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Smart Grid

Rows of battery racks at the <a href="/node/657906">Salem Smart Power Center</a> in Salem, Oregon. The Battelle-led Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, will use the center’s 5-megawatt energy storage system to test several smart grid technologies and approaches. | Photo courtesy of Portland General Electric.

Rows of battery racks at the Salem Smart Power Center in Salem, Oregon. The Battelle-led Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, will use the center’s 5-megawatt energy storage system to test several smart grid technologies and approaches. | Photo courtesy of Portland General Electric.

America’s electrical grid was born more than a century ago, when our electricity needs were simple -- and our demand for power was much lower. As American homes and businesses take on ever-increasing numbers of electronic devices and technological capabilities, utilities need ways to learn about (and respond to) changing electricity demand in real time. The Smart Grid makes this possible, resulting in more reliable electricity for all grid users.

The Energy Department is investing in strategic partnerships to accelerate investments in grid modernization. We support groundbreaking research on synchrophasors, advanced grid modeling and energy storage -- all key to a reliable, resilient electricity grid that’s ready to power the generations ahead.

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How Synchrophasors are Bringing the Grid into the 21st Century
Power lines carry electricity across Washington State. | Photo courtesy of the Energy Department.

Learn about synchrophasors and how they are helping grid operators keep power flowing reliably to American homes and businesses.

Smart Grid Week: R&D Projects Paving the Way to the 21st Century Grid
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's <a href="http://www.pnnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=948">GridLAB-Dâ„¢ tool</a> works to simulate all aspects of the energy grid from generation to end use allowing users to see the future of the grid like never before. | Photo courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Next up in our Smart Grid Week series -- how grid modernization research and development projects directly benefit you.

Smart Grid Week: How the Transition to 21st Century Grid Impacts You
Smart meter technology plays a key role in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition. <a href="/node/300517">The Team Tidewater Virginia's smart meter</a>, as seen on opening day, indicates the team generated 5 kW hours of electricity in the first several hours of the competition. | Image courtesy of Lachlan Fletcher, Studio 18a.

From smart meters to energy-saving apps -- an overview of the many capabilities a smarter, more powerful grid makes available to you.

Progress on Our 21st Century Grid: Powering Our Country and Our Economy
Investments in the nation's electric power grid are delivering significant benefits to consumers and businesses. | Photo courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Since the start of the new year, I have spoken at more than a dozen events about ways in which investment in the electric power grid is delivering significant benefits to consumers, businesses, and communities across the nation.