Commonwealth Edison and a group of partners yesterday set out to make Illinois’ newest power plant a virtual one that will be attached to the walls of more than one-fourth of the electric utility’s 3.8 million customers in and around Chicago.But instead of generating electrons, the mission of deploying 1 million tiny devices is to avoid them.ComEd, Chicago-area gas utilities along with smart thermostat markers Nest Labs Inc., ecobee and other partners crafted a program with the goal of putting 1 million thermostats in northern Illinois homes by 2020 by offering rebates that cut the cost in half.
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), the third largest electric utility in the United States, is reportedly making “excellent” progress on plans for three new large-scale solar energy centers, the utility reported as part of the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) annual Ten-Year Site Plan workshop.
Verizon recently announced its Grid Wide Utility Solutions, a new Internet of Things platform service that is designed to offer utility companies an easy on-ramp to grid modernization. Available in the U.S., Grid Wide is intended to offer electric utility companies an integrated solution for smart metering, demand response, meter data management and distribution monitoring and control.
Mike Ito would just as soon forget 2014. The marketing director for Honolulu’s Alternate Energy rode the huge boom in Hawaii’s rooftop solar installations as customers cashed in on the state’s 35 percent tax credit. But then the electric utility, Hawaii Electric Company (HECO), pulled the plug on many of his customers, refusing to authorize installation. As a result, he had to personally fire 30 solar installers and “let down their families.”
Call it the grid wars. Ito and his company are among the most severe casualties of the growing conflict between the rooftop solar industry and the big electric utilities, which have enjoyed monopolies for a hundred years.
Hawai‘i is seeing a dramatic shift to renewable energy resources driven by electric bills that cost roughly double the national average. On March 25 to 27, the County of Maui in partnership with Maui Economic Development Board will hold the second Maui Energy Conference and Exhibition amid this revolution to examine how consumers see the electric utility. The conference will take place at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and is expected to attract businesses throughout the state and nation.
Today the Wi-SUN Alliance announced the addition of the Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University and Purdue University to the Alliance as Contributor Members.
Wi-SUN technology is an essential part of Smart Utility Networks around the world. The smart grid promises a dramatic transformation of the world’s electricity infrastructure. Smart grid deployment has been taking place at a rapid pace for the electric utility industry. Over 300 million smart meters have been deployed worldwide, with more than 50 million in North America.
3M New Ventures, a part of 3M Company (MMM – Analyst Report), recently obtained equity stake in Canadian company Smart Energy Instruments (SEI). The financing by 3M New Ventures was accompanied by several existing stakeholders increasing their equity in SEI as well, taking the total financing to $5 million.
SEI develops electronic chipsets with high-precision, real-time monitoring capabilities for smart grids. This stake will bolster 3M’s relevance in the energy sector. SEI’s innovative technology is likely to strengthen 3M’s leadership in this sector and enable the development of innovative solutions for utilities and electrical equipment manufacturers. As per research estimates, electric utility spending in asset management and condition monitoring systems globally is expected to be $50 billion by 2023.
To speed adoption by utilities, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) has released a roadmap for a long-term, coordinated effort to further drive the development of electric vehicle (EV) technologies in the electric transportation market written by utility fleet directors from across the country.
“Transportation Electrification: Utility Fleets Leading the Charge” focuses on the electric power industry’s effort to accelerate the expansion of electric transportation in commercial and retail markets, beginning with electric utility fleets — encouraging investor-owned electric utilities to meet an industry-wide goal to spend at least five percent of annual fleet acquisition budgets on PEVs and plug-in technologies.
Silicon Valley Power (SVP), the City of Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility, has earned the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2014 Public Power Wind Award for its innovation and creative utilization of wind power resources.
Instead of regularly utilizing hydro-generated power to serve day-to-day needs, SVP has access to as much as 200 MW of wind energy. Using that power when it is available allows SVP to preserve water levels at its hydroelectric reservoirs for use when electricity demand spikes during heat waves.
Luke Air Force Base (AFB) and Arizona’s largest electric utility provider, Arizona Public Service (APS), are partnering on a new solar power plant to be built on 100 acres of land located on the AFB.
APS is leasing the land from Luke AFB as part of an energy Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) — a partnership between the Air Force and public entities to encourage the development of renewable energy, helping the Air Force to save money while meeting congressionally established Air Force goals. APS will lease the land from Luke AFB for $6 million over 30 years.