Updated: 2 hours 41 min ago
The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTD) has awarded a feasibility study grant to Solafrica Photovoltaic Energy (Solafrica) to support the development of a 100 megawatt (MW) concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. The U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance (US-ACEF) Initiative is funding the study.
The United States has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Columbia to develop a Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean competition. The Solar Decathlon competition was first launched by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in 2002 to challenge universities to design and build affordable, innovative, and energy-efficient solar-powered homes.
Solar finance company Clean Power Finance (CPF) has selected Itron’s solar monitoring solution as the preferred metering solution for residential solar installations across North America. The deal calls for CPF to use Itron’s technology to monitor and sub meter the energy production of the residential solar systems CPF manages on behalf of investors.
The Hawaiian Electric Company is set to start the deployment of smart grid technologies to its Oahu customers, including wireless communications relays, sensors to improve outage detection, automated system controls to improve outage restoration, and advanced meters. The installation is phase one of a plan to develop smart grids across Oahu and on Hawaii Island by 2018. The plan for full implementation will require Public Utilities Commission approval.
Referring to the recent EU Energy Council in Brussels, Energy Secretary Edward Davey observed that climate policy had had minimal impact on energy prices across Europe. Davey reports, “I argued that the EU could best enhance competitiveness in Europe by completing the internal energy market, investing in research, rationalizing the EU’s approach to State aid, developing indigenous supplies, and concluding an energy chapter to the EU-US free trade agreement.”
ComEd has announced an accelerated timetable for deploying smart meters and intends to file a request with the Illinois Commerce Commission to complete the installation of more than four million smart meters by 2018, which would be three years ahead of the currently scheduled 2021. If approved, the accelerated program would also increase the number of smart meters installed in 2014 from 160,000 to 500,000.
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has selected Silver Spring Networks for North America’s largest networked street light deployment to date. The utility plans to deploy Silver Spring’s wireless IPv6 mesh networking technology and management and control software to connect and control 75,000 street lights in Miami-Dade County.
Gaz reseau Distribution France (GrDF) has announced tech company Sagemcom will be the primary supplier of equipment for the entire gas metering value chain in France. In addition, GrDF has selected Itron as a main supplier of Gazpar smart gas meters for its smart gas meter project. The deal calls for Itron to supply up to 3.7 million smart gas meters with integrated radios between 2016 and 2022. The smart meters to be used will be manufactured in France.
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has published new efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. Experts anticipate the new standards will help cut carbon pollution by about 142 million metric tons – equivalent to the annual electricity use of 14.3 million U.S. homes – and save businesses up to $11.7 billion on their energy bills over the next three decades.
The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) has recently launched today the third offshore transmission owner (OFTO) tender round for the high voltage transmission links of two offshore wind farms—Westermost Rough and Humber Gateway—that are located in the North Sea off the coast of Yorkshire.
Ericsson will provide Italgas a smart meter solution for its industrial users in what will be the first advanced meter management and reading system for Italy’s gas market. Ericsson’s solution is designed to gather data from gas meters and transfer it to Italgas’ internal IT environment. It also allows for event collection, command handling, network configuration, and real-time monitoring of multivendor gas smart meters from remotely.
Electronic Design and Manufacturing International has contracted with Arqiva to provide the communications hub for a portion of the smart meter rollout across Scotland and Northern England. The deployment is scheduled to install 53 million meters in 30 million homes and small businesses throughout Great Britain by 2020.
The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) has extended their partnership with Sensus by signing a new, three-year channel collaboration. Through the deal, Sensus smart grid technologies, including the FlexNet advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system, smart meters, automation control, and demand response solutions will be offered to NRTC rural electric co-op members across the United States.
UK Power Networks is collaborating with POD Point, Smarter Grid Solutions, and Imperial College London on the Low Carbon London trial, a new system for charging electric vehicles designed to prepare the city for the widespread use of electric vehicles. Specifically, smart systems are necessary to keep the extra power demand from overloading the electricity system.
A new report by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) found both the energy industry and public support smart meters but believe the benefits of the device need to be communicated clearly and challenges such as misuse of data and concerns over utilities remotely controlling home appliances also need to be addressed.