Wednesday, 17 June 2009

BPA seeks additional smart grid partners

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has issued its second request for potential partners for smart grid projects that could qualify for federal stimulus money.

The Portland-based non-profit federal electric utility is hoping to tap into some of the $4.5 billion to be allocated from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act for smart grid technologies.

Even though the Department of Energy (DOE) announcement is still in draft form, BPA is moving forward with the request as a proactive step to help bring a Smart Grid project to the region.

“Collaboration is key for this project,” said BPA’s VP of energy efficiency, Mike Weedall. “We are working to finalise which utilities will participate in a proposal to DOE, and now we need to get other types of partners on board.”

The utility is looking for manufacturers, hi-tech companies and other stakeholders to commit to capital investments and matching fund contributions. In 2006, BPA partnered with DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to advance the technology through the Olympic Peninsula GridWise Demonstration project.

BPA markets more than a third of the electricity consumed in the Pacific Northwest. It operates a high-voltage transmission grid comprising more than 15,000 miles of lines and associated substations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

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