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Benefits of smart grid outlined by advocacy group

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Thursday, February 23, 2012

The GridWise Alliance, an advocacy group that works to promote awareness of the benefits of optimizing the nation's electric grid, has released a report that provides detailed accounts of the current state of America's power network and discusses the benefits of an updated electric system.

In the report, titled "Realizing the Value of an Optimized Electric Grid," Quanta Technology worked with the GridWise Alliance Implementation Work Group to identify the direct benefits of the smart grid. The report is sectioned into five categories, including grid reliability and security, customer energy management opportunity, asset and resource optimization, health, safety and environment, and productivity and economic growth.

"The electric industry continues to move forward with grid modernization programs," said James W. Morozzi, President and CEO, GridWise Alliance. "Grid modernization is imperative in the U.S. Our economy and quality of life depends on a robust, optimized and modernized electric grid."

Morozzi added the industry has approached a crucial time, as utility leaders look for data from completed projects to ensure future programs are deployed efficiently and effectively.

"This report aims to provide those making decisions with real examples of positive grid transformations occurring around the nation," he said.

Data was taken from interviews with GridWise Alliance members, state officials and several utilities, and details analyses made in various other smart grid reports. The major findings show how recent grid initiatives are resulting in significant improvements in electric reliability, energy savings and many other benefits.

Several case studies are included, highlighting the improvements made by a number of utilities, including Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric, Oklahoma Gas and Electric, among others.

Although current efforts to modernize the grid have shown positive results, many challenges will still be faced before complete optimization of the grid is achieved. The most pressing issues, according to the report, are expected to be technology's ability to advance, market readiness and risks, the realization of potential benefits, impacts of financial support and customer engagement.

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