The Changing Electric System Architecture
12 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2010
Date Written: 2009
Most electric utilities still rely on “dumb grid” technology to meet and manage load. Yet the passage of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) has provided greater visibility for smart meters, an essential component of smart grid systems. Increasing federal support through the provision of $4 billion in matching fund grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Act) is expected to further smart grid development, as well as smart grid storage, monitoring, and technology viability. Despite the attention it has received to date, the term “smart grid” remains nebulous. While most market participants have a clear vision of what “smart grid” means to them, any three people are unlikely to have the same vision. For our purposes, we refer to “smart grid” as an electric transmission and distribution system where two-way communication exists between the source and the sink for the electricity.
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