A new technology developed by San Diego start-up On-Ramp enables data to be transmitted up to 45 miles. Using current technology, a typical wifi signal travels around 300 feet before becoming too weak to be detected by a computer.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is not content to rest on its smart meter laurels. After establishing itself as one of the United States’ early adopters of smart meters and related technology, SDG&E is bolstering its renewables portfolio by signing contracts with a subsidiary of San Diego-based enXco and with Arlington Valley Solar Energy II, a subsidiary of LS Power Development. The new deals, which require approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), represent a combined total capacity of up to 237 megawatts (MW) of solar energy.
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded $4.5 billion to promote smart grid and clean energy projects, which was matched by $5.5 billion in private funding. The new push to promote the smart grid will be much less expensive for the federal government but the Administration hopes it will be even more effective.
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.
University of California at Berkeley Extension will join experts from top technology, utility, and telecom companies at the Smart Grid Technology Conference 2011. Taking place June 1–2, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Jose, California, the conference, now in its second year, provides a forum for participants from various industries to discuss and find solutions for smart grid issues, including developing partnerships, understanding new standards, and identifying areas for growth.
According to a new survey conducted by ON World with 110 phone interviews with utility project managers, seven out of 10 utilities are planning in-home energy management products that integrate with their customers’ Home Area Networks (HANs).
California is expected to be the United States’ leader in electric car drivers. While good for the state’s environment, California utilities need to implement strategies that accommodate the power needs of communities identified as potential EV strongholds such as Berkeley, Santa Monica and San Diego. The concern is that an overload of neighborhood transformers could trigger local blackouts.