National Grid Smart Grid Program Launches Technology Phase
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
The company has also upgraded more than 80 percent of the electric systems associated with the program by adding new automation and infrastructure-enhancing devices that improve electric service reliability and power outage response.
“Working with customers, the city and many others in the community we have reached an important milestone in our program preparing to deliver full benefits to our customers,” said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts. “We are excited to have customers connect with us and take control of their energy use as they sign up for and engage with quality tools that will provide unprecedented information and insight into their energy use.”
Smart meter installations have already been completed so participants are now invited to enroll in the technology phase of the Smart Energy Solutions Program at no additional cost. Participating customers will have access to personalized electricity use online, as well as easy to read charts and graphs that show how the customer uses energy. Residents who meet the eligibility requirements will be allowed to choose between various levels of energy management technology options including:
-online and mobile energy use apps designed to monitor and control energy use
-digital picture frames with real-time energy usage information
-a smart thermostat that can be remotely adjusted
-electricity control devices that remotely monitor and control home equipment and appliances
Commercial customers will be offered similar choices. In addition to the above options, all customers will also have an opportunity to win prizes for saving energy.
Later this year, National Grid will begin the next phase in the Smart Energy Solutions Program, offering customers time-based pricing plans to help achieve even more energy savings.
“Our customers depend on us to reliably deliver their electricity, so National Grid is leveraging new technologies to build a smarter, more resilient electric network,” said Reed. “By modernizing our system in Worcester, we hope to provide customers with improved response times and a reduction in the number of outages. We also will be better prepared for extreme weather events.”
Investing in the Electric System
Installing the latest grid-style technology to improve the reliability and system performance is a key feature of the Smart Energy Solutions Program. This technology will allow for both faster outage identifications and system reconfigurations to reduce and potentially eliminate power outages.
Combining communication technologies with outage indication capabilities will allow for crews to be dispatched to the problem efficiently, allowing for them to restore power quickly. The new equipment will also be able to identify which customers are affected during storms and other emergency situations, improving restoration times.
The investment to the electric system covers around 150 miles of electric distribution lines in Worcester as well as four other sub stations. 200 new devices will be installed will give the system the ability to automatically maintain electric voltage, detect and reduce outage duration, regulate transformers, speed up power restoration, faster identification of location and cause of outages.
The wireless communication network will be comprised of 14 base stations. Several transformer monitors will be installed at solar and wind powered generation locations. The program will also be testing electric vehicle charging stations across the city.
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