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).
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published its NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 3.0-- to reflect advances in smart grid technologies and developments from NIST's collaborative work with industry stakeholders-- as well as revisions to its guidelines for smart grid cybersecurity. The 3.0 framework updates the plan for transforming the nation's aging electric power system into an interoperable smart grid.
To accommodate further growth, PG&E is piloting new voltage control technology as a smart grid pilot project to help manage the two-way flow of energy onto the grid. Yet another smart grid pilot will assess the costs and benefits of using energy storage to reduce grid costs and facilitate the growth of renewable generation. Finally, PG&E's Demand Response Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Pilot program is evaluating the feasibility of utilizing PEV batteries-- both when they are in the vehicle and when they are removed-- to provide grid stabilization services.
INCENSe aims to promote innovation and employment in the energy industry through the development of eco-friendly products and high tech services by linking innovation in smart cities, health, agriculture and logistics to the use of an open source Internet platform that aids development of applications, as well as integrates them into an interoperable system.