Late last week, smart grid member companies from the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) met with U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) to discuss a comprehensive energy approach that supports domestic production of both renewable and fossil fuel resources to help the country achieve energy independence.
The southeast Texas rural cooperative distribution utility irecognized the difficulty in connecting a host of independently developed systems that were not interoperable, and, to solve the problem, implemented the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association-sponsored MultiSpeak specification to transition from a power line carrier-based automated meter reading system to an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system, which would provide supplementary functionality and interoperability.
Virtual power plants (VPP) --which combine independent resources into a network via sophisticated planning, scheduling, and bidding of DER-based services, bringing distributed generation (DG) and demand response (DR) together to provide a synergistic sharing of grid resources -- are expected to play an increasingly important role in the future of the power sector, according to Navigant Research.
More than 1.5 million advanced electric meters have been installed and nearly 500,000 modules have been installed on gas meters across DTE Energy's territory so far. By the end of 2017, nearly 3.9 million electric and gas meters will have been converted, allowing all DTE Energy customers to better manage their energy usage and bills, and enjoy other benefits from the technology.
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) currently has two major initiatives under way in the reliability standards and enforcement areas to which electric industry participants should pay particular attention. As the entity tasked with promulgating and enforcing standards to safeguard the reliability of the bulk power system, NERC has undertaken the Reliability Assurance Initiative (RAI) to revamp how it goes about enforcing and monitoring compliance with these reliability standards. The other major initiative relates to addressing mounting concerns about cybersecurity and the next generation of reliability standards to address critical infrastructure protection (CIP).
The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) has produced a series of videos with which utilities can help educate residential customers about the smart grid in a fun and engaging way. The short, mixed-media messages are compiled with information from SGCC's quantitative consumer research and fact sheets.
Our inaugural Fierce Innovation Awards: Energy Edition were so successful, we decided to do it again. The caliber of entries and level of innovation was impressive -- even more so than last year. Winners were selected by people who are most in need of cutting-edge technologies -- executives from well-known, highly respected utilities -- not by editors.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published its NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 3.0 -- to reflect advances in smart grid technologies and developments from NIST's collaborative work with industry stakeholders -- as well as revisions to its guidelines for smart grid cybersecurity. The 3.0 framework updates the plan for transforming the nation's aging electric power system into an interoperable smart grid.
To accommodate further growth, PG&E is piloting new voltage control technology as a smart grid pilot project to help manage the two-way flow of energy onto the grid. Yet another smart grid pilot will assess the costs and benefits of using energy storage to reduce grid costs and facilitate the growth of renewable generation. Finally, PG&E's Demand Response Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Pilot program is evaluating the feasibility of utilizing PEV batteries -- both when they are in the vehicle and when they are removed -- to provide grid stabilization services.
INCENSe aims to promote innovation and employment in the energy industry through the development of eco-friendly products and high tech services by linking innovation in smart cities, health, agriculture and logistics to the use of an open source Internet platform that aids development of applications, as well as integrates them into an interoperable system.
After an exhaustive review, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Presidential Permit for the Champlain Hudson Power Express -- a buried transmission line that will connect New York City and Quebec. A Presidential Permit is required for the construction, operation, maintenance and connection of electric transmission facilities at the international borders of the United States.
International energy investment company, Continental Energy Corporation, has announced that its Tanzanian affiliate, Ruaha River Power Company Ltd., has begun construction on the first of four of its Malolo Mini-Grids. The project has a long list of subscribers, as well as a waiting list of at least 400 who are beginning to be subscribed.
The energy partnership between National Grid and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is designed to develop integrated solutions that will drive economic growth in the Buffalo Niagara region and position all partners as global energy leaders and represents a first of its kind energy innovation between a global utility and a community-engaged medical and technology park.
These systems offer compelling features, including the ability to isolate themselves from the utility distribution system during power outages, as well as a high capacity to integrate diverse distributed energy resources, such as wind, solar PV, and conventional generation from diesel generators.
North America continues to move the market forward with commercial and demonstration grid-scale energy storage projects while Western Europe -- Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom in particular -- is leading the market with utility-scale advanced battery and power-to-gas installations and announcements, Navigant reports.
Components of the project include mobile apps, an educational kiosk, unmanned aerial vehicles, a smart electric vehicle charging station, intelligent streetlights, water leak detection, smart metering technology and analytics. Together, the demonstrations show how smart grid technology is the foundation for sharing data that gives consumers and local governments actionable intelligence to make smarter decisions and benefit the community where they work and live.
With public and private organizations moving their IT resources to the cloud and employees increasingly using their mobile devices to access resources, the need for managed security services is growing, according to Frost & Sullivan, and managed security service providers can be a strategic partner in securing corporate-owned and bring-your-own-device endpoints.
Utilities are making some very interesting moves, particularly in the distributed energy resources space. Most of this activity is occurring via utilities' unregulated subsidiaries, but there are also interesting developments on the regulated side.
New Zealand's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has committed $10.6 million to the six-year Security Technologies Returning Accountability, Transparency and User-centric Services (STRATUS) project -- a collaboration between Unitec, Waikato University, the University of Auckland and the Cloud Security Alliance that will create tools to return the control of cloud-based data to users.
HVDC allows power transmission through cables over longer distances and higher capacities compared to AC transmission, but the immature nature of offshore HVDC technologies can cause uncertainties and increased risk exposure for stakeholders and can make projects complicated and costly.