Workable standards require utility input.
Dick DeBlasio is principle laboratory program manager for electricity programs with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and serves as chairman of the IEEE P2030 Work Group.
The U.S. electric delivery system steadily is becoming more intelligent, but there is no question that the contemporary smart-grid movement marks a definitive break from the past. Several key differences can be expected. For the first time, more of a shared, national regulatory model likely will be adopted across the disparate public utility commissions in various states and regions. Also, a large-scale model of distributed power generation spanning both business and residential users is being proposed. Seamless, two-way communications and control will be enabled so that usage more directly informs generation and enables more efficient operations. These changes are creating an opportunity for bringing greater intelligence to the business of delivering utility services.
The time is now for utilities to engage in smart-grid planning, as decisions being made today will dramatically impact the ways utilities do business in the coming decades.
From Vision to Movement
The U.S. government during the last months of 2009 announced billions of dollars of grants for regional demonstration projects designed to jump start introduction of the long-discussed smart grid.