ComEd Cites Major Reliability Improvements
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
According to new metrics released by ComEd last week, efforts to improve the power grid in northern Illinois through smart grid technology yielded an 82 percent improvement in overall reliability compared to when improvements began in 2011. In just over a decade since, the company claimed its efforts have helped customers avoid more than 18.8 million outages and avoid more than $3 billion in affiliated costs.
Recurve, the open-source platform that enables planning, procurement and demand flexibility for virtual power plants, and ev.energy proved the power of load-shifting programs with partner MCE, helping Bay Area EV drivers reduce charging usage by 5 MWh during California’s September heat wave. This is equivalent to the average daily energy usage for almost 300 households.
As climate change threatens more grid disruptions, businesses and nonprofits are seeking backup systems that can provide power during outages. This year, Xcel Energy has been installing community resiliency systems with three microgrids at Minneapolis nonprofits that allow them to generate and store electricity.
CLEAResult’s proposed EV charging project received a $2 million grant from the California Energy Commission to help speed up affordable access to EV infrastructure in the state. The multifamily project will deploy at least 100 Level 2 EV charging ports to serve 300 multifamily households and leverage CLEAResult’s experience delivering EV charging projects with utilities and CCAs across the country.
Can electric buses become batteries on wheels, ready to back up public buildings during wildfires, heat waves and other grid emergencies? A new project in Oakland, California intends to find out. It’s called the V2B Oakland project, and it’s backed by $3.2 million in California Energy Commission funding, another $400,000 in matching funds from nonprofit West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project and regional transit operator AC Transit, and contributions from a long list of technology partners.
The New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and its partner National Grid recently announced 21 new community solar projects throughout the state. The projects were selected as part of the first round of the Expanded Solar for All community solar program. These 21 projects will provide more than 120 MW of clean energy for underserved communities in the state.
Americans want their electricity to be cheap, clean and reliable, but that trifecta is becoming more elusive, thanks to climate change. According to a 2021 report by the nonprofit research organization Climate Central, more than 80 percent of reported major outages across the U.S. from 2000 through 2021 were caused by weather extremes, such as heat waves, wildfires and tropical storms.
Australia will build the world’s biggest contracted battery to help position the country to shut down its biggest coal plant. Newcomer energy storage developer Akaysha Energy won the contract this week to build it. The startup will deliver an 850-megawatt/1,680-megawatt-hour behemoth called the Waratah Super Battery in New South Wales.