Smart Grid Above the Fold: 2/10/17

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Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative.

Greentech Media: America’s Community Solar Market Will Surpass 400MW in 2017
According to GTM Research’s latest solar report, 410 megawatts of community solar will be installed in the U.S. in 2017. The report describes community solar as an increasingly attractive offering for utilities as they move beyond pilot programs. This past year, the U.S. community solar market eclipsed 200 megawatts, despite some “missed growth opportunities” caused by regulatory and legislative delays.

Midwest Energy News: Michigan, Illinois Lead the Midwest in Smart Meter Installations
The number of smart electric meters installed in homes, businesses and industries across the Midwest more than quadrupled between 2010 and 2015. At the beginning of the decade, Midwestern states were home to 2.2 million smart meters, which are devices that measure and record electricity usage at least hourly and feed that data to utilities and consumers at least daily. By 2015, that figure had ballooned to 10.2 million.

Greentech Media: Microgrids on the March – Utilities Are Building Out New Business Models to Make Islanding Work
Pulling a cohesive narrative out of the DistribuTECH conference’s thousands of participants and menagerie of electrical doohickeys is like synopsizing James Joyce’s Ulysses. Amid the cacophony, however, a few trends emerged. The sophistication of software used to manage an increasingly decentralized grid continues to grow. Meanwhile, utility representatives expressed caution about the dislocations stemming from that decentralization.

Pacific Business News: Hawaii Grids May Have Room for More Utility-Scale Solar Projects
Things are looking up for the once-dimmed three major solar energy projects on Oahu formerly owned by bankrupt SunEdison. Houston’s NRG Energy and Hawaiian Electric Co. reached deals on power purchase agreements for the Honolulu utility to buy power from two big solar energy farms that were formerly owned by SunEdison. The two companies are also working on finalizing a deal on a third solar farm.

SGCC Member News
Utility Dive: Going Local – How CPS Energy Harnessed 100 MW of DSM with a Smart Thermostat Program
CPS Energy has been running a residential thermostat demand response program for 14 years now, and with about 20% of customers signed up, the Texas utility was having trouble expanding. Getting new customers on board with the utility’s direct installation offer was becoming more difficult—but the program helps cut peak transmission costs significantly, and CPS wanted to add another 1,000 customers.

Utility Dive: Duke, Schneider Pair Up to Build Two Microgrids in Maryland
Schneider Electric and Duke Energy Renewables have signed an agreement to deploy two advanced microgrids to serve the Montgomery County, Maryland, Public Safety Headquarters and Correctional Facility. Montgomery County will build the microgrids, which will help ensure more reliable and efficient power and improve resiliency for the county following major storms and other natural disasters.

Metering & Smart Energy International: ComEd Achieves 34 Percent Reduction in Outages Since 2012
ComEd announced the benefits of modernizing its grid system using smart grid technologies toward reducing outages. In a statement, the energy provider said it witnessed a 34% reduction in the number of power outages due to its investments in smart grid technologies over the past five years.

Utility Dive: Honeywell, Whisker Labs Introduce Home Energy Management Software
Honeywell, in collaboration with Whisker Labs, intends to offer its utility customers new “intelligent home energy management software” to help them maintain electrical grid stability, lower homeowner costs and increase efficiency. The company’s Connected Savings demand management platform will be integrated into utility service offerings, allowing power providers to manage demand response programs.

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