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How Smart Grid and Demand Response Could Fit Into the Clean Power Plan

Pathway to credits for CO2-cutting grid and demand-side tech—and a boost to solar-wind integration enablersLess dirty energy, more clean energy. These are the fundamental drivers of the Clean Power Plan's push to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG)...

Posted August 13, 2015    

SoCal Edison Wants New Grid Batteries for 'Just-in-Time' Delivery

California utility issues RFP for plug-and-play storage systems to fill broader range of grid needsSomeday, grid batteries will come in standard packages, ready to be plugged in as fast as utilities can find places and use cases for them. At least,...

Posted August 7, 2015    

PG&E's New Tariff Could 'Gut the PV Opportunity' for the Commercial Sector

The proposed regulation threatens commercial rooftop solar economics in Northern California.If you were wandering the halls of last week’s Intersolar conference in San Francisco, you probably heard a lot of worried, angry talk about something called...

Posted July 29, 2015    

The Reality of Energy Storage Policy Is Different From What Solar-Storage Vendors Expect

Jeff St. John surveys the energy storage policy landscape.California may be the country’s key emerging market for battery-backed distributed solar. But that promise is made up of equal parts opportunity and uncertainty.On the opportunity side, there...

Posted July 23, 2015    

How EV Chargers and Energy Storage Can Make Good Grid Partners

ChargePoint and Green Charge link batteries and public EV chargers to limit demand charges and make loads more flexible.Plug-in electric vehicles could be a major challenge or a major resource, according to the utilities plotting ways to turn EV...

Posted July 22, 2015    

Cyberattack on U.S. Power Plants Could Cause $1T in Economic Damage

Lloyd’s of London games out “improbable, but not impossible” threat of hacking, power-plant sabotageLet’s imagine an “improbable, but not impossible” cyberassault on the U.S. power grid. A shadowy group of skilled and malicious actors spend years...

Posted July 13, 2015    

How Germany's Second-Biggest Utility Is Adapting to a Distributed Energy World

RWE is building distributed energy tech at home and looking to Silicon Valley for new ideas.German utility RWE is a victim of the so-called “utility death spiral,” with its central-power-plant-reliant business losing billions of dollars in Germany’s...

Posted July 6, 2015    

Solar's Value for Grid Circuits: Not Much on Average, but Huge for a Handful

UC Berkeley research finds that well-placed PV is yielding big savings on PG&E’s distribution grid.For years now, solar advocates and opponents have argued over the merits of various studies about the relative costs and benefits of...

Posted July 1, 2015    

The Connected Home: Reaching Critical Mass for the Grid?

Home security and automation could be the back door for mass-market residential energy intelligence. After a decade or more of false starts and unrealistic expectations, “connected home” technology is finally gaining enough market share for...

Posted May 22, 2015    

Powerit: Don't Buy a Battery Until You've Tapped 'Virtual Storage'

Demand management handily beats batteries on cost-per-kilowatt figures—but it’s more complicated than that.Tesla got a lot of attention last week for its new batteries for solar-equipped homes. But there’s an even bigger business opportunity for...

Posted May 17, 2015    

How New York's Microgrid Prize Is Testing New Energy, Market Relationships

Power Analytics describes its plan to map power flows and build market values for distributed energy and resiliency.Two weeks ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the first five winners of the NY Prize Community Microgrid Competition. The five...

Posted May 16, 2015    

How EnerNOC Is Building Tesla's Batteries Into Its Demand Response Plans

Energy storage, like solar, is in EnerNOC’s future—but how soon will it add to revenues?Tesla’s battery business isn’t just about putting Powerwall units into solar-roofed homes. Commercial and industrial (C&I) customers pay a lot more attention...

Posted May 14, 2015