Pecan Street Project: a community-wide collaboration to reinvent the energy delivery system

I saw a great presentation by Jose Beceiro yesterday on Austin’s ambitious Pecan Street Project.  Here’s a brief introductory video:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC5a3Wv2OsQ

Meet the Pecan Street Project

The Pecan Street Project is a community-wide collaboration to fully reinvent the energy delivery system. It’s more than a smart grid project. Pecan Street is an ambitious effort to empower customers and innovators to use the energy system in new ways while making energy cleaner, water usage more efficient and the economy stronger.

OREV Steps Up with Proposal to Make Oregon a Leader in Electric Vehicles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                June 10, 2010

OREV Steps Up with Proposal to Make Oregon a Leader in Electric Vehicles

Group gains momentum along with Oregon’s EV market, technology, and policy strength

PORTLAND, Oregon – The Oregon Roundtable for the Electric Vehicle Industry (OREV) submitted a proposal last week with a $2.45 million plan to establish Oregon as a world leader in the design, manufacture, and integration of ultra-efficient vehicles and related infrastructure and technologies.  The proposal was submitted to the Oregon Innovation Council in response to a request for Key Industry Innovation Initiatives.

The proposed initiative will build OREV’s ability to achieve key goals for Oregon:

  • Leverage federal and private funding to enable Oregon’s continued leadership in Electric Vehicles (EVs).
  • Connect Oregon University System institutions, utilities, state and local government entities and EV industry stakeholders to efficiently develop and commercialize next-generation transportation technologies.
  • Foster collaboration between Oregon’s existing clean tech, manufacturing, smart grid, software and other sectors to participate in the EV supply chain.
  • Create skilled, family-wage jobs to build the next generation of transportation solutions.

“The EV industry – with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, components, and infrastructure – represents a huge opportunity for Oregon,” said John Thornton, lead author of the group’s proposal.  “But we will only capture these jobs, and the energy security and environmental benefits, if we act now and turn our early EV readiness into a long-term strength.”

A key strategy is to win a leading share of large federal programs, aimed at EV deployment and EV-related manufacturing, by rallying the state’s strong existing capabilities in a coordinated and focused effort.

Oregon’s strength in EVs goes back many years, combining the state’s high-technology industry and a history of environmental leadership.  The Oregon Electric Vehicle Association (OEVA) has long been the gathering place EV enthusiasts, along with providing education and outreach and an annual EV Awareness Day.  More recently, the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) was formed in 2005, directing research expertise at multiple Oregon universities to look at transportation improvements, increasingly including EVs.

But the state lacked a means of gathering the many industry players who were working on vehicle electrification.  In early 2009, the Portland Development Commission (PDC) identified this emerging cluster, and worked with Business Oregon to convene and support the group – which later became OREV.  The group now includes over 40 companies and organizations working across the electric vehicle arena.  More information is available at www.OR-EV.org.

The interest in EVs continues to build, with activities nearly every week.  Portland General Electric (PGE) recently took EVs to the streets, featuring a range of vehicles in the Starlight Parade.  And on Friday, June 11, PGE, Portland State University, and OTREC will host ‘E.V. Road Map 2,’ featuring presentations by national experts, and providing an update on continuing EV initiatives in Oregon.

As a likely early-adopter market for EVs, Oregon has garnered international attention through the state’s high hybrid electric vehicle concentration.  This helped earn the state a position as one of just five test markets for the largest rollout of electric vehicles and an associated charging station network in U.S. history.  The initiative will bring nearly 1,000 Nissan electric vehicles to Oregon in 2010, along with nearly 2,000 charging stations.

The public sector is a key factor favoring the success of Oregon’s EV players.  Companies including Cascade Sierra Solutions, Shorepower Technologies, Entek, EnerG2, and Revolt Technology have already won significant federal support for their job-creating work in EVs.

At the state level, recent modifications to Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) include a credit for EV manufacturing.

Key upcoming leverage opportunities include a bill co-sponsored by the state’s own Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR).  The “Electric Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010” proposes an $11 billion package to create 5 to 8 “deployment communities” to jump-start the electric vehicle industry in the U.S.  With a concerted effort and support from the Oregon Innovation Council, OREV aims to make Oregon one of the winning deployment communities. 

In its proposal, OREV also plans to help members target the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVMIP), which includes $20 billion of DOE funding. 

“We have done a fantastic job in green buildings, and now we need to focus on transforming our transportation system,” said Thornton.  “It’s another local example of innovation and high density deployment leading to a strong sector, job creation, and exportable products.”

