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Smart Grid
Concerns over climate change and GHG emissions are that “...connects everyone to abundant, affordable, clean,
drawing attention to how the electricity infrastructure can be efficient, and reliable electric power anytime, anywhere.”
leveraged and improved to integrate ever increasing amounts Advanced technologies including high-temperature
of renewable energy. The variable nature and location of key superconductors, electric storage, distributed intelligence and
renewable resources, such as wind and solar, present new smart controls, and power electronics were envisioned. This
challenges for the planning and operation of the transmission work led to the Modern Grid Initiative, the GridWise
TM
and distribution (T&D) infrastructure and the energy markets Alliance, and the GridWise
TM
Architecture Council, each
that support it. The promise of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles funded by the DOE and led through its national laboratories.
(PHEVs)asameanstoreduceouruseanddependenceonfossil- In the past few years, several federal legislative actions have
based transportation is highlighting the need to enhance the included provisions for advanced electricity technology, first
T&D infrastructure. Finally, more utilities are looking for ways with the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct).
to increase the energy efficiency of the grid itself. Section 1252 required utilities to investigate deployment of
Thevalueofreliableandaffordable “smart metering” that could support
electricity in maintaining a robust
... under the American Recovery
time-based rates and demand
economy is clear. Weather events,
concernsoveranaginginfrastructure,
and Reinvestment Act of 2009,
response.Althoughonly11statesare
complying with or have adopted
and greater dependence on electricity
US$4.5 billion has been allocated
some form of EPAct, around 8 states
havehighlightedtheneedtoensurea to the DOE’s Office of Electricity have addressed smart metering
resilient electric power system that
Delivery and Energy Reliability
through their own proceedings,
can better withstand natural disasters including the state of California,
andattack,andrecover more quickly when these events occur. which directed utilities to address Advanced Metering
Physical constraints in the existing infrastructure affect Infrastructure (AMI) and approved full-scale deployments for
electricity markets and increase energy prices to consumers. investor-owned utilities.
1
The age and condition of T&D systems over the coming years The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) passed in
threaten to affect reliability and conventional solutions could 2007, with Title XIII (“Smart Grid”) authorising the DOE to
be cost prohibitive. support development of standards, develop a regional
demonstration initiative, and fund Smart Grid investments.
Federal Government Involvement Other provisions included the creation of a standards
Until recently, the development of technologies like those framework, partial reimbursement of qualifying Smart Grid
being deployed in the Smart Grid was supported primarily by investments, and consideration of rate-base capitalisation of
research organisations, or the research and development these investments.
(R&D) departments of equipment suppliers. Followers of R&D Most recently, under the American Recovery and
in the US electric T&D sector are familiar with the relative lack ReinvestmentActof2009,US$4.5billionhasbeenallocatedto
ofspendingandactivityinthisareainrecentdecades.Inmost the DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
instances,thebusinesscasesfordevelopingandimplementing (formerly the OETD) for grid modernisation, implementation
new technologies have been mixed, and utilities have been of Smart Grid technologies, and an increase in federal
reluctant to invest much in this area as a result. Government matching grants for the EISA 2007 Smart Grid Investment
sponsored research in T&D was also limited, with most funds Program from 20% to 50%.
2
The DOE is scheduled to report to
going to other areas of the energy sector. Congress on the security and operating impacts of Smart Grid
In 2003, things began to change, and the federal deploymentsinJune2009.So,workbegunbytheDOEbackin
government emerged as a significant driver of advanced 2003 with ‘Grid 2030’ has positioned the Office of Electricity
technologies that have come to be seen as part of the Smart Delivery and Energy Reliability to play a pivotal role in
Grid. The Department of Energy’s Office of Electric creating the Smart Grid in the United States.
Transmission and Distribution (OETD) jump-started activity
with the ‘Grid 2030’ vision and the ‘National Electric Delivery State & Utility Involvement
Technologies Roadmap.’ These were developed during Asaresultoffederalrulingsandfunding,anumberofstates
meetings among technical experts and executives from across and their electric utilities are involved with Smart Grid
the industry and focused on the creation of a 21
st
century grid technologies, either through full deployments, pilot
130 worldPower2009
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