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BLM says no to controversial Silurian Valley solar project

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, solar power projects, BLM, policy and regulation
While the solar industry has been doing remarkably well, it does not always get its way. The Bureau of Land Management has rejected an Iberdrola subsidiary’s plans for a solar project in the largely untouched Silurian Valley, located in a remote part of the Mojave Desert.

Now that nuclear is on the way out, Germany considers the future of coal

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, Germany, coal industry
Germany’s aggressive shift to renewables has caused a lot of head scratching and attracted a lot of criticism, and more is sure to come. Following the German government decision to abandon its nuclear program in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, officials are now focused on the future of its coal industry.

Ohio regulators OK FirstEnergy plan to cut back energy efficiency programs

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, policy and regulation, FirstEnergy
With approval from state regulators, Ohio utility FirstEnergy is well on its way toward shelving most of its energy efficiency programs for at least two years. State lawmakers passed a bill to suspend efficiency programs earlier this year, saying it was needed to give them time to study the economics of the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.

UK smart meter rollout stalled until late 2016

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart meters, UK smart meter program
The UK is putting its smart meter deployment on hold because an essential part of the project will not be complete in time to meet the initial deadline. Installations were to begin next year and be completed by 2020. But the company responsible for delivering the communications system for the meters has said the system won’t be completed until late in 2016, a delay that will be costly.

The multi-state approach for Clean Power Plan compliance sounds good, but is it?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, EPA Clean Power Plan, policy and regulation
While many stakeholders and observers approve of the multi-state strategy to meet the requirements of EPA’s Clean Power Plan, states could find themselves with several high hurdles to clear. While states that work together have an extra year to develop their plans, officials from many states say that is still not enough time.

Will they or won’t they? CPUC to decide if utilities can deploy EV charging stations

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric vehicles, EV charging, policy and regulation, electric utilities
California regulators are scheduled to rule this month whether utilities will be permitted to provide EV charging stations. Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric have proposed investing $500 million in EV charging infrastructure, and at least some state legislators support dropping the current ban against utility involvement in the charging market.

NERC troubled about EPA Clean Power Plan impact on grid reliability

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, NERC, EPA Clean Power Plan
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation weighed in with its take on EPA’s much-debated Clean Power Plan in a reliability assessment released this week. The bottom line: more analysis is needed to verify that the plan’s assumptions and targets can be successfully carried out in the time frame the plan proposes.

Scotland’s wind farms pumped out more power than the country needs

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, wind power, solar power, Scotland renewable energy program
Scotland has had very aggressive smart grid and renewable energy programs for some time, and it seems to be paying off. In September, the country’s wind farms provided more power than was needed to keep the lights on in every Scottish home.

A break for utilities? EPA to reconsider Clean Power Plan

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, EPA, EPA Clean Power Plan, policy and regulation, electric utilities
EPA’s Clean Power plan may change as a result of responses the agency received during its public comment period. There was enough concern regarding the impact on grid reliability and the high cost of compliance that the agency is asking for additional comments on specific parts of the plan.

Utilities: Want to know how much solar will hurt you? Here are the numbers

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, rooftop solar, rooftop solar impacts, policy and regulation, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, electric utilities
Considering the accelerating rate of rooftop solar adoption, understanding its potential impacts on utility rates and profitability is a task well worth taking on. Researchers at a DOE national lab have produced a detailed report that should help clear up some of the widely debated questions surrounding those possible impacts.

DOE standards for smart grid data privacy open for comment, but time’s running out

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, policy and regulation, smart grid standards, data privacy, electric utilities
The Energy Department’s draft Voluntary Code of Conduct for data privacy related to smart grid technologies is open for public comment, but the deadline is coming up soon. The commend period for the code of conduct, which applies to utilities and third parties, closes on October 14.

No more renewable mandates for New York? (Or energy efficiency either?)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid strategy, smart grid investments, New York energy plan, energy efficiency, renewables
New York isn’t giving up on its commitment to renewables and energy efficiency. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority just wants to change the state’s approach. The agency is proposing a switch from mandates to a program of investments in market development and technology innovation, and incentives for renewables.

Texas is forcing utilities to give home energy monitors to the poor

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, home energy monitors, policy and regulation, home energy management, electric utilities
Texas regulators want utilities to provide low-income customers with ways to reduce their energy bills. Most observers take that to mean smart thermostats or home energy monitors. But home energy monitors have never gone over well with the public. Isn’t there a better use of the money allocated to help the state’s low income customers? Click for more details on the issue.

The march to renewables: Congress may extend and expand tax credits

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, production tax credits, policy and regulation, electric utilities
A bill recently introduced in Congress would extend the production tax credit for wind power and provide the solar industry with the same access to credits at the beginning of project construction. Electric utilities will want to keep an eye on this one because it could affect their plans for future grid upgrades. Click for details on the legislation.

Up or down? The impact of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on electric rates

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, EPA Clean Power Plan, electric rates, policy and regulation, electric utilities
Smart Grid News recently shared comments from an analyst who said there is plenty of evidence that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan could lower electric bills. So it seems only fair to share an interesting perspective that comes to a different conclusion: that retail power prices in coal-dependent states could rise.

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