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Will Utilities Control Behind-the-Meter Solar Batteries?

Ken Munson, CEO of Stockton, Calif.-based startup Sunverge Energy, doesn’t want you to think of his company’s product as a “battery in a box,” backing up a roof full of solar panels -- even if that’s one very accurate way to describe what it...

Posted April 20, 2014    

Java for the Grid Edge: From Blu-Ray Players to Smart Grid Devices

The long-promised goal of embedding open, flexible computing power in all types of smart grid devices is starting to be realized in 2014.Open platforms from Silver Spring Networks, Cisco, Itron and other grid vendors are being introduced. Multi-...

Posted April 19, 2014    

Solar Energy, Sky Cameras, and Hard Math: A New Way to Integrate PV on the Grid

Insanely complex math, and never enough data -- that’s the conundrum in trying to model the ebb and flow of solar power and energy storage on the grid edge.Large-scale transmission systems are well modeled. But the majority of the grid below the...

Posted April 14, 2014    

The Wireless, Networked LED Goes Standard

Smart, networked lighting may the next big market for building energy efficiency and automation technology. But to date, that market has been a battleground of proprietary technologies: different networks, linking up different lighting systems, in a...

Posted March 30, 2014    

Is the Australian Solar Market Slipping as Tariffs Recede?

After years of booming growth in solar, Australia is encountering problems familiar to Germany’s solar-rich -- some say too-rich -- energy market.Reversals in government policy on carbon reduction and renewable energy targets have made for some...

Posted March 26, 2014    

Will 'Guns, Guards, and Gates' Really Terror-Proof the Grid?

It appears that 2014 is the year that the power grid’s physical security is going to come to the forefront of national attention. Now the question for utilities and regulators is whether they’re going to overreact, under-react, or find a balanced...

Posted March 25, 2014    

Four Ways Tokyo's Smart Meter Plan Breaks New Ground

Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s 27-million-unit smart meter project isn’t just about smart meters. It’s also about creating an end-to-end, citywide energy management platform, meant to link meters, utility enterprise platforms and smart devices in homes...

Posted March 21, 2014    

Hidden Treasure: Two New Resources Offer Up Massive Amounts of Utility Data

Green Button data is fine -- when you can get it. But real-world smart grid data in huge volumes is better -- particularly when it’s open to parties outside utility walls.Two new energy data initiatives being launched this week illustrate how...

Posted March 20, 2014    

California's Plan to Replace San Onofre Nuclear: Green Success or Natural Gas Giveaway?

It’s official: the long-range plan to replace 2,200 megawatts of shuttered Southern California nuclear power will include new natural gas-fired power plants, as well as a hefty share of green alternatives.But advocates of an all-green replacement...

Posted March 18, 2014    

SolarCity's Networked, Grid-Ready Energy Storage Fleet

SolarCity, the country’s biggest solar PV installer, and Tesla Motors, the country’s biggest electric vehicle maker (and soon to be the country’s biggest advanced battery manufacturer), could be the utility industry’s worst nightmare.Consider the...

Posted March 8, 2014    

Can No-Money-Down Financing Unlock the Batteries-for-Buildings Market?

Green Charge Networks, the startup that’s putting batteries in commercial buildings to help shave utility bills and balance the grid, has just joined a small but growing roster of energy storage players trying out a model that’s helped solar PV hit...

Posted March 7, 2014    

After a Hiatus, DOE's Clean Energy Loan Program Will Soon Be Back in Action

The Department of Energy is targeting from $1.5 billion to as much as $4 billion for a new renewable energy project loan guarantee program, one that could open the door to solicitations for a range of smaller-scale, distributed and grid-integrated...

Posted March 2, 2014