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With millions of dollars of federal stimulus money now in the hands of utilities and vendors to support smart grid initiatives around the U.S., project momentum is building. In this channel track smart grid projects, R&D efforts and find helpful expert resources.

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Smart grid hits and misses: a state by state close-up

Smart Grid, state smart grid toolkits, state stimulus money, state stimulus sites
Curious about smart grid projects in your state - or the state next door? We've just updated all 50 of our state smart grid toolkits. Each one is packed with energy-related projects, news and trends. You'll also find useful state-specific resources, including state energy agencies, utility and regulator listings, advocacy groups and incentive programs. Click inside to start your coast-to-coast tour.

Grid optimization toolkit

grid optimization, smart grid, Volt/VAR optimization, Volt/VAR control, grid optimization solutions
Smart meters may get most of the attention, but many would argue that grid optimization is how utilities and their customers are going to get the most bang for their buck. So what is grid optimization, and how do we bring it out of the smart grid closet? You'll find answers in our one-stop grid optimization toolkit, which is packed with the analysis, trends and resources you need to get up to speed.

Electric power transmission toolkit

ABB, electric power transmission, electric power transmission system, electric power transmission infrastructure, smart grid electric power transmission, smart grid
How are we going to turn our frail and neglected electric power transmission system into a secure and reliable smart grid? It’s a critical and timely issue, which is why we’ve loaded this toolkit with some of the best analysis, most-promising trends and smartest research relating to next steps in electric power transmission.

Can plug-in EVs enhance grid reliability? EPRI and others are betting on it

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, plug-in hybrid vehicles, grid reliability, electric utilities
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District, EPRI, electric car makers and others are betting smart grid technology can integrate plug-in EVs in a way that supports grid reliability. Click to read about a demo project for a new software system developed by EPRI and others.

Energy efficiency: DOE zeroes in on commercial and residential HVAC systems

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, building efficiency, HVAC systems, DOE
HVAC systems in commercial and residential buildings draw a lot of the energy those buildings use. The advantages to trimming that number are obvious and many different approaches are underway to do it. Now DOE is kicking in money to come up with alternative technologies that could make real energy savings possible.

Really? Breakthrough said to be the “next big thing” in battery technology

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, battery technology, EV batteries, EV charging, electric vehicles, energy storage
Scientists from a Singapore technical university have come up with a battery capable of recharging to 70% capacity in two minutes, and it will last much longer than today’s lithium-ion batteries. The development could affect many industries and markets, particularly electric vehicles.

Detroit's largest utility teams with Itron to showcase smart city technologies

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart cities, smart cities initiatives, DTE Energy, Itron, electric vehicles, intelligent street lights
DTE Energy and Itron recently showcased smart technologies that underscored their increasingly important role in helping cities manage their energy use. As many utilities are well aware, they will be called upon to pitch in as smart city initiatives progress.

North America's two biggest energy storage projects

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, grid-scale energy storage, research and development
Two grid-scale energy storage technologies are being put to the test, one in California and another in Utah. The large projects, involving lithium-ion batteries and compressed air, are expected to yield serious answers to questions regarding storage capabilities, benefits and value. Click to learn more about the projects.

Lessons from the field: Progress in integrating distributed energy (and creating virtual power plants)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distributed energy resources, EPRI, smart grid demonstration projects
The EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative, a seven-year program of field demonstrations concentrating on integrating distributed energy resources, has been making real progress. Click to read some highlights from the latest EPRI update and for access to the full version.

EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Update

The EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative is a seven-year collaborative research effort focused on design, implementation, and assessment of field demonstrations to address prevalent challenges with integrating distributed energy resources in grid and market operations to create a “Virtual Power Plant.” This newsletter provides periodic updates on projects, relevant industry news, and events.

Energy storage: Is the time finally right for grid-integrated water heaters?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, grid-scale energy storage, demos and pilot projects
It’s an old idea, the concept of using a fleet of water heaters for energy storage. But with the help of new technology, demonstration projects are proving that water heaters (and space heaters) can be an effective element in grid-scale energy storage strategies.

Smart grid funding: DOE, other agencies continue to invest in projects and R&D

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid projects, smart grid R&D, DOE, smart grid investments
The era of billions in smart grid investment and demonstration grants may be gone, but DOE and other federal agencies continue to steadily invest in grid resilience and a more secure energy future. We take a look at some recent examples in a variety of technologies.

A very different kind of wave energy device (it operates well below the waves)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, marine energy, wave energy, renewable energy, research and development
Many industry observers see wave energy as a remote possibility, one of those “out there” technologies, if they consider it at all. However, several companies have quietly gone about their business building and testing a variety of devices to convert marine energy into electric power. Pete Danko of Breaking Energy shares one of the latest developments.

National laboratories team for much-needed distributed energy test bed

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid R&D, research and development, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Testing new technologies in a realistic setting is obviously the best way to ensure they will function properly at actual load levels, before they're integrated into the power grid. Click to learn about a distributed energy resources test bed developed by two national labs and how it will benefit both utilities and equipment manufacturers.

7 cutting edge resiliency technologies (New York is investigating them now)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid R&D, grid resiliency, outage management, energy, New York state
While superstorm Sandy is long gone, its harsh lessons remain fresh for the states affected by the devastation. New York recently funded seven research projects, most of them related to technologies for grid resilience, outage mitigation and improved energy efficiency, including microgrids.

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