Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting a Young Professionals in Energy (YPE) event. YPE is a national group of energy professionals providing social and networking opportunities. There are chapters for most major cities, and the Orange County Chapter is currently being rebooted. You can join their LinkedIn group here.
YPE OC met for networking and a presentation on the Irvine Smart Grid project. This Southern California Edison (SCE) demonstration project has many partners including UC Irvine and GE. These Irvine homes assist engineers in their research of renewable energy and efficiency technologies. As you may be aware, California has ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standards by 2020, which includes renewable energy, energy storage, zero net energy (ZNE) new constructions. SCE is also researching the impact of electric vehicle charging, micro-grids, and home vs. utility battery storage.
SCE recruited over 25 UCI professor households to participate in the project. The houses are divided into four groups: at-home storage, grid-level storage, ZNE, and a control where no changes were made. SCE replaced appliances, lighting, and added solar systems to some of the houses. GE provided many of the appliances which, included “Smart” fridges, clothes washers, and dishwashers. The research is ongoing and SCE continues to collect data for analysis.
You may remember that we accompanied YPE for our visit to the Solar Decathlon as well. It was the first meeting in awhile… and attendance was sparse. The intimate group allowed us to get acquainted and kept the food and beverage tab low. I assumed the next meeting will be similar in size, so a few Costco pizzas and a case of beer should more than suffice! Thankfully, the ecoSolargy team is patiently aiding my post-graduation transition to “real adulthood”. I call the project, “My Fair Deeter.” My colleagues were quick to mock my college party instincts #WhereCanIBuyAKeg, but it was for the best. A basement kegger at the office probably wasn’t what YPE had in mind. I feel like I dodged a bullet, and well over thirty energy professionals arrived at our office hungry and glad there were beverage options other than PBR.
If my college self had seen this spread, he would have quickly stuffed his pockets and enjoyed a week without Ramen! The chic outlay featured meat and cheese platters, imported beer & wine, and even candles! In short, I can’t wait for our next event and hope you join us for good food and great people!