New England

Iberdrola to Expand Its U.S. Footprint

Iberdrola Renovables has launched the National Control Centre (NCC) in Portland, Oregon, which has operational control over approximately 800,000 inputs from 2,500 turbines across the country. The NCC infrastructure also controls data from Iberdrola’s other wind farms around the world. This efficient management of wind power will provide greater stability to the United State’s power grid.

Constellation Acquires CPower; Launches New Education Program

Constellation Energy announced it will acquire energy management and demand response provider CPower, which designs and manages programs that enable commercial, utility, and public sector customers to reduce electricity demand during peak demand periods. The acquisition expands Constellation Energy’s total demand response capacity to 1,500 megawatts. The deal is expected in the fourth quarter of 2010. Terms were not disclosed.

DOE Launches Smart Grid Web Portal

The United States Department of Energy has initiated a new smart grid information clearinghouse Web site to provide a forum where information on smart grid technologies can be shared.  The beta version began July 7 and provides information on technologies, standards, rules, training and best practices.  for smart grid technologies that use sensors, infrastructure and communications devices to better monitor and control energy use.

New England Investing in Smart Grid

Maine and Vermont have announced separate smart grid projects. In the first, Maine’s Public Utilities Commission approved Central Maine Power’s proposed $1.4 billion power grid upgrade. CMP, the state’s largest electric utility, plans to build a new 345,000-volt transmission line, doubling the capacity of the grid’s backbone. It is the first major upgrade since 1971, and CMP says the improvements are necessary to keep the power grid stable beyond 2012. CMP spokesman John Carroll reported that the utility expects to get final permits from the Army Corps of Engineers soon and start construction in June ad will finish sometimes in 2015.

Maine Seeks to Establish Smart Grid

Central Maine Power Company has presented an innovative proposal to the state’s Public Utilities Commission that offers solar panels connected to smart meters feeding electricity into the power grid; subsidizing low-income residents to weatherize homes; and a special ombudsman to assist landowners resolve disputes over power line, in exchange for approval on a transmission project sought by the utility to upgrade its aging, high-voltage network, which spans 350 miles from Orrington to the New Hampshire border. The PUC plans to debate the proposal this week, which .