Smart grid freebies: apps, maps and more

By Liz Enbysk, SGN Managing Editor

We’ve put together a collection of freebies that’s sort of a smart grid goody bag for grown-ups. An app that shows the most EV-ready cities and one that calculates how distributed power solutions can save money and energy. There’s a map that pinpoints states with the most renewables and an animated IBM video that explains the benefits of big data for smart grid technology. Fun stuff; scroll down and see for yourself.

Which cities are most EV ready? According to Xatori, a Palo Alto, CA company that builds software for electric vehicles, Portland tops the list, followed by Dallas, Nashville, the San Francisco Bay area and Seattle. The list is based on public charging locations per 100,000 residents. If you want to drill down further, check out Xatori’s free PlugShare app.

What’s the big deal with big data? Ask the folks at IBM and they’ll tell you that evolving technologies, including smart meters and smart grids, can provide utilities with unprecedented capabilities for forecasting demand, shaping customer usage patterns, preventing outages, optimizing unit commitment and more. They’ve spelled it out in their Big Data, Big Opportunities video and a free white paper Managing big data for smart grids and smart meters.

Crunching energy savings on an iPad. That’s the idea behind Capstone Turbine Corporation’s interactive iPad app – Capstone World 2.0 available for free at the iTunes store or via Capstone’s Distributed Energy Calculator. According to Capstone, with just a few quick keystrokes on an iPad, anyone worldwide now can determine the potential savings in energy costs and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions if certain city buildings switch from utility power to low-emission microturbines, solar, and wind turbines.

Where or where do renewables roam? You can get the answer in this state by state renewable energy comparison map that tracks solar PV, concentrated solar, wind, biomass and geothermal across the country.  The information comes from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Lab, but  this Forbes report takes a deep dive into each sector.

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