SEPA Blog Site : SEPAPower



Solar Comes Down From the Mountain -- And Into the Mainstream

Bob Gibson's experience with solar started more than 20 years ago high in the mountains of Guatemala. His final SEPA blog traces a personal history with a technology that has evolved into a force of surprising change.

Moeller explains factors changing grid at SEPA Town Meeting

From the July 13, 2016 issue of Smart Grid Today following the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid held July 11-13, 2016 in Washington, DC. Here, Philip Moeller talks about how smart meters are making the power system run two ways, rather than from a central station outward.

SEPA Town Meeting told grid still ripe for assets

From the July 13, 2016 issue of Smart Grid Today following the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid held July 11-13, 2016 in Washington, DC. This article discusses the way SEPA is focused on a more dynamic power system and how many of the speakers said the biggest changes would happen on the distribution system.

Transactive energy pilot to test customer acceptance of real-time pricing scheme

Earlier this year, Ed Cazalet submitted a paper for SEPA's 51st State Initiative, envisioning a “transactive” energy system that uses real-time, wholesale electricity prices to help people save money by shifting their energy use. Now, he's got a grant from the California Energy Commission to test out his ideas in real life.

Utilities need not wait to roll out innovative DER programs

The utility of the future must look for ways to incentivize customer adoption of distributed technologies that will cut consumers' electric bills and provide value to the grid, says Seth Frader-Thompson, President of EnergyHub. Previewing his presentation at the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid, Frader-Thompson provides some examples of customer-grid solutions utilities are already offering today.

Distributed energy technologies: Disruptive, beneficial -- or both?

Headlines about disruptive technologies are now the norm in the energy industry. But Frank Lacey believes that distributed energy technologies that bolster grid reliability should be seen as assistive and a sign of assurance for utilities.

A Solar Story from Arkansas Shines Light on Q1 Utility-Scale Market

SEPA's analysis of the first quarter utility solar market focuses on a 12-MW solar project in Arkansas driven by corporate customer demand, electric co-ops and an innovative PPA. A robust project pipeline is also signaling market acceleration ahead.

The top 10 questions utilities have about community solar

In April, 75 community solar professionals gathered at a workshop where much of the discussion focused on the critical issues and decision points in the surprisingly complex and still evolving world of community solar. Patterns arose and these 10 questions were the most commonly asked.

Reimagining the Future of Electricity

Utilities are notoriously risk averse -- especially when faced with innovative new technologies. But Alisa Ferguson of XPRIZE says SEPA's recent 51st State Summit provided a clear example of why finding the right context for talking about industry change can make all the difference.

Leveraging Customer-Side DERs to Benefit All Utility Customers

A recent SEPA webinar reported on how the Sacramento Municipal Utility District has turned risk into opportunity with a smart approach to helping customers invest in distributed energy technologies that can provide benefits to all the utility's customers and its community.

Smart Thermostats Bring New Life and Innovation to AC Cycling

It's not how your parents did air conditioning cycling. SEPA's Mike Taylor looks at how smart thermostats are updating residential demand response programs to aggregate energy savings for thousands of customers, and create new customer and third-party partnerships -- and better program outcomes.

Utilities unacknowledged catalysts of first million solar installs

The solar industry marks its millionth installation, and every single one of those projects was connected to the grid by a utility. SEPA's K Kaufmann looks at the historic patterns of energy transition behind the recent industry milestone.

Changing solar energy landscape gives utilities new stories to tell

Utilities today often find themselves mistakenly labelled "anti-solar" in state-level debates over net energy metering and other rate reforms. A new working group of utility executives is focusing on changing that assumption and improving communications with customers and other industry stakeholders.

SEPA comment on passage of Senate energy bill

Provisions of the energy bill passed by the U.S. Senate could spur new collaboration and partnerships between utilities, the solar industry and other clean technology developers, says SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm.

SEPA comment on NY joint proposal on solar transactions

When utilities and solar industry stakeholders work together, as they have in New York, they can find innovative solutions to sensitive issues, such as developing new frameworks for solar transactions, says SEPA CEO and President Julia Hamm.