Smart grid: A more intelligent approach to energy usage

June 2, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via Commons News

What if the electric meter on the side of your home — the one with the indecipherable dials and the spinning disk in the center — suddenly became a device that could tell you clearly how much power your home were using? What if it could tell you when the cheapest power rates were available? What if it could even tell the utility company when your power was out and guide repair crews to the downed line?

Turning your electric meter into a communications device is but one element of what’s known as a “smart grid,” a digitally enhanced electric transmission system that connects the distribution and transmission of energy with information about its usage.

Eventually, users would be able to gain access to information about energy consumption, and companies could pinpoint power outages simply by looking at an onscreen grid digital display on site. Customers and utilities alike would be able to track energy usage.

This futuristic system is coming soon to Vermont, and last week at the Rockingham Free Public Library in Bellows Falls, Green Mountain Power representatives Shawn Magoon and David Coriell explained what a “smart grid” means for electric users.

Magoon and Coriell repeated several times throughout the presentation that the blueprint for the smart grid will be further refined as the system is put into place over the next 18 months.

In October 2009, Vermont Transco, LLC, received almost $69 million in federal support to launch Vermont’s smart grid technology. This support was part of $3.4 billion in smart grid grants across the nation that were part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

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