HOUSTON, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 — For over four decades, POWER magazine has honored the top performers in the electricity-generating industry with annual power plant awards. This year it adds a new award, the Smart Grid Award, in recognition of the role that smart grid technologies are beginning to play throughout the power value chain—from supply to demand.

“Although the magazine has traditionally focused on the supply end of the power industry, the business and technology of power generation will become increasingly affected by downstream smart grid developments,” explained Editor-in-Chief Dr. Robert Peltier, PE. Peltier noted that the smart grid has become a regular topic of editorial coverage both in the print magazine and online.

The POWER Smart Grid Award will recognize an outstanding smart grid project, anywhere in the world, that demonstrates the benefits of new data-rich technologies to power generators, transmitters, and users.

Specifically, the editors are looking for nominations of projects that are:
• Upstream of smart meters and home energy management or automation devices.
• Clearly “smart”—that integrate information and communications technology-assisted components that represent more than maintenance-level improvement.
• Setting a new standard for quality and results. Being the “first” or “largest” or “cheapest” of a given type of project will be noted but will not be the weightiest  criterion. Whether large or small, the winning project will need to demonstrate achievement in technology and service that is worthy of being considered a best practice.
• Able to demonstrate material results from at least six months of operation prior to the nomination deadline. For example, the winner will need to specify costs saved by end users, outages averted that would not previously have been avoided, dispatchable or controllable small-scale distributed generation resources added to the grid in such a way that they strengthen the grid rather than destabilize it, or some other metric(s) that illustrate the substantive benefits enjoyed by one or (preferably) more grid stakeholders.

The award winner will be selected by the editors of POWER, and the winning project will be profiled in the August issue of POWER.

Other POWER award categories are:
• Plant of the Year—presented to a power plant that leads the industry in the successful deployment of advanced technology to maximize efficiency while minimizing environmental impact. In short, the Plant of the Year is the best of class in the power industry at the time of nomination.
• Marmaduke Award—named after the legendary plant troubleshooter whose exploits were chronicled for decades in POWER, recognizes operations and maintenance excellence at existing and new power plants by emphasizing creative problem-solving.
• Top Plants—in the subcategories of gas, coal, nuclear, and renewable—are those projects that have distinguished themselves as industry leaders for either their best-in-class operating records, environmental performance, unique technology, or importance to their local community.

The deadline for nominations in all categories is May 23, 2011. Submission forms, criteria, and past winners are all available on the magazine’s home page, www.powermag.com, under “Also from POWER Magazine.”

All POWER award winners will receive an invitation to the Industry Awards Banquet on May 9, the evening before the start of the ELECTRIC POWER conference, which will be held in Rosemont, Illinois, May 10-12.

For more than 128 years POWER magazine has been considered the definitive information source for the power generation market. It covered the earliest advances of steam power plants in the 1800s and addressed energy supply issues during World Wars I and II. It was the first to report on the birth of nuclear power, and today it reports on modern advanced power technologies, including wind, solar, tidal, and ultrasupercritical generation. Its coverage of the worldwide power generation industry, which includes all fuel types and generation technologies, has never been more critical as the world grapples with so many supply options and regulatory hurdles. Through the print magazine and website (www.powermag.com), as well as the weekly POWERnews enewsletter, industry professionals learn about best practices, safety issues, improved productivity, and the latest business, legal, and regulatory news.

Jennifer Brady