For decades the Pacific Northwest has been a model for comprehensive energy planning as well as effective energy conservation and clean energy resource development. The region is filled with early adopters of energy related products such as electric vehicles, distributed renewables (solar, wind, geothermal, etc.), home energy management systems, and is a hub for green buildings. Smart Grid Northwest’s goal is to leverage the region’s advanced energy perspective and assets and help evolve them into a smarter energy grid. Significant progress is already taking place, as seen in a number of projects:
- BPA, Battelle, and regional partners are nearing completion of a $180 million smart grid demonstration project.
- PGE and Idaho Power have deployed smart meters across their service territories, Seattle City Light and SnoPUD have automated their sub-stations, and a number of other Northwest utilities have completed pilots and are planning AMI and other Smart Grid projects in the coming years.
- A number of energy storage projects are operating or in planning phases in communities across the Northwest including the announcement in Washington for three new projects.
- Many demand response solutions are coming online via commercial and rural programs
- Key industry firms from Itron, Alstom and Ecova to Building Energy, McKinstry, and Serveron are selling solutions to clients around the globe.
A Smart Grid in the Northwest will:
Create jobs with the development of metering, monitoring, controls, communications, software, analytics, and other technology and services companies.
Integrate new energy resources such as distributed renewables, dispatchable energy storage, automated demand response, transactive energy, smart homes/buildings, and other emerging energy solutions.
Empower consumers to make wise and economical decisions with easy-to-access, timely, and accurate energy information.
Ensure energy affordability as energy supply and demand are balanced more dynamically and optimally with near real-time data.
Establish a more resilient, reliable, and sustainable energy system while outages are fixed more rapidly, peak demand is abated, efficiency programs are optimized, resources are used effectively, and a myriad of other benefits are realized.