Pecan Street on KXAN: Why One Austin Neighborhood Tracks Energy Use Down to the Circuit
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Every light bulb, microwave and electric vehicle charger — tracked! That’s what around 300 homes are doing in the Mueller neighborhood in east Austin. They’re doing it as part of a research project called Pecan Street, and the data they’re collecting could reshape energy usage in the years to come.
During Texas’ Heatwave, Every Degree Matters. And so Do Conservation and Efficiency.
By Scott Hinson, chief technology officer, Pecan Street – For the second time in a week, Texas’ grid operator (ERCOT) and local utilities yesterday issued “calls for conservation” as the state bakes under a prolonged heatwave. Among the requests: increase your thermostat setpoint to 78 degrees to reduce state-wide air conditioner load. It’s unsurprising that air conditioning increases electricity demand during a heatwave. But it may surprise you to know just how powerful a driver it is and how close it can push the state toward a real problem.
Pecan Street’s JupyterHub Can Help Rapidly Scale and Iterate Your Research
By Cavan Merski, data analyst, Pecan Street – To allow better access and more sophisticated analysis of this data, we launched our own Jupyterhub, a multi-user server for Jupyter Notebooks designed to support large-scale analysis by using GPU and memory based on a server rather than a local machine. It also allows multiple users – like groups of students or researchers – to share the same document at the same time.
More Clean Power in Texas will Require More Grid Transmission and DER Development
By Cavan Merski, data analyst, Pecan Street – The ERCOT power grid is back in the news. Texas experienced its hottest May on record and June has seen consistent record-breaking temperatures as well. ERCOT has been busy trying to balance extremely high grid demand with various electric generation plant outages. On June 12, ERCOT recorded its highest ever grid demand of over 75GW. That record only lasted one week before grid demand climbed to more than 76 GW on June 20. And we're wasting emission-free wind and solar power.
When it Comes to Energy and Equity, Metrics Aren’t Enough.
Guest Blog by Justin Schott, Energy Equity Project – Measuring the impact of clean energy investment is important. But measurement alone is only part of the journey. And in isolation, it may even be dangerous. In a post last year, Meredith Fowlie wrote “What gets measured will get managed. And possibly manipulated.” So, the Energy Equity Project set out to create a national framework for measuring and advancing equity in clean energy programs and investments. Here's a preview.
Cooling a Warming Planet: What Homes in Texas and New York Can Teach Us About Cooling Demand Around the Globe
By Cavan Merski, data analyst, Pecan Street – We were interested to see how our homes in these two regions compared now and what will happen in the future as climate change brings warmer summers to most of the country, so we performed a series of regressions to explore differences in the cooling load between homes in Austin, TX homes and Ithaca, NY.
First Look at High-Resolution Home Energy Data in Puerto Rico Suggests Vastly Different Challenges and Opportunities.
By Cavan Merski, data analyst, Pecan Street – The first Pecan Street home in Puerto Rico is online, and we already see some differences compared to the hundreds of homes in our network in Texas, New York, California and Colorado.
Pecan Street Inc. and GAVA Selected to Lead Solar Energy Innovation Network Project in Austin
Pecan Street Inc. and GAVA were selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to participate in the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN) to discover transformative ways of accelerating equitable residential solar adoption in historically underserved communities. Seven other projects around the country were selected to participate in the SEIN program.
A Tale of Two February Freezes – Can Last Year’s Grid Failure and This Month’s Storm be Compared?
By Scott Hinson, chief technology officer, Pecan Street – The recent freeze gave us an opportunity to compare electricity use in our research network before and during the event to how people used power during last year’s crisis. Did they learn any tips or tricks? Did they panic heat their homes to prepare for power outages? Did they charge their cars any differently? Here's what we saw.
A Year After Winter Storm Uri, a Look at Smart Solutions to Strengthen the Grid
By Cavan Merski, data analyst, Pecan Street Inc. – Microgrids get name-dropped a lot. And for good reason. The promise of a smarter, more resilient, and cleaner grid is enough to make any energy geek swoon. But given all the buzz, there’s a short supply of guidance on how we can deploy microgrid technology at scale. Pecan Street’s new analysis puts our energy data expertise to work to answer part of the microgrid riddle – how can big data enable widespread microgrid deployment?