Smart Grid in the News
CalCom members who attended the 2011 Spring Conference in Monterey received a timely
update from PG&E’s Wendy Lohkamp on how smart meters and appliances will
join together to help consumers manage their energy use. Recently, the home area network and smart
grid technology issues were before both the California Public Utilities
Commission (PUC) and the US Department of Energy.
In California, on November 21 PG&E asked the PUC for approval to begin work on
six new smart grid pilot projects. These “pilot projects” will include the installation of smart grid line sensors
designed to improve communications for grid outage detection and to enable grid
systems monitoring and control. These pilot projects will have a total cost of $109 million over four years, which
PG&E seeks to recover through increases in electricity rates.
Nationally, on November 8 the Department of Energy released its “Smart Grid Data Access”
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) that will provide up to $8 million to
promote partnerships between utilities and third-party technology innovators
for the development and implementation of applications that provide access to
electricity consumption data. Funding applications are due March 1, 2012.