In today’s AUSenergy News Update: Utilities are pushing for new energy storage technology, Batavia’s electricity rates could rise by as much as 16%, and ComEd will speed up its smart meter rollout.
Summary: California is currently the only U.S. state requiring utilities to add energy storage systems. Beginning in 2014, large utilities that operate in California are required to begin adding energy storage systems so that by 2024, they will be able to collectively store 1,325 MW of energy. Municipal utilities will also be required to purchase or lease energy storage equipment.
AUS Comment: Energy storage systems are going to play a critical role in grid stability in the near future. States looking to add significant renewable energy capacity in the form of inherently intermittent wind and/or solar would be wise to follow California’s example.
Summary: A special joint committees-of-the-whole meeting fielded questions from Batavia, IL citizens asking how and why the town’s electricity rates are poised to rise as much as 16%. The committee stated that the Prairie State Energy Campus, one of the newest coal-fired power plants in the U.S., is the driver behind the cost increase.
AUS Comment: The council will decide on the matter after two more joint committees-of-the-whole meetings on March 4 and 11. Their final decision is expected to be made on March 17. Any resulting rate changes would go into effect May 1.
Summary: ComEd hopes to replace all 4 million existing meters in its territory to smart meters by 2018, three years ahead of schedule.
AUS Comment: ComEd customers should be aware of incoming notifications from ComEd regarding their scheduled installation date. There is a $21.53 per month penalty for ComEd customers who either refuse to allow the meters to be installed or who won’t provide access to meters. That fine applies to tenants in buildings whose landlords refuse ComEd access. If you rent, be sure to notify your landlord.
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