Green Bank, West Virginia, a village of 143 residents nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, has become ground zero of sorts for dozens of Americans who believe WiFi and/or mobile phones have made them sick. That’s because Green Bank is part of the 13,000 square miles surrounding the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which has been designated the National Radio Quiet Zone. In order to prevent outside electromagnetic signals from interfering with the telescope, the area is, according to Wired, “nearly free of electromagnetic pollution.”
The United States Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced it is partnering with the European Union’s (EU) Smart Grid Coordination Group (SG-CG) to develop Smart Grid standards. Both NIST and the SG-CG, which are mandated to establish a standards framework for Smart Grids, have outlined their areas of research in a joint white paper.
CURRENT has received $13 million in funding that will be used to spur product development of solutions that enable advanced metering, grid reliability, and transformer station communications. The cash infusion also helps CURRENT to expand its business in the European and Asia Pacific markets. CURRENT already has partnerships with Landis+Gyr, Novabase, and Cable & Wireless.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) has released the 2011 Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM) update. The presentation, made during GridWeek 2011, provides updates on the worldwide community of SGMM users and partners. The SGMM is a management tool designed to help utilities map out and prioritize their smart grid plans, and measure progress as they upgrade the power grid. Developed by utilities for utilities, SGMM is hosted by the SEI as a resource for industry transformation with the support of the United States Department of Energy.
Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (OG&E) has expanded testing of smart grid supported equipment that will help the utility to more efficiently deliver energy. Forty-two circuits equipped with capacitor controllers and 16 circuits with automatic reclosers are being analyzed in the Oklahoma City area to determine if Integrated Volt Var Control (IVVC) can reduce peak demand for power on the grid.
IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), has introduced two new standards—IEEE 1701 and IEEE 1702—to create a multi-source plug and play communications environment for diverse smart metering devices in India for the first time. Both the IEEE 1701 and IEEE 1702 standards provide lower layer communication protocols for LAN/WAN ports and telephone ports used with utility metering. According to IEEE, “both standards solve the problems associated with single source systems and with multi-source systems based upon proprietary communications protocols. Electric, water, and gas utilities and corresponding vendors can realize cost savings which ultimately shall benefit the client consumers of the utilities.”