Grid Modernization Demonstrates Energy Savings

March 20, 2012

Pacific Gas & Electric, a provider of natural gas and electricity in northern California, has reduced energy consumption up to 20% due to its power grid optimization programs, according to the GridWise Alliance.

The GridWise Alliance, an advocate for the optimization of the U.S. electric system, along with Quanta Technology, co-wrote a report detailing the current state of the power grid and assessing the benefits of a modernized system. It provides federal and state regulators with concrete examples of the benefits of modernization projects as they contemplate their own initiatives.

The report collected data from interviews with GridWise Alliance members, state regulators, and several utilities, as well as analyzed recent smart grid reports. The electric industry is moving forward with vital grid modernization programs, notes James W. Morozzi, president and CEO of GridWise Alliance.

“Our economy and quality of life depend on a robust, optimized, and modernized electric grid,” says Morozzi. “This is an important time as decision makers look for data from completed projects to ensure that their upcoming initiatives are deployed efficiently and effectively.”

Although much of the report is based on expected benefits, detailed case studies and quantitative data illustrate improvements to electric reliability, energy savings, and customer engagement.

“It is necessary to recognize that the main beneficiaries of grid modernization are energy customers and society as a whole. As such, we will need to build an intelligent, flexible, and sustainable grid that is both customer-centric and capable of balancing societal values, customer needs, and system operation contraints,” the report reads. “In order to realize this vision and value of a modernized electric grid, all stakeholders must seek common agreement.”

Continued smart grid deployment will require regulatory support from a policy and financial perspective, the report states. GridWise Alliance aims to facilitate collaboration among policymakers, utilities, and customers.

“Optimizing our energy resources, energy delivery, and energy consumption is made possible by modernizing the United States’ electric grid,” the report notes.

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