Archive: Smart Grid

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In Search of Perfect Power

What do you do when your research institution is losing roughly half a million dollars annually as a result of multiple electricity outages — and electricity demand keeps rising? If you’re the Illinois Institute of Technology, you turn the challenge into a campuswide learning experience by teaming with the Galvin Electricity Initiative and other experts to design and construct a prototype Perfect Power System (PPS). Even during its implementation, the PPS promises to provide more reliable and sustainable electricity to the university at a lower cost than it had been paying.

Transforming the U.S. Grid

Al Gore, in his recent New York Times op-ed titled "The Climate for Change," calls for a "$400 billion investment over ten years to construct a national smart grid to distribute renewable energy." Echelon supports these proposed investments. We also believe the answer is not just in constructing something new but in transforming the existing […]

More Transmission Lines Equal the Same Dumb Grid, Institute Warns

Building new transmission lines indicates support for the development of a national grid, but doing so would ultimately stifle entrepreneurship and innovation, a campaign focused on the creation of a “perfect” consumer-focused electric energy system has warned.

Beacon Power and AEP to Build 1-MW Flywheel Regulation Facility in Ohio

Beacon Power Corp., whose much-watched flywheel system is designed regulate grids using efficient energy storage, is teaming with American Electric Power (AEP) and Columbus Southern Power Co. to build a 1-MW regulation facility in the coming months at an AEP site in Groveport, Ohio.

ITC Holdings to Build Midwestern "Green Power Express" Transmission Network

ITC Holdings Corp. last week said that over the past year it has worked to develop the “Green Power Express,” a network of transmission lines that would move12,000 MW of power from wind-abundant areas in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Iowa to Midwest load centers, such as Chicago, southeastern Wisconsin, Minneapolis, and other states that demand renewable energy.

Stimulus Bill Includes More Than $100 billion for CleanTech

The $825 billion economic stimulus bill rolled out last week by House Democrats includes $19.96 billion of tax incentives for wind and solar energy, $53.75 billion for direct spending on energy technology programs largely focused on energy efficiency and on the national grid, and $18.27 billion for water and environmental spending.

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Banking Wind

This spring, Xcel Energy, along with state and technology partners, is set to test what the utility says is the first battery capable of storing wind energy. The ability to store energy from renewable generation sources with variable output is key to maximizing the value of renewable power in general and to Xcel’s “smart grid” plans in particular.

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Flywheel technology nears commercial deployment

An integrated matrix of 10 high-power flywheels built and tested by Beacon Power Corp. earlier this year successfully absorbed and supplied a full megawatt of electricity, the energy storage technology company said in September. The achievement could mean that grid regulation using efficient energy storage is close to commercial deployment. The flywheel system, called the […]

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Microgrids promise improved power quality and reliability

Last month, POWER explored the growing importance of the smart grid, which is envisioned as using digital technologies to enable integrated, real-time control of all the system’s elements, from generation to end use. This month we focus on the emerging technology of microgrids: controlled groupings of dispersed generation sources that are connected to the main electrical grid but that can function independent of it. We examine their benefits and their potential impact on 21st-century utilities and their customers.