Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

May 7, 2022

Weekend Reads: California Hits 100% RE Use for the First Time; The Public School Net Zero Transition

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

These batteries work from home (Vox) It seems as though everyone is talking about electric vehicle batteries lately. Automakers are racing to make these batteries more powerful so they can convince more people to buy EVs, and the Biden administration is spending billions to make the United States a manufacturing hub for next-generation battery technology. But even as EV batteries soak up the spotlight, another kind of battery is gaining momentum: home batteries.

California runs on 100% clean energy for the first time, with solar dominating (Electrek) Energy demand statewide reached 18,672 megawatts at 2:45 pm, with 37,172 MW available. (Excess is exported to neighboring states.) 101% of the power provided came from clean energy, according to a continuous tracker provided by California Independent System Operator (CAISO), a nonprofit that oversees the operation of the state’s bulk electric power system, transmission lines, and electricity market generated and transmitted by its member utilities.

Geothermal company looks to Augustine Volcano as a source of renewable energy (Alaska Public Radio) An Alaska company could start prospecting for energy on the active volcano on Augustine Island inCook Inlet. The state of Alaska is considering leasing land to GeoAlaska LLC so it can see if Augustine is a good fit for a potential geothermal project. The company is already prospecting for energy at Mount Spurr, 40 miles west of Tyonek. GeoAlaska CEO Erik Anderson, of Anchorage, said the two-year-old company is looking at those two Cook Inlet volcanoes because they’re closer to Alaska’s population center and the Railbelt.

How Public Schools Are Going Net Zero (Bloomberg) The entrance to Washington, D.C.’s newest elementary school building leads right to an open-space library painted in blue, green and yellow, with a makerspace that hangs above like a treehouse. On the side, a massive touchscreen invites students to tap away at an interactive dashboard with real-time data detailing how the building is performing for a new climate reality.  “Students can see bar charts of how much energy their building is generating and consuming — for the kitchen, for the mechanical systems, and for the lights,” says Juan Guarin, a sustainability expert at the architecture firm Perkins Eastman. “We also try to use it to teach topics like climate change, social and environmental justice, and human health.”

Quiet, clean and smart: New electric autonomous bus is ready for riders (Michigan State University) Michigan State University’s newest addition to its smart mobility ecosystem, an electric autonomous bus, is now officially accepting passengers. The autonomous bus is one of the largest of its kind to be deployed on U.S. roadways to date. First introduced in November 2021 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the bus has now completed extensive on-campus testing – including more than 650 test runs of its route spanning all hours of the day – to make the official deployment possible. As part of the process to green light accepting passengers, validation of the bus, route and infrastructure was granted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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