Smart grid project in Marblehead, Mass., cut residential demand by 37 percent, DOE says

Initial results from three advanced metering projects under the Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment Grant program show that smart meters, combined with time-based rates, can reduce electricity consumption during peak periods, DOE said.

In a report, Demand Reductions from the Application of Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Pricing Programs, and Customer-Based Systems — Initial Results, the Energy Department described three projects that used advanced metering and time-of-use rates to reduce demand.

The projects were carried out by a municipal electric utility, the Marblehead Municipal Lighting Department in Massachusetts; investor-owned Oklahoma Gas & Electric; and a rural electric co-op, Sioux Valley Energy in South Dakota. Together, these three projects offered time-based rates to about 7,000 customers.

Initial results show that the Marblehead Municipal Lighting Department project cut demand for electricity by 37 percent during critical peak events, and more than 85 percent of the participants in the Marblehead project reported having positive experiences, DOE said. The Oklahoma project cut demand by up to 30 percent during peak events, while the Sioux Valley Energy project cut demand by up to 25 percent.

The report is one of four issued about federal smart grid initiatives under DOE’s Smart Grid Investment Grant program. The other three reports cover:
• Operations and maintenance savings from the application of advanced metering infrastructure;
• Reliability improvements from the application of distribution automation technologies and systems; and
• Application of automated controls for voltage and reactive power management.

The reports are posted on DOE’s website.

A fifth report due out later this year will address the application of synchrophasor technologies to electric transmission systems. — JEANNINE ANDERSON

Reposted with permission from Public Power Daily.

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