We're on the cusp of the electric grid's future, and leading it forward is the smart grid.
The smart grid is rapidly moving beyond the household energy meter to an intelligent, information-rich networked grid. Meanwhile, the electric power industry is in the midst of a transformation to better suit the new applications that are helping to engineer its future.
These topics and more will be covered at today's The Networked Grid conference at PG&E headquarters in San Francisco. For now, here is a roundup of reporting on the smart grid industry by Greentech Media's Jeff St. John and others:
• GTM’s Networked Grid Event Packs the House
Smart Grid is the energy theme of the moment – hundreds of millions of government funding, billion dollar smart meter deployments, and hundreds of millions in venture capital have drawn the attention of entrepreneurs, utilities, and corporate behemoths, and almost 500 of these smart grid cognoscenti converged at the PG&E Auditorium in San Francisco.
• PG&E’s Smart Grid Challenges and Solutions, By the Region
The big California utility has to think regionally when planning smart grid projects like plug-in vehicle charging systems, says PG&E’s Andrew Tang.
• PCS Utilidata Gets Volt/VAR Control Into AEP, Hydro Ottawa
PCS Utilidata says its real-time voltage/VAR can help utilities fix distribution grid inefficiencies in real time.
• eMeter to Manage Smart Meters for Vattenfall
eMeter has gotten another toehold in Europe, this time with Vattenfall to manage a smart meter network for the utility's 360,000 customers in Finland, the companies announced Tuesday.
• Silver Spring vs. Grid Net: Now vs. the Future
Silver Spring Networks' wireless mesh has lots of utility customers. Grid Net says its WiMax-based technology is better.
• Will Solar Crash the Smart Grid?
Utilities don't have much time to revamp their grids to accommodate the growing popularity of rooftop solar. Here are some technologies that could help.
• The Smart Home That's Tuned to the Weather
Forget waiting for smart meters. EcoFactor says it can create a thermal profile of your home and manage it over broadband.
• Japan, Land of the Rising Grid-Tied Battery
Sanyo wants to build bigger lithium-ion batteries to store solar power, and EV battery maker Electrovaya targets grid storage for the Japanese market.
• 250M Smart Meters, $3.9B Market by 2015, Says Pike Research
The world will have 250 million smart meters by 2015, representing a $3.9 billion market, according to a report from Pike Research. But that growth will be uneven.
• GridPoint Gets Into Solar Integration With SMUD, ComEd
GridPoint will help Sacramento's municipal utility and Chicago's Commonwealth Edison manage solar power on their electricity grids.