Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash says, “The work being done here makes Washington state a leader in smart-grid technology. With funding for this landmark smart-grid demonstration project now moving ahead, our region is cementing its leadership in what will be a worldwide smart-grid marketplace worth hundreds of billions of dollars.” She also notes that the project will help provide business models to put technology into more widespread use.
In a previous PNNL project, 112 homeowners on the Olympic Peninsula were given equipment that provided constant price updates enabling consumers to make choices that would have software automatically reduce their power use in peak periods when electricity is most expensive. The result was a 10 percent savings on their electric bills.
Senator Cantwell adds, “If we can get 10 to 15 percent efficiency from our existing electrical supply, that’s a great bonus,” Cantwell said, mindful that electricity demand is expected to grow 40 percent by 2030.
The project is taking place at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. PNNL is a US Department of Energy (DOE) government research laboratory operated by Battelle, which is managing the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project.
The Bonneville Power Administration, the University of Washington and Washington State University are also participating in the project.