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An Overview of the Smart Grid. David K. Owens Chair, AABE Legislative Issues and Public Policy Committee AABE Smart Grid Working Group Webinar September 7, 2011. What is the Smart Grid?.

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An overview of the smart grid

An Overview of the Smart Grid

David K. Owens

Chair, AABE Legislative Issues and Public Policy Committee

AABE Smart Grid Working Group Webinar

September 7, 2011

What is the smart grid
What is the Smart Grid?

An advanced, telecommunication / electric grid with sensors and smart devices linking all aspects of the grid, from generator to consumer, and delivering enhanced operational capabilitiesthat:

  • Provide CONSUMERS with the information and toolsnecessary  to be responsiveto electricity grid conditions (including price and reliability) through the use of electric devices and new services (from smart thermostats to PHEV)

  • Ensure EFFICIENTuse of the electric grid (optimizing current assets while integrating emerging technologies such as renewables and storage devices)

  • Enhance RELIABILITY (protecting the gridfrom cyber and natural attacks, increasing power qualityand promoting early detection and self correcting grid “self-healing”)

Smart grid sensing and measurement
Smart Grid … Sensing and Measurement

Advanced Sensors

Remote Monitoring of Expensive Equipment(e.g. Transformers)

Smart Meters

Smart grid integrated communications
Smart Grid … Integrated Communications


PowerlineBroadband over Powerline (BPL)

CellularRadio Frequency (RF)


Smart grid advanced control
Smart Grid …Advanced Control

Smart meter platform and home area network technologies will take ee and dr to new levels
Smart Meter Platform and Home Area Network Technologies will take EE and DR to New Levels

…Giving customers the tools and the know-how to be smarter energy consumers

HAN communication

SmartMeter communication

Why do we need a smarter grid grid modernization

Utilities are facing major challenges: will take EE and

Infrastructure investment needs--$1.5-2 Trillion

Climate change other environmental issues

Energy independence


A smarter grid will enable utilities to:

Empower customers to control and optimize their energy usage

Rely on greater amounts of distributed generation—wind, solar, etc.

Use electricity as a fuel for vehicles

Enhance the reliability and efficiency of the power grid

Provide the framework and foundation for future economic growth

Why Do We Need A Smarter Grid?(Grid Modernization)

Transformational technology
Transformational Technology will take EE and

  • Game Changing Technology that Will Transform the Industry

    • New Customer Relationships

    • Greater and Better Customer Energy Control

    • New Businesses / Strategic Partnerships

    • New Market Participants

A new kind of utility customer engagement
A New Kind of Utility/Customer Engagement will take EE and

  • Use of advanced customer service channels to deliver customer benefits, choice and control

  • Shift from reactive issue resolution to proactive information transfer

  • Information push versus pull customer service model

Smart meter map details
Smart Meter Map Details will take EE and

  • 27 million smart meters installed as of September 1, 2011.

  • The map captures smart meter installations and planned deployments by IOUs, large public power utilities, and some coops.

  • 65 million smart meters projected to be deployed by 2015.

    • 54% of U.S. households

Smart grid implementation challenges

There is tremendous and growing pushback from customers and regulators to the smart meter. It focuses on

Accuracy of meters

Health concerns: Radio Frequency Exposure

Who decides whether a meter should be installed?

Cost of installation

Access to information: privacy intrusion

Impact “at risk” customers

Dynamic pricing

Customers are not seeing immediate benefits

Smart Grid Implementation Challenges