With a Smart Grid, the production, storage and use of electricity will be interactive, with millions of home and business owned wind and solar power generating nodes, as well as millions of highly distributed battery storage resources – in the form of millions of electric, and electric/hybrid cars parked in home garages.
When you add all that together, you have a massive, load-leveling pool of energy producers and consumers, rather than just a one way distribution street. The individual nodes in this new web of production and consumption will therefore be sellers as well as buyers, and intelligent ones as well, able to centrally turn on and turn off (for example) home appliances, air conditioning and heating to time the market. When they interact with the grid, they will therefore be able to sell at the peak, and buy at the dip – which will also level off the constant costs of power.
And that’s where the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel comes in.
These local production and storage units, however, will not be operating all of the time – or even reliably, other than on a gross, statistical basis. As a result, the grid will need vastly intelligent controls, to estimate and distribute capacity and demand. In other words, all of these nodal and centralized elements will need to be linked together and operate interactively as a very, very Smart Grid indeed. When they do, gross production capacity of power should decrease, allowing the most polluting power generation facilities to be shut down, and an increasingly large percentage of total power generation to comprise green, rather than hydrocarbon based production sources.
I’ll be attending the Grid Interop conference today through Thursday (they were kind enough to give me a press pass), which serves as the venue for the SGIP launch, and will blog on the conference, as well as the voting outcomes, as events unfold, so stay tuned.
Updated: The Charter and Bylaws of the SGIP were announced as approved at 3:40 PM, MST. The vote was 133 in favor and 6 against, with 53.1% of eligible members casting a vote.
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