National Grid is launching its ConnectedSolutions platform, allowing customers to connect and manage their smart thermostats and other home devices to improve energy savings and comfort while allowing National Grid to alleviate peak load demand.
The energy platform will allow customers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to conveniently reduce energy use in the summer, when energy demand is high, reducing energy use during periods of peak demand (reducing regional energy costs), protecting the environment by lowering emissions, and supporting state and local energy initiatives.
Source: National Grid adopts IoT-centric approach to energy management – SmartGridNews
“Going off the grid” was once an expression that brought to mind hippies, survivalists and others on the fringes of society looking for a life without the intrusions of government and big business.
Today, though, advances in technology and concerns with the age and condition of the nation’s electrical production and distribution network are making it increasingly popular to avoid “the grid” through the growing use of renewable energy sources such as the sun and wind, even in government and big business.
Source: No more grid-lock: More turning to renewable energy sources for power
Within the fast-growing solar-energy market, solar-inverter suppliers must keep pace with electronic technology advances in order to deliver more efficient and reliable parts at a lower cost. Inverter efficiency indicates the percentage of the available solar power that’s actually converted by the inverter and fed into the utility grid; some smart inverters reach a total efficiency of 98%. To achieve high efficiency, it’s important to design the inverters using the most reliable components from power semiconductors (MOSFETs and/or IGBTs), capacitors (electrolytic capacitors, high-capacity film capacitors), transformers, cooling systems, etc.
Source: Is the Electrical Grid Keeping Up with Smart Solar Inverters? | Power content from Electronic Design
While cost-effective advanced energy storage technologies are providing utilities and grid operators new tools to improve system reliability and lower costs, these systems also present risks as relatively new technologies are integrated into existing networks.
Source: Maturing: Utilities transforming energy storage from threat to opportunity – SmartGridNews
You’ve heard the expression “you’re only as smart as the company you keep,” well the same could be said for the solar panels you put on your roof.When their job was simply to generate electricity for your home – or to send it to the grid, if your home had no use for the electricity – they didn’t need to be terribly clever. But with battery storage becoming an affordable – and economically sensible – option for more and more solar households, it becomes more complicated.
Source: You’ve installed solar and battery storage. But is that smart? | One Step Off The Grid
As installation costs continue to decline and retail electricity rates climb, residential solar economics have become increasingly more attractive across the United States. In fact, according to GTM Research, 20 U.S. states are currently at grid parity, and 42 states are expected to reach that milestone by 2020 under business-as-usual conditions.Residential solar reaches grid parity when the levelized cost of solar energy falls below gross electricity bill savings in the first year of a solar PV system’s life. While traditional grid parity analyses rely on average retail electricity rates to calculate customer savings, GTM Research used utility and state-specific rate design, system production and installation costs to more accurately gauge solar’s attractiveness.
Source: Business as usual: 20 states at solar grid parity – SmartGridNews
Integrating – not just adding distributed energy resources – is the key to strengthening the new grid. That realization is what led to the Duke Energy microgrid test bed, created with the help of an intriguingly named ‘Coalition of the Willing.’ The impetus for the project goes back to a few years ago, when the utility saw the explosive growth in distributed energy resources — especially in Hawaii and California. “We saw there would be issues if we didn’t have a plan to interconnect the resources and fully
Source: Playing Nice: What the Duke Energy Microgrid Test Bed Teaches
The Internet of Things can seem more like concept and theory than hard, incontrovertible fact at times, but recent research might suggest that the IoT is approaching a breaking point that could see connectivity become a defining point in the lives of urban residents everywhere.According to a recent report conducted by Gartner, the Internet of Things is set to see a marked increase in not only the number of connected devices but also in the ways municipal organizations leverage them. In particular, Garner estimated that in 2016, smart cities could see a rise of 39 percent in the number of IoT-enabled devices connected to the wider grid, which would bring the overall figure up to 1.6 billion.
Source: Gartner Goes Big On IoT | PYMNTS.com
Energy storage is the key enabler for extending the penetration of renewable resources into the energy mix. Scenarios include storage for distributed rooftop systems, utility-scale storage for grid regulation and management, and long-term storage of seasonal, intermittent energy resources. Correctly evaluating and deploying storage systems will become increasingly important for utilities of all types as they move to integrate higher percentages of renewable power into their portfolios.
Source: 5th Energy Storage Virtual Summit 2015