March 20: Can Smart Tech Shape Rate Design and Drive Consumer Savings?

March 20

Can Smart Tech Shape Rate Design and Drive Consumer Savings?

Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.

Member News

As utilities modernize their grids, most overlook the lowest hanging fruit in terms of customer benefits — smart thermostats. While smart meters provide customers new information regarding their overall usage, smart thermostats provide actual savings by helping people to stop cooling and heating empty homes. Moreover, as utilities move toward time-of-use (TOU) rates and emphasize demand response programs, smart thermostats do the work for customers to ensure they save money.

The Tennessee Valley Authority on March 13 issued a request for proposals for up to 200 megawatts of renewable energy that can be brought online by the end of 2023. TVA said it is interested in procuring up to 200 MW of new stand-alone renewable energy resources or renewable energy plus battery energy storage systems, including all the associated environmental attributes. All resources must be located in the TVA service territory or delivered to TVA’s interface with neighboring transmission systems.

Major utilities across the country last week halted service disconnections and implemented flexible payment plans to assist customers in dealing with the spread of coronavirus and its economic impacts. Utilities across the nation are working "working with their communities and their regulators to identify ways to assist customers during this health emergency," Edison Electric Institute (EEI) spokesman Brian Reil told Utility Dive. Duke Energy, American Electric Power, Southern California Edison and other investor-owned utilities voluntarily suspended disconnections.

The Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative is working to change the relationship between energy companies and their customers. In this episode of the Daily Energy Insider Podcast, SECC’s Deputy Director Nathan Shannon discusses SECC’s history, key insights on consumers’ needs and wants for 2020, the significance of SECC’s 10th anniversary, what’s driving customer-centric innovation in the energy industry and much more.

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Industry News

The U.S. offshore wind industry is developing 30,000 MW of offshore wind along the East Coast that will have a significant economic impact. A new report by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) called the U.S. Offshore Wind Power Economic Impact Assessment says offshore wind could support 83,000 jobs and deliver $25 billion in annual economic output by 2030. “Offshore wind is key to the future of clean energy development in the U.S. and will add to a thriving wind power industry that already represents the largest source of renewable energy in the country,” AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said.

Solar topped natural gas and wind to claim a record share of new U.S. electric generating capacity last year, at nearly 40 percent of the market, boosted by a vibrant residential sector that looks healthier than it has in years — at least before COVID-19 hit. 2019 was a landmark year for the American power sector on several fronts. Wind crossed the 100-gigawatt threshold, and it overtook hydroelectric plants in total electricity generated. But solar stole the show, with four out of every 10 megawatts of capacity built last year represented by a PV panel.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 13 revealed details of 21 large-scale solar, wind and storage projects that will bring 1,278 MW of capacity and more than $2.5 billion in direct, private investments to the upstate region. The resources will be constructed by eight different developers. The projects were selected by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as part of its annual procurement to meet the state's Clean Energy Standard commitment to supply 70 percent renewable energy by 2030.

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority in Southern California plans to be the first public transit agency in the United States to operate a 100 percent battery-electric bus fleet. Today, AVTA operates 49 e-buses from Chinese bus manufacturer BYD, with 36 more e-buses to be delivered by the end of 2020, allowing the agency to meet its zero-emission fleet target. AVTA is also planning to install a microgrid at its bus depot.


March 20: Can Smart Tech Shape Rate Design and Drive Consumer Savings?