Duke Sets Sights on Net-Zero Carbon
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Duke Energy is speeding up its effort to reduce climate change with a new goal to cut carbon emissions from electricity generation to net-zero by 2050. Most Americans are concerned about climate change and want it to be a priority, and Duke Energy's customers want cleaner energy. The company has been reducing carbon emissions for more than a decade and recently announced the new target.
Illinois’ largest electric utility is trying a new approach to its energy efficiency programs for low- and moderate-income customers: working with community action agencies. ComEd has long worked with outside organizations to administer its efficiency programs. But when those programs expanded under the Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016, ComEd partnered with a California startup that links community action agencies directly to the utility.
Georgia Power opened a national first this week when it launched the Curiosity Lab – a 1.5-mile intelligent mobility and smart city lab – in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. The living lab will grant users access to Georgia Power’s automation solutions and experts linked to their latest smart energy technologies and solutions. Testing can be conducted on-site under the auspices of smart lighting, cameras, and an interconnected web of 5G and Internet of Things. Georgia Power intends the site to provide real-world vehicular and pedestrian traffic interaction.
Sacramento’s municipal utility will use blockchain software to track rewards for customers who charge with solar power. The city of Sacramento is preparing to test a hyperlocal electric vehicle charging program that will use a Chicago company’s blockchain software to track customer rewards. The pilot project will offer blockchain-based “tokens” for charging vehicles when there’s a surplus of solar power on the local grid.
The pipeline for new utility-scale solar energy projects in the United States has reached its highest level ever, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. The report — published by Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) — says the contracted pipeline for utility-scale projects has grown to a record 37.9 GW. Utility solar project announcements surged to 11.2 GW in the first half of 2019, with 6.2 GW contracted in the second quarter alone.
Sunrun has formed a partnership with Open Access Technology International (OATI) to deploy 1,000 distributed solar-plus-storage systems in Oahu, to inject 4.3 MW of capacity and fast frequency service into Hawaii Electric Company's (HECO) grid, Sunrun announced earlier this month. OATI and Sunrun will begin service of this virtual power plant in 2020, tapping behind-the-meter systems to respond to spikes in HECO's demand for the next four years.
The U.S. wind market will add 14.6 GW of capacity in 2020, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest North America wind power outlook. The record-setting mark underlines the strength of the 23 GW pipeline Wood Mackenzie has identified as currently under construction or contracted for commercial operation in 2020, the consulting firm said recently. The phase out of the Production Tax Credit beginning in 2021 has developers rushing to complete projects in 2020, driving major bottlenecks in both logistics and interconnection queues.
The growth of the global energy storage market is creating one headline after another, as analysis after analysis predicts new heights of investments and deployments. Coupled with falling technology costs, particularly for lithium-ion batteries, energy storage is expected to play a key part in the global transition toward a more sustainable and reliable power grid.