Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Utilities, Solar  -  April 6, 2019

Weekend reads: Energy Star shines; Utilities drive towards EV charging

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web:

WHAT THE US FEDERAL ENERGY STAR PROGRAM HAS ACCOMPLISHED FOR THE ECONOMY AND THE ENVIRONMENT (Clean Energy Authority) ENERGY STAR was launched by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 as a voluntary program but it’s now co-managed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and EPA. This program has been a symbol for energy efficiency in the country, helping individuals and businesses save money as well as protect the environment through improved energy utilization strategies. Thousands of commercial, industrial, utility, local, and state entities depend on their association with the EPA to provide low-cost energy efficiency solutions. 

FPL Will Build World’s Largest Battery Storage System (POWER Mag)  Florida Power and Light Co. (FPL) has been building new solar farms and bringing gigawatts of new natural gas-fired generation capacity online in recent years. Now the utility has announced what it calls the world’s largest solar-powered battery storage system. FPL on March 28 said the Manatee Energy Storage Center, a 409-MW/900-MWh battery storage facility, would begin operations in late 2021.

Utilities See a Money Maker in Electric Vehicle Charging Business — and Growing Competition (Inside Climate News)  With electric vehicle sales climbing, utilities are investing in thousands of new EV charging stations, recognizing that if they don't move now, they could lose out on a growing and increasingly competitive market. The latest example is Duke Energy, which this week proposed a $76 million program in North Carolina that it described as the largest investment in electric vehicle infrastructure among utilities in the Southeast.

California Today: A Virtual Solar Power Plant for L.A.? ‘It Will Happen’ (New York Times)  How Californians get power has been in the news a lot lately, between Pacific Gas & Electric’s woes and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s recent announcement that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power would phase out three natural gas power plants on its way toward 100 percent renewable energy sources. “We have an obligation to end dependence on fossil fuels, embrace the technologies of tomorrow, and prioritize renewable energy,” Mr. Garcetti said in a statement to The Times this week. The question now is how to do that.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Efficiency in San José (IMT)  What does it take to drive market transformation toward bigger, faster, deeper investments in energy efficiency? To figure this out, the City Energy Project, a national initiative from IMT and the Natural Resources Defense Council, embedded staff in 20 participating cities across the U.S. with a focus on boosting energy efficiency in buildings. These City Advisors help ensure that the energy efficiency efforts pursued by a city are customized to best meet local needs to maximize returns. 

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