Xcel Energy is in the news again. This blog recently noted Xcell’s development of energy storage as key to expanding the use of renewable energy in Texas.
Grid experts advise investing in “a digital computerized grid that can respond to decentralized generation and storage, and which will also manage demand from certain kinds of consumer and commercial appliances.”
In addition to its geographic concentration, ideal size and access to all grid components, Boulder was selected because it is home to the University of Colorado and several federal institutions, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which already is involved in smart grid efforts for the federal government.
The story caught the reader’s eye because this development will include support for plug-in hybrids. Also noteworthy was the choice of the location given how much plug-in hybrid development has and is occurring in California. Of course, Colorado does have Amory “Mister $10,000 Bill on the Shop Floor” Lovins. I wonder if the Mayor of Boulder will plug-in?
Smart Grid City could feature a number of infrastructure upgrades and customer offerings—for the first time fully integrated through the partnership’s efforts in Boulder—including:
Transformation of existing metering infrastructure to a robust, dynamic electric system communications network, providing real-time, high-speed, two-way communication throughout the distribution grid;
Conversion of substations to “smart” substations capable of remote monitoring, near real-time data and optimized performance;
At the customer’s invitation, installation of programmable in-home control devices and the necessary systems to fully automate home energy use; and
Integration of infrastructure to support easily dispatched distributed generation technologies (such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with vehicle-to-grid technology; battery systems; wind turbines; and solar panels).