Results of a new nationwide survey of electric cooperatives and municipal utilities will be presented at the Texas A&M Smart Grid Conference "Evaluating the Business Case for Smart Grid Investments," which will be held at the Omni Southpark hotel in Austin Texas, Nov. 8-9, 2010.
"The survey reveals an enthusiasm for smart grid innovations at the same time that it finds a variety of hurdles likely to limit some of the most valuable benefits of the smart grid vision," said Jerry Jackson, leader of the Texas A&M Smart Grid Research Consortium project that conducted the survey.
A few results from the survey include:
- Fewer than 10% of utilities have imitated smart grid initiatives that reach beyond remote meter reading and service switches
- 90% of utilities have no business model for assessing smart grid investments
- Few utilities have customer end-use hourly load information required to evaluate demand response potentials
- Fully functioning smart grid systems with two-way communication, in-premise devises, and pricing programs are expected in six to seven years
The survey confirms the need for "on the ground" applications that help electric cooperatives and municipal utilities evaluate the business case for smart grid investments which is the focus of the upcoming A&M Smart Grid conference. Electric coops, municipal and other public utilities provide electricity to more than 25 percent of all U.S. electric customers and reflect an essential part of the country's transformation of its electric infrastructure.