The plan is designed to both drive the uptake of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and give the utility more capacity flexibility in dealing with peak load situations. Essentially the battery packs in the plug-in cars would be recharged over night and then would recharge the grid during the day.
Wind energy is California's major renewable energy contributor, with more than 2,500 megawatts of capacity. But with aggressive renewable energy goals, around 4,600 megawatts is projected to be added to meet the targets. Xcel Energy is also looking at smart-grid technologies to help it meet Minnesota's Renewable Energy Standard legislation.
Analysis: Expect to see a lot more on smart grid technologies such as high-tech meters over the coming few years. Estimated to be just 5-6 years away, power grid-to-car-batteries technology should reduce both emissions and energy bills.