News Archives: October 2011
The reactions yesterday to Wednesday’s approval of Commonwealth Edison’s plan to modernize its grid came swiftly, after the Illinois legislature overrode Gov. Pat Quinn’s six-week-old veto.
The $2.6 billion, 10-year investment is calculated to cost ComEd customers $3 per month increase on their electric bills and, according to a Black & Veatch study, will return $2.8 billion in benefits.
Those in favor of the law crowed. Those who opposed the bill remained opposed. We’ll take a glance at the pros and cons, via these reactions, in a moment. But the news was one of the year’s highest-profile stories on grid modernization, with Bloomberg Businessweek and The Huffington Post covering the legislation’s passage.
Springfield, Ill. – Com Ed moved another step closer on Monday to its goal of collecting billions of additional dollars from Illinois consumers.
The State Senate’s Executive Committee voted 14-1 in favor of a bill that would guarantee Com Ed big profits and assure rate increases for the next 10 years. In exchange, the company would invest part of that money to build a more modern and reliable system.
And after spreading around millions of dollars in campaign contributions, the state’s big electric utilities are more confident than ever that their rate increase legislation will win approval. Still, the State’s beleaguered consumer watchdogs insist that voters oppose the proposal.
Video recap of the successful Great Lakes Symposium including interviews with EDF, CUB and West Monroe Partners
A summer of days-long electrical power outages and controversy over a recently vetoed bill that would have paved the way for a smart grid in Illinois has focused attention on Chicago’s electrical grid system. Smart grid advocates say such a system could improve electricity delivery and service for the city and the Midwest.
For the first time, the Great Lakes Symposium on Smart Grid and the New Energy Economy brought together utility executives that already have smart grid technologies, local and regional policymakers and consumer advocates.
Former Southern California utility executive John Bryson was confirmed Thursday by the Senate to be President Obama’s next commerce secretary.
Obama’s nomination of Bryson initially had run into opposition from Senate Republicans who threatened to withhold support until three long-awaited trade pacts came to fruition. Congress approved the trade agreements last week.
With Obama poised to sign the trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Colombia into law Friday, the nomination cleared the Senate. The vote was 74-26.
Chicago Mayor Emanuel addressed participants at the Great Lakes Symposium on Smart Grid and the New Energy Economy
A non-profit group started by the late Robert Galvin to foster innovation in the power industry today is unveiling a new “seal of approval” for providers of electricity, modeled on the successful LEED designation for green building.
The Galvin Electricity Initiative is establishing a new “Perfect Power Seal of Approval,” which will be given to municipalities and small-scale power providers that meet reliability, cost and environmental targets. Overseeing the program will be a new organization called the Perfect Power Institute, which will be run by John Kelly, Galvin’s executive director.
The initiative plans to roll out the program at the Great Lakes Symposium on Smart Grid and the New Energy Economy, a two-day event taking place at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.
The Oak Park village board made green energy history at Monday’s board meeting by approving a plan it believes is the first in the United States to purchase aggregated energy delivery through 100 percent renewable energy certificates (RECs). The village contracted with Integrys Energy Group for a two-year agreement to deliver energy at a price some 25 percent cheaper than Com Ed. The aggregation is projected to save Oak Parkers $4.5 to $4.6 million.
“This is a huge win,” said Village Manager Tom Barwin, “We have a 25 percent reduction to the supply portion of our energy bills and a 100 percent commitment to renewable energy for Oak Park for the next two years.
“To some, this may be just about saving money on one’s electric bill, which is a very good thing. But to those increasingly growing numbers of individuals who recognize the need to move as quickly as possible beyond carbon-based energy generation systems toward clean, renewable energy sources, this is a significant, far-reaching step,” said Barwin.
Gov. Pat Quinn has called the debate over how to modernize Illinois’ power grid the “biggest consumer battle of the last generation.” But how much do consumers know about the smart grid itself? Learn how S&C is trying to inform and innovate at the same time.
“…As president, I announced a new national vision: low carbon green growth.
And it is our goal to become the world’s seventh-largest green economy by 2020.
The benefits of green growth are real. This is why we are investing heavily in the research and development of next-generation power technologies such as the smart grids. This is why we are trying to become the leader in renewable energy sources. This is why we’ve required our biggest carbon-emitting companies to set greenhouse gas targets this year. They will, of course, work to deliver on their promise.
I am aware that the US is also taking measures to ensure a sustainable future. Some of those steps we are taking together.
For example, in 2009, our governments signed a statement of intention to work together on renewable energy, energy efficiency and power technologies. The Chicago Smart Building Initiative is a good example of our cooperation. And during my visit this time, our two governments signed a statement of intent on the Joint Research Project on Clean Energy. Joint investments and cooperation will only increase; our work will lead to tangible results that will benefit mankind.”
General Motors Co confirmed it will make its first all-electric vehicle, a version of the Chevrolet Spark minicar that will debut in 2013 and take aim at Nissan Motor Co Ltd’s Leaf.
“Chevrolet will produce an all-electric version of the Spark minicar for selected U.S. and global markets, including California,” Jim Federico, Chevy’s global vehicle chief engineer for electric vehicles, said at the company’s Detroit headquarters on Wednesday.
Electric cars have been slow to catch on. In the U.S. market, demand has been held back by the lack of models to choose from, skimpy infrastructure for charging the vehicles, high sticker prices, and low gasoline prices compared with other industrialized nations.