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.
CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric and the United States Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel B. Poneman have presented survey results from a smart meter In-Home Display pilot program that started in late 2010. Over 70 percent of the survey’s 500 participants report that they have changed their electricity consumption behavior as a result of the energy use data they accessed on their in-home displays.
United States Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that 31 tribal energy projects will receive $6.3 million over two years as part of the Department of Energy (DOE) policy of supporting tribal energy development. These projects, which will be selected competitively, enable Native American tribes to promote clean energy within their communities by developing strategic energy plans, educating tribal members, and improving the energy efficiency of their buildings.
Leesburg, Florida’s $20 million smart grid upgrade will begin with 24,000 utility customers receiving smart meters beginning sometime this November and finishing around early 2012. Leesburg Electric Director Paul Kalv says, “Right now it is hard to pinpoint an actual date but we are targeting to have them fully deployed before March 2012.”
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has published its long term vision for the Smart Grid, which will modernize its electric infrastructure to deliver energy and cost savings to PG&E customers across Northern and Central California.
A new technology developed by San Diego start-up On-Ramp enables data to be transmitted up to 45 miles. Using current technology, a typical wifi signal travels around 300 feet before becoming too weak to be detected by a computer.
Fulton, Missouri, has selected Tantalus to provide the communications backbone for its planned Smart Grid, which is funded by a United States Department of Energy grant. The city received proposals from many leading smart meter providers but ultimately decided on Tantalus because of its ability to manage real time data communications.
The United States Department of Energy has announced that it will be offering the Abengoa Mojave Solar project outside Hinkley a conditional $1.2 billion federal loan. Once it is completed and fully operational, the 1,765-acre, 250 megawatt project will power up to 80,000 homes once it is completed. The project is designed to use parabolic solar trough technology, which tracks the sun and allows for storage.
More than 356,000 homes and businesses across northern, central, and southern are scheduled to get smart meters as part of four projects involving Cleco Power, Entergy New Orleans and the municipal utilities for Ruston and Lafayette. The deployments are funded in part through a United States Department of Energy grant. Meter installations are expected to begin in mid-2012 and will take about 18 months to complete.
During a White House Grid Modernization event, United States Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that more than five million smart meters have been installed nationwide as part of Recovery Act-funded efforts to accelerate modernization of the nation’s electric grid. Nearly 90 percent of the meters installed to date are in Florida, Texas, California, Idaho, Arizona, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Nevada.