Xcel, Duke Unveil EV Investments
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
South Carolina and Minnesota are not typically considered hotbeds of interest for EVs, but customers will soon have more opportunities to consider them as local utilities have announced a combined $35 million in investment aimed at jump-starting the market. The bulk of that will be in Minnesota, where Xcel Energy has filed a proposal with state regulators to invest $25 million to increase access to EVs through home and public charging and the development of EV fleets.
Enervee has launched Version 2 of its consumer-facing energy scoring system –the Enervee Score. Used by utilities including PG&E, Con Edison and SCE, the Enervee Score is part of Enervee's IDEAL Customer Platform. The Enervee Score delivers market transparency when it comes to energy, enabling consumers for the first time to easily choose the most efficient product and appliances via a 0-100 energy efficiency index applied to every product.
ACEEE released the latest edition of its State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which found that investments in energy efficiency measures continue to grow as states and electric utilities work to reach clean energy goals. In 2017 total spending for electricity efficiency programs was roughly $6.6 billion.
SCE has selected esVolta to develop, build and operate four energy storage projects totaling 38.5 MWh in Riverside and Ventura counties. The projects, which are pending approval by the CPUC, include the Wildcat Energy Storage project (3 MW/12 MWh) near Palm Springs and the three Acorn Energy Storage projects (total combined capacity of 6.5 MW/26.5 MWh) in Thousand Oaks.
Many of us don't spend much time thinking about how energy efficiency helps ensure our appliances aren't wasting energy and that keeping our showers warm doesn't cause our energy bills to soar. Modern technology ensures we usually don't have to think about these things. However, many families feel the pinch once the monthly utility bills arrive, and one in five households reduce or forego necessities to afford those energy payments.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced $40 million in funding for solar projects that integrate solar storage. The NY-Sun program will make the funds available in early November. The funding will support the deployment of at least 50 MW of energy storage paired with solar. The program also aims to reduce barriers to the deployment of the technology associated with customer acquisition, siting and interconnection.
The future of electricity ratemaking will give individual customers more control of their own utility bills. Maybe much more. Policymakers are already designing and deploying time- and location-based price signals to customers to guide usage. More ambitious plans would incentivize utility performance that meets customer demand. But a cutting-edge proposal offers a complete paradigm shift.
Data privacy is bubbling up across markets as a major issue to be faced. The DataGuard initiative is aiming to be a source of support for utilities. When widespread furor erupted over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s unauthorized uses of sensitive customer data, CEO Daniel Roesler was not surprised. His company UtilityAPI provides a service to manage data sharing of energy usage/savings for homes and businesses on behalf of solar, storage, energy efficiency companies and utilities.