PowerGrid Communications Inc. and GridPoint, Inc. collaborated at the UTC Telecom 2007 Conference and Expo this month in Austin, Texas, in demonstrating a package of Smart Grid services that enable consumers and utilities to meet the challenge of rising energy costs, the need for power demand management and the growing call for lower carbon emissions.
BPL networks add high-speed communications capabilities to existing electric power grids, and provide a broadband connection anywhere on the grid and to every electric outlet. Through this network, utilities will be able to monitor the electric grid to rapidly detect faults and outages or equipment problems, read meters, monitor and control electric usage, deliver important services to the serviced communities and to increase the overall reliability and value of its service to customers.
The UTC Expo 2007 Austin Showcase built by PowerGrid and Austin Energy demonstrated one of the largest groupings to date of BPL network applications and services. Through the GridEye portal, PowerGrid provided grid and network management for the BPL network and for clean tech, Smart Grid services. One of the key services was centered on the GridPoint SmartGrid Platform, which offers utilities direct control of an intelligent network that integrates energy storage technologies, load measurement and control devices, and renewable energy sources at the edge of the grid. Utilities can deploy stored power during peak periods, reduce customers’ peak loads, optimize existing baseload generation assets and relieve stress on transmission and distribution (T&D) lines.
PowerGrid integrated the GridPoint SmartGrid Platform with a solar electric system provided by Meridian Energy Systems to deliver a complete renewable energy storage and load management system. This integrated system provides an uninterruptible demand management system centered on clean energy sources. GridPoint’s platform integrated on the BPL network enables a utility to integrate its customers’ renewable energy sources in a utility-controlled manner. This capability represents a major step forward for the commercial success of solar and wind energy sources by serving as an intelligent gateway between these sources and the electric grid. Utilities can also offer their customers instant backup power and energy conservation services via a customer-controlled Web portal.