Smart grid freebies: apps, maps and more


By Liz Enbysk

SGN Managing Editor


We’ve put together a collection of freebies that's sort of a smart grid goody bag for grown-ups. An app that shows the most EV-ready cities and one that calculates how distributed power solutions can save money and energy. There's a map that pinpoints states with the most renewables and an animated IBM video that explains the benefits of big data for smart grid technology. Fun stuff; scroll down and see for yourself.


·         Which cities are most EV ready? According to Xatori, a Palo Alto, CA company that builds software for electric vehicles, Portland tops the list, followed by Dallas, Nashville, the San Francisco Bay area and Seattle. The list is based on public charging locations per 100,000 residents. If you want to drill down further, check out Xatori's free PlugShare app.


·         What's the big deal with big data? Ask the folks at IBM and they'll tell you that evolving technologies, including smart meters and smart grids, can provide utilities with unprecedented capabilities for forecasting demand, shaping customer usage patterns, preventing outages, optimizing unit commitment and more. They've spelled it out in their Big Data, Big Opportunities video and a free white paper Managing big data for smart grids and smart meters.

·         Free online energy data service aims at building owners.  Austin startup Noesis has launched a service to encourage building owners and managers to reduce energy consumption. How does it work? Owners input their energy data and receive regular reports on consumption trends and comparisons to other buildings they own. According to a GigaOm story, during a recent trial of the Noesis service, owners signed up 44,000 buildings, from hotels to schools to chip makers.


·         Bright lights in the Big Apple. Earlier this year New York City launched the NYC Solar Map, an interactive online tool that allows users to estimate the solar photovoltaic potential for the one million buildings in NYC's five city boroughs.  According to a DOE report on the project, information on the shape, angle, size and shade on city rooftops comes from an airplane equipped with an aerial laser system.


 More free stuff? Check these out...

Free tool helps utilities pinpoint best energy storage options

Tool jam! 2 freebies to tackle 2 different energy challenges

Two killer grid simulation tools from a national lab (and one is free)