Innovation at Silicon Valley Clean Energy
This newsletter offers updates on how Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) is working with our communities and partners to drive new and innovative solutions for carbon reduction.
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New Pilots Launched to Tackle Energy Resilience at Homes, Schools and Across the Community
Public Safety Power Shutoffs, heat waves, and rolling blackouts have put energy resilience at the forefront and highlighted the critical need for enhanced resilience solutions to ensure a smooth transition to a carbon-free grid. The following four pilot projects were selected as the “energy resilience” cohort from the SVCE spring 2020 Innovation Onramp call for applications, focused on addressing key barriers for customer and community resiliency.
In a flagship pilot with SVCE, Span.IO will install its smart electrical panels in homes across the SVCE service territory, addressing several key barriers to the all-electric transition and community resilience. Span Smart Panels streamline solar and storage installations, facilitate household electrification by reducing the need for expensive service upgrades, and serve as the home’s energy management hub. The panel provides the homeowner with detailed insight into their electricity consumption and enables electric appliances to intelligently respond to grid conditions. Customers interested in participating can sign up to receive updates at svcleanenergy.org/resilience.
Electron will develop a prototype of an SVCE-owned local marketplace for load flexibility from distributed energy resources such as battery storage and smart thermostats, to unlock the value that they can provide to customers and the broader SVCE community.
$100,000 in Seed Funding Available for Solutions to Advance Building Decarbonization
SVCE issued a call for applications to advance building decarbonization across our communities and beyond. SVCE will grant $5,000-$20,000 in seed funding for up to five proposing teams. This is the inaugural “seed round” of the SVCE Innovation Onramp program, which provides grants to advance solutions that address key technical, market and policy barriers to achieving local emission reduction goals.
The seed round will support solutions in earlier stages of development. The ideas funded through this round of Innovation Onramp will complement the efforts described in the Building Decarbonization Joint Action Plan, which was recently adopted by the SVCE Board of Directors. Applications close on March 12, 2021. For more information on how to apply visit svcleanenergy.org/innovation.
“Data Hive” Expands to San Mateo County & Influences State Regulatory Proceedings Across the Country
In April 2020, SVCE and UtilityAPI launched the SVCE Data Hive, which allows clean energy businesses, such as solar and storage installers, to gain instant, authorized, and secure access to standardized energy data for free. The Data Hive is a flagship pilot through the SVCE Innovation Onramp program to support local businesses by expanding their ability to easily access data at no cost. To date, Data Hive has 107 clean energy companies registered to use the platform.
“The Data Hive saves me 4-6 hours per customer,” said Scott DuBois, Director of Commercial Sales at Cinnamon Energy Systems. “You can text, email or use the phone to get an authorization. The flexibility is great.” Read more of his review here.
A fellow Bay Area CCA, Peninsula Clean Energy, recently signed a contract with UtilityAPI to replicate this tool for their customers across San Mateo County.
“Peninsula Clean Energy’s partnership with UtilityAPI will allow us to go further in achieving our goal of reducing carbon emissions in San Mateo County by providing local clean energy businesses with simple, streamlined access to authorized customer data,” said Sapna Dixit, Strategic Accounts Manager at Peninsula Clean Energy.
Additionally, Data Hive is influencing discussions on data access in state policy proceedings beyond California, including in New Hampshire, North Carolina and Maryland.
“In November 2020, Data Hive was presented to a Maryland Public Service Commission working group in a rulemaking concerning data access. Data Hive was shown as a ‘gold standard’ for its streamlined consent process and excellent user experience,” said Michael Murray, president of Mission:data Coalition.
Data Hive in the news:
- UtilityAPI Blog, Cinnamon Energy System’s experience: The Zeal of the Convert
- Greentech Media: Silicon Valley Clean Energy and UtilityAPI Want to Free Your Meter Data
- Greentech Media: ‘Data Hive’ Opens for Solar, Battery Vendors in Silicon Valley
- Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP): ‘Sharing Load Profile Data: Best Practices and Examples
SVCE Leads Joint Community Energy Agency Procurement of Long-Duration Storage, Establishes Market Demand
Energy storage plays an important role in the transition to a clean grid, and to date, SVCE has contracted for 122 MW of energy storage paired with solar. The need for large-scale energy storage is necessary if California plans to meet its 2045 carbon-free goal, but the nascent technology is an industry-wide challenge.
In October 2020, SVCE and seven other CCAs issued a request for offers (RFO) to procure up to 500 MW of long-duration storage, with a minimum discharge period of 8 hours. The CCAs are seeking a minimum 10-year contract for grid-charged technologies to come online by or before June 1, 2026. Since issuing the RFO, over 50 entities have submitted offers for more than 18 different technologies ranging from lithium-ion to chemical flow batteries, compressed air, pumped hydro and emerging technologies such as thermal and gravity-based storage.
To date, this is the largest effort to procure long-duration storage that the market has seen and will offer an opportunity to showcase that long-duration storage is an integral player in the transition to a carbon-free grid.
Joint procurement of long-duration storage in the news:
Utility Dive: California CCAs seek offers for at least 4 GWh storage
- American Public Power Association: California community choice aggregators issue RFO for long-duration storage
- Greentech media: The First Major Long-Duration Storage Procurement Has Arrived
- Greentech Media: California Could Need 55GW of Long-Duration Storage to Meet Its 2045 Carbon-Free Grid Goal
State Utilities Commission Spotlights SVCE in Case Studies on “Reach Code” Initiative and Decarb Roadmap
SVCE’s approach to working with the community to drive innovation that addresses climate change has been featured in two case studies published in 2020 by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The case studies highlight the SVCE Decarbonization Strategy & Programs Roadmap, as well as the joint “reach code” effort with Peninsula Clean Energy to advance all-electric buildings and electric vehicle charging deployment.
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Established in 2016, SVCE is a community choice energy agency serving thirteen communities in Santa Clara County. The SVCE mission is to address climate change by providing clean, carbon-free electricity at competitive rates – and in the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley, through bold new decarbonization and electrification programs. To date, the SVCE Board of Directors has committed over $1B to new renewable energy projects and more than $25M for innovative programs that reinvest in the community while helping to achieve local climate goals.
For more information on how SVCE is driving innovation to address the climate crisis, please see the following strategic plans.