Canary Media – Utilities are worried that homes switching to electric heating, electric cooking and electric-vehicle charging will create major new strains on their power grids. And homeowners looking to go all-electric face steep costs if they need to upgrade their grid connections to handle bigger electrical loads. A new report suggests that both problems could be addressed by the latest smart electric panels.
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.
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.
Pecan Street, an energy and climate research and development organization was awarded $400,000 as the utility data advisor to provide dedicated support to oversee and provide guidance to NYSERDA and DPS on data sourced from the utilities, such as energy consumption, grid capacity, and distributed energy resources and the technology needed to provide data to the IEDR. Pecan Street’s team will serve as a subject matter expert on utility data systems as well as participate in the IEDR Utility Coordination Group.
Pecan Street’s Colin Rowan spoke with Eric Henrikson (KXAN-Austin) about whether the Texas grid can handle an influx of electric vehicles (yes!) and how these “rolling batteries” could (and should) be a solution for Texas leaders trying to increase the grid’s resilience.