image alt tag

New smart grid pilot hitting the Pacific Northwest

By Max Burkhalter
July 25, 2012
The Pacific Northwest region of the United States has become a hotbed for innovative technological projects, and that trend is continuing as a new smart grid pilot program has been announced in the Tri-City-area of Washington. Three municipal utility companies in the region will be working in concert on a power storage pilot project that could supplement smart grid systems in fostering more sustainable power delivery, the Tri-City Herald reported.

According to the news source, Benton Public Utility Department, Franklin PUD and the city of Richland will be collaborating on a demonstration project that will pilot energy storage capabilities within the Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative, which is sponsored by the Tri-City Development Council.

All of these efforts fit within the large-scale Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, the report said. The demonstration project is a major effort to implement smart grid solutions and develop strategies and infrastructure for long-term deployments.

The news source explained that all three utility providers are installing demand shifters within their infrastructure, allowing them to enable basic energy storage functionality and make major strides in enabling the full benefits of smart grid technology. Demand shifters will reside in metal closets that are six feet tall by six feet wide, providing the ability to store 10 kilowatts of power for four hours. Typically, a home will use 1,400 kilowatts hours of energy in a month. Currently, the demand shifters are only handling a small amount of electricity, as the project is beginning at a small scale before being expanded further.

According to the report, the setup is currently designed to store energy during periods when demand is low and electricity is cheaper for utility departments, then have it available to supplement other sources during peak hours. This capacity is particularly beneficial when dealing with some renewable energy resources.

One of the most prominent benefits of smart grid is its ability to provide real-time data about power usage conditions, allowing utility providers to better understand how much energy needs to be available at any time. This makes it much easier to make the greatest use of solar, wind and other forms of intermittent renewable energy resources. However, none of these benefits will be fully realized unless utility departments can develop energy storage solutions that allow power to be saved for use when the intermittent resources are not readily available.

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.


Have a Question? Chat with a live Product Specialist!

Have a Question?

We can provide more information about our products or arrange for a price quotation.

email-icon Send an Email
contactus-icon Send an Email callus-icon Call Us

Send us an Email