Net Energy Metering Policies Helping To Spur Solar Growth

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

All across the United States, rooftop solar panels are popping up on homes, businesses and schools like mushrooms in a forest, and utility-scale solar projects are bringing huge amounts of clean energy into our communities.  Why?

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Today, smart policies — likeRenewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Net Energy Metering (NEM) — are helping to fuel solar’s explosive growth. Our industry now employs 120,000 Americans at 5,600 U.S. companies. What’s more, we’re now generating enough electricity to power more than 1.5 million homes…

Part of this amazing success story can also be attributed to the fact that the average cost of a solar system has dropped by nearly 40 percent over the past two years and by a whopping 50 percent since 2010.  As a result, American consumers, businesses and schools are flocking to rooftop solar.  According to the most recent statistics, the residential market alone grew by 48 percent in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same time period a year ago. […]

NEM has significantly contributed to this growth.  Simply put, NEM is a credit on your bill that represents the full value of electricity delivered.  Think of it this way: surplus energy generated by a home or business system is exported to the electricity grid, allowing a consumer’s meter to spin backwards.  This allows the homeowner or business owner to have greater control over their energy use and prices.  […]”<

See on www.renewableenergyworld.com

Smart Grid: Utility sued due to Smart Meter opt-out program

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Smart Grid – BC Hydro offered customers who didn’t want to participate in its smart meter program the choice of opting out in mid-July. But that didn’t protect the utility from a lawsuit

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Just days after BC Hydro finally agreed to an opt-out program for smart meters, a customer is suing the utility for installing a smart meter last year even though she didn’t want one on her property. […]

The suit claims the installations caused the plaintiff “emotional distress,” because it “interfered with the quiet enjoyment of her property,” which she used to host yoga and meditation retreats. Opponents of smart meters believe the devices’ radio waves have health risks. The lawsuit further alleges that BC Hydro unlawfully leveraged its monopoly powers by imposing a smart meter on the plaintiff.

[…] The utility says that smart meters only broadcast several times a day, and that living next to a smart meter for 20 years would expose a resident to the same level of radiation as a 30-minute cell phone call.<

See on www.smartgridnews.com

ComEd’s “Smart Switches” Reducing Service Interruptions; “Self-healing” technology key to improving reliability – Electric Light & Power

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Distribution Automation (Smart Switches) routes power around potential problem areas, often with no noticeable interruption in service.  Installation of these devices resulted in 82,000 fewer customer power interruptions in 2012. During the severe storms that hit the Chicago area in mid-April, DA devices prevented 20,000 service interruptions.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

By remotely monitoring and controlling grid operations, Distribution Automation (DA) devices, or smart switches, are a central feature of smart grid technology and ComEd’s effort to reduce the frequency and duration of outages.

[…] if a tree were to fall on a utility pole resulting in an interruption, far fewer customers would be impacted because it enables us to better isolate the damaged section,” explained McMahan. “DA introduces a self-healing capability to the electric grid by allowing us to resolve issues before customers might even be aware of them, and that has a profoundly positive impact on people’s daily lives.”

When fully implemented, distribution automation and smart meters will communicate with ComEd’s operations center, alerting the utility of an outage and eliminating the need for customers to call to report they are out of power.  […]  To see how smart meters and DA devices work together, click this link http://youtu.be/L4xp7a1di7Y .

Under the smart grid law, ComEd committed to spend $2.6 billion over 10 years to strengthen and modernize the electric grid in northern Illinois. More than $1.3 billion is earmarked to deploy a Smart Grid system and install smart meters in four million homes and businesses to give customers greater control over their energy consumption and costs.  The current schedule calls for ComEd to begin installing smart meters in 2015. […]

See on www.elp.com

Boulder’s Smart Grid Leaves Citizens in the Dark : Greentech Media

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Utilities have to engage with consumers and businesses to make the smart grid work.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

“I had a smart meter, but I didn’t even know I had a smart meter,” said Dick.

Dick and a team of CU engineers are working on exactly this problem: how to inform people about their electricity use. The team is creating an online system called “EMPIRE” — EMpowering People In Reducing Energy consumption.  […]

Huston said that because Boulder’s smart grid was one of the first in the country, some of the technologies it used, such as fiber optic communication technology, turned out to be less ideal than hoped. The new two-way communication technology, installing smart meters for less than a quarter of the population and other features almost doubled the project’s cost within a year after it began. As of October 2012, the total costs were pushing $45 million.

See on www.greentechmedia.com