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NEW: National Grid to Bring “Smart Grid” to Worcester

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

 

National Grid has chosen Worcester to be the home of its smart grid pilot program, which is expected to give consumers greater choice in how they use energy while increasing electric system reliability.

The smart grid pilot program was actually designed with the help of Worcester residents during a trial event. During the event, more than 300 members of the community and a cross-section of key groups and individuals helped to develop the program by providing feedback to the energy company.

The proposal was recently approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), much to the delight of National Grid Massachusetts President Marcy Reed.

 “We are delighted that the pilot has been approved. We are very grateful to the city, our customers and everyone else who invested their time, energy and creativity to help design this program,” Reed said. “We are excited to embark on the next big step of this journey where we will bring our collective vision to life and deliver its benefits to our customers and the city.”

The smart grid is set to be implemented in less than a year and will feature remote power outage sensors that will be able to identify outages and address them more quickly. National Grid says one of the most important elements of the new system will be customer choice. Customers will be able to choose their level of involvement and, based on their responses, will receive information about their energy usage from various sources.

City Manager Michael O'Brien was pleased that National Grid selected Worcester, and believes the grid will begin a national trend of electricity usage awareness.

 “Worcester is very pleased the Massachusetts DPU has approved National Grid’s smart grid pilot program,” O’Brien said. “The pilot’s goal of helping residents and businesses better understand and control their electricity usage, and providing National Grid additional tools to make the electrical system more reliable are priority concerns for the city as well. National Grid’s proactive, inclusive approach to creating and implementing the pilot will likely be a model for others in the state and beyond.”

 

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