A startup emerges to help time shift energy use

It’s a hot day and you agree not to jack up your air conditioner in exchange for a discount on your utility bill. Startups like Smart Grid Billing are developing applications to help manage this process, and the startup plans to launch a pilot next month.

Apple’s fuel cells will be powered by landfills

We were wondering where Apple and Bloom Energy were planning on getting all that biogas to run the large fuel cell farm at Apple’s North Carolina data center. According to a filing with FERC, Apple will get the biogas from landfills.

75% of U.S. electric meters will be smart by 2016

Despite some of the push back from a very vocal but tiny group, smart meters in the U.S. are coming — and fast. According to research group NPD, 75 percent of the electric meters in the U.S. will be smart digital meters by 2016.

How to build a better electric grid

Efforts to modernize the U.S. grid in recent years have emerged as a hodgepodge of pilot projects, the installation of new technology and hefty financial backing from the U.S. government and private investors. How to plan for such a change is a daunting task.

Why FERC’s energy storage ruling is important

The Federal Regulatory Energy Commission recently passed a new rule for frequency regulation to support emerging technologies that can provide quick bursts of power to the grid. We break down what this new rule means and who will benefit.

Ocean power: Still DOA

Federal regulators canceled three ocean power project permits in California because the permit holder, located in Sonoma County, couldn’t come up with the money to carry out the projects.

Today in Cleantech

Looks like the demand response industry has federal regulators on its side once again. On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued yet another order putting the interests of demand response aggregators like EnerNOC, Comverge and others in front of the interests of power generators. FERC’s order put a stop to the attempt by mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM to change the way it accounts for demand response in a way that would reduce the overall payments to the companies that participate in reducing their power use during peak load times (click here for a more detailed explanation of the issue). In fact, FERC suspended PJM’s request for the maximum time allowable under law, keeping the market under its current rules for this year as well as 2012. EnerNOC’s shares saw a healthy jump on Monday as a result of the news, though they still haven’t regained the ground they lost since PJM accused the company of “double counting” its demand response reductions earlier this year. Looks like the prospects for demand response are getting better — FERC has also issued an order demanding a long-term shift that will require demand response “negawatts” to get paid on an equivalent basis as megawatts of generated electricity, which should put the industry on an entirely new footing in the coming years.

EnerNOC Reports Revenues & Losses Up in Q1

EnerNOC spent a lot of money on acquiring companies in the first quarter, and it showed in the U.S. demand response leader increased revenues and growing losses for the first quarter.

Viridity Energy Takes Demand Response to Military Bases

Viridity Energy is competing for a Defense Department contract to control power use at federal and military facilities, and has already signed up one military base customer. That’s a big prize for a startup, if it can scale to match its demands.