra Estrella battery project will be a 250 MW, four-hour battery storage system in Avondale. The Superstition project is designed as a 90 MW, four-hour battery storage system in Gilbert.
CLEAResult, North America’s largest energy efficiency solutions provider, recently introduced its latest utility program innovation tool, CLEAResult ATLAS™ Qualify. This new validation service fills a needed gap for utilities by taking the leg work out of matching income-qualified households with the energy-saving opportunities most relevant to them.
National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), an IT organization that develops software and hardware solutions for its members, integrated Bidgely’s UtilityAI solution into its service platform to enhance customer experience and grid operations for utility cooperative members. Applying AI and machine learning techniques to smart meter data, Bidgely’s UtilityAI solution itemizes a household’s energy usage to the appliance level.
Rising energy costs will make it much more expensive to heat U.S. homes this winter. But homes with modern heat pumps will save a lot more money than the latest federal forecasts might lead you to believe. That’s the message that pro-electrification nonprofit Rewiring America is trying to get out in the wake of a dire winter fuels outlook released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration this month.
Approximately $4.5 billion in Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) funds will be dispatched to states, territories and Tribes this winter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help low heating costs for families. Managed by the Administration for Children and Families, in this case, the funds will help to subsidize home heating costs over the winter and cover unpaid utility bills to avoid shutoffs.
The dozen or so volunteers gathered in a small gymnasium in Brattleboro, Vermont, last Sunday were much more focused on the cold winter ahead than on the sunny fall afternoon. Fortified by homemade soup and hot coffee, the group was busily constructing pine-framed window inserts that will help keep local residents snug once the chill hits.
Following COVID-19 and the racial reckoning in the U.S. since the murder of George Floyd, electric utilities have faced growing calls to bolster their commitments to equity and to address issues of energy affordability. Advocates say the sector is still not doing enough to address years of lagging investment in low-income communities and to help customers of color struggling with unaffordable bills.