THE SMART GRID IS COMING
A Smarter Power Grid for U.S. Utilities
Mark Chediak, Jim Polson, and Kevin Wells (July 10, 2014 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
CenterPoint Energy (CNP), American Electric Power, San Diego Gas & Electric, PG&E, and DTE Energy are among the utilities remaking their local grids for more “intelligent” operations with sensors, switches, smart meters, wireless relays, and data analysis software that assimilates customers’ power use in real time. CNP’s first phase in Texas is scheduled to be complete by yearend at a cost of $138 million, with the help of $50 million from the federal government; PG&E’s smart grid R&D facility has 120-plus engineers and technicians testing smart advances; and DTE Energy has begun a five-year, $250 million grid upgrade.
U.S. power outages are up 285% percent since 1984 with the outages lasting longest among major industrialized nations and costing businesses as much as $150 billion a year while “smart” algorithms can analyze weather patterns and spot weaknesses in the lines to predict failures, reduce the risk of overload by helping reduce load, and may be necessary if the nation’s grid is to absorb and manage changes from distributed energy resources. click here for more