Meeting Consumer Expectations in a Data-Driven World
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Smart meter deployments have grown significantly over the past 10 years. According to a projection from The Institute for Electric Innovation, total smart meter deployments were expected to reach 76 meters by the end of 2017 (covering about 60 percent of U.S. households) and 90 million by 2020. With this expansion in Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), the amount of available energy data (particularly interval data) has similarly grown considerably.
Austin Energy has successfully petitioned Austin’s City Council to change the city’s code to allow third parties to own and operate EV stations and resell electric vehicle charging within their service territory. “It is a win-win that allows market competition for EV charging in our territory that enables more chargers and choice for our drivers and new commercial accounts for the utility all while supporting the city’s climate protection goals,” said Karl Popham, who heads up the utility’s electric vehicles and emerging technologies team.
Itron signed a new contract with Entergy, which serves about 2.9 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. As a part of the contract, Itron will expand Entergy’s network beyond what is planned in support of their AMI to support 33,000 distribution automation (DA) endpoints. Entergy's network expansion for DA will build on its existing Itron Gen5 network, which the utility is deploying to enable two-way meter communications and near real-time telemetry to support AMI applications.
National Grid announced Thursday morning the launch of a new venture capital and innovation group based in Silicon Valley, calling it the industry's first “innovation, incubation, investment and business development unit.” In its announcement, National Grid said its initial round of funding reflects the group's investment focus, “ensuring that consumers enjoy a more seamless, reliable, efficient and cleaner energy experience.”
A study by the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute found that natural gas, wind and solar energy are the cheapest sources of new electricity generation. Shifting market conditions, a new policy environment, and other factors affecting the cost of electricity generation in counties across the United States have contributed to this trend, according to the Energy Institute’s paper, “New U.S. Power Costs: by County, with Environmental Externalities.”
The price of lithium-ion batteries is declining faster than anticipated, causing Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) to significantly increase its forecast for global deployment energy storage, both behind-the-meter and grid-scale. BNEF now believes the global energy storage market, which excludes pumped hydro, will grow to a cumulative 942 GW by 2040, “attracting $1.2 trillion in investment over the next 22 years.”
Smart meters are becoming increasingly prevalent in all areas of the country, according to a new report from FERC that assesses demand response and advanced metering. FERC cited EIA data that found out of the 151.3 million total meters that were operational across the country in 2016, 70.8 million or 46.8 percent were advanced meters.
The U.S. wind industry installed 612 MW of new wind power capacity during the third quarter of 2018, a 15 percent increase in installations over the third quarter of 2017, AWEA said in a new report released in late October. Year-to-date the industry has commissioned 1,644 MW of wind power capacity, AWEA’s “U.S. Wind Industry Third Quarter 2018 Market Report” reported. The report said that a total of 11 new wind projects were commissioned across seven states during the third quarter.