This was a week that many in the smart grid community won't forget in a while.
The Obama administration unfurled $3.4 billion in stimulus funds that will allow utilities to plant, among other things, 1.8 million smart meters across the country and 200,000 advanced transformers (see Smart Grid Gets $3.4B in DOE Stimulus).
Despite the euphoria, however, skepticism has begun to grow. PG&E customers in hot, dusty Bakersfield claim that their new smart meters artificially inflate their power bills (see Green Light post). PG&E says it's just a reflection of how net metering works and increases in power costs.
Meanwhile, overseas, British Gas announced deals with AlertMe (which has a deal that links into Google's PowerMeter) and Trilliant (see Google, British Gas Help AlertMe Launch Home Energy Control).
You'll be hearing more next week too. On Nov. 4, Greentech Media will host The Networked Grid, a one-day seminar on the pressing technological and economic issues in smart grid at PG&E headquarters in San Francisco. Speakers include Andrew Campbell, senior energy advisor to the California Public Utility Commission, and Raj Vaswani, the CTO of Silver Springs Networks.
In this and other news:
• Smart Grid Gets $3.4B in DOE Stimulus
The DOE has given out $3.4 billion to 100 commercial-scale smart grid projects. Florida, Baltimore, San Diego utilities are early winners.
• DOE's $3.4B Smart Grid Grant Program: The Winners
The Department of Energy has chosen 100 smart grid projects to receive $3.4 billion in matching grants. Here's the list.
• Smart Grid Investment Grants: The Also-Rans
For every one project that got a piece of the $3.4 billion in Department of Energy stimulus grants on Tuesday, three projects didn't.
• The Next Wave of Smart Grid Funding?
In looking at the numbers, although funding in smart grid is recovering, it's a bit surprising to see the small proportion of smart grid deals relative to VC in greentech as a whole.
• California Passes Smart Grid Bill
If California utilities weren't already working on their smart grid plans, a new state law has given them a deadline to catch up.
• Feds Gang Up to Get 'Green' Transmission Built
The federal government took a small step toward getting the nation's transmission grid up to speed by singing a memorandum of understanding between nine federal agencies to expedite the siting and building of transmission lines.
• Intellon Gets $4.9M DOE Grant for HomePlug
HomePlug – the whole-be hard-wired technology alternative to wireless networks for home energy management systems – just got a $4.9 million Department of Energy boost.
• Grid Storage: Austin Energy Breaks It Down
Austin Energy has broken down the grid energystoragemarket to find multiple ways to make it pay off. Now it just has to see which ones work best.
• Google, British Gas Help AlertMe Launch Home Energy Control
AlertMe has begun to sell equipment for home energy control in the U.K. Don't worry: It won't be alone for long.
• Microgrids: $2.1B Market by 2015
Microgrids – experimental islands of renewable power – will be a small but growing piece of the smart grid market, Pike Research says.
• Smart Grid Backlash
How can you be against the smart grid? Or against smart meters? Isn't it like being anti-motherhood or anti-apple pie or anti-education?
Interact with smart grid industry visionaries from North American utilities, innovative hardware and software vendors and leading industry consortiums at The Networked Grid on November 4 in San Francisco.