Smart Grid / Smart Energy

Archives for August 2009 « Recent Articles

Photo of Sam JaffeOffline

For months, the energy community has awaited a new feed-in tariff (FIT) to be introduced by California's Public Utilities Commission. The state's previous FIT was unsuccessful because it priced solar electricity according to the market price referent (around 10 cents per kWh). That price was far too low for solar producers and resulted in almost no new solar projects. Finally, on Thursday, the CPUC introduced its new FIT, only to present a plan that isn't a FIT at all.

Photo of Jill FeblowitzOffline

A Tale of Two States: Smart Grid in NY and MA

By Jill Feblowitz

Probably the most important aspect of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for smart grids is the requirement for matching funds.  Utilities will need to seek approval from regulators to cover 50% of the costs through rate recovery or other means.  Perhaps the biggest question these days is how the Department of Energy (DOE) will view applications that have not received full state regulatory approval.  NY and MA have taken different approaches.  

Photo of Rick NicholsonOffline

Top 25 Most Intelligent Utilities

By Rick Nicholson – 4 Comments

Welcome to the inaugural UtiliQ ranking of U.S. electric utilities-a list of the top 25 most intelligent utilities based on a detailed analysis by IDC Energy Insights and Intelligent Utility magazine. We developed this ranking in response to a number of issues and challenges in the rapidly evolving electric utility industry. First, we wanted to separate the smart grid hype from reality. As we have learned over the years, press releases alone do not make a company more intelligent. And becoming a more intell

Photo of Sam JaffeOffline

A Facelift for Small Hydro

By Sam Jaffe

Of the renewable energy options, hydroelectricity gets little notice. That's partially because it's an old technology: most plants were built decades ago. It's also because most people think of fish-killing mega-dams when they think of hydro at all. In fact, the vast majority of hydro assets in the U.S. are small in size--there are more than a thousand plants between 5 and 30 MW. That aging fleet continues to perform, albeit often at degraded levels thanks to the age of the equipment involved. General Elect

Photo of Rick NicholsonOffline

Xcel Energy's SmartGridCity project in Boulder, CO has become the leading poster child for the smart grid.  Progress to date includes deploying smart meters and broadband communications (using BPL technology) to approximately 15,000 customers.  The next phase is expected to include a range of "beyond the meter" technologies that may include in-home displays, smart thermostats, web portals, PHEV charging stations, and renewable/distributed energy.

Photo of Sam JaffeOffline

The announcement yesterday of Duke Energy's collaboration with China Huaneng Group to explore carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies is a very good sign. Both the United States and China share an addiction to coal which is going to be very painful to shake in order to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. While the governments of both countries have expressed a willingness to share notes, it's a very good sign to see the same spirit of teamwork on the individual utility company level.

Viewed 943,312 times