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.
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.
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.
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?
As climate action takes center stage this week at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Pecan Street will reflect on some of the issues we believe will be key to keeping global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. Topics will include, AI applications for soil carbon sequestration, energy equity, water equity, and electrified transportation infrastructure. Next up are our recommendations for federal EV charging infrastructure spending.