The largest power plants in the the U.S. — massive feats of engineering like the over 5,000 foot-long, 6,800-MW capacity Grand Coulee Dam — are proving to be no match in scale to the combined power of the rooftops and basements of homes and businesses across the country. Distributed energy, including rooftop solar, on-site batteries to store electricity and more, are on track to grow to nearly 400 GW in the U.S. by 2025, according to projections from Wood Mackenzie, significantly greater than the amount of coal or nuclear power capacity in the U.S. today.
The existence of that much power leads to an inevitable question: who controls it? Utilities see distributed energy as both a threat to their business models and an opportunity to harness this relatively new and massive source of energy to make money. The rise of distributed energy has led to a conflict between a utility-centered business model and a service model based around third parties. “The fundamental question is who can manage and schedule distributed energy resources (DERs) and how?” said Omar Saadeh, business strategy manager at Accenture. “It’s a question being asked in a number of states.” Continue reading here.
Photo by Sonnen: The all-electric Soleil Lofts apartment community in Herriman, Utah, a virtual power plant managed by Rocky Mountain Power, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE).
Clean Energy Group Webinar
An Introduction to Virtual Power Plants, September 28, 12 to 1 pm
This Lab Aims to Prepare the U.S. Electricity Grid for a Climate Transformation, by E&E News, Scientific American. A new test bed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will explore ways to ease the shift to renewables and energy storage systems.
The Current System of Electric Billing No Longer Makes Sense: Here are some suggestions for fixing it. Greentech Media article contributed by Dan Seif, vice president for market development at 7X Energy, a Texas-based solar developer.
SEIA NEWS RELEASE
Black & Veatch Joins Board of U.S. Solar Trade Group
Globally, Black & Veatch has implemented more than 100 GW of solar and wind energy, over 2,500 MWh+ of battery energy storage, and has deployed more than 700 distributed energy buildouts through its range of solutions from engineering services to EPC.
800-WATT SOLAR PANEL
JA Solar launches 800 W solar panel, PV Magazine International
The new product, currently the most powerful panel on the market, was showcased at the SNEC PV Power Expo in Shanghai. Also presented at the fair was a 780 W product from Tongwei and a 660 W module from Trina.
FEATURED SOLAR PROJECT
Habitat La Crosse adds solar power, La Crosse Tribune
Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area’s “Soak up the Sun” Project is adding a 53.28 KW solar power system on the roof of their office and ReStore building in La Crosse. To learn more, visit: www.habitatlacrosse.org.
Starting a new industry, PV Magazine
As a business prospect, producing hydrogen via sustainable means remains in its infancy. However, analysts appear increasingly certain that we are seeing the dawn of a vital new industry. In Europe, some countries (such as Germany and Portugal) have already adopted national strategies for the production and use of the fuel. And in July, the European Union also published a comprehensive hydrogen strategy as a central part of a climate-neutral Europe.
How Convenient! Ultra Fast, Battery-Boosted EV Charging At ampm Stores, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica. The field of battery-enabled ultra fast EV charging is about to blow up out of nowhere. In the latest development, the company FreeWire Technologies has inked a deal with the convenience store chain ampm to install its battery-integrated Boost Charger System. Look for plenty more where that came from: ampm happens to come under the umbrella of newly minted clean tech giant bp through its bp America, Inc. subsidiary.
Previously Posted BP News Release: BP invests in mobile electric vehicle charging company FreeWire to deliver rapid charging at retail sites