USDA Invests in Rural Smart Grid Projects

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that agency is investing $263.3 million, much of it on smart grid projects to help modernize and improve the reliability of rural electric systems located in eight states. The USDA has a long history, dating back to the days following the Great Depression, of working…

California Adopts Smart Meter Data Privacy Rules

By a 5-0 vote, California’s Public Utility Commission has unanimously adopted the world’s first comprehensive set of rules assuring consumers can access the detailed energy usage data provided by their smart meter while simultaneously protecting the data’s privacy and security.

California Regulators Issue Resolution on Smart Grid

California’s state utility regulators have adopted a new resolution on smart grid principles. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ (NARUC) Board of Directors approved the resolutions at the conclusion of the Association’s Summer Committee Meetings, which took place in Los Angeles.

Powerit Solutions Wins Smart Grid Connectivity Award for Work with Four Star Fruit

Seattle-based Powerit Solutions, an international cleantech company that plugs energy-intensive businesses into the smart grid, won a Connectivity Week Buildy Award May 26 for its work with Four Star Fruit of Delano, California.  Four Star Fruit is a premier family grower of table grapes. Its premium grapes, including organic varieties, are renowned around the world.  Four Star Fruit is committed to innovative business practices and a healthier environment and society.  The award was in the Smart Industrial category, which recognizes the application of innovative ideas and technologies to device and system connectivity in the industrial automation and manufacturing field, particularly for energy management, sustainable manufacturing, and industrial-to-grid applications. This is the second Buildy Award Powerit has won at the annual Silicon Valley smart grid show.


The Environmental Defense Fund to Evaluate California Utiilities

The Environmental Defense Fund has released a framework to evaluate the effectiveness California public utilities’ plans to upgrade the state’s electricity network into a digital smart grid. The approved a roadmap last June based on the provisions of state law SB 17. It requires that utility smart grid investments help California meet its climate change, demand-side management and renewable energy goals.

California Energy Commission Funds Six New Projects

The California Energy Commission has awarded more than $4.6 million for six research projects designed to expand the state’s smart grid, improve power plant pollution measurements, and conserve energy and water. Funds for the projects come from the Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, which supports public interest research and development.

PG&E Corporation’s Embattled CEO Steps Down

The Board of Directors of Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation will elect a new lead executive in the coming weeks in light of current Chairman, CEO and President Peter Darbee’s announced retirement, effective April 30, 2011. The company’s utility unit, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Company, will continue to be led by President Christopher P. Johns.

Lowe’s Adds Monitor and WiFi Gateway to Store Inventory

Lowe’s is now selling the PowerCost Monitor and its WiFi Gateway plug and play accessory, which enables real-time energy feeds to Microsoft Hohm and Google PowerMeter. The PowerCost Monitor is available in Lowe’s stores located in 24 states, including California, Washington, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York.

PERI CEO Talks Smart Grid

PERI Software Solutions President & CEO Sarav Periasamy says smart grid technology is here to stay. “Smart grid technology is mainly used by utilities, and thanks to President Obama, it will be more affordable to municipalities and their customers,” Periasamy believes. “Research shows that 60 percent of the electricity generated in this country is lost to inefficiencies, and the fact that smart grid technology is green and does not cost more, customers will feel good about saving energy and the planet.”

Southern California Edison Opens Exhibit

Southern California Edison (SCE) has opened an exhibit in Irwindale, California displaying the latest tools and technologies that are helping to create the smart grid. The Smart Energy Experience introduces consumers to the progress SCE is making in developing new energy efficient technologies as well as demonstrating new energy efficient devices, smart appliances for a home area network, the next generation of plug-in electric vehicles, and Internet tools that enable customers to monitor and manage their energy costs.