Monday, 6 April 2009

FERC steps up smart grid development

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has come with a proposed policy statement and action plan that would help set the “rules of the road” of a modern grid.

The proposed policy statement seeks public comment on standards for four priority issues critical to the smooth functioning and operation of the Smart Grid.

After weighing public comments, FERC plans to adopt a final policy statement providing guidance to the electric power industry on standards for:

· Cyber security;
· Communications among regional market operators, utilities, service providers and consumers;
· Ensuring that the bulk power system operators have “wide-area situational awareness” with equipment that allows them to monitor and operate their systems; and
· Coordinating operation of the bulk power system with new and emerging technologies for renewable resources, demand resources, electricity storage and electric transportation systems.

Prioritising the development of key standards will speed up the process of achieving an interoperable smart grid, said Commissioner Suedeen Kelly.

Kelly said the proposed policy will require the sharing of information associated with smart grid deployments with the Smart Grid Clearinghouse being developed by the Department of Energy.

“This will help to demonstrate the real benefits that investing in a smart grid can bring to the public,” said Kelly.

As per the plan, smart grid advancements will apply digital technologies to the grid, and enable real-time coordination of information from both generating plants and demand-side resources.

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