Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) had presented California state regulators its yearly progress update showing the utility’s progress on its smart grid plan. The report covers projects that are part of the Smart Grid Deployment Plan PG&E submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in June 2011, which includes integrating a wide range of advanced communications, computing, sensing and control technologies to modernize the electric system in his Northern and Central California coverage areas.
PG&E reports that its update includes progress made on the “outage detection program, which can check individual meters to determine whether power has been restored during an outage; intelligent circuits, located in Fresno and Bakersfield, that help improve system-wide electric system reliability and significantly reduce the average length of an outage; and high-tech monitoring equipment on the transmission system to provide early warning of potential problems so grid operators can take corrective action before widespread outages occur.”
PG&E Smart Grid senior director Kevin Dasso notes, “We’ve made progress in the last year making the electric grid that powers our homes and businesses more intelligent. This report shows our clear focus on safety, reliability and affordability, and on ensuring that projects deliver key customer benefits.”
PG&E also announced it has released Green Button Connect. The Green Button initiative was launched in late 2011 as a way for customers to download their energy data and send it to a third party app developer or use the data themselves to track their usage. Green Button Connect is designed to give customers even greater control over their energy use by offering a one-time authorization to automate the secure hand-off of the customer’s energy data to the third-party energy app developer of their choosing. Previously, a customer would have to repeatedly download their electric usage and manually send it to a third party app developer, but now they can choose to automate that process.
PG&E Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Karen Austin, adds: “We want it to be really easy and quick for customers to manage their energy use. It should take a minute to securely share your data with a solar panel installation company, not 10 minutes.”