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Smart Grid

Overview

Smart Grid refers to electrical grids that automatically gather and communicate information on usage, allowing for remote and automated control to improve efficiency and reliability of the grid. The goals of Smart Grid technology are to allow greater consumer control, reduce pollution, improve reliability, and reduce costs. For a more detailed overview of the Smart Grid, visit the Energy.gov sites below:

You can also view a series of short videos to learn more:

Technology

Smart Grid technology employs existing communications and manufacturing technology to automate and integrate the electrical grid. Sensors and meters gather data that is communicated and analyzed, allowing advanced control devices to maintain efficient use of electricity. “Vids 4 Grids,” produced by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and sponsored by DOE, provide details on various Smart Grid technologies, including: Switch Gear, Smart Meters, Conductor, Surge Protection Devices, Connectors, Lighting Controls, Grid-Scale Battery Storage, Grid-Scale Flywheel Energy for Frequency Regulation, Automation Controllers, Voltage Regulators, Dynamic Line Ratings, and Surge Arrestors.

Policy and Regulations

A Smart Grid will affect consumers, utilities, regulators, policymakers, the economy, and the environment well into the future. Developing a Smart Grid requires engagement from stakeholders. This publication reviews key Smart Grid concepts from a policy perspective:

Policymakers and Stakeholders Book

DOE’s Smart Grid activities are supported by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). EISA provided the legislative support for DOE’s Smart Grid activities and reinforced its role in leading and coordinating national grid modernization efforts. Key provisions of Title XIII include:

  • Section 1303 establishes at DOE the Smart Grid Advisory Committee and Federal Smart Grid Task Force.
  • Section 1304 authorizes DOE to develop a “Smart Grid Regional Demonstration Initiative.”
  • Section 1305 directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with DOE and others, to develop a Smart Grid Interoperability Framework.
  • Section 1306 authorizes DOE to develop a “Federal Matching Fund for Smart Grid Investment Costs."

Further details are available here.