Smart Grid Above the Fold: 3/3/17

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

The Energy Collective: What the U.S. Electricity Sector Can Learn from the Telecom Revolution
A utility-industry focus on innovation marks a new direction. We can learn from the most recent rapid disruption in a related industry, telecommunications: a mere 20-year transition from POTS (plain old telephone service) to PANS (pretty amazing new stuff). This cautionary tale reveals that the winners are grid operators who welcome new ideas and offer customers new services.

Metering & Smart Energy International: Pennsylvania City Installs LED Streetlights to Reduce Energy Costs
The US city of Scranton in Pennsylvania invested $4 million toward the replacement to fit its streetlights with more energy efficient LED bulbs. Under the $4 million program, Scranton contracted Urban Electric for the supply and installation of energy efficient streetlights. The project aims to replace 6,000 existing traditional streetlights with the new LED models. So far, almost 4,500 LED bulbs have been fitted.

Transmission & Distribution World: FPL Plans to Add Eight Solar Power Plants by Early 2018
FPL has announced the expansion of its near-term plans for new universal solar generation. FPL now plans to build new universal solar power plants at eight locations by early 2018 – comprising more than 2.5 million solar panels. The new solar energy centers FPL plans to build are projected to be cost-effective over their operational lifetime, producing millions of dollars in long-term net savings for FPL customers.

Utility Dive: How California’s Utilities Are Mapping Their Grids for Distributed Resources
Delivering electricity to everyone, all the time, is no small job — and the rise of distributed energy resources is making it exponentially more challenging. California’s electricity system was built to deliver power from a few hundred central station power plants. But the rapid growth of rooftop solar in the state means that thousands of new generators are being added each week.

SGCC Member News
Metering & Smart Energy International: First Energy Utilities Expand Energy Efficiency Programs
First Energy’s Mon Power and Potomac Edison expanded their energy efficiency programs to residential consumers in the US. First Energy announced that the two energy providers will help their residential customers to reduce their energy usage and bills by participating in the programs. Previously, the two utilities deployed the energy efficiency programs to business consumers and a few qualifying low-income customers.

Utility Dive: PG&E Brings 2 MWh Tesla Battery Storage Unit Online at Substation
PG&E has brought online Tesla’s 2 MWh energy storage facility in Browns Valley north of Sacramento, according to news reports. The facility has 22 Tesla Powerpacks with a total capacity of 0.5 MW, 2 MWh and is scalable so it can meet demand if it rises in the future. PG&E will use the batteries to improve the management of peak demand and to reduce the need to call on peaking power plants.

Metering & Smart Energy International: U.S. Co-op Selects AMI Connectivity
Florida-based utility cooperative Clay Electric signed energy management firm Landis+Gyr for the supply and installation of a smart meter communications network. Under the deal, the solutions provider will integrate its AMI solution Gridstream within the utility’s energy distribution network to provide connectivity between the energy provider and its smart meters and grid devices.

Electric Light & Power: Settlement Preserves Net Metering for Current APS Solar Power Customers
An APS settlement on an Arizona Corporation Commission rate case allows APS to collect fixed charges on residential customers, but at a lower rate than first proposed. The overall rate settlement allows for an $87.25 million revenue increase by APS. DG customers, such as those with rooftop solar units, will be eligible for four different rate structures, while some will have a grid access charge added in.

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