Glancing through the paper this morning, I came across an interesting article regarding Xcel Energy's new smart grid initiative:
Xcel Energy Inc. plans to roll out "smart grid" technology in Boulder, Colo., in coming months that will give residents a chance to test sophisticated equipment for monitoring and adjusting how much electricity they use, even from remote locations...Some of the details are worth focusing on:
...The utility also intends to install equipment upstream of consumers, on its energy-delivery system, such as in substations, that will boost grid intelligence and reliability, squeezing out some of the inefficiencies that push up costs.
- Xcel isn't waiting for regulator approval to recover costs, assuming that cost savings and benefits will prove its case
- 25,000 installations up front over the next year, with an option for the other 25,000 homes in Boulder
- The meters will allow for dynamic, time of use pricing and remote access
- Project costs $100 million, with several partners participating
There was a great study on a Seattle smart grid project (found here) a couple months back that lays out a lot of the challenges and opportunities in these projects.
I anticipate posting a lot more of these smart-grid related stories throughout the year.