The largest battery in the world has arrived, and you likely won't be surprised where it landed: Hebei Province, China. The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) and electric car maker BYD--the company that most recently made big headlines a few years back when Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway took a 10 percent stake--have teamed to create a massive battery array capable of storing 36 megawatt-hours of electricity.
Japan may still be recovering from earthquake-related woes, but that's not stopping Panasonic and eight partner companies from pushing ahead with their own rebuilding effort that could reshape the way future cities and towns are built.
An aging transmission line built in 1948 is the only link between the U.S. power grid and the little city of Presidio in West Texas. So Presidio has invested in a single huge battery that can power the entire town and serve as emergency backup for the frequent outages caused by the line going down, NPR reports.
Using one of the most clever names in tech history, Microsoft has announced Hohm (which telescopes home into ohm), a new Web-based service for keeping an eye on your smart grid. The beta for the service goes live next week; users can sign up to access the service at microsoft-hohm.com.
The American electric grid is an engineering marvel, arguably the single largest and most complex machine in the world. It's also 40 years old and so rickety that power interruptions and blackouts cost the economy some $150 billion a year. The idea of building a connected "smart" grid that can route power intelligently is beyond daunting, no matter how much stimulus money gets thrown at it. But if we want to cut carbon, we have no choice. Today's grid simply cannot handle a large-scale rollout of the clean-energy sources outlined in this series.