Contacts from the OREV Steering Committee:

Tim Miller
President and CEO
Green Lite Motors Corporation
Cell: 503-490-3014
Email: TimMiller@GreenLiteMotors.com

 

Trevor Steele                                                          
Director of Government Relations                
Arcimoto LLC                                                          
Cell: 541-954-0065                                              
Email: trevor@arcimoto.com                         

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Japan-U.S. Smart Grid Market Trends of the Future

Here’s an event by the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) on comparisons of smart grid trends in the U.S. and Japan I’ve been helping with:

Global companies are closely eyeing the opportunity in the now-developing and popular smart grid market. Currently, the U.S. is the hot spot for smart grid development and is also attracting Asian companies from Japan, China and Korea, who are interested in deploying their smart grid technologies in the U.S. However, a majority of the U.S.-based smart grid technology companies in this market are unaware of the opportunities outside of the U.S.

This seminar will offer opportunities to learn what is happening in the smart grid market in Japan and the U.S. Furthermore, in this seminar you will learn ideas on how Japanese and U.S. smart grid companies could complement each other to grow the market together.

The general difference in the current implementation of the smart grid in Japan and the U.S. is that the U.S. seems more business-focused, aiming to reduce energy costs and develop infrastructure, while Japan seems more society-focused, seeking to reduce carbon emissions as a whole. Japan already has a reliable grid and is pushing for advanced integrated control including demand-side to be ready for intermittent renewable energy sources. In the United States, however, there’s a need for highly reliable transmission and distribution networks.

Agenda:

Registration and NetworkingWelcome Remarks

Panel Discussion: Japan-U.S. future smart grid trends
 Chenyi Chiu, Strategic Engineering Manager, Panasonic R&D Company of America
Stephen G Eichenlaub, Managing Director, Intel Capital
Tim Van Slambrouck, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, DENT Instruments

 

    What is happening in the Japanese smart grid market/technology (composite smart grid including EVs)?
    What is happening in the U.S smart grid market/technology (composite smart grid including EVs)?
    What are the difference and similarities between Japan and the U.S smart grid market/technology? How can they complement each other to grow the market together?

Moderator: Jeff Hammarlund, Adjunct Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Portland State University

Q&A

Closing Remarks

Networking and Adjourn

Join us for an opportunity to advance a close working relationship between Japan and the U.S. to develop and deploy the smart grid in each nation.  Register here.

Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities – Interactive Conference 2010

Conference Announcement

Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities

Interactive Conference on June 15th, 2010 / 8:00 am – 3:30 pm
Join faculty and students of Portland State University and
government, business, and community leaders as we learn,
discuss and collaborate on how the technologies of the
Smart Grid can support sustainable communities at
Two World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon StreetPortland, Oregon

 Sponsors: Portland State University, Portland General Electric

Climate Solutions, Smart Grid Oregon, and others

Agenda Highlights

  • Morning Keynote Speakers
    What is the Smart Grid and how can it support more sustainable communities?  Allen Schurr, IBM Vice President for Strategy and Development, Global Energy and Utilities
  • Morning Presentations on Three Case Studies
    • Testing utility-scale battery storage as a Smart Grid option: Portland General Electric’s Feeder Advanced Storage Transaction (FAST) Project
    • Applying the Smart Grid to an eco-district or neighborhood energy project: the proposed Portland State University’s Eco-District and the North Pearl Energy Project
    • A strategy for connecting electric vehicles and the Smart Grid in the Portland Metro area
  • Lunch Keynote Speaker
    Austin’s Pecan Street Project:  One Model for Integrating the Smart Grid into a Comprehensive Sustainable Development Strategy.  Jose Beceiro, Board Member, Austin’s Pecan Street Project, and Director of Clean Energy Economic Development, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Afternoon Roundtable Discussions and Feedback on our Case Studies
    • Portland General Electric’s Feeder Advanced Storage Transaction (FAST) Project
    • Applying the Smart Grid to an eco-district or neighborhood energy project
    • Connecting electric vehicles and the Smart Grid 
  • Reflections on the day and recommendations for next steps from our keynote speakers and other conference participants
 

Who Should Attend
Leaders in government, business, IT and communications regulators, utilities, Smart Grid technology vendors, planners, engineers, architects, home and building owners

Register Now Advance registration is required. Cost:  $25.  Space is limited and registration requests will be accepted in the order they are received.

Description
As your host, Portland State University will facilitate discussion around the recent outcomes and findings from our interdisciplinary graduate class,  Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities.  At this interactive conference, participants will collaborate to identify Smart Grid components and priorities that will support a more sustainable energy plan for the energy demands of the Pacific Northwest.

Background
The “Smart Grid” has caught the attention of political, business, and community leaders from the White House to Northwest communities and electric utilities. And for good reason.

Its champions tell us the Smart Grid will allow us to use many of the same technologies, concepts, and models behind the internet to transform our electric grid from a centralized network largely controlled by utilities to one that is less centralized….more