Solar plus storage got a big boost this week with $18 million in SunShot Initiative grants from the Department of Energy.While SunShot is striding briskly toward its goal of getting the cost of installed rooftop solar down to $1 per watt or 6 cents per kilowatt hour, the DOE is taking it one step farther now. Its new SHINES program, short for Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV, has a price target of 14 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s for fully integrated solar and storage solutions.
The Department of Energy (DOE), through the work of Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui, has awarded The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has received $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to install smart grid technologies that will make the SMUD grid more adaptable to adversity.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District has won a $600,000 matching grant from the Department of Energy to install technology that could protect the grid from hackers and other perils.Along with $600,000 from SMUD’s general fund, the utility will spend $1.2 million to improve the electrical grid’s resilience during disasters and protect it from cyberattacks.
More than five years after receiving a $200 million federal Smart Grid Investment Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for the acceleration of smart meter deployment and Intelligent Grid (IG) implementation, CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) continues to lead the nation in electric grid optimization. The company was one of only six utilities awarded the maximum grant amount by the DOE in 2009, with $150 million used toward smart meter deployment and the remaining $50 million toward implementation of the IG system.
“Through these advancements in smart grid technology, made possible in part by the Department of Energy, we have seen significant improvement in reliability, are able to provide better service to customers and improve air quality in our community,” said Kenny Mercado, senior vice president of Electric Operations for CenterPoint Energy. “This is a large step forward for CenterPoint Energy and will provide the basis for long-term advancements in how we operate our system.”
Scotland is undertaking numerous projects to utilize energy available within the country, and a commitment to geothermal energy is the latest in their sights. Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, is looking to explore Scotland’s geothermal capacity, and has launched a fund for help meet the needs of local communities. The department is providing £250,000 for the project (or a little more than $375,000).
The Department of Energy and the Federal Smart Grid Task Force released the final version of a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC) for smart grid data privacy on Monday, several hours after President Obama heralded the release of the VCC as part of his speech on privacy and cybersecurity at the Federal Trade Commission. The VCC is the result of a multi-year effort by the Department of Energy and the Federal Smart Grid Task Force to collaborate with industry stakeholders to develop a voluntary code of conduct that addresses smart grid privacy concerns. The VCC does not supersede any federal, state, or local laws or regulations. Instead, it serves as a set of “high level principles of conduct for both utilities and third parties.” The VCC does, however, contemplate that entities could adopt the VCC with “limited exceptions” where required by other laws or regulations.
Delta Products has launched a smart electric vehicle charging technology, targeting large-scale deployment of smart charging systems at low cost.
Project partners include the Department of Energy, DTE Energy, Mercedes Benz and kVA.
Energy management firm Energate said the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund will provide $1.35 million for a customer opt-in dynamic pricing project. The project is a collaboration with local distribution company PowerStream, was launched February 13, 2014 and will run until March 2016.
SafeConnect Solar, a company started by Mark Duda and Todd Georgopapadakos formerly of Revolusun, was awarded $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to test a prototype “smart box” designed to cut the costs of rooftop solar. The award was from the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, which aims to drive down the cost of solar electricity to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour.
In an effort to meet its ambitious goal of an 80% renewables share in the nation’s electricity demand by 2050, the German government launched a €157 million ($210 million) power grid funding initiative in August.
Some 300 academic and research centers and 400 companies signed up to take part in the program, which was jointly launched by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.