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Demand response a national concern

By Donna Donnowitz
October 29, 2013

Smart grid deployments are not a local concern alone. On a national level, utility providers and governments are becoming more focused on demand response and the ability to ensure sustainable, reliable power. The Department of Energy recently released its Smart Grid Investment Grant Program Progress Report for October 2013, which outlines expenditures on the federal level, as well as what technology is being installed and where. Furthermore, insights into ways to improve smart grid deployment will be vital for furthering these endeavors.

The SGIG is an almost $8 billion program focused on improving the power infrastructure of the United States. So far it has resulted in over $380 million spent on electrical transmission systems, $1.49 billion on distribution, $3.92 billion on advanced metering and another $510 million on customer systems. Over the next 12 months further efforts to move the project to completion and drive deployment of smart grids will continue.

The 99 SGIG projects, many of which are located in major cities and population centers, are focused on bringing several benefits to citizens. They will improve the flow of information regarding electricity markets, better accommodate alternative generation and storage options, optimize asset utilization and efficiency, help with disaster preparedness and response and much more.
However, without feedback the results cannot be optimized.

An outside report on Demand Response and Advanced Metering by the Federal Energy Regulation Commission helps to provide some of this additional feedback. According to the report, the penetration rate of advanced meters has risen at a significant rate from just 4.7 percent in 2008 to 22.9 percent in 2012, while the Innovation Electricity Efficiency study in August 2013 indicated further penetration at 30.2 percent.

For local providers and organizations looking to further these efforts, smart grid deployment and advanced metering still requires careful analysis of supporting technology, such as Ethernet I/O support. The right tools are essential for implementing a high-quality, latency-free network, and by ensuring quality, a provider can tap into the SGIG initiative and meet the demands of the 21st century consumer.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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