Community News and Information
Updated: 1 day 6 hours ago
Lessons from the field: Progress in integrating distributed energy (and creating virtual power plants)
The EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative, a seven-year program of field demonstrations concentrating on integrating distributed energy resources, has been making real progress. Click to read some highlights from the latest EPRI update and for access to the full version.
This week’s collection of smart grid wins features news from companies large and small, well-known and not so well-known. Read the story for an overview of an array of projects in addition to two new partnerships for Riello UPS and Itron.
New York City is at it again. The city has committed to a massive retrofit of the city’s public buildings to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. The city says it expects $8.5 billion in cumulative energy cost savings over 10 years.
A bill recently introduced in Congress would extend the production tax credit for wind power and provide the solar industry with the same access to credits at the beginning of project construction. Electric utilities will want to keep an eye on this one because it could affect their plans for future grid upgrades. Click for details on the legislation.
In a way, the smart cities initiative is repeating smart grid history. A recent survey found that very few people had heard the term smart cities. While roughly half of electricity customers are aware of the term smart grid, it has taken considerable time and effort to get to that point. Cities that want to become “smart” face a similar challenge.
Utility executives who think solar won’t be cost-competitive in their area anytime soon may choose to re-think that assumption. Three new reports from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory confirm that the price of electricity from large-scale solar projects has dropped dramatically over the past few years, and so has the cost of rooftop solar installations.
Two Nevada fire chiefs believe smart meters were related to a series of residential fires in their jurisdictions. While NV Energy, which installed the meters, says a state fire marshal’s investigation already found the meters were not a fire hazard, the fire chiefs are calling for the state PUC to conduct its own investigation. Click for details.
There seems to be a steady flow of technologies appropriate for the smart grid sector market. Read about Idaho Power’s new renewables integration tool designed to help grid operators use wind power more effectively, Oracle’s new offering to help utilities reach greater operational efficiency and more new releases in solar tech and asset reliability management.
Smart Grid News recently shared comments from an analyst who said there is plenty of evidence that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan could lower electric bills. So it seems only fair to share an interesting perspective that comes to a different conclusion: that retail power prices in coal-dependent states could rise.
Industry events and conferences can help you stay on top of industry trends and technologies and make important contacts. Our calendar is loaded with upcoming events, with links for further details. And be sure to jump to page 2, where you can see the conferences Smart Grid News Chief Analyst Jesse Berst will be attending.
Some utilities think of microgrids as a threat, although they very well could be a new business opportunity and one of the ways electric service providers help ensure themselves of a sustainable future. Read the story to learn about the approach Central Hudson Gas & Electric is proposing and why.
Cap and trade may at first glance seem to have nothing to do with the smart grid, but it would have a profound impact on renewables integration, energy efficiency and more if enacted. While no action is expected from Congress, states could take up cap and trade to help them deal with the new EPA rules on power plant emissions reductions.
Utilities have found some supportive (if unexpected) allies in organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund. Now, a former critic argues that utilities won’t, and shouldn’t, go away. They just need a better business model. Click for details.
Join IBM for a FierceLive! Webinar on Sept. 30th to learn how to efficiently test scalability and to prepare the back office for the mobility and data explosion while keeping customers satisfied within your generation and delivery network.
The move toward improved grid resiliency and reliability depends to a large degree on effective communications with workers in the field. And that of course means ensuring mobile networks are flexible enough to anticipate and accommodate changes in the business environment. Guest author Lee Johnson explains why flexibility is so important and shares thoughts on how to achieve it.
Testing is as important for smart meters as it is for any other device. And of course it is best to ensure that those meters are as defect-free as possible and capable of functioning as intended BEFORE they are installed at customers’ homes. Click to read valuable tips about advance testing that will help ensure a trouble-free operation.
The EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative is a seven-year collaborative research effort focused on design, implementation, and assessment of field demonstrations to address prevalent challenges with integrating distributed energy resources in grid and market operations to create a “Virtual Power Plant.” This newsletter provides periodic updates on projects, relevant industry news, and events.
It’s an old idea, the concept of using a fleet of water heaters for energy storage. But with the help of new technology, demonstration projects are proving that water heaters (and space heaters) can be an effective element in grid-scale energy storage strategies.
It’s a big week for smart grid wins. Read about Elster’s smart meter contract with ERDF in France, a massive transmission network upgrade for Sertex Utility Services, Duke Energy’s major expansion of solar power and more projects.
Silver Spring Networks showcased its successful multi-application, IPv6-based smart street light and smart city solutions recently. That’s not the entire story though. It also is a perfect reminder that utilities should be preparing for the added responsibilities they will have when cities that want to become smart cities ask them to pitch in.