The UtilityXpert Roundup by EnergyX - February 11th

There’s more and more technological innovation coming out of the utility world every week. From shaping the future of smart cities, to offering community solar to working with Google and IBM - the industry has it all. Check out what the past few weeks have brought us in this week’s edition of the UtilityXpert Roundup by EnergyX:

Four ways utilities can shape smart cities’ success (Smart Energy International)

Nowadays, it seems everything on the planet has gotten “smart.” While your local utility may not Apple or Samsung, utilities do play a unique role in communications infrastructure and have had a long-standing impact on their communities through innovation.

Colorado Springs Utilities is partnering with the city to develop an advanced metering system that is future proof, enlisting Panasonic’s leadership in both global smart city initiatives and specialty sensors, to collaborate on an implementation strategy that utilizes IoT.

Duke offers community solar option for South Carolina residents (Utility Dive)

Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) announced on Thursday an offering for customers interested in renewable energy — community solar subscriptions to two facilities generating a total of 3 MW. Similar things have been happening in South Carolina through a separate Duke subsidiary.

The utility (Duke Energy Carolinas) anticipates participating residential customers will earn more than $200 per year through the community solar subscription.
— Iulia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive

Reliant customers sign up to use Google devices to manage energy use (Electric Light and Power)

In Texas, everything is bigger. Including the number of Google Home Hubs. Customers can now keep a close eye on their electricity use with a weekly snapshot that is delivered via voice through Google.

“Hey Google, ask Reliant, how much electricity am I using?” 

By joining forces with Google, our customers now have access to the newest digital technology that not only provides an energy management solution but also helps simplify their lives
— Elizabeth Killinger, president of Reliant and NRG Retail

How SDG&E Plans to Quit the Electricity Procurement Business (Greentech Media)

Ron Burgundy says San Diego is the greatest city on the planet. Maybe it’s because they’ve found a solution to the PG&E wildfire fall out - by getting out of the electricity procurement business. This month, the city council is expected to vote on whether the city’s CSO can create a CCA.

An IOU like SDG&E doesn’t make money for its shareholders by selling electricity to customers. The utility makes money off the infrastructure needed to deliver electricity to customers. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the state responds.

IBM to Help Utilities Cut Tree Trimming Budgets and Reduce Outages (T&D World)

IBM unveiled new technology to reduce power outages by helping utilities predict where trees and other vegetation may threaten power lines.

In the past, IBM has worked with Oncor, the largest utility company in Texas to develop solutions for the utility industry, to help improve operations and provide reliable electric service for millions of customers across the state.

Bruce Chen