There are massive changes happening to electric grids around the world, including here in Texas. Millions of devices, appliances, and increasingly vehicles are grid connected and could, with the proper systems in place to receive price signals, make grids more reliable, bring down energy costs for consumers, and make electric markets more competitive. But it's early days and there's a long way to go. We need practical examples of distributed energy resources and efforts to reduce energy waste. And we can find them at Pecan Street.
Pecan Street is a research organization that collects billions of data points on heat pumps, solar panels, electric vehicles, connected appliances, thermostats, and much more every single day. Pecan Street also conducts groundbreaking research on energy, water, transportation, and agriculture, which we reference throughout the episode and you can find more information about in the show notes.
For this episode, I had the pleasure of talking with Anissa Rodriguez -Dickerman, the CEO of Pecan Street, and Scott Hinson, the Chief Technology Officer at Pecan Street. Anissa has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and is in charge of leading Pecan Street's efforts in partnership development, strategy development, and ensuring program delivery.
Scott Hinson, as the Chief Technology Officer, directs the research efforts of the labs, which are focused on integrating renewable energy, electric vehicles, connected devices, distributed energy resources, and the software that enables it all. Both of them are a wealth of knowledge and we're a joy to talk to.
We talked a lot about electrification and heat pumps. We talked about the need to mainstream smart technologies and how all of these technologies will be managed. We got into workforce development and the implications there. We talked about Pecan Street's recent award of a grid resilience innovation grant from the Department of Energy. We talked about multi -point charging of electric vehicles, the integration of big data, the need for change in energy policy, and much, much more. This was a great discussion and a deep dive. Thank you for listening and have a great day.
I really enjoyed this discussion and hope you do too. This podcast is for paid subscribers only and thus won’t be listed publicly on podcast apps. For details on how to listen to this podcast in your favorite podcast app, please refer to this information from Substack.
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For more information on Pecan Street and to view all White Papers visit: PecanStreet.org
Smart Cooling: Leveraging Technology and Behavior to Stay Cool and Reduce Energy Demand, published by Pecan Street
3:06 - About Anissa
5:55 - About Scott
8:26 - About Pecan’s data collection and what that teaches us about EVs and grid management
12:38 - What Pecan has done and is doing, including information on the data port they invented to measure residential energy use and optimization
17:00 - Major learnings about electrification, heat pumps, and smart technologies in homes
21:28 - What we need to mainstream smart technologies and who will be managing these devices and their communication with the grid
25:26 - Reaching and addressing communities disproportionately impacted and low-income folks/ making programs for energy optimization and DERs accessible.
27:14 - Workforce Development
29:40 - Increased emphasis on community benefits plans in federal grants
33:08 - Addressing needs of rural communities so they can access benefits related to DERs, EVs etc.
37:08 - Future projects and areas of research including multipoint charging, hydrogen, and water
42:45 - Efficient heating and cooling, energy efficiency, and how EE is different from demand response. Discussion of reg up reg down and what it is.
48:17 - Newer inverter compressors in heat pumps
52:22 - Big data: how Pecan Street uses it and hopes to in the future to understand and find solutions to major problems, such as heat islands
55:35 - Future of the grid
59:55 - Most important energy policies for the future