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ACT electric vehicles to help stabilize power grid in first Australian research trial of its kind

by Craig Allen and Marcus Mannheim, ABC News Australia


Highlights

  • The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government is providing 50 Nissan Leaf vehicles in efforts to see if the fleet can help maintain the electricity grid through blackouts
  • The Leafs have a two-way battery, meaning they can both be charged from the grid and provide power to the grid
  • This resilience effort comes after massive brushfires knocked out powerlines, causing blackouts
  • Australia’s main source of energy is black coal, while renewable energies like solar, hydro, and wind slowly come on to the grid
  • Todd Eagles, executive director of utility company ActewAGL, says electric vehicles are going to very important to Australia’s energy future.

The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform includes an initiative for Community Energy Resilience with clean microgrids that can employ “batteries on wheels” for energy storage.


Read More: https://amp-abc-net-au.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.abc.net.au/article/12436224

Southern California Edison contracts mammoth 770mw energy storage portfolio to replace California gas plants

By Jeff St. John, Greentech Media


Highlights

Investor-owned utility Southern California Edison (SCE)  has signed multiple grid battery contracts totaling in 770 megawatts of storage.

  • SCE aims to have these seven projects live by August 2021, making it the fastest turnaround for a project of this size
  • These batteries will be stationed at existing solar farms, creating renewable energy for the grid and providing new energy sources as the state shutters multiple coal fire gas plants
  • These project sites are spread out through the lower half of the state, with some located in Riverside County and the Central Valley
  • In order to secure the proper financing, the California Energy Storage Association and storage companies are asking the California Public Utilities Commission for permission to expedite the process for reviewing and approving the projects
  • Large scale batteries will be the new norm as California aims to have 100 percent of its energy from carbon-free resources by 2045

The Climate Center’s clean and smart community microgrid initiative for a Climate-Safe California will help ensure that all cities and counties have the funding and technical support to conduct collaborative, participatory planning processes going forward.


Read more: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/southern-california-edison-picks-770mw-of-energy-storage-projects-to-be-built-by-next-year

New policy roadmap to combat wildfires, prevent power shutoffs and increase community resilience

Oakland, CA — Climate and clean energy experts released a new policy roadmap today to guide California state policymakers who want to use clean energy to combat wildfires and power outages. The roadmap details proposals that would accelerate the clean energy transition, transform the outdated investor-owned utility business model, and modernize the power system.

“The 2020 wildfire season might seem far off to some, but the state is already taking action to prepare and improve our defenses,” said Susannah Churchill, California Director for Vote Solar. “Many households, businesses, and local governments are worried about future power outages and are deciding now how to meet their backup power needs. Time is of the essence for enacting state policies that help them choose resilient and safe clean energy instead of dirty and dangerous fossil fuel backup generators.”

On January 10th, Governor Newsom released his proposed state budget, which included some funding for enhancing grid resilience. He also recently announced his intention to release a comprehensive vision for a 21st-century electric utility.

“Now is an ideal time for the state to establish a forward-looking electricity system that benefits all of our communities and helps secure a climate-safe California,” said Ellie Cohen, CEO of The Climate Center. “PG&E’s bankruptcy and the havoc created by recent power outages provide a unique political opportunity to create a decentralized electric utility system that is clean, affordable, resilient, equitable, and safe. This community-based, greenhouse gas-free network will advance state goals for pollution reduction, building electrification, and sustainable transportation while also supporting the transition of workers and their families to the clean energy economy.”

“It’s exciting to see such a focus on resiliency in the Governor’s proposed budget. Climate change and PSPS have devastated our local communities and the state needs to take decisive action to mitigate those impacts. The technologies and solutions to build California’s grid of the future exist today. They can be deployed quickly and cost-effectively to address the needs of communities,” said Allie Detrio, Chief Strategist for Reimagine Power and Senior Advisor to the Microgrid Resources Coalition. “With public and private investment channeled through the right market mechanisms, we can transform our antiquated electric grid to a much more technologically advanced, clean and safe grid. One that is decarbonized, diversified, resilient, and sustainable. But that will not happen if our policymakers don’t have the political will to make big changes to the utility business model.”

The policy roadmap outlines a broad set of clean energy policies that the state could enact to address wildfires and power shutoffs, while also addressing the climate crisis. The roadmap is organized under four broad topics:

  1. Accelerate our commitment to procuring renewable energy and decarbonizing the economy through clean technologies
  2. Transform the regulatory and business model for Investor Owned Utilities to promote the deployment and integration of clean, distributed energy
  3. Support modernization of the electricity grid that supports the rapid deployment and coordination of customer- and community-sited clean energy projects, including microgrids
  4. Other policies and programs that can help reduce the impact of wildfire risk and power outages

 Proposed policies range from adopting performance-based utility regulation and helping local governments conduct energy resilience planning, to supporting the development of community resilience hubs and other means of quickly deploying resilient clean energy resources such as solar and wind coupled with battery storage, prioritizing projects targeting lower-income communities and communities of color in high fire-risk areas.

Download the full roadmap here.

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About The Climate Center

The Climate Center is a 501(c)(3) organization working to enact rapid decarbonization policies that put California on track to reverse the climate crisis, through net-zero emissions, carbon-sequestration, and resilient communities.  The Climate Center’s Community Energy Resilience initiative supports the creation of local electricity systems — greenhouse gas-free, safe, resilient and accessible to all — in every community in California. The Climate Center played a key role in the tremendous growth of Community Choice Aggregations (CCAs) in California, with 19 CCAs now providing 88% clean energy to 11 million residents.

About Vote Solar

Vote Solar’s mission is to make solar a mainstream energy resource across the U.S. Since 2002, Vote Solar has been working to lower solar costs and expand solar access. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Vote Solar advocates for state policies and programs needed to repower our electric grid with clean energy. Vote Solar works to remove regulatory barriers and implement key policies needed to bring solar to scale. For more information, visit​ VoteSolar.org.

About Reimagine Power

Reimagine Power Inc is a consulting firm focused on intelligence, market strategy and advocacy for microgrids and sustainable energy policy in the west coast. Reimagine Power’s carefully selected clientele consists of top tier innovators and thought leaders in advanced clean energy that are reimagining the power sector.