For Utilities, Electric Vehicles are the New Air Conditioners

managed charging

Electric vehicles are quickly becoming one of the largest flexible loads on the grid in some areas, and the growth parallels the increase in numbers of air conditioners years ago, says a new study from the Smart Electric Power Alliance. However, the popularity of electric vehicles poses problems for utilities, which are finding that time-of-use … [Read more...]

Green & Distributed Energy Solicitations in Ontario, Hawaii, California

Hawaii, Ontario and California have green and distributed energy solicitations in various stages of planning or action, some directly tied to microgrid and smart grid efforts. Hawaii Hawaiian Electric Companies recently laid out a near-term path toward its 30-year goal to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. Called the Power Supply … [Read more...]

Two California Utilities Get Creative with EV Charging

California is getting innovative with EV charging, having approved two utility proposals expected to expand charging and boost the numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road. In the first, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a proposal by Southern California Edison to invest $22 million in its "Charge Ready and Market … [Read more...]

The Electric Vehicle as a Power Plant: A California Utility Shows How it’s Done

For years we’ve heard about a future where our cars become sort of like mini-power plants. And now San Diego Gas & Electric is showing how it’s done. The California utility has begun bidding resources from a group of electric vehicles and energy storage systems into the state’s wholesale power market. The pilot program, one of the first … [Read more...]

Microgrids, SDG&E and NRG Demonstrate the Future

microgrid

Jill Feblowitz, of IDC Energy Insights, explains why utilities might want to "lift the hood" to see the workings of the Borrego Springs Microgrid. Momentum is building for alternative utility business models, and California is once again a leading state. The California Energy Commission (CEC) just awarded San Diego Gas & Electric a grant of … [Read more...]

Finding Common Ground on Pricing Clean Energy Resources in California

Would pricing clean energy through a 'smart home rate'  work? James Fine, EDF's senior economist, describes the intriguing possibility being explored in California. Industrial and environmental stakeholders are usually portrayed as adversaries. But one exciting example from California proves there can be another side to that story. San Diego Gas … [Read more...]

So What is a Microgrid, Exactly?

So what is a microgrid, exactly? The term has been used for years, yet those who attend microgrid conferences joke that much of the event is spent in debate over the definition. As is often the case with a popular technology, many would like to package their products as microgrids. Hence, we see the term’s meaning broadening in the … [Read more...]

Energy Efficiency, Nuclear, and California's Future: An Interview with the Energy Commission Chairman Robert Weisenmiller

Before its retirement in 2012, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) represented about 16 percent of the local electricity generation supply covering an average of 1.4 million homes serviced by Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and the City of Riverside in southern California. The plant was especially important … [Read more...]

Using Disney Storytelling to Engage Utility Customers

A group of former Disney animators think they’ve found a key to engaging utility customers and motivating them to save energy—a fascinating concept worth watching. Dean Schiller, CEO of CEIVA Energy, maker of the HomeView in-home energy management system, is a former Disney animator who says it’s all about engaging customers with storytelling. … [Read more...]