Reminders

Smart Grid / Smart Energy

Archives for October 2009 « Recent Articles

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Commercial and Industrial (C&I) companies with on-site backup generators have always been great candidates for demand response (DR) programs because of their ability to switch to backup power and reduce load on the electricity network without actually curtailing their own consumption. This results in a lower burden to DR program participants with customer-sited gensets compared with others who must curtail their electricity use when called upon. Sites with backup generators can also take their full load


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Take 400 applications, 200 reviewers, 5 months, $3.4 billion, one Secretary of Energy and bang!  100 utilities are off to the races. This afternoon the DOE announced the awardees that were eligible for the $3.4 billion in ARRA 2009 smart grid investment grants as defined by Section 1306 of the 2007 EISA. It is worth noting that the $615m in smart grid demonstration project grants (Section 1304 of EISA) are yet to be awarded.  So what's the net-net?   100 applications were approved to receive


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Smart Grid Investment Grant Winners and Losers

By Rick Nicholson – 8 Comments

I was standing in the front of a conference room packed with attendees from the APPA Customer Connections event today when the U.S. DOE released its list of Smart Grid Investment Grant recipients.  You can only imagine the number of mobile phones and Blackberries being consulted for the results.  There were cheers and applause as some attendees found out that their smart grid wishes had been granted.  Those whose proposals weren't selected stayed quiet.  There emerged a clear dividing li


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Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Going Commercial

By Nadav Enbar

The allure of next generation (aka "third generation" or "3G") PV technologies is their potential to deliver low cost, high efficiency solar cells capable of being used in a host of new market applications such as building facades and apparel. R&D advances in 3G have been incrementally achieved in the laboratory, though commercialization is still, in large part, far off. Dye sensitized thin film solar cells appear to be a notable exception, however. In mid-October, Cardiff, U.K.-based G24 Innovations (G


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Utilities Experiment with Social Media

By Rick Nicholson – 2 Comments

Despite the fact that utilities have never been early adopters of new technology, it has been interesting to note that some U.S. utilities have begun experimenting with social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.  Maybe it's because, unlike a new customer information system or even a new consumer web portal, these tools require relatively little up front investment.  Maybe the utilities have been caught up in the buzz surrounding the smart grid – although I'm not sure that social


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Why Smart Grids Are Different in Europe and the U.S.

By Roberta Bigliani

Let's compare the smart grid definition given in Europe by Eurelectic and the one adopted by the U.S. Department of Energy. The first says: "A smart grid is an electric network that can intelligently integrate the behavior and actions of all users connected to it — generators, consumers, and those that do both — in order to efficiently ensure sustainable, economic, and secure electricity supply."


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Enel Makes its Smart Meters "Open Source"

By Roberta Bigliani

Enel, announced its decision to make its proprietary power line communication protocol (SITRED) open to the market.


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US Offshore Wind Project to Debut in 2010?

By Nadav Enbar

It's a little contested claim: offshore wind energy has the vast potential to satisfy state- and potentially federal-level clean energy mandates in the form of renewable portfolio standards and GHG reduction mandates. An oft-cited Department of Interior report completed in 2006 estimates that wind energy on the US Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has the potential to generate some 900,000 MW of power -- roughly equal to current US total installed electrical capacity. Meanwhile, a 2007 study out of the Universi



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