India and the United States agree that the smart grid is necessary for the transformation of the power grid, and recognize that close collaboration and sharing of best practices is hugely beneficial to both countries and the world. At the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel's (SGIP) recent conference, the India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) and SGIP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), proposing an approach to enhance the coordination between the two organizations.
As part of the $1 billion "Fortifying the Future" plan, Con Edison planners, engineers and field crews have been working to fortify underground and overhead energy delivery systems from severe flooding and destructive winds characteristic of major storms. The benefits of the plan can already be seen in New York City where, in 2014, the installation of specialized remote switches and other storm hardening equipment has prevented about 25,000 storm-related outages so far.
Superstorm Sandy, the most powerful and destructive storm in Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) history, caused power outages to more than 2 million PSE&G customers. In the two years since then, PSE&G has made, and continues to make, significant improvements to its infrastructure, communications and logistics.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been working with regional and local utilities and co-ops across the nation to improve the reliability of the grid and is beginning to see the fruits of its labor. DOE is sharing the results of programs supported by Smart Grid Investment Grants (SGIG) with a series of case studies available from grant recipients. In the latest case study, Duke Energy customers are seeing benefits in Ohio and the Carolinas thanks to Duke's comprehensive grid modernization program, which was funded, in part, by a DOE SGIG.
A new partnership has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Chattanooga's EPB, one of the largest publicly-owned electric power distributors in the country. The partnership will establish Chattanooga's smart grid as a living laboratory for testing new energy technologies. Under the agreement, DOE and ORNL will apply their technical expertise in areas such as data analytics, control systems, cybersecurity and high-performance computer modeling to test new smart grid technologies and processes on the electric grid in Chattanooga.
Making the power grid more flexible, resilient, and efficient is the single most important objective for electric utilities today, and a number of voltage-adjustment and reactive power correction technologies, known as dynamic voltage and VAR control architectures (DVCAs), can help ensure power delivery that is both reliable at peak loads and continuously efficient.
Late last week, smart grid member companies from the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) met with U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) to discuss a comprehensive energy approach that supports domestic production of both renewable and fossil fuel resources to help the country achieve energy independence.
The southeast Texas rural cooperative distribution utility irecognized the difficulty in connecting a host of independently developed systems that were not interoperable, and, to solve the problem, implemented the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association-sponsored MultiSpeak specification to transition from a power line carrier-based automated meter reading system to an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system, which would provide supplementary functionality and interoperability.
More than 1.5 million advanced electric meters have been installed and nearly 500,000 modules have been installed on gas meters across DTE Energy's territory so far. By the end of 2017, nearly 3.9 million electric and gas meters will have been converted, allowing all DTE Energy customers to better manage their energy usage and bills, and enjoy other benefits from the technology.
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) currently has two major initiatives under way in the reliability standards and enforcement areas to which electric industry participants should pay particular attention. As the entity tasked with promulgating and enforcing standards to safeguard the reliability of the bulk power system, NERC has undertaken the Reliability Assurance Initiative (RAI) to revamp how it goes about enforcing and monitoring compliance with these reliability standards. The other major initiative relates to addressing mounting concerns about cybersecurity and the next generation of reliability standards to address critical infrastructure protection (CIP).