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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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