The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) calls it a system that is cleaner and more efficient, reliable, resilient and responsive. We call it the smart grid. Whatever you call it, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has announced more than $19 million for five projects aimed at optimizing the nation’s electric grid.
Recipients of funding include Areva T&D, Inc. (Redmond, WA), for the design and testing a platform for integrating distributed energy resources into the electric grid; Boeing Company (Saint Louis, Missouri) for the demonstration of a smart, automated, secure, and self-healing electric distribution management system; ABB Inc. (Raleigh, North Carolina) for the research, development, and demonstration of a real-time monitoring, control, and health management system to improve grid reliability and efficiency; Varentec, Inc. (North Andover, Massachusetts) for the research and development of “a wide range of next-generation power electronics devices to better integrate renewable resources;” and On-Ramp Wireless, Inc. (San Diego, CA) for the development and demonstration of a wireless grid sensor and faulted circuit indicator capable of monitoring underground and other hard-to-reach distribution circuit locations.
According to the DOE, these selections will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of smart grid technologies in three areas of research: integrated modeling and analysis tools to automate distribution; advanced sensing, monitoring, and control technologies to enhance asset use and grid reliability; and voltage regulation for high penetration of renewable generation. More information is available on the DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability website.
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