Austin-based research group Pecan Street Inc. has started working with several new partner companies to test smart-grid consumer products and advance development of the Texas city’s smart-grid demonstration project. Based at the University of Texas (UT), Pecan Street researchers will be working with Best Buy, Check-It, Chevrolet, Freescale, Intel,... Read more
More than 150,000 multicrystalline solar panels from Suntech Power Holdings are now generating energy at two new solar power plants in central California. The 15-megawatt (MW) plant in Five Points and the 20-MW facility in Helm were both built and engineered by Cupertino Electric Inc.’s Energy Alternatives Division. Construction... Read more
 “Heat batteries,” fuel from pine trees and alternatives to increasingly expensive rare earth materials are among the quests of 60 research projects set to receive $156 million from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funds, allocated in the department’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget,... Read more
While other companies are testing solar thermal technology on a utility scale, healthcare services company DaVita has found a different way to benefit: using the sun’s energy to provide power for kidney dialysis. The Denver-based company began testing a solar-thermal-powered dialysis clinic at its facility in Scottsburg, Indiana, in... Read more
South Korea’s power grid now has something no other grid in the world has: the longest-yet distribution-voltage superconductor cable system, capable of carrying around 50 megawatts of power. That’s enough electricity to meet the annual energy needs of some 50,000 US homes. A joint effort of Korea Electric Power... Read more
Over the past year, the UK has seen a significant increase in the amount of energy it gets from renewable sources, with one contributing factor being a return to higher, more normal wind speeds and rainfall. Nearly 10 percent of all Britain’s power is now renewably generated. Low wind... Read more
The US Department of Energy has finalized a $337-million loan guarantee for a solar energy project to be located in Arizona, not far from Phoenix. Mequite Solar 1 is set to be one of the first utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the country to use an innovative, US-made... Read more
Following a pilot program, Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) is moving ahead with plans to launch a residential demand response program in 2012. The initiative is aimed at reducing peak energy demand, as well as the need to build new power plants to meet demand. The utility will work... Read more
British Gas has chosen Elster as its second provider for dual electricity and gas meters for its planned rollout of smart meters in 2012 and 2013. The UK-based utility had held a competitive evaluation of several potential vendors to identify an additional qualified supplier for its smart metering deployment.... Read more
On-Ramp Wireless has partnered with meter data management system (MDMS) provider Ecologic Analytics to provide a pre-integrated system for utilities looking to implement smart-metering programs. On-Ramp has also just begun offering meter communication modules for the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) space. Working with Ecologic Analytics’ MDMS system, On-Ramp’s Ultra-Link... Read more