The next-generation power grid—enhanced by digital
technologies throughout the network to give generators, distributors,
and customers greater control—promises to improve efficiency and lower
operating costs. This year, in the most full-scale effort yet, Xcel
Energy begins introducing intelligent grid technologies that it hopes
will make Boulder, Colo., the first Smart Grid City.
By Angela Neville, JD
Just as the Internet changed the way we
communicate, so will the “smart grid” transform the way we deliver
electricity. The Internet’s success is largely due to its networking
capabilities. In a similar way, the smart grid will use broadband
capabilities and high-speed computing to revolutionize the transmission
and distribution of power to end users.
Though the notion has been around for at least a
decade, there’s no consensus about what constitutes a smart grid.
However, the many government, industry, technology, and policy groups
that have been working to advance the idea from theory into practice (see sidebar)
do agree that, in general, a smart grid will use digital technologies
to enable integrated, real-time control of all the system’s elements,
from generation to end use.
Future grid features
Full article: Power Magazine -Smart Grid City