Archive: Smart Grid

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.

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Smart Grid requires clearing mental gridlock

In mid-2006, a Google search of the term “Smart Grid” generated around 2,000 responses. The same search this past month yielded more than 500,000 hits from a wide variety of sources. The explosiveness of the concept is especially interesting because there is no universal agreement on what constitutes a smart grid—much less agreement on what […]

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Boulder to be first “Smart Grid City”

The next-generation power grid—enhanced by digital technologies throughout the network to give generators, distributors, and customers greater control—promises to improve efficiency and lower operating costs. This year, in the most full-scale effort yet, Xcel Energy begins introducing intelligent grid technologies that it hopes will make Boulder, Colo., the first Smart Grid City.

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Reducing gridlock

  North America’s electricity grid has been described as the world’s most complex machine. The grid is unique among utility infrastructure systems for its need to have supply and demand—generation and load—balanced at all times. There still are no technologies for storing large quantities of electricity akin to liquefied natural gas tanks, voice mail, or […]

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Time to get serious about security

Managing ongoing threats to power plants’ digital, telecommunications, monitoring, control, and automation systems is no longer just a good idea. It’s an essential element of superior plant operations and now a regulatory requirement as well, thanks to new critical infrastructure protection standards recently approved by FERC.