Ameren to Build Solar and Storage Facilities
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Ameren Missouri has announced plans to build three solar and storage facilities to power customers by daylight, save additional energy, and use those savings to continue powering through the night and during extended outages. The facilities should cost around $68 million and consist of large solar energy generation facilities connected to battery storage — the first of their kind in Missouri. The investments are part of the company’s Smart Energy Plan, and the notion has been filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission.
Home Energy Reports (HERs) are the staple of most successful behavioral energy efficiency (BEE) programs. Since their launch in 2008, HERs are renowned for educating customers about their energy use while reaping cost-effective energy savings for utilities. And although many features of the HER can seem comparable at first glance, not all HERs are created equal. Each utility faces its own unique set of program goals, customer preferences and regulatory challenges.
Fort Collins Utilities has selected Advanced Control Systems as its core supplier for an advanced distribution management platform. The project is part of the utility's digital transformation initiative which is expected to help Fort Collins to prepare itself for future business models and to be able to meet changing consumer demands. The energy provider is seeking to increase the resiliency of its grid network.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors recently approved a 20-year integrated resource plan that would add up to 14 GW of new solar capacity by 2038. The board determined “more simple cycle gas units” are likely needed to “follow the variable loads that will be created by renewable energy additions”, Scott Brooks, TVA spokesperson, told Utility Dive in an email.
Sure, small-scale batteries in homes and businesses can link up and deliver veritable megawatts of capacity. But there’s nothing like the sheer adrenaline rush of stacks and stacks of lithium-ion cells packed into climate-controlled boxes and blasting electrons faster than a coal plant operator can say “secular decline.” So who’s got the biggest battery?
A partnership between the state of Maine and the Efficiency Maine Trust launched the new Electric Vehicle Accelerator Program recently, which aims to incentivize people to turn electric through vehicle rebates. The program has at its disposal $5.1 million, acquired through a settlement with Volkswagen over violating state environmental laws and emissions. The state now intends to pass those funds onto the public with rebates on plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles of between $1,000 and $2,000.
Sunrun won another big deal to deliver residential solar-battery systems at grid scale, this one fine-tuned to serve utility Hawaiian Electric's unique island grids. Sunrun recently announced that it has pledged to install up to 1,000 of its Brightbox home solar-battery systems on the island of Oahu by 2024.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order recently directing state regulators to lay out a plan to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040. Eight other states and the District of Columbia have taken legislative or executive action toward 100 percent clean energy in the past few years. While environmental advocates and state lawmakers were overall pleased with the directive, they said more concrete action would be needed to get the state to those goals.