Friday News Roundup (6/15/12)

Improving knowledge for a more efficient system
The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project is set to begin in fall of 2012 with five project objectives in mind including to quantify smart grid costs and benefits, facilitate the integration of renewable resources, validate new smart grid technologies and business models, advance standards for interoperability and cyber security, and provide two-way communications between distributed generation, storage and demand assets, and the existing grid infrastructure. Located in the Pacific Northwest, the project will include 60,000 consumers, 11 utilities, and 5 technology partners which will come together to solve questions like how the improved grid would handle charging an electric cars battery in peak conditions while other high energy users like a water heater are demanding energy. In the end, the project hopes to better understand which benefits may be realized and how these could be spread through deployment in other areas in the future.

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Demand response: consumers as active energy participants
Jessica Stromback, Executive Director of the Smart Energy Demand Coalition, was recently interviewed by the European Union news media outlet EurActiv, discussing the importance of enabling a demand-response energy market and the benefits that this could provide to consumers. In the absence of demand response opportunities, says Jessica, “[consumers] are blocked from the main benefits that the developments in the grid could bring. While they provide much revenue for the energy industry, they do not have access to energy markets and can’t benefit back from them.” Moreover, Jessica argues that demand response programs have shown their success internationally, including in the U.S., by successfully holding their ground in competitive open markets.

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Staying ahead of the innovation curve: AEP Ohio gridSMART demonstration project
Karen Sloneker, project director, AEP Ohio gridSMART Demonstration Project talks to FierceSmartGrid about AEP’s experience in deploying secure, interoperable, and integrated smart grid infrastructure in northeast central Ohio. AEP’s vision for the gridSMART project was to educate and engage consumers, using a variety of innovative tools and technology, to reduce costs, energy consumption, and shave peak demand. In addition, gridSMART project heightened innovation through the integration of commercially available products with emerging technologies, demonstrating new ways of interoperability. While the data is still coming in, AEP has baseline metrics in place to evaluate the technology and quantify the benefits experienced by their customers, providing the Department of Energy with information demonstrating economic value, improved reliability, environmental benefits, and increased energy security of smart grid.

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Each Friday, SGCC provides a sampling of the week’s news articles and materials around the web in a News Roundup concentrated on consumer news.

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