Peering into the future of the grid
The job of grid operators, who already monitor huge amounts of data, stands to get more complicated as utilities add more renewable energy, storage, and "demand-side resources" onto the grid. Rather than add power to the grid to meet peak-time demand, regional grid operators are using demand response, where utility customers agree to cut down electricity use when the grid is maxed out.
ISO New England is also involved in a smart-grid project where it will use high-speed sensors to gather huge amounts of data from substations on grid conditions, such as current and voltage. This will give people monitoring the grid more awareness of how things are changing to make power delivery more reliable. As more wind and solar are added to the grid, this information will also allow operators to better handle the variable nature of wind and solar, according to ISO New England executives.
August 24, 2010 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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