Feb 16, 2010

Science Scene - Smart Grid

What is the Smart Grid?

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), along with various stakeholders, have identified the following characteristics or performance features of a smart grid:

•Self-healing from power disturbance events
•Enabling active participation by consumers in demand response
•Operating resiliently against physical and cyber attack
•Providing power quality for 21st century needs
•Accommodating all generation and storage options
•Enabling new products, services, and markets
•Optimizing assets and operating efficiently

As one electric utility after another declares intentions to make smart grid technology available to customers, the South Bend Smart Meter Pilot Project (SMPP) has distinguished itself as not just another pilot to test Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI).  AEP, I&M and others involved in the project are setting the standard for how the technology will be used in the 21st century. Industry innovations developed for the pilot include:

• First integrated advanced metering infrastructure with distribution automation mesh network
• First implementation of new General Electric i210+C meter
• First North American use of General Electric ENMAC system as a distribution grid management system
• First integration of the Oracle Meter Data Management information system with the Silver Springs secure wireless communications network
• First implementation of Zigbee industry standard for direct load control with Silver Springs Network.

These developments are attracting a great deal of attention from industry experts. While the list of innovations may seem a bit cryptic and technical, the bottom line is that customers who expect a higher degree of service
reliability and more control in using energy more efficiently will not be disappointed.


  1. If we can combine that with solar and wind power, we'd be golden in the energy department. Oddly enough, I saw solar panels in my hometown yesterday. Considering this town, I thought that very promising. I want solar panels! :)

  2. Not only is Stan correct, I would feel more comfortable with moving from the antiquated power grid that we have now. I would think that old grid would be a tempting target for terrorism, domestic or otherwise.

  3. This innovation looks awesome! Pardon me if I'm really not that up-to-date. I was actually looking for data management systems when I found this post. May I ask what's the use of the data management system here? Does it store data that comes into the "grid", or something? In my search about data management systems, I've seen them being used for accreditation systems, customer relationship management systems, membership sites, medical records, and the like. Are these, in anyway, related to what the data management system does in the smart grid?

    Thanks in advance!


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