Power grid grows daily in size and complexity while the technology we use to run this system becomes increasingly outdated. The grid has served us well for more than a century, but the time has come for a modernized system capable of meeting the worlds growing demands. We need a “smarter” grid to deliver and manage electricity.
Smart grid applies advanced technology to an existing electric system, making the system more reliable and efficient while giving utility customers more control over their usage. In order to be effective, the smart grid must begin at the power plant and run all the way through the delivery system to customers’ meters. System upgrades will include transmission and distribution monitoring devices, smart meters, smart appliances, and energy efficiency tools. Smart grid will integrate renewable and traditional energy sources into one system, reducing carbon emissions caused from coal and gas power plants.
Smart grid technology makes the power grid more reliable by making the response to outages more efficient. When outages occur, smart grid will allow utilities to immediately locate where an outage occurs and then automatically re-route power to where it is needed. Automated systems reduce the risk of overload and outages caused by human error.
Saving energy reduces costs to the utility company. This in turn reduces costs to ratepayers. By implementing smart grid, consumers and companies will avoid more expensive alternatives, such as building new power plants, and accomplish the goal of meeting the USA growing energy needs.