Smart Meters on The Stimulus Channel

Posted by Sam Churchill on

SmartGridNews.com, billed as “the Web’s most comprehensive source of stimulus news”, is said to be a one-stop resource for industry professionals and consumers for tracking stimulus money, analysis, news and tools.

The Stimulus Channel features stimulus toolkits for all 50 states, with links to state energy offices, regulatory bodies and utilities, plus local media coverage of energy issues and initiatives and summaries of state energy projects, RFPs and awards.

It’s designed by Telvent, a global IT solutions and business information services provider and serves the energy, transportation, agricultural and environmental sectors of the economy.

“We know how important this stimulus information is for the industry,” said Larry Stack, president, Telvent Energy. “At Telvent, our focus is to help our customers maximize their Smart Grid investments. Aligning with the sector’s leading content provider was a natural fit for us.”

This week President Barack Obama announced $3.4 billion in government grants to help build a “smart” electric grid that will save consumers money on their utility bills, reduce blackouts and carry power supplies generated by solar and wind energy.

It marks the largest award made in a single day from the $787 billion stimulus package, and will create tens of thousands of jobs while upgrading the U.S. electric grid, according to administration officials.

The grants (above), which range from $400,000 to $200 million, will go to 100 companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities and other partners in 49 states — every state except Alaska.

Electric cars can act as storage on wheels for the “virtual oil field” that is wind energy in places like Texas and the Columbia River Gorge. They can charge at night using excess juice from wind turbines.

The Nissan Leaf, Miev, Think, and others are scheduled to arrive next year with charging infrastructure installations expected to begin in summer of 2010.

Denmark is setting a global example in creating clean power, storing it, and using it, says the PBS public affairs show, Now (above). President Obama announced $2.4 Billion in grants to accelerate development in batteries and Electric Vehicles earlier this year.

In August, PGE’s home town of Portland was named one of five test markets for the largest rollout of electric vehicles and an associated charging station network in United States history. PGE was selected by Electric Transportation Engineering (eTec), a unit of ECOtality which received almost $100 million in federal funds to test and analyze electric vehicle usage and charging infrastructure.

“If we assume that 10 percent of the vehicles were plug-ins by 2020, we’re predicting 50 average MW and we can get 90 percent of that off peak”, said Joe Barra, director of customer energy resources, Portland General Electric (PGE).

Wind power and electric cars compliment each other, while the Smart Grid enables discounted off-peak usage.

Pike Research predicts installation of Smart Meters to ramp up at a 19 percent annual rate through 2015. Major utilities worldwide, enticed by savings and prodded by governments, are embarking on a wholesale replacement of over 45% of the North American and European installed base by 2015.

Portland General selected a smart metering system developed by Sensus Metering Systems, which uses a wireless fixed network operating on 901 – 902 MHz at 8 KBps (pdf).

FlexNet architecture (pdf) combines a two Watt radio power with FCC-licensed spectrum and open systems IP addressability. PGE will construct, own and operate the system.

Communications equipment is being installed on approximately 42 mostly existing radio towers throughout the service area in Portland to enable two-way communication with the meters.

Sensus and Home Automation (above) are partnering on Home Area Network devices for demand response, energy display, and comfort control. Thousands of devices have already been distributed to five utilities across the country.

PG&E’s plan is to retrofit 54% of the existing electric meters and 96.1% of its existing gas meters.

The federal Department of Energy announced Oct. 9 a total of $10 million among 16 U.S. cities receiving grant funding through the Solar America Cities Special Projects. Portland will use the two-year grant to provide the technical and staff support to expand its Neighborhood Solar Initiative, neighborhood-focused programs designed to lower the barriers to solar installations for residents.

Related Dailywireless articles on Smart Meters include; Obama Announces $3.4B in Electric “Smart Grid” Grants, Cisco Launches Smart Grid Consortium, Alvarion Partners in Smart Grid Test, WiMAX SmartGrid Coming to 700K Australians, Zigbee Radio with 2 Mile Range, Google Power Meter , ABI: Stimulus Means Big Bucks for Wireless, The Smart Grid: Licensed or Unlicensed Spectrum, Cellular-enabled SCADA, Smart Grid: Dumb or What?, Smart Grid: It’s Alive!, Google: Smart Power R US, 900 Mhz Telemetry, Traffic Cameras and ITS and the Corpus Christi Cloud.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Thursday, October 29th, 2009 at 11:27 am .

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