Smart Stuff: IQ of Northwest Power Grid Raised, Energy Saved

Nation's largest smart grid demo provides lessons for future grid modernization

Smart meters, automated control of power distribution and other intelligent energy technologies can improve energy efficiency and possibly reduce power costs, according to the final results of a comprehensive, five-year regional smart grid pilot project.

But more research and development is needed to support utility-led smart grid deployment throughout the United States, concluded the leaders of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project.

"As one of the nation's largest and most complex smart grid demonstration projects to date, the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demo experienced much success, while also identifying many opportunities for growth," said project director Ron Melton of Battelle, which led the project on behalf of the region and the Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

"The knowledge gained through this project will help prepare the region and nation for a bright energy future that strengthens our economy, protects our environment and enhances our quality of life."

The project's extensive results are in an 840-page document called the Technology Performance Report. The report includes a summary of key findings, chapters for each of the project's 11 test sites and results related to conservation and efficiency, reliability and a new approach to energy management called transactive control, which was the heart of the overall project.

Read more on the PNNL website.